Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR DX NIKKOR review
4 Conclusion & samples
Conclusion - Pros
- Decent optical quality
- Effective vibration reduction system
- Very good macro performance
Conclusion - Cons
- All-plastic construction
- Rotating front element annoying for filter users
- Somewhat susceptible to flare, with little help from near-useless lens hood
- Short travel of focus ring makes critical manual focus rather tricky
Tne 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G AF-S VR is certainly a worthy upgrade to Nikon's already well-regarded kit lens. The addition of the Vibration Reduction system, which seems equally capable as those previously only available on more expensive lenses such as the 18-200mm VR, greatly extends shooting flexibility into low-light situations which would previously have required a faster lens or tripod. And the optics are at least as good as before, meaning you'll get few nasty surprises when those precious images are viewed up-close on the computor monitor.
Indeed overall there's little to criticise about this lens given its entry-level price point, and the few faults it does possess are scarcely unique in its class. It's distinctly susceptible to flare in strongly backlit situations, so you need to be careful when pointing the camera in even the general direction of the sun; unfortunately the optional matched lens hood will only help a little here, and the rotating front element design precludes the use of a more effective petal-type hood. And the vestigial manual focus ring is only just about functional, which is annoying in those situations where autofocus fails to hit the desired mark. Like Canon, Nikon could learn a thing or two from Pentax and Olympus about doing these simple things properly.
But when all is said and done, it can't be denied that with this new VR version of the 18-55mm, Nikon have taken what was already a good lens and made it even better; it can't be overstated how useful VR can be in expanding photographic possibilities when using a camera handheld. Of course it won't help when you really need high shutter speeds to avoid motion blur, so don't expect it to perform miracles for indoor available-light people pictures, but it will help when you want to shoot in low light conditions and can tolerate slow shutter speeds. Indeed with the excellent high-ISO capabilities of modern dSLRS, VR will allow you to keep shooting in the fading light well past sunset.
So in conclusion, this is a small, lightweight and versatile lens, which deserves a place in every DX-shooter's bag, and earns a recommendation for sure.
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Ergonomics & handling||6.5|
There are 20 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 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 VR DX Review Samples
Feb 26, 2008
Nov 20, 2007
Feb 24, 2011
Feb 24, 2011
|Fangorn Forest by cand1d|
|Yosemite Falls with Moonbow by Jonathan Shapiro|
from Best Landscape of the Week 4
DPReview editors Rishi Sanyal and Carey Rose hosted a Facebook Live discussion to share their impressions about the Sony a9 so far. Watch the video
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more
The usually Apple-exclusive MacPhun software developer has announced that it will introduce PC versions of two of its most popular applications. Both Aurora HDR and Luminar should be available for the Windows operating system by the autumn of this year. Read more
Sony's newest G Master telephoto zoom, announced alongside the a9, is the first of the company's FE lenses to reach 400mm natively. We had one in California and photographed horses, portraits, and landscapes - check out how it did. Read more
Garmin has entered the 360-camera market with the VIRB, which captures 5.7K video at 30p as well as 15MP stills. Read more
German media reports that the founders of the company behind the Panono 360-degree ball camera have filed for bankruptcy at a court in Berlin. Read more
With a claimed 800 new custom parts, Microsoft's updated Surface Pro comes with the latest Kaby Lake processors, better battery life, a new hinge, plus the Surface Pen is updated as well. Read more
DW Photo is attempting to resurrect the Hy6 medium format camera, though the legal tangles of its development may stop it being branded Rolleiflex.
The Kodak EKTRA, the company's 'camera first' smartphone, is now available to purchase in the United States. Read more
Apple and Nokia have settled their years-old patent dispute. Apple will make an undisclosed payment to Nokia and sign a licensing agreement related to digital health products with the Finnish company.
David Gibson, one of Britain's best known street shooters, shares all.
Photographers from the SKYGLOW project travelled 150k miles and took 3 million photos in increasingly rare locations: those without light pollution.
The world's fastest 200mm was produced for 16 years. In that time, only 8000 were made.
Photokina, the biennial photo industry trade show in Cologne, Germany, has announced that it will become an annual event beginning in 2018, and expand its focus to additional areas of imaging technology. Read more
No mic socket? No problem. In this video, Daniel Peters at Photo Gear News shows you how to make a lapel microphone using just a smartphone and a pair of earbuds.
How does the iPhone 7 Plus stack up against the Arri Alexa cinema camera? Watch this short video to find out.
Canon Australia's video series "The Lab" is designed to make photographers experiment and think outside the box. In the latest video a group of photographers create images based on their sense of taste.
The GH5 is expected to get a firmware update this summer to support 400Mbps internal recording. NewsShooter explores what memory cards you'll need to make it work.
Microsoft's new Surface Pro offers Intel's latest processor generation and improved battery life.
Riding a mountain bike downhill is dangerous enough in daylight, but potentially lethal at night. Which is where drones come in.
Rumors abound that Canon (and maybe Nikon) may produce a mirrorless camera based using their existing DSLR mount. Does this guarantee immediate great lens choice or a perpetually second-rate experience? Read more
According to rumors, the next camera from Nest will be able to capture 4K video, though that resolution will be only used for 'virtual' pan and tilt functions.
Boundary's Prima 'fully modular' backpack is expandable to 30L and has a removable camera case and tablet sleeve. Early Kickstarter backers can get one for $189.