Nikon AF-S DX VR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6G IF-ED review: Nikon AF-S DX VR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6G IF-ED

Nikon AF-S DX VR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6G IF-ED

(Part #: 2159) Released: Nov 15, 2005
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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

5 stars 1 user review

The Good Compact; broad focal-length range; Vibration Reduction for better handheld photos, especially at telephoto.

The Bad Suffers from lens creep.

The Bottom Line Though you pay for the convenience, the Nikon AF-S DX VR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 G IF ED covers a range that would normally take two lenses, yet remains compact with a solid build.

7.8 Overall
  • Design 9.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Image quality 7.0

One of the blessings of an SLR can also be a curse: having to choose which lenses to carry, which means finding the right balance between weight and bulk, and having the focal lengths you need. The Nikon AF-S DX VR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 G IF ED lens offers Nikon shooters a satisfying single-lens solution. Introduced in November 2005, it is compatible with all Nikon DX digital SLRs including the D300, D60, and D40.

There is an awful lot to decipher in its name:

AF-S Autofocus
DX Designed and optimized for Nikon's digital SLRs, which use the DX-aspect CCD
G No aperture ring
ED Extra-low dispersion glass for improved contrast and reduced chromatic aberration
VR vibration reduction optical stabilizer to minimize blur from camera shake.

Its extensive zoom range and relatively compact size, along with VR, makes it a great all-around lens capable of handling almost any occasion. It's especially well suited for traveling of any sort, from weekend getaways to a safari. This level of convenience comes at a cost well north of $600.

Design
•&nbsp The lens measures 4 inches long with a 3-inch diameter and accepts 72mm screw-on filters.
•&nbsp Solid construction with a quality feel to it, black crinkle finish, metal lens mount and base for added durability.
•&nbsp Variable maximum aperture from f3.5 to f5.6 and a variable minimum aperture from f22 to f36.
•&nbsp Magnification factor of 1.5x yields a working focal length of 27mm to 300mm on a Nikon DX body such as the D300, D60, or D40.
•&nbsp Minimum focusing distance of 19.7 inches throughout the zoom range, with a maximum magnification of 1:4.5.

Features
•&nbsp Optical Vibration Reduction system for sharper handheld photos at slow shutter speeds, especially in low light and at the telephoto end. The VR compensates in real time for shake and vibration with no degradation to the image. Offers two VR modes, normal (assumes horizontal motion is panning) and Active (assumes horizontal motion is shake).
•&nbsp Nikon's exclusive M/A (manual/auto) mode provides full-time autofocus with instant manual-focus override by just turning the focus ring. Also has a full-time manual-focus mode.
•&nbsp Included with the lens are a lens hood (HB-35) and a lens pouch (CL-1018).
•&nbsp Large easy-to-read zoom markings at 18mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm, 135mm, and 200mm. Distance scale window that measures in meters and feet, handy when setting the focus manually.

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