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
With its impressive 18-300mm focal length, the Nikkor lens has a 16.7x zoom range. Despite the extra 100mm, the maximum aperture remains the same as the f/3.5-5.6 aperture of Nikon’s 18-200mm. However, the optical construction of each lens is very different.
The new 18-300mm has three more elements than the 18-200mm lens, comprising 19 elements in 14 groups. Three of the internal lenses are extra-low dispersion (ED) elements, which help to reduce chromatic aberrations and also maintain contrast even when the maximum aperture of the lens is used. Nikkor uses ED glass in nearly all its telephoto lenses. There are also three aspherical lenses in the 18-300mm, which are designed to control curvilinear distortions.
Although the lens is designed to be used with DX-format (APS-C-sized sensor) cameras, it could feasibly be paired with the Nikon D800. With a 36.3-million-pixel, full-frame (FX) sensor, its DX-cropped mode still provides 15 million pixels, which is very respectable for most enthusiast photographers. Most of this test has been undertaken with the 18-300mm lens paired with a Nikon D3200, which has a 24.2-million-pixel, APS-C-sized sensor.
As the highest-resolution camera the 18-300mm is designed to be used on, the D3200 will provide the toughest test.