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Nikkor DX kit lens group test: 18-55mm vs 18-70mm vs 18-135mm vs 18-200mm VR Gordon Laing, April 2007

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

Nikkor DX kit lens group test purple fringing comparison

  To measure and compare purple fringing caused by lens chromatic aberrations and sensor blooming, we photographed a high contrast test chart using each lens set to its shortest and longest focal lengths with the aperture wide open. The crops are taken from the upper left corner of the chart and presented here at 100%.

All four lenses perform similarly here, exhibiting a little coloured fringing in their extreme corners whether zoomed-in or out.





Nikkor DX 18-55mm II f/3.5-5.6
Nikkor DX 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5
Nikkor DX 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6
Nikkor DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR
Nikon 18-55mm at 18mm f3.5
Nikon 18-70mm at 18mm f3.5
Nikon 18-135mm at 18mm f3.5
Nikon 18-200mm at 18mm f3.5
DX 18-55mm II at 18mm f3.5
DX 18-70mm at 18mm f3.5
DX 18-135mm at 18mm f3.5
DX 18-200mm at 18mm f3.5
Nikon 18-55mm at 18mm f5.6
Nikon 18-70mm at 70mm f4.5
Nikon 18-135mm at 135mm f5.6
Nikon 18-200mm at 200mm f5.6
DX 18-55mm II at 55mm f5.6
DX 18-70mm at 70mm f4.5
DX 18-135mm at 135mm f5.6
DX 18-200mm at 200mm f5.6




Nikkor DX kit lens group test macro comparison

To measure and compare macro performance we photographed a chart using each lens at a focal length and distance which delivered the maximum possible reproduction. The dark lines are 10mm apart and the result is not cropped. Smaller areas are preferred in this test.

While none of the four can be described as macro lenses, the best result is actually enjoyed by the budget DX 18-55mm, delivering a maximum area of 74x48mm; interestingly this is a similar situation to Canon's kit lenses, where the budget EF-S 18-55mm delivers a better macro result than many of the upgrade options.

Next is the DX 18-135mm, followed by the DX 18-200mm and finally the DX 18-70mm.


Nikkor DX 18-55mm II f/3.5-5.6
Nikkor DX 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5
Nikkor DX 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6
Nikkor DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR
Nikon 18-55mm macro test
Nikon 18-70mm macro test
Nikon 18-135mm macro test
Nikon 18-200mm macro test
DX 18-55mm II at 55mm f8
Max area of 74x48mm
DX 18-70mm at 70mm f8
Max area of 128x86mm
DX 18-135mm at 135mm f8
Max area of 94x62mm
DX 18-200mm at 200mm f8
Max area of 104x70mm

Nikkor DX kit lens group test results continued...

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