Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF VR review

Image Quality

The only serious fly in the ointment is very visible colour fringing at the 18mm and again, but less so, towards 300mm. Some geometrical distortion can also be seen (from barrel at 18mm to pincushion at 300mm) but the effect is slight at all focal lengths.

MTF testing revealed a well-grouped set of curves that sat above the 0.25 cycles-per-pixel threshold from wide-open down to f/16 with the figures being lowest figures at 18mm and the highest at 50mm: this order matches the ranking for chromatic aberration.

Although image sharpness is good despite the shutter speed used (helped by Nikon's effective VR II anti-blur technology), there are signs of pin-cushion distortion that can be seen in the background doorway bowing inward. 

Overall, there are two totally different ways of viewing this lens. On the one hand it might be just a shade too ambitious: it is a bit big and a bit heavy to be carried all the time, as an all-in-one lens has to be, and it is also rather costly despite displaying some optical weaknesses. On the other hand, Nikon has now managed to push its 18mm starting point and f/3.5-5.6 variable aperture out to 300mm and in so doing has built a lens that is remarkably capable. 

This is a zoom that can be used for everything from arm's-length environmental self-portraits, through scenic landscapes to distant action and nature subjects. It is not perfect but it is very, very versatile. 


Compact Camera Reviews

Price as reviewed

£760.00

Scores

Scores
Features 18/20
Design 18/20
Image Quality 17/20
Performance 18/20
Value 17/20
Overall Score 88%