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Customer Review

146 of 158 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All in one convenience at a price, 31 Dec. 2012
By 
This review is from: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens (Electronics)
This is a lens that buyers should think carefully about purchasing to determine if this is suitable for your needs.

The new successor to the popular Nikkor 18-200mm, this new lens sets a new record for zoom range for a superzoom lens. Superzoom lenses on DSLR's are well known for being compromises on an optical level due to the very long zoom/focal lengths at play, in return you get an "all in one package" but with a downside too.

I'll kick off with a quick pros and cons bullet list to aid quick reading.

Pros:
+ Convenience, this is the main reason you might consider this lens, you get a 27-450mm "equivalent" focal range in one lens.
+ Decent build quality, not pro level (obviously) but feels well put together and using good quality plastics. I won't list metal mount as a pro because it's a sure fire must have for a lens this weight!
+ AF is fine not fast but not that slow considering the range, AF-S is quiet as expected
+ Quite good at the wide end sharpness wise even before stopping down (corners are not great though)
+ Vignetting/fall off not as bad as you might think it's there at the wide end 18mm wide open shows it clearly, visible at the tele end a bit too but over the range not bad here.
+ Usual Nikon "package" is decent ie lens hood, lens case..but at this price you'd expect it
+ VR works well enough though a little slower to engage than other Nikon VR lenses I've used

Cons:
- Heavy 830g then add the camera body weight on top, the fun part of lugging this around all day just got a lot less
- Big distortion esp wide end, turning to pincushion at telephoto, not unexpected for a super zoom, can be corrected in camera or via software.
- Not very sharp at 300mm, needs to be stopped down for improved performance. Edges/corners are weak even stopped down at 18mm
- CA quite notable esp at the 18mm mark
- Flash shadowing a problem unless using an on camera flash
- Takes a big 77mm filter, fine if you have that size, but can be costly for filter purchases
- Corner performance not great across most of the range never really that sharp even stopped down

On an optical level I will say it's probably better than it's rivals all things being equal and v the Tamron and Sigma superzoom offerings. On the other hand this lens is much more costly than those options, and quite a bit bigger as well as quite a bit heavier!; and whilst a bit better on optics, not hugely so. You could pick up say a Tamron 70-300mm SP VC for a lot less, whilst that isn't a light lens either (bit lighter than this) it easily beats this Nikkor on optics across the board.

Unless convenience is a top priority and you just want one a one lens solution (let's be honest though an SLR is there "to change lenses" that's the idea), I would personally pass on this lens and go for a decent tele zoom or the 18-200mm (which is lighter and cheaper) but again presents some weaker optical compromises too. If you can live with a shorter range the Nikon 18-105mm cheaper build or not also beats this in it's optical range.

Think carefully on this one, whilst the price has dropped a bit this is still quite expensive for what is bascially a kit lens performance across the range.

Update 04/14
I've now tried the Nikon 18-140mm and feel that lens is the one to go for if you want a day trip lens with good optics and a longer range. Granted 140mm isn't 300mm, but it's far cheaper, is better built than the 18-105mm, and in it's range is optically superior to the 18-300mm. I would recommend that over this lens.
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Showing 11-20 of 21 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Apr 2014, 22:59:48 BST
Mr Baz says:
Hi Dave I've no problems with different takes on this it's very much open to opinion. All in one is very handy, but I just feel the price is a bit much and after trying the 18-140mm it would be my choice (not as big top end but I think it's a good enough range for most)

I do read Ken Rockwell from time to time, he does make some good points, sometimes I don't agree (though I quite like his no nonsense style even if it is OTT at times). Ditto with Thom Hogan it's useful to read varying viewpoints

Posted on 22 May 2015, 01:10:09 BST
[Deleted by Amazon on 22 May 2015, 13:47:50 BST]

In reply to an earlier post on 22 May 2015, 03:27:36 BST
[Deleted by Amazon on 22 May 2015, 13:53:33 BST]

Posted on 27 May 2015, 10:52:53 BST
Last edited by the author on 27 May 2015, 18:10:40 BST
Me says:
Now I have used the 18-140 lens for a couple of weeks after borrowing it off a friend and found it wanting at the widest angle...a tad soft in some respects. Of course it might be a duff one but another person I spoke to said the same. They both say they miss having the 300 mm a lot as they used to have 70-300`s and sold them... so its horses for courses I suppose,. But many, many people would dearly miss that longer reach imho.
This Nikkor in my opinion is a real beaut at all focal lengths. I own it and love it ! Best lens out there in my humble opinion. :))

Posted on 31 Jul 2016, 11:20:38 BST
Garth says:
This is a DX lens specifically for cameras like the D3000 to D7000 range so should surely give 18-300mm not 27-450 when used on a DX camera?
Having used this lens I found it to be quite sharp at 300mm and the fact that you can do close ups (not true macro) is a bonus, something the 18-200 doesn't offer.
However, it is quite a heavy lens, not ideal for holidays but quite good for wildlife especially butterflies. Personally I think that's where its strength lies as you don't want to be fiddling around changing lenses while the subject flies away.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jul 2016, 13:11:08 BST
[Deleted by Amazon on 31 May 2017, 14:58:26 BST]

Posted on 27 Dec 2016, 18:03:49 GMT
Size 18-300mm???
You appear to have reviewed a different lens - if so please delete this review!

Posted on 30 Mar 2017, 23:42:48 BST
Jane Clowes says:
wrong review mate-youre talking about the 18-300 not the 18-105.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Mar 2017, 23:52:34 BST
[Deleted by Amazon on 31 May 2017, 15:03:30 BST]

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2017, 02:47:37 BST
Me says:
Jane there are professional reviewers of camera gear, who often never prove a purchase anyway, and there are professional photographers. I know who I respect the most.

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