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Nikkor AF-S DX VR 18-200mm 3.5-5.6G IF-ED review Gordon Laing, June 2006

Outdoor
/ Resolution / Corner sharpness / Fringe and macro / Geometry / Vignetting

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Nikkor 18-200mm chromatic aberration and purple fringing, tested with Nikon D2X

  To measure purple fringing caused by lens chromatic aberrations and sensor blooming, we photographed a test chart, left, with areas of very high contrast. We tested each lens at its widest and longest focal lengths with the aperture wide open using a Nikon D2X in Aperture Priority mode. The crops are taken from the upper left corner of the chart and presented here at 100%.

The three lenses performed roughly the same in this test throughout their focal lengths, although the Nikkor 18-200mm zoomed-in to 200mm sports fractionally less fringing. Note the Nikkor lens also has a faster maximum aperture at 200mm of f5.6 compared to the f6.3 of its rivals.

Nikkor AF-S DX VR 18-200mm 3.5-5.6G IF-ED
Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC
Tamron AF18-200mm F3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD IF
Nikkor 18-200mm lens at 18mm f3.5
Sigma 18-200mm lens at 18mm f3.5
Tamron 18-200mm lens at 18mm f3.5
18-200mm at 18mm f3.5
18-200mm at 18mm f3.5
18-200mm at 18mm f3.5
Nikkor 18-200mm lens at 200mm f5.6
Sigma 18-200mm lens at 200mm f6.3
Tamron 18-200mm lens at 200mm f6.3
18-200mm at 200mm f5.6
18-200mm at 200mm f6.3
18-200mm at 200mm f6.3


Nikkor 18-200mm macro, tested with Nikon D2X

To measure macro performance we photographed a custom chart using settings which delivered the maximum possible reproduction. The dark lines are 10mm apart. Each lens was tested with the Nikon D2X at f8 in Aperture Priority mode.

Interestingly each lens was able to focus closer to our target than the manufacturer's specifications suggested. Nikon, Sigma and Tamron quoted closest focusing distances of 50, 45 and 45cm respectively, but by experimenting with different focal lengths and positions, we achieved the maximum reproductions below at closer distances. As can be seen below, the Sigma and Tamron lenses were able to deliver greater overall reproduction than the Nikkor model.

Nikkor AF-S DX VR 18-200mm 3.5-5.6G IF-ED
Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC
Tamron AF18-200mm F3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD IF
Nikkor 18-200mm macro test
Sigma 18-200mm macro test
Tamron 18-200mm macro test
18-200mm at 170mm f8
Max area of 104x70mm
  18-200mm at 200mm f8
Max area of 78x52mm
  18-200mm at 200mm f8
Max area of 78x52mm

Nikkor 18-200mm results continued...

Outdoor / Resolution / Corner sharpness / Fringe and macro / Geometry / Vignetting


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