Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR Review

January 6, 2015 | Zoltan Arva-Toth |

Conclusion

When Nikon announced a smaller, lighter and cheaper alternative to its AF-S Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens, we expected it to be inferior on all fronts. Well, we were in for a surprise. While it's true that the newer lens is lighter on features, has more vignetting and comes with a somewhat less capable auto focus mechanism, it is actually sharper at most focal lengths, both in the image centre and in the border areas. As an added bonus, the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR suffers less from chromatic aberrations. Meanwhile, the distortion profiles and macro capabilities of the two lenses are very similar.

If you need a superzoom lens with fast auto focus and a sophisticated vibration reduction mechanism, the original 18-300mm from Nikon – which is also faster by 1/3rd of a stop at the long end – is the right choice. If your main concern is sharpness and / or portability, the new AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR will serve you better – and even your wallet will thank you.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 4