Hi I am new here
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09-02-11, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Hello Harold and welcome to the forum.
The most important thing when buying lenses when you're starting out is to assess what range of focal lengths will you need to cover for the types of photography you might be shooting. For instance, for landscapes you may need to go as wide as 10 - 14mm, for portraits you need 55 - 80mm and for sports and wildlife you may need something that reaches 300mm. Most people would cover this range from 10mm - 300mm with probably three lenses. The first would be a 10mm - 20mm, their kits lens would normally cover 18mm - 55mm and a 70mm - 300mm would cover what remains. On top of that they may purchase a 50mm fixed prime lens for macro work that would also double up for portrait work.
What Adam has touched on is the fact that with zoom lenses the image quality isn't as sharp across the whole focal length range and the wider the range the worse it gets. You may find that the images you take with your 18mm - 200mm may look a bit softly focused at 18mm end and the 200mm end than they do say between 80mm and 130mm. This is because zoom lenses have what's termed a 'sweetspot' where the lens focuses at it's sharpest, but beyond that area it's basically trying to be all things to all men and it can't. A fixed prime lens has only one focal length and as such can be optically optimised to produce very crisply focused images over a wider range of aperture sizes. It has less scope for the quality to be compromised.
For starters though whilst you're learning how to use your camera though, your 18mm- 200mm will be fine, but you may find as your skills improve you will see a need to replace this lens for one that is optically superior, but that's how it is for all us fellow photographers.
Finally, as far as tripods go I'd recommend either Giottos or Manfrotto. Both produce good sturdy tripods for reasonable money.
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