Comparing 28-300mm, 18-200mm, 55-300mm, 70-300mm

Started Sep 8, 2010 | Discussions thread
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AndreasE Contributing Member • Posts: 909
Comparing 28-300mm, 18-200mm, 55-300mm, 70-300mm

You might interested in a quick comparison on 2 of the new lenses in Nikon's lineup - the AFS 28-300mm VR and the AFS DX 55-300mm VR.

In case you are interested:
I tried to provide a somewhat reproducable setup.

  • Camera mounted on Gitzo 3540 (D3 for FX and D300 for DX)

  • Both bodies set to manual exposure. Whitebalance set simple to sunlight (avoiding some influence of the auto setting)

  • Mirror lock-up (ca. 5 sec)

  • VR set OFF with all lenses

  • 3 photos per lens (f5.6, f8 and f11)

  • The additional light for stopping down the lenses was compensated with the studio flash (Profoto D4)

  • The 100% are taken from the unprocessed NEF's of the 4 lenses.

  • For your further "analysis" all 12 NEF's (4 lenses x 3 f-stops) are available for download.

As the focal range of the lenses differ significantly at close range, you will find different focal ranges in the EXIF. The tripod was at the same position and I tried to get somehow similar sizes.

The Profoto system delivers quite a stable light. You might use the NEF's to compare the contrast of the lenses as well.

My initial take on the lenses:

  • Wide open (not completely correct. some lenses weren't at their longest focal length) both Ttelephoto zooms are significantly better than the superzooms. The difference between the 70-300mm VR and the 55-300mm DX VR is in my view marginal.

  • Both superzooms are vsiually softer, the 18-200mm DX the better one in this comparison.

Is this important for a purchasing decision?

IMHO not, but discussions in internet forums need some material for further debate

Here are the 12 NEF's:

Have fun,

Completely unprocessed 100% crops from the original NEF files:

AFS DX 18-200mm VR (type I)

AFS DX 55-300mm VR (new)

AFS 28-300mm VR (new)

AFS 70-300mm VR

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