Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX review
4 Conclusion & samples
Conclusion - Pros
- Huge 11.1x focal length range, ideal travel lens
- Decent build quality - much better than Nikon's 18-55mm kit lens
- Very effective vibration reduction system, at least 3 stops benefit
- Excellent fast, silent autofocus with manual override
- High image quality in the normal to short telephoto range, and good at 200mm
Conclusion - Cons
- Pronounced distortion across much of the range
- Extremely soft at 135mm
- Rather average close-up performance
- Zoom creep
Just occasionally, the old cliches are still the best, and with the 18-200mm VR the phrase 'jack of all trades, master of none' springs immediately to mind. It's a lens which delivers somewhat flawed results over its entire zoom range; where it's sharp, it has heavy distortion, and when that distortion comes under control at the long end, it loses sharpness. Its close-up performance is reasonable, but not spectacular, and overall it will likely be outperformed optically by a cheaper combination of standard and telephoto zooms. So for a certain type of photographer interested mainly in absolute image quality, this may well cause it to be regarded as nothing more than an expensive snapshot lens.
But to dismiss the 18-200mm VR based purely on its optical quality is to miss the point quite fundamentally. The whole idea of such a lens is to allow the photographer to travel light and never miss a shot while changing lenses, or indeed not to have to risk water or dust entering the camera in adverse conditions. So what you do get for your money is a hugely flexible zoom range which can handle the vast majority of photographic opportunities, coupled with excellent autofocus and vibration reduction systems. And all of this is wrapped up in a relatively compact package, with build quality which feels solid without being excessively heavy. It really is a lens you can leave on your camera all day long and scarcely miss a shot, and it has to be said, this makes it a lot of fun to use.
So when all is said and done, we have to understand that superzooms are essentially about making some optical compromises to provide the broadest possible range in a single lens, and it's up to each individual to decide whether those compromises are acceptable. I wouldn't recommend the 18-200mm to someone whose primary interests were either architecture or wildlife, for example, but for the photographer who wants to shoot a little bit of everything and not have to change lenses, it's more than fit for purpose. Ultimately this is probably as good a superzoom as money can buy, so as long as its limitations are recognised and understood, it has to be recommended.
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Ergonomics & handling||8.0|
Recommended (with reservations)
There are 26 images in the 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. A reduced size image (within 1024 x 1024 bounds) is provided to be more easily viewed in your browser. As always the original untouched image is available by clicking on this reduced image.
Nikon 18-200mm f3.5-5.6G VR DX Review Samples
Feb 26, 2008
Feb 24, 2011
Feb 24, 2011
Feb 12, 2011
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.
A report by USSRPhoto is shedding some light on the return of the famed Zenit camera brand. It seems the full-frame mirrorless camera they're working on will be made in part by Leica using components from the Leica SL.
According to a reliable Korean report, Samsung is developing a smartphone sensor that's capable of super slow motion. Translation: Samsung's next batch of Galaxy smartphones may be able to shoot 1,000fps.
This simple photograph of a seahorse and Q-tip has taken the internet by storm. We spoke to photographer Justin Hofman about how it was captured, and what it means to him.
After a massive leak last week, Profoto has officially debuted the Profoto A1: the company's first on-camera flash system that they're calling "the world's smallest studio flash."
"When the first hyperfocal distance charts were designed, someone decided that an acceptably sharp background contained some blur — enough to notice in a medium-sized print [...] After that point, nearly every other hyperfocal chart followed suit."
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D) is the company's impressively compact entry-level DSLR. Packing a 24MP APS-C sensor, DIGIC 7 processor and Dual Pixel AF, it promises a lot of bang for the buck. And while not mind-blowing, it handles most tasks very well.
Correct these four common composition mistakes and your photos will be more balanced, tell a better story, and lead your viewer's eye where you want it to go.
The rugged, compact 360° action camera Kodak unveiled at Photokina in 2016, the Kodak PixPro Orbit 360, is finally available in the United States.
iOS 11 launches tomorrow, and it'll save all of your pictures in a new high efficiency image format called HEIC. Fortunately, there's now a converter that will let you turn those photos back into JPEGs.
Photo protection company ImageRights recently released a new service that lets non-subscribers take advantage of their streamlined copyright registration system that checks for errors and fills out all the required forms for you.
What's the difference between a $200 circular polarizing filter and a $100 circular polarizing filter? Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals put six different filters through a few tests to find out.
A flurry of leaks reveal that GoPro's upcoming Hero6 will shoot 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, will cost $500, and is scheduled for announcement/release on September 28th.
Before he became the iconic director whose name we've all heard, a teenage Stanley Kubrick struck up a business relationship with New York’s Look magazine. No surprise: he was an incredibly talented photographer.
WD's new G-Technology G-Drive mobile SSD R-Series is a portable solid state option for photographers who want the reliability of an SSD in a rugged water and dust-resistant package.
Fast, stabilized and affordable is an appealing combination when it comes to lenses. With its latest 24-70mm F2.8, Tamron aims to upgrade autofocus speed and stabilization. We've got a full gallery from this updated full-frame zoom.
Photographer Clay Cook tells the story of his most ambitious photographic dream and career goal coming true: photographing A-list actress Jennifer Lawrence.
In an interview with a Chinese website, Nikon Japan's Director of Development dropped a bombshell, saying that a Nikon mirrorless camera "must be full-frame."
Here's a side-by-side spec comparison of two flagship devices with particular attention to the things that really matter – at least to people who prioritize photography features.
A month and a half after revealing the finalists of the 2017 EyeEm Awards, the photo sharing community and licensing marketplace has finally revealed the winners.