Best (affordable) upgrade option for the Nikkor 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 VR kit lens?

Started Jan 8, 2013 | Questions thread
Shunda77
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Re: Best (affordable) upgrade option for the Nikkor 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 VR kit lens?
In reply to Buzz Lightyear, Jan 8, 2013

Buzz Lightyear wrote:

I had pondering the same conundrum for weeks. I thought that "upgrading" to the 18-85 might be a viable option, but from my research, it seems that other than greater reach, it is not really any better than the kit lens (as far as image quality).

My experience with both lenses is that the 16-85vr is a much better lens for image quality, speed, and practicality. You can shoot the 16-85 wide open and still get good results at every focal length, you can't with the kit lens.

Stop the 16-85 down a smidgeon and it is tack sharp at every focal length on offer.

Without spending the proverbial "arm and leg" to upgrade to much better glass, there really isn't any viable options for this focal range. Since I wanted and needed more telephoto abilitiy, and my budget was limited, it seemed to me the best option was to keep the kit lens, and look for a decent telephoto. After some deliberation, I opted for the 55-300mm VR lens. If you are careful to use the lens within its optimal aperture and zoom ranges, it is a wonderful, sharp lens. With that addition, I have 18 - 300 mm covered, without the defects inherent with an all-in-one zoom lens.

I just purchased a 55-300vr to try after agonizing over whether I should have bought the 70-300vr, so far I am extremely impressed with the performance of the 55-300vr, in my opinion it is better over the same range than the 55-200.

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