Art and Photography

55-200 or 18-200; 70-300?

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  • Sep 15th, 2008 3:57 pm
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[OP]
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Mar 25, 2005
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55-200 or 18-200; 70-300?

It seems that the time has come for me to move on from my 18-55 kit to something bigger and better. I already have a fast 50 prime, so I believe a zoom would be handy. I have missed a few shots where my subject (mainly birds on a lake, buildings across water) were simply too far for my 55mm zoom. I have ultimately decided that a 200mm lens would be perfect for my needs. It really boils down to:

55-200 VR- $250.00
or
18-200 VR-$560.00

EDIT: Looking into the future, and thinking about what everyone said, the 18-200 seems like the better deal later on. As for today, a 70-300VR looks like my best bet as I enjoy shooting stuff far away. Thoughts? Any reviews of the 70-300?

My original budget is a messily $300, making the 18-200 slightly [ok, a lot] out of reach. It would be really handy to not have to switch between lenses, but I don't find it to be too big of hassle. So far my photography mainly involves stationary objects which stay put long enough for me to swap lenses. My only real concern is that the 55-200 is rumored to focus slowly for an AF-S lens, is this true? Can anyone with it speak to its performance? I would like to save the extra $300 for a new super zoom down the road, the 70-300 looks good.

O, dont ask me where I get my lenses...its a secret. :lol:
20 replies
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Sep 18, 2003
268 posts
I have a 55-200 vr and after using it for a while I wish I would've bought the 18-200... at first i didn't mind changing the lenses, but after a while I found that it's is just a pain, not to mention that you are exposing your camera to dust every time to change lenses outdoors.

spend the extra money and buy the 18-200, you won't regret it.
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May 9, 2005
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itchy wrote:
Sep 13th, 2008 1:32 am
I have a 55-200 vr and after using it for a while I wish I would've bought the 18-200... at first i didn't mind changing the lenses, but after a while I found that it's is just a pain, not to mention that you are exposing your camera to dust every time to change lenses outdoors.

spend the extra money and buy the 18-200, you won't regret it.
+1 I spent $230 for the 55-200vr, kinda wished I just saved up more and got the 18-200 for the above reasons. Plus if you do that you can sell your kit lens for a little bit.
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Nov 26, 2003
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if you're able to get the 18-200vr for $560, i'd get that lens.
Newbie
Jun 29, 2008
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+1 18-200VR

I bought the 18-55/55-200 kit combo with my D40, and borrowed a friends 18-200 VR a couple weeks ago. The VR lens is quite a bit heavier, but MUCH better to have on board. The VR will give you two extra stops, and not having to carry an extra lens, or swap out in the elements is a huge bonus!
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Sep 3, 2003
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The 55-200VR doesn't focus any slower than the 18-55VR kit, from what I remember.
Deal with it.
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Dec 10, 2004
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Kanata
do it right, buy the 70-300 VR now if that's what you want. The 55-200 VR is a good lens if bought at the right price but if you are after the 70-300 VR eventually, just get it now, it's still cheaper than the 18-200 that you're after.

Just out of curiosity, where are you getting the 18-200VR for that price? Is that new and Canadian model?

The 55-200VR doesn't focus any slower than the 18-55VR, same focus mechanism.
[OP]
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Mar 25, 2005
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goofball wrote:
Sep 13th, 2008 9:48 am
do it right, buy the 70-300 VR now if that's what you want. The 55-200 VR is a good lens if bought at the right price but if you are after the 70-300 VR eventually, just get it now, it's still cheaper than the 18-200 that you're after.

Just out of curiosity, where are you getting the 18-200VR for that price? Is that new and Canadian model?

The 55-200VR doesn't focus any slower than the 18-55VR, same focus mechanism.
I guess loosing the 55-70mm focal range is not all THAT big of deal, and I would be better able to get my interesting bird shoots...hmmm....painful decisions. The only thing that concerns me with the lens is that its a stop slower. Would it make scene to buy the 18-200 in the future, in addition to the 70-300?

All lenses are brand new, with full warranty. Express, 1 hour warranty service at that. :lol:
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Jan 14, 2005
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Kasakato wrote:
Sep 13th, 2008 10:12 am
I guess loosing the 55-70mm focal range is not all THAT big of deal,
Usually it's not, but for shooting events I found it a big deal.
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Nov 7, 2005
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Kasakato wrote:
Sep 13th, 2008 10:12 am
I guess loosing the 55-70mm focal range is not all THAT big of deal, and I would be better able to get my interesting bird shoots...hmmm....painful decisions. The only thing that concerns me with the lens is that its a stop slower. Would it make scene to buy the 18-200 in the future, in addition to the 70-300?

All lenses are brand new, with full warranty. Express, 1 hour warranty service at that. :lol:
Well you'd only be losing the range if you stick with that crappy 18-55 VR.
If you wanted to zoom first, get the 70-300 VR.
Then after that upgrade the 18-55 to eitehr an 18-70 or a 16-85.
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Dec 10, 2004
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Kasakato wrote:
Sep 13th, 2008 10:12 am
I guess loosing the 55-70mm focal range is not all THAT big of deal, and I would be better able to get my interesting bird shoots...hmmm....painful decisions. The only thing that concerns me with the lens is that its a stop slower. Would it make scene to buy the 18-200 in the future, in addition to the 70-300?

All lenses are brand new, with full warranty. Express, 1 hour warranty service at that. :lol:
Stop slower where?

It all depends on how often you would use the 18-200, i suppose.

If you want good range, then get the 28-300 VC Tamron. Those nikon shooters who have it, love it.

I know they also announced an 18-270 but given how long it took for them to put out the 28-300 for nikon, you could be waiting a year!
[OP]
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goofball wrote:
Sep 13th, 2008 11:55 am
Stop slower where?

It all depends on how often you would use the 18-200, i suppose.

If you want good range, then get the 28-300 VC Tamron. Those nikon shooters who have it, love it.

I know they also announced an 18-270 but given how long it took for them to put out the 28-300 for nikon, you could be waiting a year!
My bad, I thought the 55-200 was 3.5-5.6 for some reason.

I would probably use the mega zoom most often around home as most things I shoot are far away. The only real use I have for the wide to mid end is while traveling/touring during the summer. Im thinking Ill get the 70-200, and one day upgrade my 18-55 to something wider-~70, if such a lens exists.

18-270 sounds sweet, but Im sure its going to be out of budget. The current Tamrom sounds perfect, but once again, just out of budget.

I guess Ill check out the latest prices for the 70-300, just to confirm everything. I will likely be using it first at a Leafs game downtown next week, will 300mmVR + f/5.6= 1/125(I hope I can go that slow) be enough to stop action at the ACC?
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Apr 8, 2001
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I like the versatility of an 18-200mm. You get wide angle and tele all in one. I have a little boy and it would be a pain in the ass for me to have to change lenses all of the time because I would miss certain shots if I did. I guess it really depends on your subject matter and what you how many lenses you want to carry along with you all of the time. For me, the less the better.

Are you more of a stand off kind of person and like to take pics of your subject from afar or do you like to get up close and personal? Well, the 18-200mm would fit the bill if you are 50/50.
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Jul 5, 2006
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It depends on the situations you'll carry this lense with you...if you just wanna make some random shots on the street, 18-200 will be MUCH better; however, to shooting landscape in a resort etc., usually 55-200 has better picture quality..

I would suggest to buy a 18-200 first and more other lenses and a carrying bag afterwards. My first lense is Tamron 18-200 lense and others are telephotos but I use tamron at least three times more often than other lenses..

Swtiching the lenses from one to another frequently somehow can be disaster freaking you out easily -- even worse than carrying a extreme heavy tripod and walking 10 miles.

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