Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR review: Too good to be true?

By Ben Boswell - Tuesday December 18 2012

Lens Review
Introduction | Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens performance | Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR versus competition | Conclusion

The Nikkor lens delivers a wider zoom range and has wider apertures than others in this sort of range, but it is also more expensive compared to independents like Tamron’s 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD, which has the closest comparable focal length range, and Sigma’s 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM.

It is clear that this is a lens intended for photographers who want to have a single lens to cover all eventualities, the zoom range is vast, the dimensions are quite compact and for most people the combination looks perfect for a single, multi-purpose lens. This does mean, however, that the lens must be able to deliver in all eventualities to a quality that will be acceptable for use.

Specifications and features

Nikon has given this lens a broad list of features:

  • Focal length from 18mm – 300 is equivalent to 27mm to 450 on full frame 35mm)
  • Zoom ratio of 16.7x
  • Built in Vibration Reduction (VR II) which gives up to 4 EV of advantage
  • 3 Low dispersion elements and 3 aspheric elements in the 19 element, 14 group design
  • Maximum reproduction ratio 1/3.2x

The lens also incorporates various features common to Nikon’s range for instance an SWM motor for autofocus, Manual Focus and Autofocus with manual override etc.