Nikon Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR Review
The Nikon Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR is a versatile wide-angle to moderate telephoto all-in-one 7.8x zoom lens for Nikon DX APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras, where it provides a 27-210mm equivalent focal length in 35mm full-frame terms.
The Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR for Nikon was first announced in October 2021. This lens is made in Thailand.
It features 17 elements in 13 groups, including two aspherical elements and two extra-low dispersion elements to help limit spherical aberrations and distortion, while the Super Integrated Coating suppresses flare and ghosting.
The Nikkor Z 28mm has a minimum focusing distance of 20cm / 0.66 ft with a maximum magnification of 0.33x.
It features a rounded 7-blade diaphragm which creates an attractive blur to out-of-focus areas of the image and an internal focusing mechanism which means the lens barrel doesn't move.
This lens uses a stepping motor for fast, quiet and precise auto-focusing and full-time manual focus override is also possible.
The Vibration Reduction image stabilization system reduces camera shake by up to 5 stops for sharper handheld shooting.
The Nikon Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR lens is priced at £599 / $599 in the UK and USA, respectively.
Ease of Use
Weighing in at just 315g / 11.2 oz, the plastic bodied Nikon Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR is incredibly light for an all-in-one zoom lens.
Its overall size and weight is very well-suited to a camera like the Nikon Z50 that we tested it with, as shown in the product photos.
It measures 73 x 90mm /2.9 x 3.5" when set to the 18mm focal length, making it one of the smaller zoom lenses currently available for Nikon's Z-series mirrorless cameras.
The lens is longest when extended to the 140mm focal length, where it adds another 5cm to the overall length.
Build quality is fine, exceeding what you might expect from such an affordable zoom lens, although the all-plastic construction may prove less durable in the long-term.
It incorporates a plastic mount, rather than metal, and a plastic lens barrel with just two controls, the generously sized focusing ring and the programmable control ring.
You can use the control ring to manually focus by default, but you can customise it to access various camera functions, such as aperture, ISO speed or exposure compensation. This is something you can set via the camera’s main menu and can be quite handy in certain circumstances.
Commendably given the modest asking price, this lens has a dust- and moisture-sealed design to support shooting in more inclement conditions, although Nikon do state that "This lens is not guaranteed to be dust- and drip-resistant in all situations and under all conditions".
The Nikon Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR lens accepts 62mm filters via plastic threads on the front of the lens.
The lens features built-in optical image stabilisation which offers 5 stops of compensation, rather than relying instead on the camera body's stabilisation system.
The Nikon Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR lens has a ridged motor-assisted focus ring that is quite nicely damped. Manual focusing is possible by selecting it on the camera body or full-time manual focus override is also possible when in AF mode.
As the the focus ring is not mechanically coupled, there are no hard stops at either end of the range, making it a little more difficult to set focus at infinity. Polariser users should be pleased that the 62mm filter thread doesn't rotate on focus.
The Nikon Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR lens utilises a stepping AF motor that produces almost silent, smooth and quite snappy auto-focusing, making it well-suited to shooting both stills and video, with the overall lens length remaining constant during focusing.
When it comes to auto-focusing, it proved to be a fairly quick performer on the Nikon Z50 camera that we tested it with.
We didn't experience very much"hunting", either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing most of the time.
This lens only ships with front and rear lens caps - there is no lens hood or any kind of case included in the box.
The 18-140mm focal length range provides an angle of view of 76° to 11°30' on a DX-format APS-C camera, which is equivalent to a 27-210mm focal length in 35mm full-frame terms.
Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as blue or purple fringes along contrasty edges, were not really apparent in our test shots, only appearing in very high contrast areas.
With the Nikon Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR lens set to its maximum aperture, there is obvious light fall-off in the corners, requiring you to stop down by at least 3 f-stops to completely prevent it.
Commendably there's not too much barrel or pin-cushion distortion evident, in either the JPEG or RAW files.
Sunstars and Flare
The Nikon Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR produces quite nice sunstars when set to 18mm and stopped-down to f/22 or greater, as shown below. Flare is well controlled even when shooting directly into the sun without a lens hood fitted.
The Nikon Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR is quite a good macro lens, offering a close minimum focusing distance of 0.2m / 0.66 ft at the 18mm focal length and 0.4 m / 1.32ft at the 140mm focal length, with a maximum magnification of 0.33x. The following examples demonstrate how close you can get to your subject.
Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc.
In the Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR lens, Nikon have employed an iris diaphragm with 7 rounded blades, which has resulted in quite appealing bokeh, especially at the longer telephoto focal lengths.
We do realise, however, that bokeh evaluation is subjective, so we've included several examples below for your perusal, all shot wide-open.
In order to show you how sharp the Nikon Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.