The Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX Nikkor was presented in Nov 2005, and rapidly became a much sought-after lens for the Nikon shooter’s armoury. With its greatly useful 11.1x central duration variety, ‘silent wave’ concentrating, and Nikon’s second generation vibrations decrease system to fight trembling digicam, this lens is designed to be the ultimate single-lens ‘walkaround’ solution, which photography lovers who wish to travel light can simply leave on the digicam all the time.
Of course the all-in-one ‘superzoom’ idea isn’t new; the first such lens was Tokina’s 35-200mm from 1982, but beginning designs were affected by extreme size, inadequate visual top quality, and unacceptably long minimum concentrate ranges. Indeed it was not until the mid-1990s that the likes of Sigma and Tamron presented truly practical superzooms which considerably overrode these issues, and provided appropriate top quality across the variety (for the informal vacation photographer at least). Since then, the fast progress of computer-aided lens design has led to ongoing developments in visual top quality and additions in zoom capability varies, whilst reducing lens sizes still further, making the superzoom idea more attractive than ever before.
However much of earlier snobbery around superzooms as inadequate ‘snapshot’ contacts still continues, and perhaps for that reason the significant digicam producers have obviously been hesitant to add them to their own lens varies. This makes the Nikon 18-200mm a pretty unique monster, as a superzoom designed in-house by an important player, and integrating all their most advanced technology and know-how. So does this lens finally increase the superzoom into the big group of contacts which ‘serious’ photography lovers should be happy to own and use, or is it still an undesirable compromise? Read on to find out.
- 27-300mm comparative central duration range; F3.5-5.6 maximum aperture
- VR II visual Vibration Reduction – 4 prevents
- Compact Quiet Trend concentrating with M/A for fast changing between auto and guide focus
- F install for Nikon DX dSLRS only
Nikon 18-200mm Design
The 18-200mm rests directly in Nikon’s mid-range family of zooms, and the construction is therefore clearly superior to the lower-end kit contacts such as the 18-55mm. The lens feels perfectly solid; the gun barrel is made from steel and the best high quality plastic materials, and the steel install is enclosed by a rubberized gasket, which should provide some protection against wetness and dust ingress into you body system (note however that Nikon don’t promote this lens as weatherproof). Sure it’s not up to the factors of the top professional-grade contacts, but that would add additional size (not to bring up cost), and in my opinion Nikon have hit a near-perfect balance between construction and mobility, which after all is the whole point of a superzoom.
Serious professional photographers will certainly welcome the addition of a proper guide concentrate ring and distance scale, especially as Nikon’s ‘A/M’ concentrating method allows guide remodelling of concentrate even when you is set to AF.
Nikon 18-200mm Images Quality
Sharpness is very excellent between 18mm and 70mm, providing reasonable outcome across much of the structure at the best possible apertures. However the telephoto end is a whole different story; the lens really challenges at 135mm, although efficiency profits to respectabability at 200mm, especially in the center of the structure.
The outcomes display red/cyan chromatic aberration at wideangle, moving gradually towards blue/yellow at telephoto. As is usually the situation, modifying the aperture has little impact. Overall this is not a bad efficiency, considering the zoom capability variety.
We consider falloff to begin becoming a prospective problem when the area lighting drops to more than 1 quit below the center. The 18-200mm works commendably here; falloff is only a problem at the two excessive conditions of the central duration variety, and in both situations basically vanishes on ending down destination.
Distortion is a concern at almost all central measures. The 18mm establishing shows an very advanced stage of gun barrel distortions (2.8%), which changes quickly to pincushion by 24mm, and becomes excessive from Negatives to 70mm (peaking at 50mm and 2.3%), before reducing again towards the telephoto end.
The distortions proven by this lens in our studio room assessments was so noticeable that we experienced it merited representation with some real-world photos. Gun barrel distortions at wideangle isn’t uncommon on zooms, but this lens is more intense than most, and it has a complicated ‘wave’ design with recorrection towards the sides, making application modification relatively challenging. It’s also unusual that we find pincushion distortions so noticeable as to be creatively distressing, but that can be so between Negatives and 70mm; what’s promising is that the design is very simple, and can be easily fixed in application if preferred.
Flare is overall rather well managed, and certainly better than the 18-55mm VR we examined running in similar. The lens deals fairly well with the sun placed in the top area of the structure, and due to its complicated visual development, can display complicated surface styles at little apertures – quite fairly if you like that kind of factor. It’s also far less irritated by powerful sidelighting than its less expensive stablemate.
Qualifications cloud (‘bokeh’)
One truly suitable, but difficult to evaluate part of a lens’s efficiency is the ability to provide efficiently blurry out-of-focus areas when trying to separate a topic from the, generally when using a long central length and large aperture. This lens can allow you to obtain quite considerably blurry background scenes, especially at 200mm F5.6.
This lens features Nikon’s lightweight silent-wave engine for auto-focus, which conducted extremely well; it’s almost quiet operating, and we saw no proof for any methodical concentrating mistakes. We found concentrating to be fast and precise in daily use on both the D300 and D60 test systems, however it must be mentioned that concentrate rate and precision relies upon a number of factors, such as you body used, topic comparison, and light levels.
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Nikon 18-200mm Specification
|Street price||• US: $680
• UK: £450
|Date introduced||November 2005|
|Maximum format size||DX|
|35mm equivalent focal length(APS-C)||27-300mm|
|Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C)||78º – 8º|
|Lens Construction||• 16 elements/12 groups
• 2 ED glass elements, 3 aspherical elements
|Number of diaphragm blades||7, rounded|
|Maximum magnification||not specified|
|AF motor type||• Compact silent-wave motor
• M/A mode for rapid switching between Auto and Manual focus
|Image stabilization||• VR II, 4 stops
• Auto panning detection
• ‘Active mode’ for shooting from moving vehicles (no panning)
|Filter thread||• 72mm
• Does not rotate on focus
|Supplied accessories||• Front and rear caps
• Lens Hood HB-35
• Soft Case CL-1018
|Optional accessories||72mm filters|
|Weight||560 g (19.8 oz)|
|Dimensions||77 mm diameter x 96.5 mm length
(3.0 x 3.8 in)
|Lens Mount||Nikon F only|
|Other||Distance information output to camera body|