Nikkor AF-S DX VR 18-200mm 3.5-5.6G IF-ED review
|Design and build quality
Pictured below from left to right are the Nikkor, Sigma and Tamron 18-200mm
lenses in their shortest positions. Each lens measures 77x97mm, 70x78mm and
73x84mm (diameter x length) respectively. Clearly the Nikkor's the largest
of the group.
When zoomed-in to their longest focal lengths, the Nikkor, Sigma and Tamron
lenses extend by a further 65, 53 and 66mm respectively, each employing two
barrel sections. As pictured below, the Nikkor comfortably remains the largest
of the three. It's additionally got the largest filter thread at 72mm, compared
to the 62mm threads of the Sigma and Tamron models. Unsurprisingly the Nikkor's
also the heaviest at 560g, with the Sigma and Tamron lenses feeling considerably
lighter at 405 and 423g respectively.
Part of the Nikkor's additional weight is undoubtedly down to its slightly
faster optical performance at the telephoto end. It sports a focal ratio of
f3.5~5.6, compared to the f3.5~6.3 of the Sigma and Tamron models.
In terms of build quality, the Nikkor also feels (and looks) to a much
higher standard than its cheaper rivals. It's more solid with smoother
mechanics delivering a greater impression of confidence in use. That said,
the Sigma and Tamron models aren't bad, but place the three side by side
and the Nikkor is definitely the classiest.
We're pleased to report all three employ internal focusing with non-rotating
end sections - important for anyone who uses polarisers, although obviously
the Nikkor's wider thread will incur higher-priced filters. Thankfully,
all three lenses were supplied with hoods.
The Nikkor's SWM motor resulted in almost silent operation, compared
to the quite audible focusing motors of the Sigma and Tamron lenses; the
Tamron in particular was the noisiest of the three and you could especially
hear the gearing when manually focusing. While the Nikkor was by far the
quietist though, it was only slightly faster at focusing than its rivals.