Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 DX Superzoom is Super According to Thom Hogan

Thom Hogan wrote a great review of the AF-S Zoom-Nikkor ED 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF DX VR. That's a Nikon 18-200mm Superzoom lens to you and me. This is a great review because Hogan goes into great detail about why it's so unusual for a camera manufacturer to ship a great all-purpose lens with a high-end prosumer camera like the Nikon D200. Most people don't buy the D200 with this lens, but it is an option. Hogan writes:

One of the surprises with the D200 announcement was that it could be purchased with a new DX wide angle to telephoto zoom lens. Having a kit lens for {a} consumer camera isn't new for Nikon, but this was a doozy: 18-200mm focal lengths plus vibration reduction and AF-S speed. This looked like the do-all, be-all lens for virtually everything except extreme wide angle, extreme telephoto, extreme macro, and extreme low light. In other words, a lens you would use most of the time....

He goes on to point out that this lens performs as advertised, for the most part. He delves deeply into the technical details, including the significance of the "DX" designation on Nikkor lenses when used with Nikon digital SLRs.

The key take-away for me is that these DX lenses (there are six others) are a lot more compact than previous lenses with similar performance characteristics. However, it's not the ultimate telephoto lens for sports; Hogan says:

What VR (or VR II or even VR III when it appears) won't do {his emphasis} is to allow you to shoot your daughter's night soccer game at 200mm and 1/15. That's a recipe for fuzzy players on sharp grass.

I know we dwell on sports photography sometimes here on Operation Gadget, but I also shoot digital photos in every day situations that are far from the hockey penalty box or the roadside at pro cycling event. This lens is a spectacular choice for everyday photography if you have a Nikon DSLR.

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