Nikon AF-S DX 18-300mm - a high-powered 16.7x superzoom for Nikon DX DSLRs

Product Overview

Overall rating:


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

Overall score:88%
Image Quality:17%


  • All-in-one capabilities, handling, solid VR


  • Colour fringing at some focal lengths


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


Price as reviewed:


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.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Image Quality
  3. 3. Image samples
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