Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Perfect Travel Lens.

Nikkor 18-200 VR
Originally uploaded by Cajie.
I purchased this lens few months back because I wanted something light while travelling.

I normally used to travel with the Nikkor 17-55 and the Nikkor 80-200. The problem with this setup is:
a) I lose the focal range from 55 to 80mm
b) The combined weight of both these pro-grade lenses is more than what I lift in the gym during my daily workout.

In this respect, the 18-200 is the perfect travel lens. You get all the range that you would need in a small and light package, and you don't have to worry about changing lenses. The VR (Vibration Reduction) technology works as expected allowing hand-held shots at low shutter speeds of upto 1/15th of a second (a bit lower if you use proper technique).

It has it's disadvantages obviously. It a pretty slow lens with max aperture ranging from f3.5 to f5.6. This means, that when the lens is extended to it's full 200mm, the max aperture is f5.6 which makes it difficult to focus - plus the fact that you need good lighting to get useful pictures.

But even with it's limitations, this is the lens I will be packing for all my future travels.

Until I upgrade to a FX format camera body.


Mathai said...

Hi Cajie ! long time since your last post ! I too have my eyes on the 18-200mm VR. Currently mine is split into 18-55mmVR and 55-200mmVR :(

Which FX body do you have in mind? D3?

Cajie said...

You should definitely invest in the 18-200.

D3 is way beyond my budget and is obviously designed for the professional photo-journalist in mind.

My sights are on the D700 - or it's replacement (provided it gives the same ISO performance as the D700).

Marzouq said...

Hey Cajie!

Where have you been man! I hope all is well with you!

I'm looking forward to purchasing the new Canon 7D! I just can't seem to get enough pictures, I'm looking at the 24-70mm IS Lens!

Mathai said...

I think the D700 uses the same sensor as the D3 but its cheaper :)
The 18-200mm is out of my budget now but if I manage to sell my other two lenses I might buy it. But for now my sight is on the 50mm 1.8 :)

Cajie said...

Hey Marzouq,
The last time I was active was during the Gulf Run last November. After that, I kinda went into hibernation. My current hobby is the gym where I spend most of my free time.
Mathai, The sensor on the D700 is the same as the D3, which is why I find it so desirable. The body is much lighter, of course. The price is light too :)
I recently sold my 50mm 1.8 to a forum member at 248am. I am thinking of replacing it with the 1.4 but still haven't made up my mind. I currently use the Sigma 30mm f1.4 for "normal" photography.

Summer said...


Burhan said...

50mm 1.8 is cheap Mathai - less than $150 for Nikon and even cheaper for Canon.

The 18-200 is a great range, that's what I have on my 500D as well; but its difficult to find a fast lens at those focal lengths. I have an el-cheapo Tamron that I use for travel. The best thing to happen to that lens was the off-camera flash that I bought.

My next shopping list:

24-105 f/4 L IS USM - will be my new general purpose lens

70-200 f/2.8 L IS USM - this lens is absolutely amazing indoors

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