Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Review

December 22, 2011 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | |

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#1 Peter Marshall

This lens is probably the best value ever from Nikon. If you shoot raw and process in Lightroom applying the profile it gives excellent sharpness and distortion is hard to notice. Focus is fast and positive in normal light. It won’t be the lens at fault if you don’t get great pictures.

The review at Bythom is reliable. As usual Rockwell doesn’t know ‘a’ from ‘e’, his piece really not worth a mention on your site.

Pair this with a decent wide-angle zoom (18mm isn’t very wide on DX) and you have most things covered, though very occasionally I’d like something just a little longer too.

The only real competition for this costs around 4x as much and is larger and heavier.

1:27 pm - Thursday, December 22, 2011

#2 Amedolini

18 105 comes originally with the D90. Agree with Marshall. Been on Nikon gear since 1990 and satisfied.
Despite of its outer build quality all the rest from focusing to zooming is quite good.
Once in a while need to use some software.
Thanks and Merry Xmas.

3:37 pm - Thursday, December 22, 2011

#3 Steve

The 16-85 is a superior lens and worth the extra money if you buy body only.

4:44 pm - Thursday, December 22, 2011

#4 Marty German

Using this lens, first with the D90 which it was the accompanying kit lens and currently, keeping it to use with the D7000, has been a learning experience for me.

Since purchasing the D90 kit added a 50 mm f/1.8, 70-300vr, and finally the 10-24. All of these lenses proved that they were noticeably superior to the 18-105vr.

Yet without this lens, there is a gap between 24 and 70 mm (although the 50 f/1.8 fits in quite nicely) but I still want to fill the gap with an affordable lens.

Both the suggested 24-120vr as well as the 16-85 are in the running for this need.

6:16 pm - Thursday, December 22, 2011

#5 Frank Stanton

#4 Marty German: the 16-85 is an excellent lens. I’ve had it on my D90 for two years. Picture quality wise, I believe that it is considered much sharper (and also better built)than the 24-120 which never really caught on among dedicated Nikon users, despite its great range.

2:51 am - Saturday, December 24, 2011

#6 Frank Stanton

#4 Marty German: Correction - I was referring to an older 24-120 lens than the one referred to. Still like the 16-85, especially considering the price.

2:59 am - Saturday, December 24, 2011

#7 Brian G

The all plastic construction of these lower end Nikkor lenses is one of the reasons I chose Canon for my SLR system.

10:26 am - Saturday, December 24, 2011

#8 Eric Wery

I’ve been using that piece of glass for quite a while now, and I learned to deal with its limitations. Learning how to post-process is a massive help. I will switch to a Sigma 17-70 2,8-4,0 but I will sorely miss the zoom end of this one. Overall, I think it’s a great lens for regular users and people who know how to work around its flaws.

11:47 pm - Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#9 JustinT

@Peter Marshall Let me paraphrase your whining post: “Ken Rockwell has an opinion which is different than mine and I’m not mature enough to handle that. WHAAA WHAAA suckle ... suckle”. (that last part was you sucking on your thumb.

But seriously, the pretentiousness and snobbishness in the photography community is off-putting to say the least. Ken is very knowledgeable is willing to share in a manor that is straight forward and not condescending to most people which I believe is why many @$$holes such as your self find him so threatening.

FWIW I DO shoot in RAW for most situations but if I had the skill and confidence to know that my photos wouldn’t need retouching (mainly white balance etc ...) I wouldn’t.

3:23 pm - Tuesday, January 3, 2012

#10 roylex

Is Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5 is quite good enough for d5100?

11:27 pm - Sunday, December 9, 2012

#11 Mellos

Is the Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5 compatible with the D3100??

8:49 pm - Tuesday, February 5, 2013

#12 Shalke

Yes it’s compatible with 3100. I have it and it’s working ok for regular users like me.

12:00 am - Wednesday, March 6, 2013

#13 Nadeem

Very helpful review.  In the rival lenses list (refreshing to see on your site - not many reviews include this) i was disappointed not to see the 35mm 1.8G DX

11:43 am - Tuesday, June 4, 2013

#14 vishal

The reason why I like Nikon 18-105mm f/3.3-5.4 lens personally is that this lens provides a useful focal range accompanied with image stabilisation mechanism that too with consistently sharp images, and is moderately priced (though I am not a big fan of Zoom lenses because of distortion). For people on budget and seeking a versatile focal range, this lens is a no brainer choice.

When Nikon offered 18-105mm f/3.3-5.4 ED VR glass, it was obvious overlap with 18-135 mm in terms of focal range.


8:57 pm - Wednesday, January 8, 2014

#15 mrinali sharma

in the market this lens has two basic comparisons – the 18-135 mm lens and the 18-200 mm.

The presence of VR (vibration reduction image stabilization) in this lens has rendered the non VR 18-135 mm redundant according to my opinion. The reason being, for 30mm less we are getting superior optical quality and image stabilization.

Whereas 18-200 mm is three times more expensive, has double the weight and gives distortion across wider zoom range when compared to the 18-105 mm.

So long story short, Nikon 18-105mm f/3.3-5.4 is a decent package of features for casual photographers as well as serious shooters for the money it demands.

courtesy -

9:43 am - Sunday, January 12, 2014

#16 Phill Clarkson

How do I “post process” this lens (as mentioned above) please? Can this be done in Photoshop CS6 or is lightroom required

6:49 pm - Friday, January 17, 2014

#17 Mark

The 18-105mm is slightly sharper than the 16-85mm at:

- 18mm: f/11
- 24mmm: f/8 - f/11
- 35mm: f/8 - f/11—nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/634-nikkor181053556vr?start=1—nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/635-nikkor16853556vr?start=1

7:17 am - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

#18 Martin Jansen

Hi, just made a purchase of a pre-loved lens, yep the Nikkor 18-105mm for $280 New Zealand dollars. A lens for my new pre-loved D90. Will see how it goes, but I’m just love’n being back in SLR photography after a 20 year break when film was all the rage.

Love your work guys ... Kind regards

Martin from the Otago Harbour
18 Feb 2015

10:21 pm - Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Entry Tags

review, lens, nikon, zoom, standard, nikkor, 18mm, 105mm, 18-105mm, Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f3.5-5.6G ED VR, 18-105