18-200 or 16-85/70-300 combo for trip to the Rockies? please advice

Started Apr 29, 2008 | Discussions thread
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svliegen
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18-200 or 16-85/70-300 combo for trip to the Rockies? please advice
Apr 29, 2008

I'm about to purchase a D80, but I'm still not sure about the best equipment for my next trip.

In July/August, I'll be travelling (by car) for about 5 weeks, visiting a lot of the national parks (Rocky Mtns NP, Yellowstone, Moab, Arches, etc). Of course, lots of stops for site seeing/photo shooting.

Last time I did this I only brought a P&S, and afterwards I felt sorry I didn't bring a better camera (got a few great shots at Bryce Canyon, Yosemite and Yellowstone, but only due to favorable circumstances)

So now I'm looking at buying either the 18-200mm Nikon or the 16-85/70-300 combo. I've done lots of reading and I know the IQ of the combo is better than the 18/200, but of course you need to switch lenses.

Now what I can't figure out is how big the difference in IQ is. If it's minimal, I'd probably go for the single lens option. If it's huge I'll take the combo. I'd really appreciate your advice!

Most of my shots will be landscapes and wildlife plus the occasional family picture.

Do you feel I need the additional length of the 70-300 for the wildlife pictures (deer, bears, wolves, etc) or would 200mm be sufficient ? I'd like to avoid having to come too close

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