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Nikon 18-200 VR Lens Question

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Postby Jen » Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:16 am


I have a friend on another forum who needs help. Any input from you guys here?

"Ok you Nikon owners. I am on the list to get this lens (18-200 VR). It has been 4 mos so far. I just read a review that says it is not a good lens for architecture. Does that mean I am wasting my money for taking pictures of lighthouses with this one. I thought it would be the only lens I would need so I would not have to change the lens on those boat rides and get dust in my camera. Every review says it is an excellant lens. Help."
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Postby Gary Martin » Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:47 pm


Jen, the lens, at the short end, is going to behave like any wide zoom range lens and will bend tall towers if you're not careful about where you put the lighthouse in the frame. Running vertically in the center of either a portrait or landscape composition and it will be fine. On the other hand, if you compose with the lighthouse out toward either 1/3 line (Rule of Thirds) it will probably start to show signs of distortion between about 18 and 35 mm. That said, ANY lens, with the exception of something like the rectilinear corrected 14 mm f/2.8 lens ultrawide is going to do exactly the same thing.

The other thing that should be noted is that you can correct for that form of distortion fairly qucikly in Paint Shop Pro v9 and 10. I suspect that the correction is also in PSP CS and CS2 but I just don't do that particularly correction using that program.

Hope that this helps.
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Postby Ross » Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:39 pm


I'll verify that CS and CS2 can handle the proper lens and barrel distortion that the 18-200 minimally causes. It's a great lens, although for close shots, i still favor my 18-70mm. I've used the 18-200 for quite a while now and it's fantastic and well worth the money.

Most people have their opinions about everything, but you have to take it on yourself and see with this lens. I've seen good reviews and bad reviews and mostly it appears to be application. The people that hate it are expecting it to perform flawlessly in an application where it won't, and vice versa.

Again, so far it's been great for me.
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Postby Lighthouse Joe » Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:01 am


On the photo boards I visit, many really like the 18-200 VR. But Gary is correct, any wide angle will distort vertical or horizontal lines. That should be taken into account when setting up the shot.
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Postby Ross » Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:09 am


I've had some minor distortion issues at full angle, but with my 18-70 they weren't as bad. So I typically only use the 18-200 for the high end focal length anyways, and stick with the smaller lens for the regular shots.
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Postby Jen » Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:16 pm


Thanks for the feedback from all of you. I ended up talking her into getting the Nikon 80-200/2.8 ED (non-AF-S) lens and she got a great price on a used one from KEH. She decided to cancel her order on the 18-200 since she already has the 18-70 to accompany her D70.
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Postby Gary Martin » Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:57 pm


The 80-200 f/2.8 lens is a good one... Your friend needs to be aware that the non AF-S version of the lens is NOT compatible with the Nikkor AF-S teleconverters.
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Postby Jen » Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:03 pm


Thanks for the heads up, Gary. You'll meet her on the WILD cruise...she's hanging out with Mary and I for four days prior for the remaining UP lights before she gets on the boat.
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Postby Gary Martin » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:53 pm


She'll have a hard time meeting me on the WILD cruise, Jen as I won't be going this summer because of the huge task of getting my new laboratory up and running. While I was very much looking forward to going again this year, it isn't in the cards.
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Postby Jen » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:59 pm


Oh, that's too bad. I wanted to go also, but finances said otherwise with the new house and baby.
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