For Nikon DX shooters looking to expand their horizons beyond the kit lens, the 18-105mm DX ED VR f3.5-5.6 lens is an attractive and reasonably priced addition to your collection. Introduced in August 2008 as a kit lens option for the D90, you can find it for well under $400. Delivering a 27-158mm 35mm equivalent focal length in a compact and lightweight package, combined with Nikon's Vibration Reduction (VR) image-stabilization technology, make this a good choice for travel and general pictorial photography. Although the telephoto range seems a likely option for portraits, its f5.6 maximum aperture does not permit the shallow depth of field desirable for those shots.
The lens fits in Nikon's lineup between the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR and the 18-200mm f3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR options; there is also an 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED lens still current, but it lacks VR.
- Compact and lightweight at 14.8 ounces, in part due to its all-plastic construction.
Its G designation refers to its lack of an aperture ring.
As an internal focusing (IF) lens, the front element does not rotate which makes it good for working with circular polarizing filters.
The filter size is 67mm, with plastic threads on the filter mount.
There is no focusing scale, no depth-of-field scale and no infrared focusing marks. The only markings on the lens are the focal lengths displayed in white with markings for 18, 24, 35, 50, 70 and 105mm.
- Nikon's VR optical image stabilization technology. The VR compensates in real-time for shake and vibration with no degradation to the image. With only one mode, it is either on or off.
Nikon's Silent Wave Motor (SWM) delivers fast and quiet autofocusing.
It employs Nikon's Super Integrated Coating for reduced flare and chromatic aberration. It works in conjunction with one ED (extra low dispersion) lens element and one aspherical lens element to ensure sharpness and contrast.
The lens incorporates Nikon's AF/Manual switch on the body. To focus manually just turn the focus ring, even if you're shooting in AF.
Includes a lens hood (HB-32) and a soft pouch.
A very wide textured rubber zoom ring is located toward the front of the lens where it's sized and positioned for comfort. It is also well dampened and exhibits no lens creep at all. However, that means the focus ring is small, only about 0.3 inch, and located at the rear of the lens nearest the body. Although the manual focus feels loose and sounds noisy, it gets the job done. While its 17.7-inch closest focusing distance allows you to get some cool shots, this is far from a macro lens. The lens' maximum aperture ranges from f3.5 to f5.6, while its minimum aperture ranges from f22 to f36 depending upon where you are in the zoom range.