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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

6. Distortion

The chart below presents a comparison between the distortion results of the tested lens, the faster and more expensive Nikkor 18–300 mm f/3.5–5.6 and the rival Tamron16–300 mm f/3.5–6.3 Di II VC PZD MACRO. Still you must remember two things: the Tamron features a wider focal range so the distortion correction, especially at its wider end, is much more difficult in its case. On the other hand the Tamron was tested on a tad smaller sensor of the Canon 50D (1.6x) so it is very probable its results on a 1.5x sensor would be a tad worse.

16–18 mm
35 mm
50 mm
100 mm
200 mm
300 mm
Nikkor 18–300 f/3.5–6.3 VR
−4.81%
+2.24%
+2.71%
+2.10%
+1.54%
+1.46%
Nikkor 18–300 f/3.5–5.6 VR
−5.32%
+1.60%
+2.03%
+2.64%
+2.20%
+1.94%
Tamron 16–300 f/3.5–6.3 VC
−4.68%
+2.17%
+2.50%
+1.97%
+1.45%
+1.36%

It is clear that, compared to the predecessor, the constructors tried to limit the most bothersome barrel distortion, visible at 18 mm. They succeeded – its level decreased from−5.32% to −4.81%. Apart from that the results in the 100-300 mm range improved as well. Unfortunately very disturbing things can be noticed in the middle of the focal range. Already at 35 mm the pincushion distortion becomes quite intense, soaring to +2.24%, and by 50 mm it is even higher as its value reaches +2.71%. It is one of the highest pincushion distortion results we’ve ever seen in our tests.

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It should be clearly said that the Tamron 16-300 mm, even if more difficult to correct because of its wider range, has better results in this category than the tested Nikkor. When it comes to distortion the Nikon optics specialist didn’t exactly distinguish themselves.

Nikon D7000, 18 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Distortion
Nikon D7000, 35 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Distortion
Nikon D7000, 50 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Distortion
Nikon D7000, 100 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Distortion
Nikon D7000, 200 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Distortion
Nikon D7000, 300 mm
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Distortion