Nikon 18-105mm kit worth it? Or is it better to go body only?

Started Feb 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
inlawbiker Senior Member • Posts: 1,667
Re: Nikon 18-105mm kit worth it? Or is it better to go body only?

I'll tag onto this thread instead of opening my own that's basically the same question...

The reason I bought into Nikon was the 18-105mm rave reviews for the price, for use on my D5100. I also have the DX 35mm f/1.8, 70-300 VR, 85mm 1.8 G. I love ALL of these lenses except for the 18-105 which I find mediocre.

This makes me unhappy as you might imagine since I use the 18-105 for 75% of what I do. If you search for "18-105 vs 16-85" you'll find this question posted at least once per week. The consensus is the 16-85 is marginally better at twice the cost, but with better build.

Anyway with the 18-105, the images have no "pop" and the images look bland but I can't for the life of me figure out why. Even if I look closely I can see that it's getting focus correct. When I compare directly with the 70-300, it's no contest. The 70-300 is much better.

So I'm going to buy another copy of the 18-105 and compare them directly, if that doesn't work I'm going with the 16-85mm.

Other "normal zoom" options to consider -

Nikon 18-200mm - never tried it, not interested. Too much overlap with my kit.
Sigma 17-70 OS - I used the older version of this lens (non-OS) and it was a good lens.
Nikon 16-85 VR - Interested but seems overpriced to me. Thom Hogan on this site says to "buy it now!" if that means anything (it's $100 off right now)

Any of the 17-55mm f/2.8's (Tamron, Sigma, Nikon) - I'd like to try one of them before I buy some day but for now they cost a bit too much.

Of course there's the 18-55mm VR, which I have also never tried but people seem to love.

 inlawbiker's gear list:inlawbiker's gear list
Nikon D700 Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 +3 more
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