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Just Posted: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens review

By dpreview staff on Oct 30, 2012 at 21:53 GMT
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Just posted: Our review of Nikon's latest superzoom for its DX format SLRs, the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR. In the first of our series of lens reviews produced in partnership with DxOMark, we take a look at the longest-range zoom currently made for any interchangeable lens camera system. By current standards it's large and heavy for its class, and expensive too, but does its imaging performance make this all worthwhile? Read our review to find out.

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Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR

Comments

Total comments: 163
12
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (Oct 30, 2012)

Keep the reviews coming. There's no such thing as too many.

1 upvote
Guidenet
By Guidenet (Oct 30, 2012)

Gotta love the lens reviews again. Thanks guys and great job.

5 upvotes
Retzius
By Retzius (Oct 30, 2012)

Is anyone surprised that this lens isn't good? You can't make an effective 28-450mm zoom without making so many compromises that you can't do anything well. If Nikon believes that this is what DX shooters want then they need to rethink their lens strategy.

1 upvote
Mike99999
By Mike99999 (Oct 31, 2012)

You would be astounded how many DX cameras Nikon sells based on these superzooms.

1 upvote
SLove
By SLove (Oct 31, 2012)

What Mike said; superzooms are among the most popular lenses for consumer grade DSLRs, and frankly I can very well understand it. While the image quality is not great, it will still be better than most (in not all) fixed lens superzoom cameras, especially at low light. The only problem with this lens is the price, which makes it out of reach for many casual shooters.

0 upvotes
Zvonko
By Zvonko (Oct 30, 2012)

I would love an all round lens but after that review... this one ain't it.

0 upvotes
Mike99999
By Mike99999 (Oct 31, 2012)

The 17-55mm f/2.8 or the 24-120mm f/4 are the best all round lenses for use on DX in my opinion.

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Oct 30, 2012)

It would be interesting to see a comparison of the softness at telephoto at 300mm compared to cropping (and losing MP) of the Tamron 270mm and Sigma 250mm - if they are sharp enough with their reduced range, cropping may give better results.

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Oct 30, 2012)

could someone please complain about us doing reviews?

15 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Oct 30, 2012)

Are you trolling your own site?

12 upvotes
Guidenet
By Guidenet (Oct 30, 2012)

Some moderator needs to ban this guy. :-)

2 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (Oct 30, 2012)

Thanks for the much-needed laugh amidst the mayhem left by Hurricane Sandy.

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Oct 30, 2012)

please don't review any lousy megazooms anymore. We know they're lousy and they will always be lousy. Just don't bother. Review primes instead, and maybe a few short zooms with constant aperture.

Happy now?

2 upvotes
Nightwings
By Nightwings (Oct 31, 2012)

Gladly ..... Unless there is some sort of patent on SLRGEARS 3D graphic chart blur index display... I'd suggest you adopt some sort of similar visual. I go straight to that loader graph when checking a review and the 3D aspect of it tells the whole story like no other visual can. While I am not color blind, a lot of people are.. and your 2D visual is all but useless to those who are.

1 upvote
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Oct 31, 2012)

>please don't review any lousy megazooms anymore.
>We know they're lousy and they will always be lousy.
>Just don't bother. Review primes instead, and maybe
>a few short zooms with constant aperture.
>Happy now?

Haw haw! The Wit Prize for this post!

1 upvote
Robert Eckerlin
By Robert Eckerlin (Oct 31, 2012)

Myself appreciate it very much, that dpreview is reviewing that type of lense. Thank You for it.

I would also love it, if these reviews would help me = (not a sophisticated photographer) to compare the foto quality and the weak points of superzoom lenses. For example I would love it if these reviews would allow me to compare the foto quality of that new Nikor lense with the quality of fotos shot with my "AF S Nikkor 18-200 mm GII ED" (when taking photos with the 2 lenses at various common zoom factors).

By the way: it was based on a older dpreview lense review, that i bought my 18-200 mm zioom lense,

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Oct 31, 2012)

@Nightwings - if you're not colour blind, how do you know that our gradient display is useless to those who are - and what would it matter to you anyway? And why do you assume colour-blind readers couldn't just read the graph? (I'm not criticising SLRGear's representation, BTW, I just don't understand your logic.)

0 upvotes
Nightwings
By Nightwings (Oct 31, 2012)

RE: "If you're not color blind, how do you know that our gradient display is useless to those who are" Because I work with a dichromat.... although he's not interested in photography, knowing he suffers from this I asked him to look at your chart, and to him the bleeding gradients meant nothing to him .. whereas he was able to relate to the 3D chart with ease.

RE: "What would it matter to you anyway?" Well.... so much for trying to suggest ways to improve a users experience to your site eh? Not just for color blilnd people.... but for anyone that prefers a 3D representation over 2D.

RE: "why do you assume color-blind readers couldn't just read the graph?" Again.... it''s called a suggestion to improve user experience ... sorry that you don't appear to embrace that.

RE: "BTW, I just don't understand your logic" I believe that.

BTW, in your lens comparison, either you had an exceptionally good copy of the 18-300.. or an exceptionally bad copy of the 18-105 ... I can't tell which.

0 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (Oct 30, 2012)

The only criticism I have is that you shouldn't test lens distortion by taking pictures in a city that's more than 2,000 years old.

So many of London's buildings are beyond ancient and the rest are built atop the unsteady debris of thousands of years of human occupation; I cannot imagine that there is a straight wall or level floor anywhere within that venerable metropolis.

What you see as evidence of "severe" barrel distortion is more likely just a medieval wall bowed outward by the relentless forces of gravity and time.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Oct 30, 2012)

Thanks for the laugh. Did you look at the test data and example images before posting?

4 upvotes
photoac
By photoac (Oct 30, 2012)

Very funny.

1 upvote
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Oct 30, 2012)

we test for distortion by photographing barrels and bow-ties... is this wrong?

6 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Oct 31, 2012)

Your pincushions must be getting pretty ratty by now. Need to find some modern replacement. Maybe some piece of gym gear or a car part. Modern shapes that mean more than pincushions (or even barrels - when did you last buy one of them.)

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Oct 30, 2012)

Some typos or rough grammar on page 2:

"but not to an extend that interferes"

"The lens also has a zoom lock switch to inadvertent extension"

And the Full screen and compare links don't work on the widget.

Are there no apertures between f/11 and f/32?

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Oct 30, 2012)

I've fixed the typos, someone cleverer than me is fixing the widget.

1 upvote
SHood
By SHood (Oct 30, 2012)

Great Review. It would be interesting to see how this lens compares to say the FZ200 and m43 100-300 at the long end.

1 upvote
Guidenet
By Guidenet (Oct 30, 2012)

Apples to Oranges. The 18-300 is a fairly wide to fairly long 16x ratio, whereas the 100-300 is a 3x lens even if only considering the long end. That makes little sense. Why not compare Nikon's 300 f/2.8 AFS VRII prime to the 100-300 at the long end?

6 upvotes
jjlad
By jjlad (Nov 1, 2012)

Responding to the 'thread' generally here ..not to a specific message. I have the 18-105, 70-300 and the Sigma 70-200 2.8 for zooms. All pretty good, but for 'super zoom' I still grab my Fuji s100fs w/18-400 IMHO good bridges do 'super' better. In good light bridge images are clear and crisp the entire range. Reduced weight, great ergos and macro to touching the lens ...and I just use it when light weight and great range are needed. I love my other gear but everything has a purpose. PS and LR have come so far now that in post the bridge's images can easily be tweaked to rival the DSLR. Admittedly not small ...same as my D7000 with 18-105. About 'right' for my hands. So for 'superzoom' I'll stick wth the 'bridges' until something really steallar comes along. You can buy used for a fraction of a super zoom lens and the more use ...the more appreciation. Even a sync socket. As a backup I can pickup up where I left off with a DSLR almost any time Unless 3200+ iso is needed.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Oct 30, 2012)

The Help for the new Lens Reviews doesn't explain the X axis for the chromatic aberration chart. What does the X axis represent?

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Oct 30, 2012)

Exactly the same thing as for the MTF graph - the two charts share the same x-axis.

1 upvote
fdfgdfgdgf
By fdfgdfgdgf (Oct 30, 2012)

Very professional review. Well balanced, the one you can trust.

2 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (Oct 30, 2012)

Way to go guys. Thanks for bringing back the lens reviews!

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
Total comments: 163
12