Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR - Review / Test Report - Sample Shots & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Sample Shots

The following sample shots were taken with a D7000 and RAW-converted via CaptureOne.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window).

Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 220.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/320s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 270.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/200s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 18.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 68.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/800s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 135.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/800s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 60.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/125s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 35.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 210.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/400s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 112.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/320s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 210.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/640s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 270.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/160s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 165.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 270.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/640s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 78.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 18.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/200s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 160
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/320s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 18.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D7000
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 72.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/400s

Verdict

It is hardly surprising that it is a difficult quest to optimize a lens with a 16.7x zoom ratio. Given this scope, Nikon did a decent job but the outcome is still a collection of compromises. The weak spots are, unsurprisingly, at the extreme ends of the zoom range. The image center is great at 18mm but the outer image region is softer than it should be here.

On the other hand you may be able to live with some softness in the outer image region at 300mm but the image center is not really bitingly sharp anymore here. In between the results are actually pretty good if you just stop down a little. However, the high amount of lateral CA doesn't help with respect to the subjective image quality perception either. To be fair - CAs can be auto-corrected in modern Nikon DSLRs as well as during RAW conversion. As to be expected, the lens shows quite pronounced distortion, but that's normal in this lens class anyway. Vignetting is only really an issue at max. aperture.

The build quality of the Nikkor AF-S 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR is typical for today's consumer grade lenses. The lens is mostly made of good quality plastics. Nikon managed to keep the wobbling to a minimum despite two inner lens tubes. The silent-wave AF motor is a bit on the slow side but virtually silent. The vibration reduction mechanism (image stabilization) is really efficient and helpful in many situations.

Now you may notice that this verdict is more or less representative for such lenses and as such there's probably little to complain (nor rave) about. However, we'd still like to outline two issues of the Nikkor. First of all it is a comparatively large (at 300mm it's huge, really) and heavy representative of its species. So if you're into the market for a compact universal zoom lens this might be a showstopper already.

The other issue is the pricing. Yes, it's a Nikkor and as such you always have to live with a certain premium but a double price tag compared to its nearest rival seems to be somewhat over the edge. The Nikkor AF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR II may be a slightly better bet all-in-all - if you can live with 200mm at the long tele setting.

Optical Quality: to    
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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