Which Zoom Lens Should I Choose?

Thank you to everyone who responded to our last email and requested information on this topic. To continue our theme we’ve decided to cover some more general-purpose and one-for-all lenses in this week’s newsletter.

AF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II DX

This is the DX lens for those who don’t want to carry around more than one lens if they can help it (other than perhaps a prime lens for very low-light photography where a wide aperture is required). The 18-200mm really does cover all eventualities for the family and travel photographer, and requires no other supplement lens for the non-specialist, and is commonly purchased with a camera body in kit form.

Please note that as this is a DX lens it will only work to its utmost on Nikon DX cameras.

Currently the AF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II DX is £599.00 including VAT, but please do get in touch if you are interested in acquiring a body with the lens as many discounted kits and vouchers are available.


Photograph taken by Mr. Tony Thompson on D7000 + 18-200mm AF-S VR DX lens 105mm, ISO500, f/5.6, 1/2000

AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR

This lens was released by Nikon in 2010 as the long-awaited one-lens solution for full-frame camera users. Covering the same range as the 18-200mm provides on DX, the 28-300mm allows for fantastic flexibility on FX cameras and great overall quality.

It is also popularly used on DX cameras to provide an equivalent of 42-450mm, which is a very versatile range. This lens works on all current Nikon DSLR bodies, and is £695.00 including VAT.


Photograph taken by Tim Gurney on D700 + 28-300mm AF-S VR
More of his images can be found at:

AF-S 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX

For those who want to concentrate more on quality rather than quantity, there are certainly shorter-range zooms out there that will provide this. As the 16-85mm has less work to do than a lens like the 18-200mm, it can afford to produce better results over a shorter range, and it certainly does. Being a DX lens it gives you 24-127mm effectively, and is ideal for landscapes, portraits, street photography and general work for the keen amateur who doesn’t necessarily require a long telephoto zoom, or would rather couple two high-quality zooms in their camera bag – the usual compliment to this lens being the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G AF-S VR, mentioned in our last newsletter.

The 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX is £450.00 including VAT.


Photograph by a Grays of Westminster customer taken on a D7000 + 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR DX
16mm, ISO200, f/11, 1/180

AF-S 24-120mm f/4G VR

The 24-120mm f/4 is a recent addition to the Nikkor family which gives very high quality images overall without costing as much as the high-end f/2.8 lenses. From its build and results it is considered to be part of the professional lens family, but can be used by keen amateurs on a full-frame body, and for a slightly longer reach, it gives 36-180mm on DX cameras.

It out-performs its predecessor by leaps and bounds, and with fast auto-focus and VR II it’s a handy lens to have in the camera bag. The AF-S 24-120mm f/4G VR is currently £835.00 including VAT.


Photograph by Simon Stafford with D3S + 24-120mm f/4G VR, 24mm, ISO200, f/11, 1/320″

AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G IF-ED & AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8G DX IF-ED

Last but by no means least are the two pro lenses for DX and FX users, both of which produce pin-sharp results, with a versatile wide aperture for low-light and beautiful portraits, and a focal length to meet most landscape, portrait and general photographic needs. The 17-55mm DX is the equivalent of the 24-70mm on the smaller-sensor cameras, so for professionals and serious amateurs using a D7000 or D300S body, for example, this may be the lens to choose for weddings and studio work.

It is worth bearing in mind that the 17-55mm DX will not work to its full capacity on a full-frame body, and DX-users thinking of a potential future upgrade to full-frame may want to opt for a 24-70mm early on in the game, giving you 36-105mm effectively on the smaller sensor, and then there will be no need to replace lenses in the future.

Photograph by Simon Stafford with D3 + 24-70mm, 70mm, ISO400, f/4, 1/1250″
More of Simon’s work can be seen at:

Nikon J1 & V1 Coming Soon!

And on a final note, the highly anticipated Nikon 1 system will be on Grays of Westminster’s shelves from Thursday 27th October 2011. Please contact us if you are interested in acquiring one of these bodies, as waiting lists have already begun and we do want to ensure we can fill the demand. Please email or telephone the shop for more information, or if you would like your name to be added to the list.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any Nikon-related questions as we will be happy to help.



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