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




Nikkor AF-S DX VR 18-200mm 3.5-5.6G IF-ED


































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.

Click here for the Nikkor DX 18-200mm VR video tour

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.

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Good points

Highly versatile 11.1x zoom range
Effective anti-shake VR feature
Fast and quiet SWM focusing motor
Polariser-friendly internal focusing

Bad points
Non-VR rivals at half the price
Modest macro performance
Heavier and larger than rivals
Some creep when pointed up or down





Scores

(relative to other zooms)
 

Build quality:
Optical quality:
Specification:
Value:

Overall:

22 / 25
20 / 25
23 / 25
20 / 25

85%

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All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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