Lens review

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

25 September 2007
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

We do not completely trust the mega zoom type of construction because the previous test always showed that the lenses have some serious Achilles' heel. On the other hand, the Nikkor 18-200 mm - after initial tests and user reviews - is rated by most as a flawless lens. Therefore, we were very curious to see its behavior in our tests.

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

Let's take a look at the MTF50 values measured in RAW format for the Nikon D200 in the center of the frame. For 18-50 mm the behavior is fantastic. Even with the wide open aperture, the sharpness is very good. A slight quality drop can be observed, especially with a wide open aperture, for 100-200 mm focal length. Although even in these conditions, the MTF50 values are over 30lpmm, which is considered good. But after a slight stopping down of the lens, the quality gets better so, here as well, there is nothing to complain about. So far, so good - a nice surprise! However, an earlier tested Nikkor 18-135 mm also had very good results at the center of the frame, while suffering from an aberration at the edges of the frame. So, let us see how the Nikkor 18-200 mm is coping with this added demand.

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

There are no negative comments about its behavior for 18-50 mm focal length. Here, the MTF50 level is above 30lpmm, even for a wide range of diaphragms. The major problem starts at 100 mm, but only for a wide open aperture. When stopped down a little bit the situation returns to an acceptable level. If we were forced to find some Achilles' feel it would probably be the performance in the edges of the frame for 200 mm focal length. The situation here is serious and the values are far away from the acceptable level of 30lpmm for all the diaphragms.

Nevertheless, the Nikkor is without any doubt much better in this category, in all aspects, than the previously tested Tamron 18-200 mm.

The results we achieved are for RAW format. The results for JPG can be seen and evaluated in the clippings below.

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