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Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Evaluate

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The Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR is a DX-format lens with an ultra-high 16.7x zoom ratio and a 27-450mm equal focal vary. The optical system contains 19 parts in 14 teams, together with 3 aspherical and three ED lens parts. Weighing in at 830 grams, the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens options Nikon’s second-generation Vibration Discount system with Regular and Energetic modes to fight blurring which will end result from shaky fingers, whereas a Silent Wave Motor ensures quick and quiet auto focus. The lens is presently accessible for £679.00 / $996.95 within the UK and the US, respectively.

Ease of Use

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VRThe Nikon 18-300mm VR lens mounted to a Nikon D7000 physique

Tipping the scales at 830 grams, the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR is a reasonably heavy lens – particularly if you happen to evaluate it to the Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD, which weighs in at a mere 450g. Having stated that, it does not look utterly out of proportion when mounted to a Nikon D7000 digital camera physique. On a smaller DSLR – say, the Nikon D3200 or D5200 – it is going to clearly really feel much more entrance heavy.

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VRThe Nikon 18-300mm VR lens alongside the Nikon D7000

Construct high quality may be very first rate, with a metallic bayonet mount, clean focus and zoom rings, and little or no wobble even when absolutely prolonged. A lot to our shock, now we have additionally discovered the lens to be impressively proof against zoom creep.

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VRZoomed out and zoomed in

Zooming is just not inside – as you may see, the entrance extends significantly upon zooming to 300mm. The ribbed zoom ring is sufficiently vast and neither too stiff nor too free.

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

When it comes to options, the Nikon 18-300mm VR has quite a bit to supply. It has an inside focus (IF) mechanism and a Silent Wave Motor, permitting you to make use of handbook focus even if you find yourself in auto-focus mode (denoted with the standard M/An indication on the lens barrel). This can be a characteristic that distinguishes the lens from competing superzooms such because the afore-mentioned Tamron. It additionally options two types of Vibration Discount (VR), Regular and Energetic. Regular VR compensates for fast and small vibrations ensuing from shaky fingers, however ignores sluggish and vast actions to mean you can use e.g. the focus-recompose method or panning. Energetic VR tries to compensate for each motion, quick and sluggish, giant and small, and is subsequently higher if you’re taking pictures from a shifting car. The stabilising impact might be seen by means of the viewfinder in each VR modes. Lastly, the change seen on the left within the picture above permits you to lock the zoom ring on the focal size of 18mm for carrying. On condition that the lens is not vulnerable to zoom creep, there’s little precise use for this change, however Nikon recommends that you just use it when carrying the digital camera anyway.

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VRDistance scale

There’s a distance scale sheltered behind a window, however there aren’t any depth-of-field marks and no infrared focus index both.

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VRRear of lens, isometric view

The lens is just not claimed to be weatherproof, however there’s a rubber seal across the lens mount that ought to present fundamental mud safety.

Focal Vary

On the 18mm finish of the zoom vary, the angle of view is 76°.

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VRSubject of view at 18mm

On the 300mm finish, the angle of view narrows to five° 20′, which is equal to that of a 450mm lens on a 35mm digital camera physique (at the least when focussed at infinity).

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VRSubject of view at 300mm


With the lens hooked up to a D7000, auto-focus is surprisingly quick. Whereas not fairly in the identical league as the professional zooms (e.g. the AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 or 70-200mm f/2.8), it is undoubtedly able to conserving shortly and erratically shifting topics like youngsters and pets in focus. In case you thought this was a pure consequence of being an AF-S lens, suppose once more! The AF-S designation, in and of itself, isn’t any assure of quick focussing, as we noticed when reviewing the 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DX telezoom. The truth that it labored so nicely within the case of the DX 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR was thus a really nice shock. (Focussing in Reside View or video mode is a very completely different story after all.) Fortunately the filter thread doesn’t rotate on focus, making it that a lot simpler to make use of graduated impartial density filters and polarisers. The lens takes 77mm filters, that are fairly expensive, particularly when in comparison with the 62mm ones you need to use with the Tamron 18-270mm VC PZD.

Handbook focussing can be attainable through the sleek however considerably slim focus ring positioned near the lens mount. For an AF lens, the main target ring has a reasonably beneficiant quantity of journey, which makes it simpler to set focus exactly. Uniquely amongst superzoom lenses, the Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR allows handbook override even when the lens is within the M/A place.

Focus Respiratory

Superzoom lenses usually exhibit vital focus respiration, notably on the telephoto finish, and the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G lens isn’t any exception. Whereas at infinity, the angle of view is basically the identical as with every different 300mm lens, there’s a marked distinction at shorter focus distances. The next pictures had been taken at a distance of a bit over 1.5m, or 5 toes. The primary picture was taken with a Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6G lens at 300mm:

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VRPicture taken with 70-300mm lens at 300mm

The second picture was captured with the 18-300mm lens on the similar focal size and camera-to-subject distance:

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VRPicture taken with 18-300mm lens at 300mm

This can be a vital distinction – centered at 1.5m and zoomed in all the best way to 300mm, the Nikon 18-300mm VR has an angle of view much like that of a a lot shorter lens (whereas it really works like a “correct” 300mm when centered at infinity).

Word nonetheless that whereas the older 70-300mm lens is basically at its close-focus level right here, the 18-300mm can focus right down to 0.45m, capturing a a lot smaller space; see the heading ‘Macro’ additional down the web page.


Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

As you’ll count on, taking pictures backlit scenes with the solar simply exterior the body can result in a lack of distinction – veiling flare – in addition to the standard multi-coloured inside reflections. Utilizing the provided petal-shaped hood is certainly a good suggestion when working in such situations.


Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

On the 18mm setting, there’s noticeable barrel distortion, as demonstrated within the picture above. This turns into pincushion distortion pretty quickly (at round 28mm). That is additionally seen, notably if  taking pictures a topic with numerous straight strains, however much less pronounced than the barrelling on the vast finish.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, usually seen as purple or blue fringes within the peripheral areas of the picture, are an issue with this lens, particularly on the vast finish. Word that JPEG shooters is not going to essentially discover this as most fashionable Nikon dSLRs can eradicate chromatic aberrations very successfully.

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Mild Fall-off

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

With the lens set to its most aperture, you may see fairly heavy gentle fall off within the corners on the vast finish of the zoom vary, even with a fancy topic. Stopping down helps loads right here.

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

On the 300mm finish, the phenomenon is way much less obvious, even with uniform topics. An honest efficiency general.

On condition that this can be a DX lens, mounting it to a full-frame digital camera utilized in FX mode will lead to extraordinarily heavy vignetting, as you’ll count on. Curiously although, we discovered virtually no vignetting on the 50mm setting, albeit the FX corners suffered from all kinds of different aberrations. Backside line: this can be a DX lens, so apply it to a DX physique solely (or an FX digital camera in DX mode).


The utmost copy ratio of the Nikon 18-300mm VR is roughly 1:3.2, which might imply that you would fill the body with a topic that is a bit bigger than 75x50mm. In precise use now we have been in a position to obtain a barely higher copy ratio of round 1:2.9. Sharpness within the close-up vary is not stellar however distortions are negligible if taking pictures on the 300mm finish. The next picture illustrates how shut you will get to the topic; on this case, a Compact Flash card.

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VRShut-up efficiency


Bokeh is a phrase used for the out-of-focus areas of {a photograph}, and is normally described in qualitative phrases, resembling clean / creamy / harsh and so forth. Within the  AF-S Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, Nikon employed an iris diaphragm with 9 rounded blades, which has resulted in a reasonably first rate if not precisely excellent bokeh for a zoom lens, at the least in our opinion. Nonetheless, recognising that bokeh analysis is subjective, now we have supplied a couple of examples in your perusal.


As a way to present you ways sharp this lens is, we’re offering 100% crops on the next pages.

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