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Cynicor 11-03-2006 07:37 PM

50mm vs 18-70 vs 17-200 lens test
 
I spent a couple of minutes trying this today. I took four photos of the
same scene, at f/8, 1/80 second, ISO 200, at 50mm. I used three Nikon
lenses: 50/1.8 prime, 18-70 kit, and 17-200 VR lens with VR on and off.
(All shots handheld.) I then cropped to a small area I'd focused on.

The prime lens is definitely sharper (as you'd expect), but the 18-70
lens was also sharper than the 17-200. I'm not as happy with the 17-200
lens's sharpness as others seem to be.

http://trupin.smugmug.com/gallery/2088218

Bill 11-03-2006 08:30 PM

Re: 50mm vs 18-70 vs 17-200 lens test
 
"Cynicor" <j....tru...p..in@spea...kea...sy.net> wrote in message
news:5MydnQjA9IXkB9bYnZ2dnUVZ_qWdnZ2d@speakeasy.ne t...
>I spent a couple of minutes trying this today. I took four photos of
>the same scene, at f/8, 1/80 second, ISO 200, at 50mm. I used three
>Nikon lenses: 50/1.8 prime, 18-70 kit, and 17-200 VR lens with VR on
>and off. (All shots handheld.) I then cropped to a small area I'd
>focused on.
>
> The prime lens is definitely sharper (as you'd expect), but the
> 18-70 lens was also sharper than the 17-200. I'm not as happy with
> the 17-200 lens's sharpness as others seem to be.



If all you want to do is pixel-peep or get the sharpest images, then
you only want to use primes or the best zooms. But if you want a
walk-around lense that covers a good range, then the 18-200 VR is one
of the best choices. No it's not the sharpest, but it is pretty good,
and better than any of the competitions super zooms. And users like
the wide zoom range and small size/weight for convenience over
perfection.

A friend of mine is a pro with some very nice glass, but he has an
18-200 VR specifically for a general walk-around lense. If he's out to
make money, he uses the good stuff. But for casual shooting, the
18-200 is on the camera.

I have the 18-70 on my D80, and it's a great lense. I compared it to
the 17-55 f/2.8 and it's almost as good for a heck of a lot less. It's
sharp enough to use wide open and it covers a wide enough zoom range
for a walk-around. I also have the 50mm when I need the best image
quality at that range.


Joseph Meehan 11-03-2006 08:53 PM

Re: 50mm vs 18-70 vs 17-200 lens test
 
Cynicor wrote:
> I spent a couple of minutes trying this today. I took four photos of
> the same scene, at f/8, 1/80 second, ISO 200, at 50mm. I used three
> Nikon lenses: 50/1.8 prime, 18-70 kit, and 17-200 VR lens with VR on
> and off. (All shots handheld.) I then cropped to a small area I'd
> focused on.
> The prime lens is definitely sharper (as you'd expect), but the 18-70
> lens was also sharper than the 17-200. I'm not as happy with the
> 17-200 lens's sharpness as others seem to be.
>
> http://trupin.smugmug.com/gallery/2088218


Life is full of trade off's. The 17-200 is a much larger range than
18-70 and it is going to be much more difficult to fully compensate for the
entire zoom range. You may find that it is sharper as some settings than
at others.

I guess you'll just have to decide what is best for you when.

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia 's Muire duit




frederick 11-04-2006 12:46 AM

Re: 50mm vs 18-70 vs 17-200 lens test
 
Cynicor wrote:
> I spent a couple of minutes trying this today. I took four photos of the
> same scene, at f/8, 1/80 second, ISO 200, at 50mm. I used three Nikon
> lenses: 50/1.8 prime, 18-70 kit, and 17-200 VR lens with VR on and off.
> (All shots handheld.) I then cropped to a small area I'd focused on.
>
> The prime lens is definitely sharper (as you'd expect), but the 18-70
> lens was also sharper than the 17-200. I'm not as happy with the 17-200
> lens's sharpness as others seem to be.
>
> http://trupin.smugmug.com/gallery/2088218


Perhaps you need to reconsider how you did the test.
18-200 with no VR looks sharper to me than with VR on - so something
doesn't seem right.
Also 1/80th second is too long exposure for such a test unless on a tripod.

Ken Tough 11-04-2006 03:58 AM

Re: 50mm vs 18-70 vs 17-200 lens test
 

>The prime lens is definitely sharper (as you'd expect), but the 18-70
>lens was also sharper than the 17-200. I'm not as happy with the 17-200
>lens's sharpness as others seem to be.


Interesting. Odd that the VR-off shot is worse than the VR-on.

--
Ken Tough

drew.avis@gmail.com 11-06-2006 02:03 PM

Re: 50mm vs 18-70 vs 17-200 lens test
 

Ken Tough wrote:
> >The prime lens is definitely sharper (as you'd expect), but the 18-70
> >lens was also sharper than the 17-200. I'm not as happy with the 17-200
> >lens's sharpness as others seem to be.

>
> Interesting. Odd that the VR-off shot is worse than the VR-on.


Maybe I'm missing something, but the 18-200 VR-off looks sharper than
the 18-70 shot to me.

Drew


Ken Tough 11-07-2006 03:44 AM

Re: 50mm vs 18-70 vs 17-200 lens test
 
drew.avis@gmail.com wrote:

>Ken Tough wrote:
>> >The prime lens is definitely sharper (as you'd expect), but the 18-70
>> >lens was also sharper than the 17-200. I'm not as happy with the 17-200
>> >lens's sharpness as others seem to be.

>>
>> Interesting. Odd that the VR-off shot is worse than the VR-on.

>
>Maybe I'm missing something, but the 18-200 VR-off looks sharper than
>the 18-70 shot to me.


I was speaking to an optics expert on the weekend (he fixed my
Nikkor 70-210 AFD :-) and he mentioned that the problem with any
zoom is that it has sharp focus at several "sweet spots" along
its zoom, from minimum fl to max fl. For super-long zooms (like
18-200) they will tend to have greater divergence from sharp in
those areas between the "sweet spots". So if you happen to pick
a good zoom length on one lens, it won't always match with a good
zoom length on another.

With that in mind, you might think it would be great to have some
kind of index method to hit those sweet spots. (A little "click"
as you zoom?)



--
Ken Tough


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