Summary

Highly Recommended awardIf you own (or are buying) a DX-format body and convenience is your number-one priority, but you want it with the least compromise in quality and features, the Nikkor DX 18-200mm VR II should be top of your list. Highly Recommended. Good points: Very flexible and convenient 11.1x zoom range; optical stabilisation with four stops of compensation; quiet autofocusing on all Nikon bodies; decent build quality and zoom-lock switch. Bad points: The most expensive super-zoom for cropped bodies; suffers from zoom creep between 28 and 135mm; suffers from zoom-shrinkage at close range; beaten on price and quality by twin lens solutions.

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Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR II

Nikkor DX 18-200mm VR II Vignetting / Light fall-off

Vignetting
To measure the Nikkor DX 18-200mm VR II’s vignetting and light fall-off we photographed a white target with a highly diffused filter. The lens was manually focused to infinity and tested at its shortest and longest focal lengths with its aperture wide open. The images were shot in RAW mode to avoid any in-camera corrections, then analysed with Imatest and the full areas presented here at a reduced resolution. This time, bigger percentages are better. Results for other general-purpose lenses are shown at the bottom of this page.

Nikkor DX 18-200mm VR II vignetting zoomed-out
Nikkor DX 18-200mm VR II vignetting zoomed-in
DX 18-200mm VR II at 18mm f3.5
Mean corner fall-off: 60.2%
DX 18-200mm VR II at 200mm f5.6
Mean corner fall-off: 71.8%

With the DX 18-200mm VR II zoomed-out to its widest 18mm focal length and with the aperture wide open at f3.5, light falls-off in the corners to an average of 60.2% of the centre measurement. This is roughly similar to the DX 16-85mm VR, but noticeably superior to the DX 18-135mm and DX 18-55mm VR when both are zoomed-out. Interestingly the best result here is earned by the DX 18-105mm VR kit lens which scored 67.7% when zoomed-out.

When zoomed-into 200mm at f5.6, light falls-off in the corners to an average of 71.8% of the corner measurement. This is roughly the same as the DX 18-105mm VR, although another step-ahead of the DX 18-55mm VR and DX 18-135mm. The DX 16-85mm VR scores highest in this group though with 78.2% when zoomed-in. Like the previous geometry results, the figures measured here are essentially unchanged from the original Mark I Nikkor super-zoom.

It’s also worth taking another look at the competition, as Canon’s EF-S 18-200mm IS suffers very badly from vignetting with scores of 37.7 and 41% when zoomed-out and in respectively. These are much worse figures than its arch rival here, illustrating the optical superiority of the Nikkor model, at least in this regards. It’s worth noting vignetting can be reduced quite effectively in software (or in-camera on certain models), but it’s always good for a lens to start with a good result before any digital correction.

That’s enough for our formal tests now, so let’s check out some more real-life sample images in our Nikkor DX 18-200mm VR II Gallery.

Nikkor DX 18-200mm VR II Vignetting / Light fall-off compared to other lensesĀ (bigger percentages are better)

Nikkor DX 18-55mm VR f/3.5-5.6 vignetting wide / tele
Nikkor DX 18-105mm VR f/3.5-5.6 vignetting wide / tele
DX 18-55mm VR at 18mm f3.5
Mean corner fall-off: 48.3%
DX 18-55mm VR at 55mm f5.6
Mean corner fall-off: 63.9%
DX 18-105mm VR at 18mm f3.5
Mean corner fall-off: 67.7%
DX 18-105mm VR at 105mm f5.6
Mean corner fall-off: 69.9%

 

Nikkor DX 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 vignetting wide / tele
Nikkor DX 16-85mm VR f/3.5-5.6 vignetting wide / tele
DX 18-135mm at 18mm f3.5
Mean corner fall-off: 50.2%
DX 18-135mm at 135mm f5.6
Mean corner fall-off: 58.5%
DX 16-85mm VR at 16mm f3.5
Mean corner fall-off: 59%
DX 16-85mm VR at 85mm f5.6
Mean corner fall-off: 78.2%
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