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First Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II lenses started to show up in the US

A dpreview comment indicates that the new Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II lens already started to show up in stores (in that case in WA state).

AF-S_DX_NIKKOR_18-200mm_f3.5-5.6_ED_VR_II

Also confirmed: Nikon D300 is listed as "discontinued" in B&H.

Update: some sample shots and a review available here and another one here.

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  • John

    How would you know if someone was trying to sell you the old version of this lens instead of the new one?

    • Matstar

      Apparently there is a Zoom Lock switch on the barrel to stop zoom creep when pointed down.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      the VR logo is gold on the new one (the old model had a red VR logo).

  • Matstar

    Has anyone got one of these babies yet? I am so keen to see how the IQ compares with previous 18-200. The BIG question is… Is it worth upgrading????”

    • Ronan

      No its not worth upgrading. Spend your money on some pro glass, now thats worth upgrading too.

    • PHB

      I think the 18-200 is one of the best lenses Nikon have ever made. It isn’t the best optically, but it is one of the most useful. And the new version sounds like it is a useful improvement.

      And even thought the optics are not great by current standards, they are pretty damn good by the standards of the 35mm film era. The extra sharpness might be an issue if you were buying a new, higher resolution body.

      That said, I really can’t see much of a case for upgrading an existing 18-200 just to go to the next generation. I can think of a lot of better uses for the same money. Like buying the 10-28 super-wide zoom for example or the 35mm f/1.8.

      I tend to think that Nikon’s answer to what should compliment a pro-level DX body is going to turn out to be a combination of their upper end DX zooms and their DX primes. In recent years the zooms have been so good that primes have been pretty much forgotten. But if you think about it, you can spend $6000 on the magic three zooms and carry all 6lb of them round with you or you could buy a single super zoom and four primes for less cost and the same weight.

      Every lens that Nikon has come out with recently has been a really great one for any DX shooter to own. I love my 10-24 and 50mm. Unless money is absolutely no object, or you are a single lens shooter, I think it is almost certain that there will be another lens along shortly that is a better buy than upgrading one you already own.

      Now if Nikon would just fit AFS to my 80-400…

  • NikoDoby

    A member of the Nikonrumors forum said he got one two days ago. I asked him to post up a “review” for us.

  • Nau

    would be nice to see some tests

  • Mikael Willberg

    Was this rumour much of a news ? Those became available in Finland on the 10th and are available “on the shelf” for 850 euros. The old version goes for 630 euros.

  • MalejJarda
    • Tobi

      Google translation comes up with some funny bits .. “the position of an outbreak of 18 mm” there is definitely an outbreak of 18 mm zoom lenses !!

  • http://www.kunstlichter.net Harald

    I bought the new 18-200 yesterday in Vienna (Austria) here: http://www.a-s-elektro.at/produkt_detail.php?p_id=768
    But I had no time so far to test it…

  • Steve Bennett

    Had a quick play with one of these (gold VR logo) and the “old” one (red VR logo) side by side at the weekend.

    The AF on the new one seemed ever so slightly nippier in low light, but other than that, I couldn’t see any difference, nor could the guy in the shop (who presumably would have had a vested interest in pointing out any advantage that I should have spotted).

    Price in the UK is about 50% extra for the new model (£729 vs £509) – I just don’t see an extra £220 of advantage.

    • Anonymous

      contrast improvement ,that was the main problem with the first version!!

      • Anonymous

        SIC special treatment its a new lens specially because of that ,it turns the 18 200 almost into a PRO lens!!!!

  • Anonymous

    This is the most important amelioration, the lock function and VR II are just secondary !!

  • Anonymous

    …but cool and welcome!

  • Peter

    We got the lens last week at our store in Canada already. Its got a slightly better finish than the old one and yes the main difference is in the gold vr logo and locking tab

  • Anonymous

    Yeah like theMercedes slr and the slr AMG its almost the same !! lol

  • Bob Jobson

    OMG, please let’s move on from this 18-XXX DX dross. Bring on the primes!

  • Trevor

    We have the new version at our store in Calgary, AB, Canada

  • tony

    I had this lens pre-ordered from Amazon.com. It was shipped yesterday (9/16/09) and in my hands today.

    • Bob Jobson

      Wow! Really?

    • James

      I ordered the lens from Amazon on 8/14 and they won’t give me any info regarding the shipping date. I need the lens for a trip I’m leaving on at the beginning of October. When did you order yours? Thanks.

  • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

    yes, they are definitely shipping – I got at least two emails from people saying theirs was shipped from Amazon.

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