Any Nikon users with the 18-135 or 70-300VR

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Dave Bartram, May 1, 2007.

  1. Dave Bartram

    Dave Bartram
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    Guys

    Anyone use the above lenses (preferably on a D200)? Looking at changing my current lenses to something I think will suit my shooting style better and these two look like they fit the bill...If so what do you think of them?

    Interested in speed of AF (Being SWM lenses)
    Sharpness
    VR (on the 70-300)

    I will give them a test drive at local store before buying of course but be interested in anyone's opinions.

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  2. Yandros

    Yandros
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    Can I throw another lens into the mix, and suggest 18-200VR as well.

    Just out of interest, seeing your kit list - don't you get on with the 70-200 2.8VR?

    I've not played with the 18-135, but the closest in terms of build and sharpness to your 18-70 is the 18-200VR (which I DO have), and it would give you VR across the whole 18-300 range paired with the 70-300VR.
     
  3. darrenjuggins

    darrenjuggins
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    Hi Dave,

    I have some comments for you.

    I've used the 18-135 on a D80s and it produces some great pcitures, although you do have to be aware that the F stop isn't consistant throughout the range,

    I've also used the the 70-200VR Lens, which is F2.8 through the range, which offers excellent depth of field (depends if you need this), although it is a very expensive lens.

    The one you are looking at the 70-300 VR, is only f4.5 to f5.6, which won't give you as much control over depth of field, but obviously it comes in at a cheaper price.

    A good compromise between the expensive 70-200VR and the lower priced, but lower spec 70-300VR, is the Sigma 70-200 which has a constant F2.8, this will set you back approx £700 (depending on your purchase location), this has offered me some exceptionally good pictures and is also faster at refocusing than the Nikon. It dosen't have VR technolgy, but on a Fuji S5 it has offered some very good low light results at full zoom.

    Hope this helps, it all depends on what your shooting really, if you are shooting weddings then the F Stop will be important, but if you are shooting sceneray or moving objects then this may not be such a factor.

    Happy shopping.

    Regards

    Darren

    www.photosbydesign.co.uk
     
  4. Dave Bartram

    Dave Bartram
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    I thought about the 18-200 but thought it a bit pricey :) Quite a bit of my stuff with the 18-70 (at the mo) is portraits (small home studio) and that's why I'm thinking 18-135 for that little more reach which I sometimes miss with the 18-70 (if that makes sense). No real need for VR so thought it better to save a bit of cash...Would like to try the 18-200 though.

    The 70-200VR is great but it's big and heavy and I don't use it a great deal. I bought it S/H for half the new price so couldn't say no. I use it mainly for a few zoo trips (with 1.4 TC) and shooting my 18month old lad so not exactly putting it through it's paces...Think I'd be just as happy with a good cheaper 70-300. Did have the 70-300ED prior to the VR and apart from it being slow to focus thought it was great.

    Thanks for the response.
     
  5. Dave Bartram

    Dave Bartram
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    Darren

    Thanks for the post. Have you any samples from your 18-135?

    As above I'm thinking of outing my 70-200VR and 18-70 to free up a bit of cash and probably (hopefully) find the new lenses more usable for my type of shootng style.
     
  6. FunkySideBurns

    FunkySideBurns
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    Also take a look at the ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 D its none VR but a fantastic lens for the cash. I have one and its pin sharp.
     
  7. Reel To Reel

    Reel To Reel
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    Concur 100%:smashin:
     
  8. SweetGirl

    SweetGirl
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    hi
    I have a Nikon 70-300VR. The lens is great, couldnt ask for anything more.

    Nikon 70-300mm VR lens enables you to take substantially sharper handheld pictures at slower shutter speeds approximately 4 stops slower than would otherwise be possible or require a tripod.

    For VR shooting, users can select two VR modes to suit shooting conditions.

    Normal Mode primarily reduces camera shake in handheld shooting, detecting panning automatically.

    Active Mode can compensate for vibration when shooting from, for example, a moving vehicle.

    The ED glass elements provide higher resolution and high-contrast images.

    Only down side for this lens is that it is bl**dy heavy...well for a girl it is ;)
     
  9. Senninha

    Senninha
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    Regarding the 70-300mm, a friend of mind bought one for his D80 and it's a nice lens. IMO it's better than the 18-200 at the long end (to be expected), but of course not as versatile. I've never tried the 18-135mm.

    If you're mainly doing portraits and don't really need VR, have you thought about the 85mm F1.4D? I have this lens, and it is my absolute favourite. Really fast, exceptionally sharp, and gives great colour/contrast. One downside is flare if shooting outside, but the hood controls it well.

    I bought the 18-200 as my "walkabout lens", and have the 70-200 for when I want a good tele. When I don't want to cart all that weight around but want good quality for portraits etc, I stick the 85mm on and put the 50mm F1.8 in my pocket. Easy to manage, and covers everything I need. Great indoors as well :)
     
  10. Dave Bartram

    Dave Bartram
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    You want to try my 70-200 F2.8 VR :)
     
  11. Dave Bartram

    Dave Bartram
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    Hear what your saying re the 85 F1.8 but would like something with a bit of flexibility especially when not shooting portraits. Saying that though I'm probably going to get the 50 F1.8 while I'm rethinking lenses. Therefore new lens list would be:

    18-135 General and studio stuff.
    70-300 VR Zoos etc
    50 F1.8 Studio and low light stuff.

    Any more thoughts?

     
  12. Senninha

    Senninha
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    Actually my recommendation was the 85mm F1.4 - the F1.8 is a good lens, but the F1.4 is a GREAT lens :D The 9 blade aperture gives superb bokeh for portrait work, really makes the subject jump out with a beatifully rendered background

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/carpeicthus/190870197/

    Other suggestions are tough, as they depend upon shooting style. If you don't need the 200-300 range and are not looking for ultimate sharpness then the 18-200 makes a great compromise. If I'm out for the day then that on the D200 plus a TC in my pocket and pretty much can take on anything. Auto ISO takes care of low-light, TC for really long stuff, and right down to 18mm for landscape or close ups. Can even include a Canon 500D and I have a macro lens as well - that's a small kit! One lens a TC and a 500D covers everything! Not with ultimate quality, but certainly good enough.

    If it were me I'd judge the 70-300 didn't offer enough of a quality improvement on the long-end to offset the all-in-one walkabout goodness of the 18-200, and I'd go for the 18-200. If it's really portraits then the 85mm F1.4 would be my choice - a candidate for Nikon's best lens.

    If those don't fit your style, I reckon the 70-300 VR and something like an 18-55 would be the best way to cover the ranges.
     
  13. peterjpromnitz

    peterjpromnitz
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    I've got the 18-135 and 70-300VR and a 50 f/1.4, on a D80.

    I find the 18-135 a great all-purpose lens. It's sharp with good PQ. There is some vignetting at the wide end but overall its good value.

    I really like the 70-300VR and although it would be better if it was a bit faster, in Australian lighting conditions for sport and similar uses, it is a great, very sharp, lens.

    The 50 f/1.4 has many supporters and I don't need to add to that.

    My next acquisition will be a 10-20 Sigma or 12-24 Tokina to round out the range. Can't justify the cost of the Nikkor 12-24!
     
  14. PaulBoy

    PaulBoy
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    Hi - I have the 70-300VR on a D200 & I am very pleased with the results - No suprisingly it is better than the "G" 70-300 Nikon which was my first (of many) zoom lenses (80-200 Nikon / 100-300 Sigma both too heavy to lug around & 18-200 Nikon missed the 200-300 end)
    I'd say your planned setup is good but wonder how much use the 18-135 would get as you already have a 18-70 and the 70-300VR is more than decent at the 70mm end - I'd be inclined to keep the 18-70 & get something wider like a 12-24 (Sigma Tamron or Nikon depending on your wallet!)
    Despite what Sweetgirl says the 70-300mm isn't that heavy imho certainly not in the same weight league as the f2.8 "Pro" lenses like the 70-200VR
    HTH - Paul :smashin:
     
  15. Dave Bartram

    Dave Bartram
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    Thanks for the comments guys, given me something to digest :)

    Paul, was gonna out the 18-70 if I go for the 18-135, did think about keeping it for my backup body (D70) probably depend on what it's worth. I have the Sigma 10-20 already so have the wideangle covered.

    Cheers guys.
     

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