| Nikkor 18-200mm verdict
First things first: by delivering a focal range equivalent to 27-300mm, all three
of the zooms on test are extremely flexible lenses. Their massive 11.1x zoom range
allow you to capture both wide landscape shots and decent close-ups of distant
subjects such as wildlife without worrying about carrying additional lenses.
Unsurprisingly a lens with this kind of focal range is rarely going to perform
as well as one with a shorter range, but we were impressed overall by the results
possible. Certainly unless you're into extreme wide or telephoto work, or demand
the ultimate quality, you could really be very happy with one of these lenses.
Indeed many photographers could happily fit one and never take it off again
- and that's not only highly convenient but also greatly reduces the potential
for dust to enter the camera body.
The big question then is whether Nikon's 18-200mm is worth twice the price
of its rivals from Sigma and Tamron. In terms of optical quality, the Nikkor
certainly edged ahead of its competition, particularly in our outdoor real-life
and corner sharpness tests. The build quality is also of a much higher standard
and the focusing quicker and noticeably quieter. The focal ratio at the telephoto
end is also slightly faster.
These are all worthy differences, but not enough to justify the higher price
alone. Crucially though the Nikkor lens additionally sports the ability to counteract
camera-shake. Its VR II technology proved highly effective in our tests and
is equally useful for stabilising the longest focal lengths as it is for shooting
under failing light without having to resort to higher sensitivities.
We'd say the inclusion of VR along with the other benefits makes the Nikkor
worth the extra, although anyone on a tighter budget can't fail to be impressed
by the sheer value of the Sigma and Tamron models. If you can afford the extra
though, go for the Nikkor - it delivers great quality and features, and therefore
comes Highly Recommended to any Nikon D-SLR owner who only wants to carry a
single lens for all occasions.
NOTE: Since writing this review, Sigma has released a new version of the 18-200mm with optical stabilisation, OS for short
NEW: For an overview of the headline features of this lens, see our Nikkor 18-200mm video tour.
NEW: Check out our Nikkor kit lens group test which compares the DX 18-55mm, DX 18-70mm, DX 18-135mm and the DX 18-200mm VR, complete with a video tour around all four Nikkor lenses.