Best DSLR Lens Holiday Guide

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All-Purpose Zoom Lens

All-Purpose 18-200mm Zoom Lens

My most used lens and the lens I recommend the most to people looking to replace the kit lens that camera with their APS-C digital SLR, is an 18-200mm zoom. It’s a huge zoom range compared to an 18-55mm kit lens and the image quality is a couple steps above as well. The 18-200mm zooms aren’t pro-level but they more than make up for that with their versatility and compact, travel-friendly size. I own better quality lenses but my 18-200mm gets used the most because it’s easy to take everywhere, it does it all and does it well. The Canon and Nikon 18-200mm zooms include optical image stabilization (IS or VR) and I highly recommend getting a lens that has image stabilization – unless you own a Pentax, Sony or Olympus camera, in which case the image stabilization is handled in the camera – lucky you!

I’m giving Nikon props for introducing the first 18-200mm image-stabilized zoom by making the Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II zoom lens our top pick for this category. The new Nikon 18-200mm VR II is rated highly by members and the original version was very popular with Nikon DSLR shooters. For non-Nikon users and photographers on a tighter budget, there are a couple less expensive 18-200mm lenses and some even longer zooms below the Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II review and shopping links. For full-frame Nikon shooters without budget limitations, the Nikon AF-S 28-300mm VR zoom lens is a dreamy all-purpose zoom lens.

More Pro Telephoto Zoom Lenses:
Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM ($499)
Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS ($699)
Sony DT 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 ($529)
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 ED VR ($1049)
Tamron AF18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) Macro ($399)

Note: Because of all the different formats and camera brands there might not be a lens here to fit your camera. If there isn’t, please check the lens reviews or post on our forums to get some recommendations.

endBack To Lens Guide Intro >>

Inexpensive Telephoto Zoom Lens
Telephoto Zoom Lens
50mm Prime Lens
50mm Prime Lens
Pro Telephoto Zoom Lens
Pro Telephoto
Zoom Lens
Wide-Angle Lens
Wide-Angle Lens
Pro Standard Zoom Lens
Pro Standard
Zoom Lens
All Purpose Zoom Lens
All Purpose
Zoom Lens


About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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