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Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6G VR

19 February 2010
Szymon Starczewski

4. Image resolution

The resolution, understood as MTF50 function values, was tested using RAW files from the Nikon D200. Its performance in the frame centre can be observed in the picture below.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6G VR - Image resolution

The view meeting our eyes is definitely nice to look at. For the price point the lens’s performance is simply outstanding. Even at the maximum relative aperture it reaches the values near 40 lpmm which means it can generate very sharp pictures there. It is very important for a moderately fast lens, which will be often used wide open. We don’t have to fear it and if we don’t fancy it we don’t have to stop down either.

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If additionally we remind ourselves how the first 18-55 mm Nikon „kit” fared – it had problems with reaching the level of 40 lpmm for any aperture and focal length combination - we realize how much the new Nikon’s product was improved. The company deserves a standing ovation here, especially that the cheapest “kit” doesn’t fare particularly worse than a more expensive Nikkor 16-85 VR.

When we get to the frame edge performance we look less than happy, though. At the maximum relative aperture and 18 mm the results are weak, for the longer focal lengths - average at most. Fortunately, on stopping down we see the situation improving significantly. In the range from 18 to 35 mm the stopping down to f/5.6-f/11 allows us to generate very sharp pictures even at the edge. A weaker performance we see at 55 mm, where only f/11 gives us a level we can assess as good.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6G VR - Image resolution

Traditionally at the end of this chapter we present out test scene crops saved by the camera in the JPEG format.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6G VR - Image resolution