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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



Click here for the Nikkor kit lens group test


Nikkor DX kit lens group test wide-angle geometry comparison

To measure and compare wide angle geometric distortion, we photographed a test chart consisting of a grid pattern with each lens set to its shortest focal length and an aperture of f8. The images were then analysed with Imatest using 5th Order line calculation and the full areas presented here at a reduced resolution.

Interestingly the lens with the lowest geometric distortion at wide angle here is the budget DX 18-55mm lens. The remaining three are noticeably behind, and while they score roughly the same, the DX 18-135mm comes in at the bottom of the group.


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
Nikkor 18-55mm geometry at 18mm f8
Nikkor 18-70mm geometry at 18mm f8
Nikkor 18-135mm geometry at 18mm f8
Nikkor 18-200mm geometry at 18mm f8
DX 18-55mm II at 18mm f8
Distortion: 3.73% barrel
DX 18-70mm at 18mm f8
Distortion: 5.02% barrel
DX 18-135mm at 18mm f8
Distortion: 5.48% barrel
DX 18-200mm at 18mm f8
Distortion: 5.26% barrel




Nikkor DX kit lens group test telephoto geometry comparison

To measure and compare telephoto geometric distortion, we photographed a test chart consisting of a grid pattern with each lens set to its longest focal length and an aperture of f8. The images were then analysed with Imatest using 5th Order line calculation and the full areas presented here at a reduced resolution.

With each lens zoomed-in to its longest focal length, the least distorted result once again comes from the budget DX 18-55mm, albeit unusually in the barrel direction. The DX 18-70mm comes second in this test, but there's a relatively large gap before the results of the DX 18-200mm and especially the DX 18-135mm. The latter exhibits the most noticeable geometric distortion of the group whether zoomed-out or in. Interestingly the DX 18-135mm sample below also shows some darkening in the extreme corners even at f8; see the next page for more light fall-off results.

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
Nikkor 18-55mm geometry at 55mm f8
Nikkor 18-70mm geometry at 70mm f8
Nikkor 18-135mm geometry at 135mm f8
Nikkor 18-200mm geometry at 200mm f8
DX 18-55mm II at 55mm f8
Distortion: 0.21% barrel
DX 18-70mm at 70mm f8
Distortion: 0.59% pincushion
DX 18-135mm at 135mm f8
Distortion: 1.78% pincushion
DX 18-200mm at 200mm f8
Distortion: 1.22% pincushion

Nikkor DX kit lens group test results continued...

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