Superzooms have just got even more powerful with the Nikkor 18-300mm, but is it a lens for everyday use and what compromises have been made? Find out with the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR review

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AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

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AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR review


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AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR review: Introduction

As we know, there are specialist lenses designed to take certain types of images, such as an 85mm f/1.8 for portraiture or a 105mm f/2.8 for macro. It is usually considered that only primes can have specialist applications because of the compromises in quality that are unavoidable in zoom lenses. However, a superzoom does indeed have a speciality – travel photography.

I have to admit to being a fan of superzoom lenses. When I’m away on a city break, I will often pack an 18-200mm lens so that I can travel light – spending my time relaxing and taking in the sights, rather than worrying about the weight on my shoulder or which lens to use for which subject.

While a superzoom lens is never going to be as good optically as a fixed-focal-length lens, or even one with a shorter zoom, in Nikon’s new AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR we have the highest magnification yet seen in an SLR lens. This could make it an ideal one-for-all lens for entry-level photographers, and for enthusiasts it may be the ideal ‘walk-around’ lens for when you’re never quite sure what you will be photographing.

  1. 1. AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR review: Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and handling
  4. 4. Performance
  5. 5. Our verdict
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  • Hadrian1

    I would like to read comments from people who own and use this lens.
    Most of the reviews I read, are by people with thousands of pounds
    worth of equipment, saying this lens is rubbish.

    My main interest is aviation photography. So the 300mm is a must for
    aircraft in the air, as well as the ability to take pictures of aircraft close up.
    Without constantly having to swap lenses.
    I presently have an 18-55, and a 55-300 lens.

  • Christina Higgins

    I love my Nikon D3200. I have been shooting with it for almost 2 years now! It is my first dslr and I do have all intentions of upgrading at some point, but not until I find a reason to. With the Nikon D3200, it will be awhile before I find one good enough. Shooting in raw was very easy for me and I found raw to be much easier to tune into using manual mode. My recommendation to all fellow amateurs, learn more about shooting in raw. As a amateur photographer it has improved my images greatly.

  • howard

    excellent camera,easy to use and handle.first pictures i took were of my grandaughter,s graduation ceremony and they were sharp with lots of detail with punchy colours,it was a bright sunny day and the metering coped well.i highly recommend this camera.

  • John Harrington

    I bought my D3200 in early August and I am very impressed. I upgraded from the D40 and the difference in image quality is very noticeable; not only in the detail but also in the tonal range, colour balance, and the ability to control highlight detail. The video quality is also excellent, especially as you can set aperture, shutter speed, or just shoot in auto. I have bought an inexpensive hot-shoe mic, which really does help in cutting down extraneous sounds from the lens as it focuses. I set the video focus at AF-S. AF-F means that the lens is continually focusing and distracts too much from the image. I shoot with an 18-105mm VR and images are very clean uo to 800 ISO. Superb camera and I will not be changing it for a few years. Does what it says on the box.

  • E James

    Despite the D3200 being labeled as a ‘beginner’ camera, any competent photographer with experience behind them knows this is just ‘sales pitch’.

    The D3200 is very similar to my ‘old’ D40 but with a 24MP sensor.

    I am under the impression that the resolution of the D3200 is beginning to approach the limitation of even the best prime lenses; not at the limit, but not far off. Go do the maths and extrapolate from the old lpp/mm charts/data.

    To get the best out of this machine, it may be prudent to go for prime Nikkor lenses, and even the much talked-about Samyang/Rokinon primes?

    Currently I use the D3200 in Manual Mode and/or Auto Mode to suit my older 24mm/28mm/50mm Ai and AF primes.

    Once I have adjusted the NEF files to my taste (making sure there is no saturated highlights etc), I then down-sample to either 6MP/10MP/13.5MP. Note – there is more information (and free from aliasing) in the down-sampled files than there are from from native 6MP/10MP/13.5MP sensors.

    Would I recommend this camera to an experienced user? …. yes, absolutely, it is a winner.

  • Nikon D3200

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