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Nikon 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR II real-world samples gallery

By dpreview staff on Feb 11, 2014 at 20:31 GMT

Nikon's new collapsible kit zoom, the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II rolled into our office Friday afternoon and we took it for a spin over the weekend. Like similar designs used in mirrorless kit lenses, the 18-55mm VR II twists to expand when you're ready to shoot, and contracts into a more compact 'at rest' state. It's a natural companion for Nikon's consumer-level bodies including the D5300. While we put the finishing touches to our D5300 review, we used that camera to put together a gallery of real-world samples . See what Nikon's latest kit zoom can do.

Nikon 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR II Samples Gallery

  Nikon 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR II Samples Gallery - Published 11 February 2014

There are 26 images in our samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution.

25
I own it
7
I want it
13
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 34
JDThomas
By JDThomas (2 months ago)

I see a lot of people complaining on here about a lens they haven't used and don't plan on buying.

I picked up the lens with a D3300 the other day and I took it out for a quick spin around town. I'll tell you what, this lens is really sharp. I think it may better than the first 2 versions. The focus motor has gotten a lot quieter and it seems a bit faster.

I don't think this lens is boring at all. It's uncannily sharp. It's collapsible, and the focus motor seems to be faster.

No, it's not the lens for people who are gear snobs. If you are afraid of looking like a tourist you will hate this lens. Stick to the pro gear of you gotta look like a pro. Once you grow bored of looking the part, you'll find out that "cheap" lenses can be great.

The only issue I had with the lens is that the distortion is very badly controlled. Lots of barrel at the wide end.

1 upvote
munro harrap
By munro harrap (2 months ago)

This plastic thing costs £200+ instead of £65 for a non IS kit lens. Should you have to pay THREE TIMES the price for image stabilization? IMHO no.All these junk goods are not selling and putting shops out of business.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (2 months ago)

I'd appreciate if DPReview could have a procedure/checklist for any work. it can be quite simple at the beginning, like 9 shots of focal-lengths x f-numbers at both ends and the middle, and I think you can make it better and better each time.

0 upvotes
techmine
By techmine (2 months ago)

nothing exciting can be felt about any Nikon/Canon news. Boring, if it is a kit lens like this. Disappointing, if it is something like Df.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (2 months ago)

one better not be funny and be a king at the same time.

3 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (2 months ago)

Nothing is said how the pictures were post-processed, whether they were shot in raw, etc.

0 upvotes
Allison Johnson
By Allison Johnson (2 months ago)

Unless otherwise noted they are JPEGs straight from camera. Raw conversions have a .acr in the file extension.

13 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (2 months ago)

Just out of curiosity, about photo 0966, in what Stygian hole were you shooting that required the use of ISO 9000?

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (2 months ago)

f5.6 and 1/200 shutter it wouldn't have to be that dark.

0 upvotes
photofan1986
By photofan1986 (2 months ago)

Impressive quality, I must say!

1 upvote
forpetessake
By forpetessake (2 months ago)

What's impressive about them? -- looks just like any other average kit lens.

8 upvotes
photofan1986
By photofan1986 (2 months ago)

Well, you are looking at 100% images from a 24 megapixels sensor, and the results are pretty sharp. Which means that for about any print size, the kit lens will have loads of resolution to work with. You need more than that from a kit lens? Come on, get back to earth, for god's sake!

8 upvotes
Vladik
By Vladik (2 months ago)

it maybe sharp, but otherwise flat and lifeless.

0 upvotes
trekkeruss
By trekkeruss (2 months ago)

The photos are flat and lifeless because the lighting itself is flat and lifeless.

6 upvotes
57even
By 57even (2 months ago)

Not bad considering the price and build. Better than the non-collapsible version even?

3 upvotes
pacnwhobbyist
By pacnwhobbyist (2 months ago)

Nikon has always made one of the better kit lenses, IMO. These results are not bad. I don't think though that the lens shows what the D5300 is truly capable of. But as a starter lens, it's perfectly satisfactory.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (2 months ago)

Which one would that be? Nikon has some very good affordable lenses, like 18-105mm, for example. But this kit lens doesn't look like something to dream about.

0 upvotes
pacnwhobbyist
By pacnwhobbyist (2 months ago)

I thought the predecessor to this lens was decent.

1 upvote
piratejabez
By piratejabez (2 months ago)

Thanks for these!
I think the titles for the first two images are swapped—the first says "18mm" and the second "55mm" but it should be the other way around. The metadata is correct.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (2 months ago)

How do you know I didn't stand much further away for the 55mm shot?

You're absolutely right - I've now corrected it.

Richard - dpreview.com

6 upvotes
piratejabez
By piratejabez (2 months ago)

Thanks!

0 upvotes
Sean65
By Sean65 (2 months ago)

I think this is a cracking lens. Stopped down a bit on a D7100 gives great results. Also, it's really light weight. The price couldn't be any cheaper.

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Juandante
By Juandante (2 months ago)

I'm tired of those 18-55 mm f/3.5. I really don't see the point of these lense.
You put it in 18mm for prime, you are limited by the f/3.5.

You put it in 55mm for low DoF portrait, 55mm is too short for it.

I think this is a vicious stylé from those company just for us too buy more lense when we purchase a DSLR.

1 upvote
Beat Traveller
By Beat Traveller (2 months ago)

It's a necessary limitation given that the brief is to make a lens that is both small, covers a standard zoom range and doesn't cost too much. For someone who's still a beginner the max aperture isn't too big an issue, especially given how good stabilisation and high ISO are nowadays.

5 upvotes
String
By String (2 months ago)

@ Juandante - so why on earth would you buy a DSLR if you dont plan on buying additional lenses? <boggle>

4 upvotes
GlovedAssassin
By GlovedAssassin (2 months ago)

I suppose the point of the likes to 18-55's is to get people started. Most people don't want to add more cost into purchasing an entry to mid level DSLR. If you are coming from a compact/bridge or phone the 18-55 is great way cover everyday photography.

4 upvotes
Juandante
By Juandante (2 months ago)

So would you be a beginner when you buy a 999e camera?

And you are telling me how good the ISO is, let me laught. You have a low quality lense at f/3.5, and you would you still have to crank up the ISO. It is more intelligent to have an f/2 with less zoom if you want to keep the price low and have a good quality.

1 upvote
Beat Traveller
By Beat Traveller (2 months ago)

An f/2 zoom would keep the price down? No one other than Sigma makes a zoom anywhere near f/2, and that costs $800.

2 upvotes
Sean65
By Sean65 (2 months ago)

Your opinion is polarised.

These are fine lenses for DX format. They're light, cheap and take a good shot under most conditions.

You want blurred background portraits on DX then get a 50mm 1.8 prime. Also cheap and with a 75mm(equiv) focal length it's perfect for portraits.

Wide angle and shallow depth of field looks a bit awkward so wide needs a bit more depth anyway.

2 upvotes
Juandante
By Juandante (2 months ago)

@String I said to buy >more< lenses or, again, they market their camera with an unnecessary lenses just for them to have more cash.

@Beat Traveller same thing for you, I said >less< zoom as if 3x zoom is already a lot. A prime f/2.0 (or f/1.8, at 150€ for info) is perfect for a beginner instead of this useless 18-55mm. Instead of wanting to answer me at any cost try to understand what I mean.

If it is a f/2.0 or less, in prime
Or a 70mm, this will be far more useful than this 18-55mm. Seriously, who is still using this 18-55mm after 6 months with their DSLR ? And we all payed for it.

@GlovedAssassin a good prime at f/1.8 or less will cover evey needs of a beginer. If you put the 18-55mm on 55mm, I'm sure you will get less blur than the f/1.8. If you open it to 18mm you will have wide angle, agree, but the picture will be a low quality compared to the f/1.8.

And if you want to take a night shot, you ae very limited by the f/3.5 of the 18-55mm.

So even beginer, what is the point ?

0 upvotes
Gary Martin
By Gary Martin (2 months ago)

55mm is only for low depth-of-field portraits? Perhaps you should broaden your views on photography.

2 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (2 months ago)

So you're basically advocating for manufacturers to stop selling cameras with zooms and mostly sell them with primes? Get real, that might work fine for enthusiast models or high end models but Canon, Nikon, et al would quickly see DSLR sales drop thru the floor if all Costco buyers got with their camera was a prime; regardless of how much sense it actually makes.

The average buyer has no clue why a faster prime might be more adequate at times, and forcing it down their throats isn't the way to educate them. You keep saying we all end up paying for useless kit lenses but last time I checked most popular DSLR & mirrorless bodies are often also sold body-only sans lens. I don't see what the big deal is...

0 upvotes
GlovedAssassin
By GlovedAssassin (2 months ago)

@ Shawn Barnett That is very true. Lots of people only ever want one lens and that is usually an 18-55.

@Juandante Of course a you will get less blur at 55mm with the zoom and of course the zoom at 18mm will be less quality than say a 50mm f1.8. But if you only have one lens and that lens happens to be 50mm what do you do when you need a wide shot and you can't get further away?
Zooms are about compromise. Attempting to cover a range of photographic situations with one solution while sacrificing quality and depth of field.

I suspect that most people who will own this 18-55 will have it as part of a D3300 kit and will be very happy with the results.

0 upvotes
Juandante
By Juandante (2 months ago)

@Gary Martin

I really feel that I am talking to some how to say... People here... What is the aim of 55mm on the 18-55mm ?

As you know, this useless lense is about compromise. They couldn't put at 18-70mm because it would be too big. And to have best DoF some logical person will put the lenght to it's max like 55mm. This is why the 70-200mm sells so well for portraits.

Don't tell me that someone even beginer is using this lenses -which is already low quality for 18mm- for its 3x zoom. Perhaps you should broaden your views on photography.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 34