Having a single lens to cover everything from ultrawide to strong telephoto is incredibly appealing, but how well do these extreme zooms perform in a variety of situations? We’ll show you where the trade-offs are.
CON:You Can't Expect A $500 Lens To Perform Like A Pair Of $1,500 Lenses
Higher-end lenses feature better materials and construction to obtain better optical and mechanical performance, and those cost money. You're not going to get the most exotic optical elements and rugged, weatherproof pro construction in a $500 superzoom.
9) Tamron 18-270mm Di II VC PZD; 10) Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 18-180mm ƒ/3.5-6.3; 11) Sony SEL 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3.
PRO:Save Money On Filters
If you have several lenses, each with a different diameter, you'll need a set of filters for each sized lens, or a series of adapter rings (which could cause vignetting when used with wide-angle settings). With a superzoom, one of each filter type covers all of your focal lengths. You just need one polarizer, neutral-density, grad, etc., instead of one for each lens you have. Besides the cost savings, using one superzoom in place of several prime lenses or shorter-range zooms means less stuff to keep track of like filters, lens caps and cases.
PRO:Fewer Lens Changes
A wide-range zoom means fewer lens changes in the field—and that means less dust on the camera's sensor assembly. This is even more important with mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras, which don't have a DSLR's mirror to help deflect incoming dust particles from the sensor.
(also can be used on APS-C):
Canon EF 28-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6L IS USM
AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Sigma 50-500mm F/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM
Tamron 28-200mm F/3.8-5.6 XR Di
Tamron 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di
Tamron 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD
FOR APS-C ONLY:
Canon EF-S 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 IS
AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR II
Sigma 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 DC
Sigma 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM
Sigma 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM
Sony DT 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3
Sony DT 18-250mm ƒ/3.5-6.3
Tamron AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD
Tamron AF18-270mm Di II VC PZD
Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 DX
FOR FOUR THIRDS SYSTEM:
Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 18-180mm ƒ/3.5-6.3
FOR MICRO FOUR THIRDS SYSTEM:
Olympus M. Zuiko Digital 14-150mm ƒ/4.0-5.6
Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm ƒ/4.0-5.8
FOR SONY NEX:
Sony SEL 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3
Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC
MFD: Minimum focusing distance
Max. Magnif: Maximum magnification; 1.0x equals life-size, 0.25x equals ¼ life-size (at the image plane)
The chart above lists currently available all-in-one zooms (8x and greater) from the major camera brands.