After buying my second hand D80,I wanted a all-around lens for street photography especially. So I ended up with the 18-105mm,at half the price of my other option,the 16-85mm.
The cost was 300 dolars,purchased from the biggest photo store in my city.
In order: at 18mm,at 18mm with lens hood,at 105mm& at 105mm with lens hood.
-DX lens(for cropped sensor cameras)
-built in AF-S motor,so it will autofocus on entry level cameras and offer fast & silent operation
-stabilised,with an advantage up to 3 stops
-a useful range of 27-157.5mm,aperture F/3.5-F/5.6
-at about 76x89mm,it's half of the size of my hand
very compact piece of kit; fully extended it's about 80% the size of my (small) hand,so it's still pretty compact.
-weight 420g; I must say it's perfect for entry-level camera users,because the weight of the camera is close to the one of the lens,which gives an even weight distribution
-optical construction: 15 elements in 11 groups,with 1 ED and 1 aspherical element; the older 18-70mm had 3 ED elements,so this means a higher index of difraction for the 18-105mm and also,less resistance to CA
-number of aperture blades: 7
-minimum focus distance: 0.45m
-filter size: 67mm (non-rotating)
great news for filter users
-plastic mount (well that's the sacrifice for a affortable stabilised walk-around lens)
-beautiful little piece of kit,both rings work very well; manual focus ring has overwrite,so I can grab the it at any time,without turning any switches
-VR works like a charm,I managed to get sharp photos at 1/8 shutter speed. here's an example at 1/1.6 shutter speed,while sitting down in a armchair:
and of course,a 100% crop :
-focusing speed is pretty fast & very silent on my D80. the only time I had some trouble focusing was in dimmer conditions. well to be fair,most lenses don't excell here. the focus hunt,from one extreme to the other took about 1,7-2 seconds.
-a downside of this lens is the lack of contrast of the output photos
-there is no focus distance window
Well it's hard to get bad results with this lens because it doesn't have a very bright aperture & also,the lens hood is very efficient in stopping the sun rays. I got here 2 shots with the lens pointed straight at the sun.
Sharpness,distorsions & vigneting
I decided to test all of these aspects in normal outdoor conditions & using the DxO Optics afterwards,to correct automatically the distorsions & vigneting. And also,this way is easier too see how the lens performs in real life. The shots were made from my balcony,with the camera mounted on a tripod.
- In order : 18mm F/3.5,corrected,crop center,crop corner
-18mm F/5.6,corrected,crop center & corner
-18mm F8,corrected,crop center & corner
-18mm F11,corrected,crop center & corner
-24mm F/4,corrected,crop center & corner
-24mm F/5.6,corrected,crop center & corner
-24mm F8,corrected,crop center & corner
-24mm F11,corrected,crop center & corner
-50mm F5,corrected,crop center & corner
-50mm F8,corrected,crop center & corner
-50mm F11,corrected,crop center & corner
-105mm F/5.6,corrected,crop center & corner
-105mm F8,corrected,crop center & corner
-105mm F11,corrected,crop center & corner
-at F11,the lens has the most sharpness output,overall
-very soft corners at 18mm
-the most pronounced distorsion is at 18mm,togheter with the high level of vigneting
-the smallest amount of distorsion is at 24mm
-CA was really not an issue,but I will do more tests for CA alone & return with the results
All-in-all,compared to it's Canon rival,the 17-85mm,it has roughly the same sharpness output & contrast,a greater zoom range & 1/2 of the Canon's price tag.(at least in my country)
The plastic mount is really not an issue if you treat your camera & lens with the proper respect & care.