Need advice on a replacement for 18-105

Started Jul 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Frankenstein Junior Member • Posts: 44
Need advice on a replacement for 18-105

So I recently discovered that cats+camera=disaster. My general purpose walk around lens, the Nikon 18-105 is no more. So now I have a decision to make; what do I replace it with?

I've read a bunch of threads on here about many different lenses so it's not that I'm not informed, I'm kinda suffering from information overload actually!

As I see it, I have several options available to me;

1) Just buy another 18-105 (cheapest option)

I'd be comfortable with this but I want to keep my options open.

2) Nikkor AF-S DX 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II (expensive but gets pretty good reviews)

A little more on the short end but not as long. I just worry that I'd miss the extra 20mm even though it's optically better.

3) Nikkor AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II (longer reach)

Same short end but almost double on the long end; not a problem but is it necessary when I already own the 70-300?

4) Sigma 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM (pretty good reviews for a pretty good price)

Same argument as above except the cost is less (I assume at the cost of quality) and it's a little slower than the Nikon

5) Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM (less reach than 16-85 but good reviews)

Marginally wider than the 18-105 but 35mm less on the long end. Kind of the same argument as the 16-85 but even more so (35mm less as opposed to only 20), although it is slightly faster.

Just so you know where it would fit into my collection here's what I have;

Nikon D5000

Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM
Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105mm f3.5-5.6G ED VR (well, at least I use to...)
Nikkor AF-S VR II 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IF-ED
Nikkor AF-S 35mm f1.8G DX
Nikkor AF 50mm f1.4D
Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 Di Macro

As you can see, I USE to be covered from 10-300mm with three lenses. Now I seem to have a gap between 20mm and 70mm (not including the 35 and the 50 of course...). All the lenses I'm considering will cover that gap (some will even go well beyond it). The question is which one is best for me?

As a reference, here's how the shots with the 18-105 break down;

18mm - 22%
Between 18-70 - 20%
Between 70-85mm - 7%
Over 85mm - 51%

So at least 42% of my use of the lens falls into the 17-70mm's range, and 49% fall into the 16-85's range. That leaves 51% that falls on the longer end.

I shoot a little bit of everything from portraits to macro, landscape to still life. I love air show photography (one of these days I'll try and get the Sigma 50-500... just not today....). I can go as high as $1,000 for a replacement but I still want the best bang for my bucks.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

 Frankenstein's gear list:Frankenstein's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM +5 more
Nikon D5000
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