Nikkor 18-300 First Impressions & how to fix Pincushion?

Started Nov 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Alex Notpro
Alex Notpro Contributing Member • Posts: 989
Nikkor 18-300 First Impressions & how to fix Pincushion?

My Nikkor 18-300 arrived yesterday evening, just in time for some Trick-or-Treating with the D7000.

First impressions:

- It really is as heavy as the specs say, but it seems shorter and fatter than I expected. Being shorter than the 70-300 makes it somewhat easier to carry around on my neck, as the center of gravity balances differently. YMMV.

- Need to download the latest firmware (1.006 L) to get distortion correction on OOC JPEGs. Uncorrected pincushion at far-focus 300mm is absolutely horrendous. Does anybody know how to correct Pincushion in post-processing using only free software? The on-camera correction is nice but I don't always shoot JPEG, and I refuse to buy a copy of Photoshop.

- Zoom and AF operation are fine. No real issues, just one annoyance -- when shooting in darker areas I had to switch to 'S' focus mode to get the AF beam to come on. A bit annoying as I normally shoot fast primes under these conditions, which don't require the AF beam. No surprise here.

- The 18-300 has 20%-25% "darker glass" than the 18-105 at 105mm. I didn't test other FLs. This lens loves sunlight, flash guns, high ISO, of course not all at the same time Or stationary subjects for the VR to help.

- VR is silent and unnoticeable, much like the 18-105. Very different from the 70-300 VR which you can definitely "feel" and very often hear.

- Sharpness seems fine. I didn't do any pixel-peeping yet.

Here's a couple of samples.

Not corrected for pincushion.

This shot isn't quite right, I'm not sure what went wrong. Camera shake or bad focus.

Sharpness & VR test at 72mm.

 Alex Notpro's gear list:Alex Notpro's gear list
Sony FE 35mm F1.4 Sony Alpha 7 Sony a5100 Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS +4 more
Nikon D7000
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