Summary: Nikon AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR This new Nikon lens takes superzooms to a new level but is it one for the road? Type: Superzoom lens Price: £850, $1,000 Web: www.nikon.co.uk The Nikon 18-200mm VR has long been renowned as the best superzoom lens on the market. For a while though, it hasn’t led the field for outright zoom range, losing out to the Sigma 18-250mm and Tamron 18-270mm, both of which have recently had radical redesigns.
Excerpt: Handling and features This super-zoom lens for Nikon DX format DSLRs covers a huge 16.7x zoom range, equivalent to 27-450mm on a 35mm camera. It sports internal focusing, Nikon's second generation Vibration Reduction system and a maximum aperture of f/5.6 at 300mm, which is relatively bright for this kind of lens. All these features come at price though, with the lens retailing for around £850. Is it worth it? We'll take a closer look in this review.
Summary: Nikon's AF-S Nikkor 18-300mm F3.5-5.6 VR lens offers the longest zoom range currently available for any interchangeable lens camera system. But this comes with all of the usual optical compromises associated with a superzoom, in a large, heavy package. It's also much more expensive than third party alternatives.
Pros: Huge 16.7x focal length range (while maintaining F5.6 aperture at telephoto), Good image quality in the wide to short telephoto range, Fast, quiet autofocus, Good build quality, smooth zooming action and no zoom creep, Decent close-up capability
Cons: Very soft results at telephoto, Extreme distortion across most of the range (but can be corrected in-camera with recent SLRs), Image stabilization not as effective as on similar lenses, especially at telephoto end, Flash shadowing at wideangle on smaller SLRs, Large, heavy and expensive compared to other superzooms
Excerpt: Megazoom lenses designed for APS-C/DX cameras with maximum/minimum focal length ratio exceeding 10 appeared on the market in 2005. At that time such models as the Sigma 18–200 mm f/3.5–6.3 DC, the Tamron AF 18–200 mm f/3.5–6.3 Di II or the Nikkor AF-S DX 18–200 mm f/3.5–5.6G IF-ED VR were launched.
Summary: The AF-s DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR is an ideal lens for those times when you don't know what you will be photographing and you want to keep your camera bag light. That said, the lens is heavier than its 18-200mm little brother, so if weight is an issue consider whether the extra 100mm focal range of the new lens will be used. I found the extra reach useful, particularly for the occasional wildlife photograph.
Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR - Review / Test Report
23 December 2012
Conclusion: It is hardly surprising that it is a difficult quest to optimize a lens with a 16.7x zoom ratio. Given this scope, Nikon did a decent job but the outcome is still a collection of compromises. The weak spots are, unsurprisingly, at the extreme ends of the zoom range. The image center is great at 18mm but the outer image region is softer than it should be here. The build quality of the Nikkor AF-S 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR is typical for today's consumer grade lenses.
Excerpt: This super-zoom lens for Nikon DX format DSLRs covers a huge 16.7x zoom range, equivalent to 27-450mm on a 35mm camera. It sports internal focusing, Nikon's second generation Vibration Reduction system and a maximum aperture of f/5.6 at 300mm, which is relatively bright for this kind of lens. All these features come at price though, with the lens retailing for around £850. Is it worth it? We'll take a closer look in this review.
Pros: Good sharpness in the centre, Extreme 16.7x zoom range, Effective VR system, Good build
Cons: CA levels towards edges of the frame are high, Distortion, especially at 18mm, VR system lags for around a second before stabilising image.