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Nikon AF-S 18-200mm DX VR f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED
Reviews Views Date of last review
7 17528 Wed July 16, 2008
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers £435.60 8.3
Nikon_AF-S_DX_VR_18-200mm_3_5-5_6G_IF-ED.jpg



Description: This is an all round 11.1x zoom lens, ideal for dedicated amateurs, and (semi-) professionals to use for countless situations and occasions, such as landscape, architecture, portrait, wedding, wildlife, holidays, expeditions and general travel photography. It is therefore also ideal for news- and press photographers. With a zoom range of 27-300mm (35mm equiv.) the user does not need to carry multiple lenses and therefore can it be seen as the perfect total package. On top of this the lens is equipped with “VR II” the second generation of Nikon’s VR technology that enables the lens to shoot 4 stops slower (instead of 3 stops with the former VR system), ideal for shooting in low light conditions and/or without a tripod. At the time of launch it is the industry’s first VR II lens with 4 stops slower shutter speed.

Key Features

1. The first lens in the industry that has a VR II system that enables the lens to shoot 4 stops slower instead of 3.
2. Offers the broad 18-200mm focal range (11.1x zoom) (equivalent to a 27-300mm lens in 35mm format).
3. This lens is designed exclusively for use with Nikon digital SLR cameras and is not compatible with 35mm [135] or IX240 format film cameras.
4. 2 ED glass and 3 aspherical lens elements minimize chromatic aberration, astigmatism and other forms of distortion, while ensuring high resolution and contrast.
5. Incorporates a compact SWM (Silent Wave Motor) for quiet and fast focusing.
6. M/A mode for rapid switching between Autofocus and Manual focus operation.
7. The Internal Focusing (IF) design enables the use of circular polarizing filters.
8. Employs a 7-blade rounded diaphragm opening that achieves a natural blur for out-of-focus elements.
9. High-grade Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC) offers superb colour reproduction while minimizing ghosting and flare.
Keywords: Nikon AF-S DX VR 18-200mm 3.5-5.6 G IF-ED lens Nikkor


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Dave
Pixalo Crew

Registered: July 2005
Posts: 18309
Review Date: Sun June 11, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: £498.00 | Rating: 0 

 
Pros: Build quality, focal range, VR
Cons:

I haven't rated this lens as I have only taken about 20 shots with it, purely to test against the 17-55 f/2.8 I recently purchased. Results here Budget prime vs Premium Zoom vs Pro Zoom lens

Overall the lens feels a nice bit of kit, especially with the VR function. With that range it's got to be a decent walkabout lens if you don't want to carry extra lenses.
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nichpr
Forum Regular

Registered: February 2007
Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 904
Review Date: Wed March 14, 2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Focal range, VR
Cons: Weight

Bought this lens to be my everyday "do everything" lens. I've found that this is the lens that I use 80 to 90% of the time - simply because it is so versatile.
Wanted to run some tests to see where the sweet spot was for this lens:

Printed graphing paper in two formats - radial and square and shot at various focal lengths and aperatures. Layed on colored circles and squares in Photoshop to detect any distortion.
Radial test appears accurate.
At 18mm:


At 200mm:


The Square test, however, shows clear distortion at the top and bottom - see how the black lines deflect from the green colored rectangles across the bottom:

At f22:


At f 5.6 (notice the vignetting):


I then took the following shot at various apperatures and compared the enlarged detail.







In my opinion, and on my monitor at full size and resolution, f14 seems to provide the greatest sharpness.

There was certainly nothing scientific about this test and I don't have a lot of experience doing things like this. Other than controlling for the obvious things that could impact the results (lighting, focus, focal plane parallel etc), the test was simple and straight forward.

What did I learn? For the kind of shooting I do, I learned that I really don't have to worry about lens distortion - it was minor, in my opinion. However, I can clearly see a difference in sharpness in the middle range of aperature with a sweet spot at f14.

Would I recommend this lens - you bet. It is as close to a do everything lens as I have in my bag. Its not a prime, its not perfect, but its convenience outways all its shortcomings.
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BeanPod
Quite Chatty

Registered: June 2007
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 79
Review Date: Sat August 18, 2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: £450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: wide focal range, VR, versatility, sharpness
Cons: nothing jumps out yet

Price converted from approx $900 CAD.

I bought this lens because I wanted to gain experience with the longest focal range with the fewest number of lenses LOL! I figured this would be a great all round lens that would give me lots of versatility for general shooting, and then I could broaded the scope of lenses as I got more experience.

This lens has definitely met and exceded my expectations. I am constantly amazed that one lens can give me such a great focal range, and the sharpness at 200mm is pretty impressive in good light. Sharp also at 18, and I guess I expected one end to be better than the other, so I am impressed. (In fact, I have proven to myself that I can get something sharp right through the range, so any thoughts I had to the contrary can only be operator error...no excuses! )

The extra stops that the VR can provide are very useful!

The lens is a bit heavy for sure, but I find it feels pretty balanced on my d80...and I figure it is still lighter than carrying two lenses for the same range, so I did not take anything from my rating for that. It is great to be zooming out the door with only the one lens, and feel confident that I can shoot what I need to. On other days, when I take my other lenses, it is still a lens I use often.

Thumbs up from me!
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liljj323
Suspended

Registered: May 2007
Posts: 90
Review Date: Fri October 26, 2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: good buld quality, fast AF
Cons: bit soft @ extremes

i am a photographer for my school, and we have just bought this lens, and i love it.
although attatched to my d40 its kind of front heavy, but it feels great on a d70/s.
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VinnyP
Forum Regular

Registered: February 2006
Location: Surbiton Surrey
Posts: 1147
Review Date: Tue March 4, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: £470.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Wide zoom range, compact lightweight VR is very good
Cons: Too much of a compromise. Expensive.

I have tried to buy this twice. The first time it was to be a one lens solution for business travel but it was out of stock everywhere, so bought a bridge camera. This time I promised myself one to keep in the car on the D200 just in case. So I got one and to be honest it was as I expected which was a shame as I hoped it would be a little better.

That said of course it will always be a compromise; to get an 11x zoom with VR on a DX sensor is quite an achievement and they have done a pretty good job. The VRII is outstanding and means that handholding even at 200mm and 5.6 is possible in most lighting conditions but of course it won't make any difference with a moving subject. Flare was not too bad and although it was a little bit soft it was just tolerable. The big problem for me was the distortion. It is not always an issue and usually distortion is easily corrected in processing being typically barrel or pincushion. At certain focal lengths this has a combination of both that for critical work would be a pain to correct. CA on the other hand is not too bad and that is easily dealt with.

The other non image related issue is zoom creep I understood this had been addressed, well all I can say is it hadn't been in my one. This is not a problem for me in shooting as my hand is on the zoom ring. BUT I am a slung over the shoulder person and it grows all on it's own so it catches things. Other than that build quality is not bad, it's not a pro lens but except when fully extending and bending like Jack Sparrows telescope it feels like it could take some punishment.

For me I wanted a small outfit to keep in the car to capture that once in a lifetime shot. I always have a compact with me so this would need to offer excellent image quality and possibly pay for itself in that way. I think I would be worried about that. It is soft and the distortion at times can spoil things.

I returned it and for about the same money picked up a Tamron 17-50 2.8 and a Nikon 70-300 VR, which works better for me.

In conclusion this is a great lens if you want to avoid changing lenses and it will produce very good results but I think it will struggle to produce amazing results (but no where near as much as I will). It's strengths and weaknesses are the same, it's a good compromise but it's compromised. A 2 lens kit for the same money will give more versatility and better quality at the expense of having to change lenses.
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Charlotte
Growing roots

Registered: December 2006
Location: Romsey, Hampshire
Posts: 8392
Review Date: Mon March 17, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: £380.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: VR, zoom range, IQ
Cons: Distortion

Like everyone else, I chose to buy this lens as a do-it-all zoom, for when taking along extra lenses is inconvenient, or for when you simply don't want to be faffing about changing lenses.

Have to say I am extremely impressed with it! The weight of it is very comfortable on my D50. The zoom ring + focus ring are very smooth, with no slippage when pointing the camera up or down.

The best feature of this lens is, without a doubt, the VR, it is amazing! And it's so quiet + jolt-free that you hardly know it's working (the VR on my macro lens clonks + clatters + whirs like nobody's business). And boy, does it hold steady!

I am also impressed with the IQ - especially for the price. My first trip out with it was to Winchester Cathedral, where the lighting is fairly subdued (in some areas more than others). Well, the 18-200 did a sterling job of handling the low lighting, producing extremely sharp pic's with very little noise.

I've given it a 9 rating because I can fault very little on it. Obviously you can't expect it to stand up to high-end, expensive lenses, but I wouldn't take marks off for not being in that league; so for this price range, it gets close to full marks from me

The point I took off is for the distortion, which I find quite noticeable. E.g. although my interior shots of Winchester Cathedral were extremely sharp, they did lack depth, which I've put down to distortion, although I did use flash, which I think could share the blame for the lack of depth, but I do think the distortion is the main culprit. Seems I'm going to have to brush up on my Photoshop skills for fixing distortion is all, but I'll live with that. And I'd think it would be most noticeable in shots of architecture where there's a lot of fine detail, but we'll see, and I will post an update in this respect, after I've used the lens a bit more on different subjects.

If you're looking for a convenient do-it-all zoom to leave on your camera for a day-trip (e.g. zoo, whatever), this is a beauty - get it!!

PS I bought off a HK dealer on ebay, hence low price
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Dutchie
Feet under the table


Registered: October 2006
Location: Antwerpen - BE
Posts: 1984
Review Date: Wed July 16, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: £380.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: VR is excellent. Nice clear pictures when shooting at 200mm
Cons: a bit heavy

This was my choice as an allround lens. And it is doing it's job.

It's solid build, a bit heavy. But you get used to that quick enough. I like the vr on it, which helps me with more pictures to keep. It is a usefull lens to take out if you don't want to take all your stuff with you. And the zoom is very good. It definitely makes a big difference to the 18-135mm I had.

It's certainly a lens that I would advice you to buy when you want an allrounder.

I'm not a prof and do not know the more expensive lenses, so i wouldn't be able to compare.
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