8 out of 10 points and recommendedExcellent zoom range, value for money, sharp when stoped down to f8 - f11Geometric distortion, vigenetting, but expected for the price and the zoom range
I have been using this lens for the past month or so on Nikon D50 plus I use the 18-70 Nikon. Though 18-70 has a slight advantage in terms of image quality when compared at the same focal length and faster, silent focusing but for the range I normally carry this lens whilst traveling. And for all other occasions I use the 18-70 Nikon.reviewed November 20th, 2005
I found this lens to be sharp at f8 and f11 with good contrast and color. I opted for this against the Tamron lens after reading a review in some Japanese or Chinese web site. Not that I can read the language but I compared the 100% cropped images and was quite impressed with Sigma 18-200 results.
The images I snapped are nice and sharp. But at maximum zoom 200mm I noticed some softness and this I later found out to be due to short focusing. There is a easy fix to this by double focusing or manual over ride at the maximum zoom range.
I recently took this too a zoo trip and the images turned out to be nice and sharp, where I used the zoom upto 175mm.
I got mine for Australian $460/-. I wish to post some sample images but there is no link to upload here. I would be happy to recommend this lens for the price.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedExcellent image quality sharp imagesSlight vignetting when wide open
This is a fantastic lens for the price. I have been using this for about 2 months now and I am extremely happy with sharp and good images, fast accurate focusing with manual override. I opted for this lens with D50.reviewed November 20th, 2005
Any better optic than this and you will have to spend top $$ (Almost 3 times, considering the Nikkor 17-55. A better & brighter lens but I believe none of the lenses are free from CA, geometric distortion & vigenetting so 18-70 makes the best choice for money spent.). A must have for all Nikonian as a general purpose all round everyday lens.
Slight vignetting, geometric distortion when wide open at 18mm but you can correct this in post processing (use PTlens a freeware at http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/).
7 out of 10 points and not recommendedValue for money, sharp if stopped down, light in weightCheap construction, vigenetting, soft corners
I got this lens initially with my D50. The lens gave me mixed results with soft corners and sharp in the middle, plus some vignetting and geometric distortions in wide angle.reviewed November 22nd, 2005
The free software (Picture Project) supplied with D50 also did not have any lens correction features which was again a let down from Nikon. Unless I purchased the Nikon Capture which allowed me to convert RAW files and correct some of the lens issues. I got around this by converting NEF-RAW files in Picture Project (though with a downside, Picture Project does not let me save large sized JPEGS only 2048 X 1536. Its a SHAM...from Nikon to force you to buy Nikon Capture.) without any lens correction and then editing my Jpegs with 'PTLens' a freeware for lens correction. I must say it is excellent little software (Many thanks to its developers).
This lens bugged me for a while as I felt the D50 performance was a let down with this lens and finally I sold this on ebay for Nikkor 18-70. Extremely happy now with this lens unless I shell out 4 or 5 times more $$ on 17-55. Nah! will live with the 18-70.
Don't get me wrong, this lens is great for the price, though, I did not mind spending a little extra on the better Nikkor 18-70. I only wish here in Australia I was not forced to by this with the D50 body as a kit lens and had an option of body only for D50.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedsharpness excellent, wide zoom rangeexpensive, not easy to get, distrortion & vigenetting
I have been using Sigma 18-200 before the Nikon 18-200VR came out in the market. After taking a plunge with scarce reviews that I could find on the Internet in March 2006, I decided to buy this one.reviewed May 30th, 2006
Here in Australia I was lucky to order online with digitalcity.net.au and get the delivery the second day in the month of March 2006. No issues at all and with excellent service. And if it did not suit me then I decided that it would go on ebay. (Though, the one to go on ebay was the Sigma 18-200 after using the Nikon 18-200VR).
I got mine made in Japan. Sharpness excellent: if you were to look at the final prints of A4 size from this lens compared to prints from 50mm prime; no one can tell the difference.
There are a few draw backs as: vignetting, distortion but nothing that can not be corrected in post processing, if required whilist shooting architecture. If you shoot otherwise under normal field conditions the distortion is hardly noticible.
Sharpness is better than Sigma 18-200 and the 18-70 Nikon. The only time I now use 18-70 Nikon is when I am certain to use built-in camera flash at 18mm to 27mm indoors. Why, there is a flash shadow of this lens at the bottom of the image at that focal range.
Else for all other shooting, indoors and out doors 18-200 VR stays on. F8 to f11 is the sharpest. Closest focus is 0.5m.
Unless you want to print larger than the A4 size prints this lens has no flaws that would show after minor PP in Photoshop CS2 or any other image editing software. That too I have saved some actions in the PhotoShop software and does not take any time in batch correcting some of the images. (The supplied Nikon Picture Project does not let you save larger JPEGS only 2048 X 1536 or smaller when converted from RAW to JPEG, a SHAM to force you to buy Nikon Capture after spending for a DSLR and range of lenses. In fact this should be available for free download for all Nikon users.)
For me this is the best and stays on not forgetting the VR is a bonus and does the job extremely well 3 to 4 f stops.
Gone are the days when one really needed an excellent lens to get good photos processed chemically from film rolls. In the age of digital imaging there is virtually nothing that can not be post processed by the software and obtain the desired results. All that is needed is a sharp lens and a good zoom range, 18-200VR does the job well.
SAMPLES: All photos here (http://picasaweb.google.com/lalsumeet/PeopleArchitecture) are from this lens and Nikon D50.