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Lens review

2007-09-25
 

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR

11. Summary

Pros:

  • very universal focal length range enriched with picture stabilization, which makes the 200 mm focal length very effective
  • solid construction,
  • very good picture quality in the center of the frame
  • good picture quality in the corners of the frame at the 18-100 mm range
  • low astigmatism
  • extraordinary autofocus performance
Cons:
  • weak picture quality in the edges of the frame at 200 mm focal length
  • poor performance of manual sharpness adjustment
  • clearly visible coma
  • high vignetting
  • large distortion
Of all the large focal length range lenses that we tested (Sigma 18-125, Nikkor 18-135, Tamron 18-200) the Nikkor 18-200 mm had the best results. Despite a few flaws, which are hard to avoid with such a complicated construction, their level is not significant (maybe except the vignetting and distortion for 18 mm). I have to admit that I was not a fan of the mega zooms, but after the Nikkor 18-200 mm adventure I changed my mind about them. I was impressed by its good picture generating and incredible universality. The picture weakness in the corners of the frame at 200 mm focal length rarely shows up in practice, since with such a focal length we are usually interested in an object in the center of the frame, where the sharpness is the best. In addition, when we use f/5.6 aperture at 200 mm, this focal length becomes completely efficient unlike in other, competing lenses of the same class, but without picture stabilization and with worse aperture.

In conclusion, we can easily recommend this lens to any, even very advanced, photo fan. If we use it as an alternative kit lens and add two or three fast fixed focal length lenses (for example the Nikkor 1.8/50 or something longer for macro pictures or portraits like the Tamron 2.8/90 or Tokina 2.8/100) we will never be taken aback by any situation and we will come back with great pictures and a clean detector from every adventurous trip. It is worth noting that the sum of 4,500 Polish zloty that we would have to spend for the whole "set" is not a very exorbitant price, especially when receiving such great quality pictures that would make our financial loss less painful. In other photo systems it would be very hard to complete so much for such a reasonable price, and this probably best describes what Nikon fans felt when the Nikkor 18-200 mm was introduced. Other DSLR owners have to cross their fingers for the Sigma 18-200 OS, which we will definitely test as soon as it appears on market.

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Sample shots:

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 50 mm, f/4.8, exp. 1/160 sec, ISO 320
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 3.6 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 135 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/80 sec, ISO 320
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 3.7 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 18 mm, f/3.5, exp. 1/1000 sec, ISO 160
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 5.7 MB
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary
Camera:Nikon D200
Parameters: 34 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/320 sec, ISO 160
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 4.2 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 200 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/500 sec, ISO 160
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 3.9 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 130 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/125 sec, ISO 160
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 4.2 MB
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary
Camera:Nikon D200
Parameters: 200 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/500 sec, ISO 200
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 4.2 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 65 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/1000 sec, ISO 200
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 3.9 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 50 mm, f/4.8, exp. 1/80 sec, ISO 100
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 4.2 MB
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary
Camera:Nikon D200
Parameters: 50 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/30 sec, ISO 100
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 4.2 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 29 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/30 sec, ISO 100
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 3.9 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 105 mm, f/5.3, exp. 1/60 sec, ISO 100
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 4.2 MB


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