Archive for the ‘Nikon Nikkor 18-55 Reviews’ Category

Nikon 18-55 Review

September 29, 2008

Nikon 18-55 Review

“Excellent incremental improvement over an already-excellent lens”

nikon nikkor 18-55

I have the original 18-55mm AFScooter “SRD” (United States)
<a -S DX which came with my D40 kit and love it – it weighs nothing, performs brilliantly, and focuses so close that I can use it as a macro if I want. I decided to get this since I do quite a bit of indoor photography without flash, and wanted some extra stability in low-light, longer-shutter speed situations from the Vibration Reduction which I have on my 18-200mm VR but don’t use on my D40 (I use that on my D300, and it almost never comes off). It’s performed brilliantly under such circumstances; I can get sharp shots at 1/20, 1/10 and even 1/8 if I’m really stable at the time of the shot – something I couldn’t reliably get from the non-VR version. It also helps in the long end (55mm) in uneven light and other times when the VR becomes necessary. In terms of sharpness, light falloff, distortion, and all the other metrics, this lens is as good as, or slightly better, than the original non-VR version. It is also a bit heavier and seems a bit more solid in construction, with a tighter zoom ring and differently-sculpted manual focus ring (with more recessed plastic indentations compared with the original model). I think the addition of VR makes it the perfect lens for the D40, D40x or newly-introduced D60, since its performance is so much better in all metrics and tests (particularly distortion and sharpness) than some of its would-be step-up replacements (i.e. the 18-135, the 24-120, etc.)

If you generally do lots of flash or outdoor photography, and don’t tend to experience slower shutter speeds due to lighting issues, or take most of your shots at the wider end of the scale (i.e. 18-25mm) this lens is probably an upgrade that you can either do with or without. In the end the investment is quite small for those few times that VR might save the shot, so I would get one. Granted, VR at this level (i.e not 200 or 300mm) is less about hand shake in daylight, but more about low lighting conditions and longer shutter speeds. As for some reviewer’s comments on the default lens speed, etc. – this is a $200 prosumer lens, not a $1,500 17-55mm pro wide-zoom with f/2.8 costing 8 times what this lens costs; for the money, you can’t get anything better for a Nikon with this kind of performance.

Additional notes: There is some clunking sound from the VR occasionally when focusing, and there is no hood or lens pouch included, but that’s less of an issue if, as most people do, you have a camera or lens bag, and as for the hood, I’ve never used one and never had a problem; if there’s sunglare, I can cup my hand around the lens (since it’s so light) and have no issues. I think some people use lens hoods to somehow show off that they’re “photographers” or “hobbyist-pros” rather than for the reduction of flare and glare when outside in bright sunlight (sometimes direct, etc.) or under sharp lighting. Honestly, I’ve seen guys taking indoor shots of artwork exhibits under soft lighting with the hood on.

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Nikkor 18-55 Review

September 29, 2008

Nikkor 18-55 Review

“Don’t Waste Your Time – GET THIS LENS!”

nikon nikkor 18-55

I bought this to replace my standard Nikon 18-55mm “non-VR” and will never look back. Getting great pictures is already challenging enough without trying to hold the camera like a statue. If you often enjoy shooting without lugging a tripod all the time or constantly firing your flash, this lens makes a huge difference in your photos.

It is a shame when you get a fantastic capture and your subject lacks that “tack sharp” appearance. After shooting with the non-VR version of this lens, I was often disappointed with available-light shots on some impromptu photos. You know how it goes – “grab the camera quick before you miss out on that (insert subject here)!” Perhaps you make it in time and shoot several frames, but “whoops!” – In all the excitement you didn’t get one shot that makes the grade in sharpness. This is where the VR feature on this relatively excellent lens is a LIFE SAVER!

In final, I will say that the build quality feels noticeably better than the non-VR 18-55mm Nikkor. The zoom ring has noticeably smoother movement. The image quality is easily just as good if not better – very sharp. Just like the non-VR version, the lens mount is plastic, however for such a lightweight lens at this price, this is no deal breaker to me. For under $200, you get performance and image quality that equates with competing lenses twice the price.

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Nikon 18-55 DX VR Review

September 29, 2008

Nikon 18-55 DX VR Review

“Awesome and cheap lens”

nikon nikkor 18-55

Great upgrade to the already excellent kit lens that came with my d40. Like the kit lens, this lens has excellent sharpness, a good focal range and it focuses fast. The build is great, a little better then the kit lens. And of course VR!

Unlike the other reviewer, I find the VR very useful. I can now shoot handheld at about 1/15th of a second or slower with no blur. with the kit lens 1/30th of a sec was pushing it. This is great for flashless shots in low light.

The reason I gave this lens only four stars is that it only opens up to f3.5 so it isn’t the fastest aperature. But for the price, (you get what you pay for), this lens can’t be beat!

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Nikon 18-55mm Wide Angle Zoom Review

September 29, 2008

Nikon 18-55mm Wide Angle Zoom Review

“Nice little lens”

nikon nikkor 18-55

I own both the VR and non-VR versions of this lens and use them on a Nikon D40. I have found no issues or instances where the non-VR outperforms the VR. I get all the picture quality I expect and love to use this lens for outdoor landscape shots as well as indoor shots. I fully recommend this lens, and highly recommend purchasing a polarizing filter to use with it for outdoor shooting. The VR is very useful when shooting indoors as it allows me to take crisp, clear pictures down to 1/20 sec shutter speeds while shooting hand-held.

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Nikon 18-55 Wide Angle Review

September 29, 2008

Nikon 18-55 Wide Angle Review

“Longer-Bigger than expected”

nikon nikkor 18-55

I have this on my D80 all the time. I bought it to replace my mid-range zoom 18-135mm kit lens after reading on Ken Rockwell’s site. I also bought a 70-300mm G lens for $140. I now have the range I always wanted and don’t care that I have to change lenses (I didn’t want to spend $650 on the 18-200mm). I also have a 50mm f1.8

However, this lens is much longer than I expected. See dpreview’s review. When the focus and zoom are at their max it is longer than my 18-135mm’s shortest length…this surprised me. Also, the plastic mount is disappointing. However, I actually find it more useful to have this setup than my 18-135mm. I do not care about the noise that everyone else hears from the VR.

I like the build quality vs. the 18-55mm II lens, but I’m not sure if the VR is “worth it” for me just yet. I’m sure Mr. Rockwell is right about his tests, but I haven’t noticed the difference with or with out the VR.

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