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Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR

24 February 2015
Szymon Starczewski

5. Chromatic and spherical aberration

Chromatic aberration

The performance of the older Nikkor AF-S DX 18–300 mm f/3.5–5.6G ED VR in this category was a complete disaster, no matter what kind of aberration you took into account. One glance at crops below and the difference between the new and the old lens are clear. The new model corrects the longitudinal chromatic aberration much better: its level is slight even at the maximum relative aperture and on stopping down by 1 EV it disappears completely.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration

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A noticeable improvement can also be seen in the case of the lateral chromatic aberration. Let’s have a glance at the graph below.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration


A low level of that aberration can be seen at 50-100 mm focal range. At the shortest focal lengths and in the 200-300 mm range the aberration is medium after significant stopping down. Only near the maximum relative aperture at 200 and 300 mm it can be very problematic as its level reaches 0.22%.

D7000, RAW, 100 mm, f/11.0 D7000, RAW, 300 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration



Spherical aberration

The tested lens didn’t have any ‘focus shift’ effect. The crops below show that the light circles we got in front of and behind the focal point differ a bit so the spherical aberration correction is not perfect; still it is certainly nothing very serious.

Nikon D7000, 100 mm, f/5.6, in front of Nikon D7000, 100 mm, f/5.6, behind
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration