The camera change from Nikon D200 to Nikon D3 with its sensor size change from APS-C aka DX to full frame aka FX unfortunately made the purchase of a new all rounder lens imminent. And so I switched from 'AF-S DX VR Zoom- NIKKOR
18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED' to 'AF-S VR Zoom- NIKKOR
24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED'.
The picture was shot using the 'AF-S VR Micro- NIKKOR
105mm f/2.8G IF-ED' on the D3 and post-processed with Adobe Lightroom 2.0 beta and Corel Paint Shop Pro XI.
Both lenses have a UV filter mounted. The 18-200/VR has a B&W filter while the 24-120/VR has a Hoya filter. Both lenses come with VR and share the same aperture range, that is f/3.5 to f/5.6. Also the wide range is very compareable as the 18mm on the DX camera turns into 27mm on 36mm film, while the 24mm are already correct in terms of 36mm film equivalent, when mounted on the D3.
The unfortunate difference is the telephoto range. Here the 200mm DX format turns into 300mm on 36mm film. And that is way more than the 120mm of the FX lens.
Interestingly, the switch does not come with a handling difference - at least not in lens handling. Both lenses nearly look identical and share a more or less identical housing. But as to be expected, the 18-200 goes out much more than the 24-120 does. Sharpness-wise it appears both lenses deliver the same quality. Meaning they do a great everyday job but do not take very sharp pictures. Since even the flowers of both lenses are nearly identical, I had to check the internet to figure out which one belongs on which lens. The HB-35 has broader fins and belongs on the 18-200. The 24-120 is a tad bit wider, so it takes the HB-25 with its smaller fins.