Can 18-300mm replace 16-85 and 70-300 combination?

Started Aug 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
Peter v.d Werf
Contributing MemberPosts: 657
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Re: Can 18-300mm replace 16-85 and 70-300 combination?
In reply to PepsiCan, Aug 4, 2012

PepsiCan wrote:

What people say is that it does not beat the 16-85 and 70-300 in terms of sharpness outside of the center. If you look for corner-to-corner sharpness then the 18-300 is not your lens.

Sure, it is a good walk around lens, but if I go for panoramas, architecture shots or group photos, the 18-300 is not the tool of preference (and in some cases, neither would these other two lenses be, but they are better suited for these tasks).

And that is not just for the out-of center sharpness, it is also because of complex distortion patterns, focal breathing and low T-stop values. These are all better on the other two lenses.

Overall I agree with you, but I also think it is looking for issues and you have to wonder how much of these weaker points are really relevant and visible in real life shots and use. Things like focal breathing, for subjects up to say 5-10 meters a 18-300 is indeed no real 300mm and will give you a little bit less range then the 70-300. But for subjects at say 15m you won't see any real difference in range. And somebody walking around with a 16-85/70-300 shooting something at 5 meters will probably prefer to take a big step forward then to change lenses to get the same shot, especially when you need to shoot quickly.

Same weak points were said about the 18-200 while I have shot some amazing panorama's with that lens. Just stop it down a bit a make sure you overlap enough. But that's what I think you should do for a pano anyway, regardless of the lens.

Same goes for group shot, for those shots you allready stop down to make sure you get front to back persons in focus, so just take a step back and make sure you leave some room at sides.

And it somebody is really that critical about architectural shots, then that person would choose another type of lens in the first place.

Again, I'm not saying the 18-300 is better then the 16-85/70-300 combo, but I do think that for at least 90% of the shots in real life, you won't see any difference and for the other 10% you'll see it pixel peeping or maybe more visible when used wide open at the weakest point of the lens. But for some users that 10% is enough to keep carrying 2 lenses which and can fully understand and that is for everybody to make their own assessment.

I've compared the 18-300 t0 my 24-70 and 70-200VRII and apart from the 18-28 part (wide open was it's weakest in that range), the corners of the 18-300 weren't as bad as some posters would have you believe. in the 70-200 range you wouldn't see the difference unless pixel peeping.

I've asked a friend of mine for his 70-300 and will see if I can make some real-life comparisons with that lens as well.

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