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Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR ED

6 July 2009
Szymon Starczewski

3. Build quality and image stabilization

At first glance you can see that the Nikkor 18-105 VR workmanship quality is based on the 18-55 VR and 18-135 mm models but, unfortunately, not on 18-200 VR, 16-85 VR or 18-70 mm models. The comparison to other universal Nikon zooms is presented in this chart. The comparison with its rivals can be seen in the next chart.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR ED - Build quality and image stabilization

The lens starts with a plastic bayonet mount after which you can find a small plate with its name and parameters; on the left is the autofocus switch ( AF/MF) and the stabilization switch (VR On/Off). Then we find a narrow manual focus ring. It’s functionality is low for two reasons. Firstly, it moves too loosely to allow you any precise movement and secondly, the manufacturer didn’t provide any distance scale so we must work without any idea what result we should expect.

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Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR ED - Build quality and image stabilization

The front element is surrounded by the filter thread with a diameter of 67 mm. It doesn’t rotate either by focusing or zooming which should please the users of different filters.

Inside, there are as much as 15 elements in 11 groups. Although the price is moderate, the manufacturers included one low dispersion ED element and one aspherical lens. A circular aperture diaphragm with seven blades, which can be closed down, depending on the aperture, to f/22-36 complements the picture.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR ED - Build quality and image stabilization
NIKKOR AF-S DX 18-105 mm f/3.5–5.6G ED VR inner construction


Taking into account the price, we must praise the supplied accessory kit which includes: both caps, a petal-type lens hood and a soft case.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR ED - Build quality and image stabilization

Stabilization

In official specifications the manufacturer mentions the stabilization as efficient as 3 EV. The results of our test confirm this information. The graph below shows the correlation between the number of bad pictures and the exposure time (in EV, the zero point corresponds to the shutter speed of 1/100 second), at 50 mm with the stabilization system off (VR Off) and on (VR On). It’s clearly seen that in the middle range, where the efficiency can be assessed in the most objective way, the curves are about 3 EV apart, sometimes even a bit more. Nikkor deserves our praise here.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR ED - Build quality and image stabilization