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03-14-2009, 10:23 PM   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
...

The 18-200mm VR may be a highly rated lens in Nikon land, but that was absolutely no match to my ltd primes (31mm/77mm) for IQ. To get a similar IQ lens to the ltd primes, I have to get one in the $1500 range (24-70mm f2.8 VR), that is almost as much I paid for both primes. I don't think I will be jumping over to Nikon land any time soon. K20D may be or DA* lens.

When the 18-200 VR came out, Nikon-land went into a rapture - it was supposed to be the do-all prime killer. After a while and after some usage, people started to realize that it was just another slow consumer zoom, dressed in an expensive VR package. (At least, most people realized this - there still are holdouts who keep repeating "but at f/8, it's just as sharp as anything...!")

The 18-200 VR reminds me of the 2002 Ford T-Bird; when that was coming out, people got glimpses of a beautiful two-seater, and it got everyone excited - until it became clear that despite the exterior styling, it was slow and unresponsive - basically a dated Lincoln with a slick neo-retro body design.

That's the Nikon 18-200 VR in a nutshell.


.

03-14-2009, 10:43 PM   #137
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Nervemind all the technical advantages of one lens over another or one body over another. This is what it's really all about:



It's an emotional response. You feel left out, not part of the club. I suggest you buy the Nikon and feel better about yourself. This will help you take better photos as much as a new lens. Given that all camera systems can take a "professional" picture, there are no technical barriers to you using Sony, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, whatever. So go with what feels right. The factor of social inclusion is obviously important and should not be ruled out. Also, you will get to share lenses etc. with other people around you.

Me, I'm the opposite. I like being the odd one out. The one with no car, no TV and a Pentax camera.
I think you hit the nail on the head here. Lets face it, today's DSLR's are all great cameras capable of spetacular pictures. Sure some have x feature over x camera but thats worthless considering the camera is just a tool, and if you don't know how to use it accordingly than whats the point of that feature? I know several people that bought their canon/nikon simply because thats what everyone's got. There's nothing wrong with that, they take great pictures and feal great doing it.

I enjoy being the odd one out also..... seeing people's confused faces is just priceless


So in conclusin
I'm going to say you get the Nikon...... its a great camera and im sure your going to love it, and its pictures
03-15-2009, 08:36 AM   #138
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
When the 18-200 VR came out, Nikon-land went into a rapture - it was supposed to be the do-all prime killer. After a while and after some usage, people started to realize that it was just another slow consumer zoom, dressed in an expensive VR package. (At least, most people realized this - there still are holdouts who keep repeating "but at f/8, it's just as sharp as anything...!")

The 18-200 VR reminds me of the 2002 Ford T-Bird; when that was coming out, people got glimpses of a beautiful two-seater, and it got everyone excited - until it became clear that despite the exterior styling, it was slow and unresponsive - basically a dated Lincoln with a slick neo-retro body design.

That's the Nikon 18-200 VR in a nutshell.


.
I have one friend at work who uses a D200 + 18-200 for shots at job sites and he loves the combo. It's odd but none of his shots I've seen have included the type of vertical lines that clearly display the distortion this lens has at some focal lengths. As long as the combo keeps him happy it's all good. Another friend bought the D200 + 18-200 combo and soon returned it because of the lens distortion. He now shoots Olympus gear and has told me several times he can't believe Nikon would put their name on their 18-200. I guess I see the 18-200 Nikkor as simply a walk-about snapshot lens.

The 18-200 Nikkor is a sharp lens but it's slow and a slow zoom doesn't give a camera AF sensor much to work with in terms of a limited DOF. When shooting with a slow zoom, I've found I can place the active focus bracket in my camera on a part of the subject, press the shutter half-way several times, and the camera will change focus each time. If an AF sensor receives an image with a hyperfocal range of several feet then, sure, the odds of getting slightly soft shots are high. It also doesn't help when the AF confirm light is a small green dot in the lower left of the finder and you're checking the sharpness of the subject through a cropped finder. There is no substitute for a fast lens.
03-15-2009, 06:15 PM   #139
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
When the 18-200 VR came out, Nikon-land went into a rapture - it was supposed to be the do-all prime killer. After a while and after some usage, people started to realize that it was just another slow consumer zoom, dressed in an expensive VR package. (At least, most people realized this - there still are holdouts who keep repeating "but at f/8, it's just as sharp as anything...!")

The 18-200 VR reminds me of the 2002 Ford T-Bird; when that was coming out, people got glimpses of a beautiful two-seater, and it got everyone excited - until it became clear that despite the exterior styling, it was slow and unresponsive - basically a dated Lincoln with a slick neo-retro body design.

That's the Nikon 18-200 VR in a nutshell.


.

Hehe... I come to the conclusion they should remove completely the aperture control. After all they removed already the ring.
I can hear the coming commercials:
"THE NEW FIXED APERTURE NIKKOR SUPER ZOOM LENS, THE ONLY LENS YOU WILL EVER NEED. SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE"

03-16-2009, 06:35 AM   #140
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
When the 18-200 VR came out, Nikon-land went into a rapture - it was supposed to be the do-all prime killer. After a while and after some usage, people started to realize that it was just another slow consumer zoom, dressed in an expensive VR package. (At least, most people realized this - there still are holdouts who keep repeating "but at f/8, it's just as sharp as anything...!")

The 18-200 VR reminds me of the 2002 Ford T-Bird; when that was coming out, people got glimpses of a beautiful two-seater, and it got everyone excited - until it became clear that despite the exterior styling, it was slow and unresponsive - basically a dated Lincoln with a slick neo-retro body design.

That's the Nikon 18-200 VR in a nutshell.


.
Ouch.

It is true though, people tend to expect miracles when all evidence points to the contrary.

Canon's 28-300IS is supposed to be quite good (I suppose that'd be the FF equivalent to the Nikon 18-200), but I have my doubt. And at $2k+ for one I am not about to gamble on it either! (Though I might rent one and see, if it really is halfway decent it'd be one hell of a vacation lens...)
03-16-2009, 07:31 AM   #141
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QuoteOriginally posted by B Grace Quote
I have one friend at work who uses a D200 + 18-200 for shots at job sites and he loves the combo. It's odd but none of his shots I've seen have included the type of vertical lines that clearly display the distortion this lens has at some focal lengths. As long as the combo keeps him happy it's all good. Another friend bought the D200 + 18-200 combo and soon returned it because of the lens distortion. He now shoots Olympus gear and has told me several times he can't believe Nikon would put their name on their 18-200. I guess I see the 18-200 Nikkor as simply a walk-about snapshot lens.

The 18-200 Nikkor is a sharp lens but it's slow and a slow zoom doesn't give a camera AF sensor much to work with in terms of a limited DOF. When shooting with a slow zoom, I've found I can place the active focus bracket in my camera on a part of the subject, press the shutter half-way several times, and the camera will change focus each time. If an AF sensor receives an image with a hyperfocal range of several feet then, sure, the odds of getting slightly soft shots are high. It also doesn't help when the AF confirm light is a small green dot in the lower left of the finder and you're checking the sharpness of the subject through a cropped finder. There is no substitute for a fast lens.
Some of the folks I know who owned the D200 never want to believe that D200 and K10D share the same CCD. To them the D200 is at least one grade higher than the K10D if not higher. That's why most Nikon folks think that D200 and K20D are comparable; they may be right - price wise. I just did a quick comparison, at today price - a D200+18-200 combo is almost the same as a K20D+DA*16-50 combo, go figure. Some people are smart enough to take the D200 combo without looking at the K20D combo.
03-16-2009, 07:45 AM   #142
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
....- a D200+18-200 combo is almost the same as a K20D+DA*16-50 combo, go figure. Some people are smart enough to take the D200 combo without looking at the K20D combo.
What??? where? where?
What price range are you talking? Seriously...
03-16-2009, 07:52 AM   #143
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QuoteOriginally posted by octavmandru Quote
What??? where? where?
What price range are you talking? Seriously...
A quick check from Amazon.com
D200 ($799)
18-200 VR ($699)
K20D ($689)
DA* 16-50 ($616)

Actually, the K20D combo is even cheaper than the D200 combo.

03-16-2009, 07:53 AM   #144
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I'm not sure how this thread ended as far as the OP is concerned, as I didn't read all the pages, but I'll chime in.

My brief shooting history - Pentax K200D and K20D user at first, switched to Canon 40D for a while, then finally ended up at Nikon's side (d300) and I think I'm here to stay.

----------------

1) There is no perfect system. Let's get that out of the way right now.

2) There is a rather large difference between the D200 and D300.

3) Simply put, the D300 and a decent AF-S lens outperforms the K20D in low-light situations. There's no denying this.

I'm not sure how the D200 fairs in this equation, though. The D300 pretty much shares the same 51-point advanced AF circuitry of the D700/D3/D3x (with some exceptions), whereas the D200 I believe uses their less-advanced 11(?) point system. Big difference.

The D90 is actually a bit better at noise than the D300, but the AF system is a tier lower. AF speed is quick, but tracking isn't as good as the D300.

---------------

Frankly, and this comes from a Pentax fan, the D90 and a quick AF-S lens is going to outperform the K20D in lowlight situations...the differences are night and day. It's a good little camera and it gives very nice results -- plus, I'll admit, the video is sometimes fun to mess around with, though I would never buy the camera for that feature.


Just remember, you don't buy a body, you buy a system. Am I entirely jealous of Pentax's in-body SR? Yes. A huge yes, actually. Having SR in any lens you mount is awesome.

For my needs, though (low light, AF speed, noise performance), it's better for me to use the Nikon system. Canon was okay, but I just didn't like their control scheme.

My suggestion -- If you can, rent / borrow a D90 and a decent lens, maybe the 17-55 AF-S f/2.8 or similar lens. See for yourself. At worst, you lose a few bucks figuring out which system will suit you better.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with the D200 unless budget is a serious concern...for a few hundred more, the D90 is going to give better IQ, though it's in the "beginner" tier and the controls reflect that.
The technical capabilities are very close to the D200, though (4.5fps vs 5 fps on the D200, etc). Noise performance is noticeably better.
03-16-2009, 08:33 AM   #145
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It is good that you have found a system that meets your needs. However I do wonder what exactly the advantages of Nikon are, perhaps because I have had no real time shooting Nikon and haven't seen anything compelling to make me try. But I'm always willing to learn new things and have my assumptions changed.

QuoteOriginally posted by cputeq Quote
Simply put, the D300 and a decent AF-S lens outperforms the K20D in low-light situations.
But what do you mean? Nikon might get focus quicker but from what I've seen (from other people's shots) Pentax gets it more accurately. Is this not true in your experience?

Of course my needs are different: I spend at least half my time manual focusing, would never give up in-body SR and love my primes. It's good there is an excellent tool no matter what our photographic preferences are!
03-16-2009, 08:50 AM   #146
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
It is good that you have found a system that meets your needs. However I do wonder what exactly the advantages of Nikon are, perhaps because I have had no real time shooting Nikon and haven't seen anything compelling to make me try. But I'm always willing to learn new things and have my assumptions changed.



But what do you mean? Nikon might get focus quicker but from what I've seen (from other people's shots) Pentax gets it more accurately. Is this not true in your experience?

Of course my needs are different: I spend at least half my time manual focusing, would never give up in-body SR and love my primes. It's good there is an excellent tool no matter what our photographic preferences are!
I am in the same boat, keeping an open mind and not bashing Nikon or anything; could faster AF has anything to do the focus assist SB that most Nikon models have? I thought that was a good idea for focus speed and accuracy... but then I don't think people would appreciate that (at least I don't) when the red-beam spot light up in their face. If Pentax implement that, I hope they have the option of turning it on/off. Like, rparmar, my needs are different, I will consider two systems if my needs change.

Last edited by aleonx3; 03-16-2009 at 08:51 AM. Reason: spellling
03-16-2009, 09:17 AM   #147
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
It is good that you have found a system that meets your needs. However I do wonder what exactly the advantages of Nikon are, perhaps because I have had no real time shooting Nikon and haven't seen anything compelling to make me try.
Sure, here are some pros for Nikon -- They may not apply to advantages against Pentax, for instance, but are pros nonetheless (for me at least):

1) Longer glass than Pentax. Pentax tops out at 300mm for first-party. They also don't offer a modern TC for sale (that I know of).

2) Faster FPS - It matters for me in some occasions.

3) Better AF performance, especially in lower light. My D300 also beats my former 40D in the area.

4) Their flash system is great and trumps the Canon's system, as they don't flash commander. I've not used commander with the K20D.

5) AF performance is very good.

6) Ergonomics - Pretty good. Not as good as the K20D, but better than Canon.

7) Zooms are outstanding in quality.

8) Their first-party RAW converter, while for-pay, is pretty freakin' good.

9) For the D300 - 100% VF is very nice. The D700, which I shot with for a week, is amazing, though expensive.

These are the pros. Cons? The list is at least as long as the pros, if not longer

QuoteQuote:
But what do you mean? Nikon might get focus quicker but from what I've seen (from other people's shots) Pentax gets it more accurately. Is this not true in your experience?
My K20D, no matter what lens I used, had a hard time tracking my children while they played indoors. I didn't have these problems with either the 40D or the D300, though admittedly I had a tiny bit more trouble tracking with the Canon.

Or, we can take the example of picturing a stationary object. Pentax does the focus-check-focus-confirm. Nikon does focus, confirm. It's just faster and it's accurate.


QuoteQuote:
Of course my needs are different: I spend at least half my time manual focusing, would never give up in-body SR and love my primes. It's good there is an excellent tool no matter what our photographic preferences are!
Yep, different stroke for different folks
The pentax is a great system, and if I had the money, I'd own it also


QuoteQuote:
I am in the same boat, keeping an open mind and not bashing Nikon or anything; could faster AF has anything to do the focus assist SB that most Nikon models have? I thought that was a good idea for focus speed and accuracy... but then I don't think people would appreciate that (at least I don't) when the red-beam spot light up in their face.
Disregarding the AF-assist, it's still faster. Many times I shoot without flash...my D300 (and D90 and D700) focused much faster than my K20D. The only exception is when I had the Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 with their internal motor on the D700 -- that lens is slow to focus, which is a complaint of several of their lenses. Funny enough, their non-motor version focuses much quicker.

You can disabled the AF-assist on the flash, as well as the body's af assist lamp.

-----------------------------

Don't think I'm bashing Pentax or I love Nikon -- I really don't care either way, I just list my preferences. There are some things I really wish I had from all the systems, to be fair.

1) Canon's lens selection is unmatched. There are even converters to use for Nikon lenses. Their lenses are normally pretty good and cheaper than Nikon's.
2) Pentax has the in-body SR. THey also have the best control scheme, IMO. Their primes are unmatched and their weather sealing is very good.
3) Nikon's high ISO performance is great. Their AF performance is superior to Canon's, as Canon makes you go all the way up to the 1D series before you get their "good" AF system.

It's a shame there is no perfect system, but it's the truth. Like anything, one must choose what one values most, and can afford, then move from there.

To show that not all things are rosy in Nikon land, here is one problem: Try finding first-party 400mm glass, in any combination, under $2000.

1) They have the 80-400 zoom. It has VR (vibration reduction), but it's screw drive. Result? Extremely slow focusing.
2) You can get their 300mm f/4 AF-S and add a TC. Very nice glass, very sharp (I owned this). Problem? No VR. Enjoy spending about another $700 to get a good tripod/head/sidekick combo for this unless you're one of those robots that can hand-hold it without shake.

3) The end. Everything else is extraordinarily expensive (300mm f/2.8 has VR, 400mm F/2.8 has VR, but these are $5000 lenses). Nikon doesn't make a cheap 400mm f/5.6 prime either, in any flavor.

Canon?

100-400mm with USM and IS
400mm f/5.6 with USM (no IS)
300mm F/4 with USM/IS and their 1.4x TC.


For birders on a budget, Nikon poses serious problems when you're going for length. Do you get the 80-400 and try to work around the AF speed? (BIF very difficult). Do you get the 300+TC and lug around a tripod? Otherwise, you're forced to go third party, and they have their own problems!

Right now I'm testing out the Sigma 150-500 OS lens. It's build is nowhere close to Nikon's, but it's under $1000 and has OS.
I had the 300mm F/4 and the 1.7X Nikon TC - a $1500 combo. What I didn't have : the cash to get a good tripod setup. Plus, I really don't like carrying tripods everywhere.

Still, the AF performance, noise, and ergonomics have kept me in Nikon for now. I'm not much of a prime shooter, so Nikon's weakness in this area doesn't bother me.

I would seriously love to have the money for a K20D and some pancake primes, though.

Last edited by cputeq; 03-16-2009 at 09:29 AM.
03-16-2009, 11:12 AM   #148
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QuoteOriginally posted by cputeq Quote
To show that not all things are rosy in Nikon land, here is one problem: Try finding first-party 400mm glass, in any combination, under $2000.
If you're willing to MF, they have the 500/4 that we don't have...it's an awesome light (for what it is) lens...
03-16-2009, 06:02 PM   #149
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Hi Lapeen,
I just wanted to pass on my experience of the last few days for you. I am currently in Hong Kong with my family and have been cruising the camera stores with my daughter who has a Nikon D60.

The Nikon is a fine camera.

However, she is in the market for a faster, longer lens and the Nikkor AFS options (or lack of) has really raised its head. A 70-200 f 2.8 in Nikkor, AFS is some $13,500 hkd.

Her problem (besides lack of $$$) is that only the Nikkor AFS series fully automtaic features are supported by the D60....any other lens becomes a manual lens. It is not until you get further up the Nikon food chain in bodies that true backwards compatibility starts to kick in, and even then some tell us it is not complete and of course, it gets a lot more expensive.

We are still researching Sigma & Tamron, but believe it is the same story there.

So, my advice is be very careful and do your homework, unless $$$ are unlimited, as the much vaunted Nikon system is very expensive if you want to keep up with its technology.

Cheers
Grant
03-16-2009, 06:08 PM   #150
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I've often wondered if the Pentax 77mm and 70mm limiteds are a much better lenses than that 85mm f1.8 and f1.4's of the competition.

Also after playing with an SB900 flash I wondered when Pentax would update the 540fgz.
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