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Nikon 18-105 VR vs 55-200 VR my test results

Started Oct 30, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Nikon 18-105 VR vs 55-200 VR my test results
Oct 30, 2011

I know we're not talking high dollar lenses here but I wanted to see if my copy of 18-105 VR, which I consider to be very sharp, is "better" than my 55-200 VR which I also consider to be very sharp. Heck, I use my 55-200 VR as my portrait lens at 85mm!

Set up on a tripod, focusing on a distant water tower with very distinct lettering, I shot at 18/55/105/200 as I could on each lens. I also tossed in my Sigma 18-50 f/2.8-4.5 just to see what's what. I turned off VR.

At 18 the Sigma was sharper than my 18-105 everywhere.

At 55 the 18-105 crept ahead, even in front of the 55-200.

At 105 the 18-105 was sharper than my 55-200 everywhere. Huh?

At 200, of course the 55-200 was nice and clean focused on that water tower. But what's this? Cropped to the same size, the 18-105 VR was as sharp as the 200 was uncropped. Huh?

All I can say is that my 18-105 VR is as sharp as I could hope for. My consumer Sigma is pretty dam good. My 55-200 VR? I don't know, I think I need a sharper telephoto. I like that it's cheap, lightweight, actually decent optics but I'll spend a bit more money and carry a bit more weight for better optics. Suggestions? Not the 55-200 f/2.8, I can't afford that!

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