Tech Talk – Nikon 18-200mm Lens Review

Nikon 18-200mm Lens

I guess I would be remiss if I did not review my Go-To-Lens my Nikon 18-200mm (f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VRII, DX) Zoom. I must admit I use it all the time, more than any other lens, including my Nifty 50. It has had a hard life and has needed to be repaired once, it has not been quite the same since and gives me grief with a continuous dirty sensor.


Key Features

  • Offers broad 18 – 200mm focal range for use in a variety of situations, equivalent to a 27-300 lens in 35mm format
  • Nikon VR II (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization
  • Vibration Reduction, engineered specifically for each VR NIKKOR lens, enables handheld shooting at up to 4 shutter speeds slower than would otherwise be possible, assuring dramatically sharper still images and video capture.
  • Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC) offers superb color reproduction while minimizing ghosting and flare.
  • Delivers a high-level optical performance designed exclusively for use with Nikon DX digital format.
  • Enables focusing from as close as 50cm (20 in.) from the subject through its entire focal range.
  • Flower-shaped lens hood (HB-35) provides greatly reduced stray light.
  • 11x zoom coverage offers a perfect compact and lightweight “one lens” solution.
  • Two Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass and three aspherical lens elements minimize chromatic aberration, astigmatism and other forms of distortion, while ensuring high resolution and contrast.
  • Incorporates a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) allows for fast, quiet focusing.
  • Employs a 7-blade rounded diaphragm opening that achieves a natural blur for out-of-focus elements.
  • M/A mode for rapid switching between auto focus (A) and manual focus (M) operation.

 – Nikon Store

Pros – 

Broad range from 18 -200mm I can use in almost any situation, great for Portraits and landscapes, as well as everything in between.

Beautiful Bokeh, handles sun flare beautifully, nice sharp pictures, although I don’t think it is quite as sharp as it was before being dropped and repaired, 😦

Handles low light really well and is quick and easy to use. Is also super fast to focus.

Good F/stop for a telephoto zoom f/3.5 – f/5.6

Cons – 

It’s heavy, heavier than the new compact 18-300mm Nikon have brought out.

It needs to be locked in place as I find it moves in and out when be carried (Although it’s possibly a issue since being dropped).

Whenever I use this lens a lot I seem to have trouble with a dirty sensor. I have read online that seems to be a recurring theme on these lenses (or possibly again, from being dropped). In saying that before it was dropped and I used it on my D5300, I never had an issue with a dirty lens……..and even now Moth (using the 18-300mm) has no issue with a dirty lens? So is it my lens, the D7100 or a combination? Not sure, but it is incredibly frustrating.

It’s not a 300mm! Mind you even as nice as the extra 100mm is on the 300mm, sometimes it’s not enough either. But you have to ask yourself, where is my limit? I could spend a huge lump of cash and go 600-750mm but then I would have to carry it, have you felt the weight of those? Arrgghh, no thanks! The wide angle is nice (18mm), but my Sigma 10-24mm does a really nice job with a wide angle. Again, it’s more kit to carry.

Conclusion – 

Love it or hate it, it is my work horse, it has been dropped a few times now (so bad, I know), it still works fine, it’s just not quite as sharp as it was. But the whole dirty sensor thing is doing my head in. If I do end up replacing it, I will most probably go for the new 18-300mm compact, as quite frankly it is smaller and lighter and does not cost that much more………..and it takes a gorgeous photo. In sating that I am completely comfortable with this lens, like an old pair of shoes. I may update eventually, but for now it remains my Go-to-Lens.

Til next time, happy snapping………