So what I meant to say is that what exactly is the difference between 18-55mm lens (in general, not specific to any company) and a 18-105mm lens. To me 18-105mm lens looks much better (not considering price), but then why people would also buy 18-55mm lens? and then probably another lens for 55-105mm (if it exists, or similar case for other mm).

The point is that if 18-105 can do all the work of two lens, then why do people buy two different lenses?

And I have seen combos like

  • 18-55mm + 55-105mm
  • 18-105mm

So which one should i go with?


The 18-55mm is generally a much smaller lens, also with smaller front element diameter. The 18-105mm, if you want to have the same maximum apertures, is a heavier, bulkier lens.

If the price is the same, and you want the same max. apertures, the 18-55mm is a lighter lens, the 18-105mm is a more versatile lens.

Image quality: you would expect the 18-55mm to have better image quality, but usually it is not the case, and e.g. a Nikon 18-105mm is a much better lens compared to a 18-55mm. (Much better is: comparing optical quality by photographing reference images and checking sharpness, aberration, vignetting.)

I used both on Canon and Nikon, I love my 18-105mm although it is not as handy as a 18-55mm.

There is no such lens as 55-105mm as I know. That is a short range that is much better covered with prime lenses, e.g. a 50 mm and a 85mm or 105mm. You would not use a zoom in that short range, and definitely would not keep replacing your 18-55mm with a theoretical 55-105mm.


Well, most people do consider the price somewhat important.

Additionally, lens design is all about tradeoffs, and a large zoom range typically requires trading off one or more of quality, portability and aperture.

That being said, I don't think there actually are any 55-105mm lenses. 55-200mm is common, though. And if you already have a 18-55mm lens, that's an obvious next step. If you own a 18-105mm lens, you might instead go for a 100-300mm tele.

  • I did say that 55-105 might not exist, but I was just trying to put a point. Such as I see that there is 18-55mm and 18-200mm lens at almost a same price! As a bundle with D5300. but why would someone opt the 18-55mm? when the 18-200mm can serve its purpose? – jackson Nov 11 '14 at 16:21
  • @jackson: I can't say without knowing the specific lenses, and I'm not very knowledgeable about Nikon anyway. Maybe the 18-200 bundle is sold at an unusual discount because it's an older model. Maybe the 18-55 lens is an expensive, high-quality one from Zeiss. At the same price, the lens with a larger zoom range will tend to have lower image quality. It will also typically be larger and heavier (independant of price). – Michael Borgwardt Nov 11 '14 at 16:50
  • A longer zoom lens has to travel through a longer range of focal distances and these can create different sets of distortions and aberations at each focal length. With the smaller Zoom, due to reduced focal range, these distortions are reduced and better corrected giving a better result. To gain as clean an image as possible, Photographers carry several lenses to complete a large focal range. Newbies often opt for a larger zoom, but as experience grows, so do the lenses. On Holiday, I take the 24-105mm for convenience. when out in the field or studio, I use primes or short zooms – Abdul Quraishi Nov 11 '14 at 22:32

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