Originally Posted by treerootCO
18-200 is the best lens ever (unless you let Moab dust get it)
The Fuji S3 Pro I have is too big to carry around but an awesome camera.
I got an 180299 from Sigma for my walking around lens. It is compact when locked but a little big at full zoom. I like it, it is not the best lens in my stable but for the normal vacation it works just fine. If it breaks or gets sand in it I can live with that. I think I paid a little over $200 for it and so far it has produced great pictures well enough to blow up to 11x14.
If you notice the pros that shoot either Canon or Nikon you will see they shoot 2.8 zooms for the most part. They may carry one fixed lens, 1.8 or 1.4, for the dark up close stuff. The sport and portrait guys who shoot Canon swear by there 80-200 IS 2.8. It can be used for close ups and a shot down the field, The lens costs about $1400 but is the best Canon offers in that range.
I suggest playing with as many lenses you can get your hands on and then find a nice walk around lens for your first one. After that you can start to look for specialty lenses or just broaden your lens addiction. Also remember you can get teleconverters, 1.4 or 2.0, to increase focal length. They do bump you up a few stops, 2.8 to 4.? or so.