I bought one of these pretty much on an impulse recently to use with my Nikon D90 as a general purpose walkabout lens.
I must admit that although I really wanted to like it, I never quite had much affection for it when compared to what I was using previously. It's now sold on again, so here's my opinion of it:
Good price for a wide range of focal lengths.
Vibration Reduction. This works exceedingly well. I was able to get very sharp hand-held shots down to one quarter of a second with a little practice (and controlled breathing!) but at 1/15th and 1/30th (which are the more usual slow shutter speeds) this lens will produce extremely sharp, wobble-free pictures with no special effort at all on the part of the photographer.
Distortion at the wide end. This is very noticeable. If you're at 18mm and snapping buildings for example, they come out with a big "bulge" in the middle. Okay, so you can correct this in post-processing, but why would you want to put up with this when cheaper lenses don't suffer from it anywhere nearly as badly?
It goes away when you're past around 24mm, but then again what's the point in buying a wide lens when you can't freely use the widest setting?
Build quality is not up to much. It just feels quite "cheap" and not especially well made when compared to other Nikons, even ones in the same price band. The rubber coating was quite sloppily affixed, and there was a rough piece of moulding flashing left around the camera end of the lens.
Plastic lens mount. If you're unlucky enough to drop this setup then you can expect the lens to break off at the mounting. I've seen one or two for sale as "spares or repairs" where exactly this scenario has occurred. Don't pick the camera up by the lens either, especially if it's attached to a heavy body.
Speed. When zooming, it reaches its F5.6 setting long before the 70mm mark, where the better and cheaper Nikon 18-70 F3.5-4.5 is obviously faster.
But mainly, its images just don't seem to have that indefinable "spark" which marks out a great lens from the also-rans. Pictures just seem a little flat and lifeless. I've been using the older 18-70 non-VR as described above, and I must say that it's a better lens than the 18-105VR.
For one thing, it has a metal mount. For another, it's far better built and seems to focus faster. Finally, it just looks better in the finished pictures.
If you got one of these with your camera it would probably be a reasonably satisfactory all-rounder, but when you know what else you could get for the same or similar price it's not especially good value in my opinion.
I would have these instead:Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G ED II Lens Black
Truly great value for the money, produces outstanding quality pictures and is an ideal DX format walkabout lens. Or, if you need better in low light, pick up a used one of these for around £60-90:Nikon AF-S DX 3,5-4,5/18-70 G ED
Now this is an excellent zoom lens for sports and wildlife:Nikon 55-200MM F/4-5.6 AF-S VR DX Black Lens
This is part of the same series as the 18-105VR, yet it just works better and even seems better made despite coming from the same place. I bought one of these for my old D40 and on the new D90 it works even better. The superior camera really unlocks the potential of this outstanding lens.
So, as the headline says, the Nikon 18-105VR is not exactly a bad lens, but it's pricey for what it is and you could create far better quality pictures with any of the options above for less outlay.