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Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR II (1 Viewer)

Apodidae49

Well-known member
I am thinking of getting this as a one-size fits all walkaround lens for my D5600. I have the AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300 mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR for when a longer reach is needed. I realise this lens is not the be and end all of birding lenses but I’ve decided that a big, heavy 500/600 is not for me.

I have already had a lot of excellent advice on this forum which has assisted me in getting up and running with my new DSLR so a bit more of the same on the 18-200 lens will be much appreciated.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Aarrrgggghh !!!! :eek!::eek!:

I wish I (/you) had known that the 150-600 superzoom telephotos were going to be out of the equation, as that changes absolutely ....... Everything !!

As I said in a post on another thread, putting a relatively large lens like that on a smallish body like your D5600 is really not such a good ergonomic match. That is why I was recommending the D7200 - much much better balance along with all its other benefits (1.3x in-camera crop, high fps, 3D tracking AF, and leading DR) - it makes for a completely different proposition.

Knowing this would have brought Canon right back into the equation ..... as the 400 f5.6L is probably the best bang for the buck lens (within your budget at a stretch) and would form the basis of a system choice and complementary lenses working backwards from there.

It really does change everything I have said ....... :(

I must admit, I'm not one for a huge bag of lenses and constant changing - for reasons of exposing the mirror/sensor/lenses to dust/lint, and extra work for the mount .... but that's just me.

Before going any further and ending up with a lot of overlap it might pay to consider unloading at least the 70-300 lens and consider more reach, and not much more weight (still only around ~1/2 of a 150-600 which you have decided against) with a Sigma (or Tamron) 100-400 https://www.ephotozine.com/article/...-6-3-dg-os-hsm-contemporary-lens-review-31050

You may even consider switching systems entirely to Canon if you could get hold of a 400 f5.6L ..... ????




Chosun :gh:
 
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Apodidae49

Well-known member
I decided against the Tamron 150-600 after trying one on the camera (and discovering that Tamron UK don’t register grey imports). I think it a great lens but I think the whole big lens birding thing isn’t for me but general photography, with an opportunity to get some bird shots, is.

I looked at Canon at the outset and decided I wanted a Nikon DX and the 5600 was the nicest option I’d seen for size, weight, features and price. Used 7200’s are very thin on the ground and if I see one now, I’ll just have to say c’est la vie as I’ve invested my outlay in the 5600. I agree that a bag of lenses isn’t the way to go which is why I’m asking for advice on the 18-200.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
That's fair enough - the 150-600 still takes quite some commitment to carry around, and even the Canon 400 f5.6L is a specialist bit of kit.

Your D5600 is a great little camera. You'll find that the 18-200 covers things quite well for just general walking around and should be a lot of fun :t:

Back in the film days I had a 28-200 f3.5-f5.6 (full frame) which worked very well as a general walkaround/travel lens. I thought that perhaps a smidgen wider (say 24mm), a bit longer (say 300mm) and a bit faster (say f2.8-f4) would have been even more perfect.

Maybe you could consider the Nikon 16-80 f2.8-f4 (24-120 equivalent) instead?

Perhaps also consider one of the 100-400 's , and that probably pairs better with your suggestion, or even the 16-80.


Chosun :gh:
 

Apodidae49

Well-known member
That's fair enough - the 150-600 still takes quite some commitment to carry around, and even the Canon 400 f5.6L is a specialist bit of kit.

Your D5600 is a great little camera. You'll find that the 18-200 covers things quite well for just general walking around and should be a lot of fun :t:

Back in the film days I had a 28-200 f3.5-f5.6 (full frame) which worked very well as a general walkaround/travel lens. I thought that perhaps a smidgen wider (say 24mm), a bit longer (say 300mm) and a bit faster (say f2.8-f4) would have been even more perfect.

Maybe you could consider the Nikon 16-80 f2.8-f4 (24-120 equivalent) instead?

Perhaps also consider one of the 100-400 's , and that probably pairs better with your suggestion, or even the 16-80.


Chosun :gh:

Thanks again for the good advice. I’ll have a look at one of those Sigma or Tamron lenses that zooms to 400mm but it’ll be a back-burner jobbie until I’ve got thoroughly used to the camera and the lenses I have got (or may acquire in the case of the 18-200)
 

Apodidae49

Well-known member
While we’re kicking around the subject of walkaround lenses the 18-140 DX ED VR gets a decent write up, but is relatively expensive for what Nikon have sometimes used as a kit lens. It can be obtained as a “white box” for around £200 though.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
While we’re kicking around the subject of walkaround lenses the 18-140 DX ED VR gets a decent write up, but is relatively expensive for what Nikon have sometimes used as a kit lens. It can be obtained as a “white box” for around £200 though.
18-140 on a DX equates to 27-210 which is pretty much what my old film lens was. I don't know what "white box" entails - but that seems a reasonable saving https://www.ephotozine.com/article/nikon-nikkor-af-s-dx-18-140mm-f-3-5-5-6g-ed-vr-lens-review-23219

As I mentioned before, 28mm is great, but I really missed the extra creativity that the wider 24mm setting would have provided. This would have allowed much more dramatic and far more 'arty' types of shots.

Most of my landscape type shots were either at 28mm (sometimes with foreground object for dramatic effect) or tended to be around ~50-70mm.

Ditto for architectural type shots. Ocassionally you'd want to zoom in on a detail or a distant feature/monument/scene etc - and this is where the wish for 300mm came from. These days it's a bit of a different kettle of fish as you can just crop in post processing to get the same result.

It all depends on what you will be mostly photographing, and whether you will get a dedicated superwide prime/zoom, as well as superfast portrait primes, and how often you like changing lenses (how much you want to carry at a time).

Just a note - if you can get lenses faster than f5.6 then they will certainly be well useful. Also, some of the do-it-all type lenses such as the Tamron 16-300 sacrifice a lot of IQ (relatively) for the benefit of hardly ever changing lenses. Generally, the shorter the zoom range multiplier the better controlled the IQ is.

You could cover just about all situations very handsomely with a Nikon 16-80/ f2.8-4 (or at a pinch the older, slower 16-85/ f3.5-5.6) and a Sigma/(Tamron) 100-400/ f5(4.5)-6.3.

If you really don't mind changing/ carrying more and it suits most of your regular situations you could go with the 18-140, and flesh this out with a 10-24 super wide angle zoom - such as the Tamron (particularly if you want any interior shots), and your 70-300 for now (until you parlay it into a 100-400, as I don't think your 70-300 would then see much use with all the focal overlap you would have :)




Chosun :gh:
 

Apodidae49

Well-known member
18-140 on a DX equates to 27-210 which is pretty much what my old film lens was. I don't know what "white box" entails - but that seems a reasonable saving https://www.ephotozine.com/article/nikon-nikkor-af-s-dx-18-140mm-f-3-5-5-6g-ed-vr-lens-review-23219

As I mentioned before, 28mm is great, but I really missed the extra creativity that the wider 24mm setting would have provided. This would have allowed much more dramatic and far more 'arty' types of shots.

Most of my landscape type shots were either at 28mm (sometimes with foreground object for dramatic effect) or tended to be around ~50-70mm.

Ditto for architectural type shots. Ocassionally you'd want to zoom in on a detail or a distant feature/monument/scene etc - and this is where the wish for 300mm came from. These days it's a bit of a different kettle of fish as you can just crop in post processing to get the same result.

It all depends on what you will be mostly photographing, and whether you will get a dedicated superwide prime/zoom, as well as superfast portrait primes, and how often you like changing lenses (how much you want to carry at a time).

Just a note - if you can get lenses faster than f5.6 then they will certainly be well useful. Also, some of the do-it-all type lenses such as the Tamron 16-300 sacrifice a lot of IQ (relatively) for the benefit of hardly ever changing lenses. Generally, the shorter the zoom range multiplier the better controlled the IQ is.

You could cover just about all situations very handsomely with a Nikon 16-80/ f2.8-4 (or at a pinch the older, slower 16-85/ f3.5-5.6) and a Sigma/(Tamron) 100-400/ f5(4.5)-6.3.

If you really don't mind changing/ carrying more and it suits most of your regular situations you could go with the 18-140, and flesh this out with a 10-24 super wide angle zoom - such as the Tamron (particularly if you want any interior shots), and your 70-300 for now (until you parlay it into a 100-400, as I don't think your 70-300 would then see much use with all the focal overlap you would have :)




Chosun :gh:

Again, thanks for the useful help. For now I think 18-55 will be useful as a backup or for portability (and the trade-in is derisory) 18-140 could stay on the camera most of the time and 70-300 in the bird hides.

Incidentally, for BIF with that lens, without going fully manual, is it best to put the camera in 3D tracking mode and use single spot or 9 Point focus and CH shooting, and hope for the best? I suppose ISO should be set as high as is reasonable in the light conditions, to allow a higher shutter speed?
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Again, thanks for the useful help. For now I think 18-55 will be useful as a backup or for portability (and the trade-in is derisory) 18-140 could stay on the camera most of the time and 70-300 in the bird hides.

Incidentally, for BIF with that lens, without going fully manual, is it best to put the camera in 3D tracking mode and use single spot or 9 Point focus and CH shooting, and hope for the best? I suppose ISO should be set as high as is reasonable in the light conditions, to allow a higher shutter speed?
Yeah, the hit on lenses sucks and the kit lenses aren't much more than give aways. Seriously consider the 16-80 and 100-400 I suggested before putting more money in that you won't recoup.

I'm not familiar with the new D5600's 3D tracking, but I know that even the D7200 has difficulty keeping up on small fast flyers.

I still get a bit excitable when something good comes along - so I try and keep it absolutely as simple as possible.

For most BIF in normal conditions I just use CH and AF-C with Single centre point focus. As I said elsewhere I use Auto ISO (100-1600) set with a minimum shutter speed of 1/2000th second. I think some of the photos in my gallery taken under the worst lighting conditions I have bumped up to ISO 3200 ..... after that it's time to go home - unless you see a Paradise Parrot ! (extinct in the 20th Century)

That just leaves me to predetermine and adjust aperture depending on light levels or whether I want to open right up and isolate a subject. I also shoot in 1.3x crop mode to gain an extra fps. If there's enough light and plain background like sky, I will try and close down to f9, f8, or at least f7.1 for better IQ and dof margin.

This just leaves me to try and stick the focus point on the bird (not always easy at 600mm, and adjust zoom as necessary. If I happen to come off the bird, I just reaccquire focus myself which I find faster than a lens hunting around at the extremities all over the place trying to do it itself. (If you had a D500 or D5 it would be a different matter entirely).

The only complication that then enters is if you are shooting a black and white bird doing turns away from, and into the sun - where I just dial some exposure compensation in/out, as I go as necessary. Occasional 'chimping' to check the histogram position is all that's needed to keep things in check. You get a feel for the ballpark after a while.

If I happen upon a stationary subject in good light I've got a standard ISO setting that I revert to (which I set in the range 100 to 400 depending on the light for the day) with the switch of one button. This has the effect of bumping the shutter speed up beyond my upper limit which is fine - if I'm at ISO 100 it can go as high as it likes.

If there's a better, easier way I'm all ears. The reason I shoot like this, is that this seemed to be the sum total best advice of folks on here for getting better BIF shots, it works well for stationary subjects too, so I don't have to change system settings, and importantly - it seems to minimize the false background hunting that more auto tracking modes tend to succumb to.

You'll be able to get away with slower shutter speeds with your shorter lens, though be aware that ~ 1/1600th - 1/2000th is about the minimum speed needed for freezing moving wingtips, feathers blowing in the breeze, and rapidly flitting heads on the little geewhizzits. So light permitting, you might want to try and aim up around there. Having said that, keeping the ISO at 400 and below will capture more detail, and may in fact be worth the odd two headed bird with a lower shutter speed ! :)





Chosun :gh:
 

Apodidae49

Well-known member
Hi Chosun, I’m beginning to learn that the upside to crop sensors is the added reach in 35mm equivalent and the downside is that the wide angle is increased proportionately so 18mm becomes 24mm equivalent. Think the Nikon 10-20 DX would give good results though. Might reserve that for the Christmas present list.

BTW “White Box” lenses are, purportedly, new lenses that have been supplied in kit form with a body and a dealer has split the package to sell lens and body separately.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Yeah, the crop factor for the Nikon DX sensor is 1.5, so even though the focal length of the actual glass doesn't change, you are sampling a narrower angle of it , so that 35mm equivalent focal lengths are 50% greater.

So the 18mm end actually becomes 18 x 1.5 = 27mm equivalent.

The Nikon 10-20 becomes 15-30mm.
The Tamron 10-24 becomes 15-36mm.
My Tokina 12-28 becomes 18-42mm.
The Nikon 16-80 becomes 24-120mm
The Nikon 18-140 becomes 27-210mm.
The Nikon 18-200 becomes 27-300mm.
The Nikon 70-300 becomes 105-450mm
The Sigma 100-400 becomes 150-600mm.

The lower wider ends definitely is useful for interior shots, and the idea of the 100-400's on DX is to mimic the 150-600's on FF but at more like ~ 1/2 the weight ......

Note also that the same crop factor of 1.5x applies to the aperture as well.
This aperture 'multiplier' doesn't affect the physical opening, hence shutter speed, but it will affect the 'effective' depth of field - ie. f5.6 becomes f8.4 eq, so you don't get the same amount of nice background blur and subject isolation. This isn't too much of a problem with DX, but certainly affects MFT and 1" systems which can find it hard to isolate subjects.

I find I can still get a completely blurred out background even at f6.3 (=f9.5) if the subject is close and the background at least ~10-20m away. This is why I recommended the 16-80/ f2.8-4 lens - it gives you a lot more creative flexibility. Though the times you really want that totally blurred out background is when shooting a bird or something with a telephoto and you really want subject isolation. No way round it, then you are into the big heavy f5.6, f4, and f2.8 lenses. Maybe if you are really good throughout the year, Santa could one day bring you the new Nikon PF 500 f5.6 (about 1.46kg) but that is several thousand dollars ! so you'd have to earn a heck of a lot of brownie points !! :)

The same 'multiplier' also affects IQ by 'effectively' applying to the diffraction limits - again not too much of a problem with DX.


Thanks for the explanation ob the "white box" terminology. Provided the Warranty's etc check out - sounds like a good way to save where you can get what you want.




Chosun :gh:
 
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Apodidae49

Well-known member
Yep, my maths is off on 1.5 x 18. Hope the crop factor on apertures isn’t a problem, but since you said it isn’t I’ll take that, with thanks. Just got my refund on the Tammy, after no small drama, currently watching a decent 18-200 and a new 18-140 both on eBay.
 

marcsantacurz

Well-known member
I've been away a few days, so missed this discussion, but it looks like you got an 18-200 (or 18-140?). Those and the 16-80 would all be great walk-around lenses, and you won't need to change lenses at all unless you want the extra 70-300 reach.

Chosun mentioned the f-stop multiplier. I prefer to not think about it like this. You could say a 50mm f/1.8 lens is like a 75mm f/2.7 on DX, but I prefer to think of the f-stop in the native size and just remember that I'm cropped. That makes the most sense to me and it is also the f-stop that you will see displayed on the lens/camera.

An 18mm lens, for example, on a DX will still give you a super 3d view when used close up on some subject, you'll just have a narrower field of view. I rarely use wide angle for a big panorama fit everything in to the frame, I usually use it for the close-up 3d effect. You'll still get that.

Have fun with the walk-around, whichever you got. The 10-20 dx is a great lens too and would pretty much make a full kit for you.

In terms of shooting BIF, I usually use 3D tracking mode because it is easiest for me to lock on to a specific bird even if it is flying low against background clutter. I don't use the 3d tracking so much to let the camera move the focus point across the screen -- I still pan and try to keep centered and the 3d point helps compensate for when I miss some with the pan. I also like the 3d tracking mode to pick out a bird behind foreground clutter -- it is about as precise as single point AF.

Area AF works well if the bird is big enough and has enough distance between it and the background clutter (area AF prioritizes focusing on the closest thing in the area box). I find, personally, that area AF with AF-C picks the wrong thing either in the foreground or background, so I end up going single point but that doesn't work well for BIF (you need good panning), so I'm back to the 3D tracking.

Marc
 

Apodidae49

Well-known member
I've been away a few days, so missed this discussion, but it looks like you got an 18-200 (or 18-140?). Those and the 16-80 would all be great walk-around lenses, and you won't need to change lenses at all unless you want the extra 70-300 reach.

Chosun mentioned the f-stop multiplier. I prefer to not think about it like this. You could say a 50mm f/1.8 lens is like a 75mm f/2.7 on DX, but I prefer to think of the f-stop in the native size and just remember that I'm cropped. That makes the most sense to me and it is also the f-stop that you will see displayed on the lens/camera.

An 18mm lens, for example, on a DX will still give you a super 3d view when used close up on some subject, you'll just have a narrower field of view. I rarely use wide angle for a big panorama fit everything in to the frame, I usually use it for the close-up 3d effect. You'll still get that.

Have fun with the walk-around, whichever you got. The 10-20 dx is a great lens too and would pretty much make a full kit for you.

In terms of shooting BIF, I usually use 3D tracking mode because it is easiest for me to lock on to a specific bird even if it is flying low against background clutter. I don't use the 3d tracking so much to let the camera move the focus point across the screen -- I still pan and try to keep centered and the 3d point helps compensate for when I miss some with the pan. I also like the 3d tracking mode to pick out a bird behind foreground clutter -- it is about as precise as single point AF.

Area AF works well if the bird is big enough and has enough distance between it and the background clutter (area AF prioritizes focusing on the closest thing in the area box). I find, personally, that area AF with AF-C picks the wrong thing either in the foreground or background, so I end up going single point but that doesn't work well for BIF (you need good panning), so I'm back to the 3D tracking.

Marc

It is the 18-200 that I got Marc. These generally go for around £240-£250 on eBay but I think the seller slipped up and didn’t list the lens as VRII only as VR. I could see from the auction photos that the VR lettering on the lens body was gold, not red, and it said VRII on the box. As the RRP at Jessops is £499, I am pleased with the bargain I got and pick it up today.

I think that Christmas may see the addition of a 10-20 to the bag.

I’m getting out to Martin Mere on Monday to give the camera a good outing and experiment with the settings, which are confusing! I also have AF-S and AF-F servo settings settings and the book says that AF-S is for still subjects and AF-F for moving subjects. Throw that into the mix with AF-C and 3D tracking and it gets more confusing. However I have the helpful advice from Chosun and your good self and one of the guys at In-Focus, Martin Mere is a Nikon man with an impressive set up so I’m sure I will get there in the end.

Thankfully I am not shooting film! 3:)
 

marcsantacurz

Well-known member
It is the 18-200 that I got Marc. These generally go for around £240-£250 on eBay but I think the seller slipped up and didn’t list the lens as VRII only as VR. I could see from the auction photos that the VR lettering on the lens body was gold, not red, and it said VRII on the box. As the RRP at Jessops is £499, I am pleased with the bargain I got and pick it up today.

I think that Christmas may see the addition of a 10-20 to the bag.

I’m getting out to Martin Mere on Monday to give the camera a good outing and experiment with the settings, which are confusing! I also have AF-S and AF-F servo settings settings and the book says that AF-S is for still subjects and AF-F for moving subjects. Throw that into the mix with AF-C and 3D tracking and it gets more confusing. However I have the helpful advice from Chosun and your good self and one of the guys at In-Focus, Martin Mere is a Nikon man with an impressive set up so I’m sure I will get there in the end.

Thankfully I am not shooting film! 3:)

Great, yes you want the gold one not the red one. Sometimes the VR nomenclature can be confusing because there is a lens version and a vr version. In this case, the "18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6GII VR ED" is the lens version. Some of the original (non-II) lenses also said "VR II" in silver meaning it has the 2nd gen VR system. It gets pretty confusing at times.

There's a distinction between Viewfinder mode and Live View mode. In Live Vew mode, you shoot kind of like a mirrorless camera and use the rear LCD. I do this very little, usually only if I am doing video (no other choice) or if I'm manual focusing a lens and want to zoom in the view.

Viewfinder Mode

AF-C is what you usually want here for predictive focus tracking (it will predict the distance) while the shutter release is pressed 1/2 way (or you press AF-ON).

I usually use 3D tracking or 72-point dynamic AF. I don't use single point (except in AF-S), as the 3d tracking mode is basically single point but with tracking.

You have a lot of AF area modes to choose from. I usually get rid of some of them using menus A9 and A10. In A9, I leave selected Single, 72-point, and 3-d. This means that I will only have those 3 options to switch between in the menus and it hides the modes I don't use. In A10 you can limit it to only AF-C, but I usually leave this with both AF-C and AF-S.

Note that when you switch between AF-C and AF-S the available AF areas will change (i.e. you have no 3d tracking in AF-S, so use Single Point).

Basically you just need to go out shooting and figure out which modes work best for how you shoot. For me, leaving the camera on 3d and not fiddling with it all the time works best for me.

I try to leave the camera configured for the surprise shot where I don't have time to twiddle settings. If I find a perching bird that's going to be hanging out a bit, I can switch settings.

Live View Mode

AF-F is the same as AF-C, but for Live Mode.

If you are shooting people or some animals that look close enough to people, using Face Priority AF can give good results.

The d5600 has "Subject-tracking AF" is like 3D tracking but is not as easy to use as it needs an extra button press in addition to the shutter release. Read about it on p.48 of the manual. I'd practice on still subjects and move the camera around to see the tracking. That's a lot easier to practice with than something that actually moves.
 

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