What if you could only choose one lens with your favorite DX Nikon body? What would that one lens be? Would your lens of choice be the 35mm, 50mm or 85mm prime lens, or would you prefer the 70-200mm f2.8 zoom lens?
Yes, most professional photographers agree there is no one lens, at the moment anyway, that would handle your needs for all shooting situations. If there were such a lens, for me it would have to be in the 10-300mm range and be small enough to fit nicely in a small camera bag that I could also use for travel or fun when not using this lens professionally.
Since there currently is no one lens within that focal length range we have to choose the closest lens available. The choice I made was the 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens and for very good reasons.
1. I wanted a small compact lens that could easily take me from a pretty extreme wide angle to a reasonable telephoto range quickly.
2. I wanted to change lenses less frequently to avoid dust on the sensor not to mention minimizing the risk of dropping lenses.
3. I chose the 18-200mm lens because at the time the 18-300mm was not yet available. For my needs, I am actually quite happy using the 18-200mm lens since most of the photography I do I can get a nice variety of images and plan on staying with this lens. Another advantage this lens has over the other is it’s relatively small size.
Whether I’m photographing a wedding or portrait, the 18-200mm lens does have it’s place in certain situations. Although I really like the effect I get from my 70-200mm lens, which is usually my choice for outdoor portraiture, The 18-200mm can give you a similar effect if you know what to look for and what settings to make. The effect I’m referring to is shallowing your depth of field to knock the background way out of focus so your attention goes to the person or things you are photographing.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Come in as close to your subject as you can.
2. Use the full zoom setting, which is 200mm on this lens.
3. Open up to full aperture, which is f5.6 when you’re in full 200mm range.
This can give you a nice background blur to isolate the subject from the background, Although not quite the same effect as if shooting a prime lens near or wide open. It will still give you a more than acceptable image.
And for travel and landscape photography, amazing!! Here is were this lens really shines and gives you the ability to take really sharp and beautiful images without having to haul around your big assortment of lenses. And yes, the 18-200mm lens is a spectacular all around general all purpose lens and of course it has Vibration Reduction.
It is after all, still the photographer who creates the image and knows how to get the most from the available equipment and many times can come up with an award winning image the amateur has not yet learned to create.
To Learn More about Getting The Most From Your 18-200mm Lens – See part 1 video below