Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Review

March 1, 2013 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR from around the web. »

The AF-S Nikkor 18-300mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR was announced in June 2012, and holds the distinction of being the longest-range superzoom available for any interchangeable-lens camera system. Its 16.7x, 27-450mm equivalent zoom range trumps Tamron's 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD not only for focal length but also aperture at full telephoto. This comes at a price, though; the 18-300mm is comfortably the largest, heaviest and most expensive DX/APS-C format superzoom around.
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This super-zoom lens for Nikon DX format DSLRs covers a huge 16.7x zoom range, equivalent to 27-450mm on a 35mm camera. It sports internal focusing, Nikon's second generation Vibration Reduction system and a maximum aperture of f/5.6 at 300mm, which is relatively bright for this kind of lens. All these features come at price though, with the lens retailing for around £850. Is it worth it? We'll take a closer look in this review.
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The Nikkor AF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR II is a hot seller already but the competition has been pushing the zoom ratio further than that already. However, Nikon wouldn't be Nikon to leave the situation as is so they came up with the Nikkor AF-S 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR (16.7x zoom ratio) - a new record as of the time of this review. Nikon also managed to keep the max. aperture at 300mm to f/5.6 which is a little faster compared to the third-party alternatives.
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Nikon released the 18-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 VR in June of 2012. The lens does not appear to replace Nikon's popular 18-200mm travel zoom lens, as at the time of writing both are still available for purchase.
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Superzooms are compromise lenses. They are lenses that you're likely to leave on all the time because they cover a huge range of focal length ability from wide angle to telephoto. Such lens designs don't come without penalty, however. It's difficult to design a lens that is optically sound at everything. To accomodate the telephoto side, the lens will end up being fairly large and heavy and extend length quite a bit (to 8" on this lens). In this case, the lens isn't cheap, either.
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