It started to rain as I was shooting yesterday so I went inside to a nearby nursery and caught this Camelia bloom at its peak. I was cleaning and drying my equipment after getting home. At one point I had my Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR in my hand and found myself thinking what a great find this had been. I purchased it about 2 years ago and it has been my primary lens since then. It has completely replaced the 18-70mm f/3.5 and 55-200mm f/4 (which are gathering dust) that I originally purchased with the camera body. At $800 – $850, it’s expensive for an amateur like me, but to my mind it’s a great value as it is packed with features I find important. And most of the photos on this blog have been taken through this glass.
It’s a DX-format for Nikon DSLRs first introduced in 2005. It’s perfect for my D70 and it will still be perfect for my D7000. Its second generation Vibration Reduction, Silent-Wave autofocus, ED glass, and aspheric elements are packed into a 11.1:1 zoom lens of very high optical performance. If some of these terms are new to you, you can find explanations at: Nikon Lens Nomenclature. At 19.8 oz, it’s heavier than it looks but it is surprisingly compact with a length of 3.8 in and a maximum diameter of 3 in.
While this is not a macro lens (with its minimum focus distance of 1.5 ft) it is suitable for most of the close-up work that I do like the one above or this one. Most of the time, I only carry 2 other lenses in my bag. One is a 11-18mm wide angle zoom for interior real-estate shots. The other is a Nikkor 50mm f1.4 for portrait and low light work.
With a 11:1 zoom ratio there is naturally a little distortion but the automatic Lens Correction in Adobe Lightroom 3 easily corrects this from profiles selected by the exif lens data. Except for architectural photos, this isn’t a significant concern for me.
I purchased mine at Adorama.