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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

8. Vignetting

The thumbnails showing vignetting results of the tested lens at particular focal lengths and aperture values are presented in a chart below.

18 mm, f/3.5 18 mm, f/5.6
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Vignetting
50 mm, f/4.8 50 mm, f/5.6
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Vignetting
100 mm, f/5.6 100 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Vignetting
200 mm, f/6.3 200 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Vignetting
300 mm, f/6.3 300 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR - Vignetting


At a difficult combination of the maximum relative aperture and the shortest focal length the vignetting amounts to 35% (−1.26 EV). What’s interesting it is a better result than that of the bigger, heavier predecessor which vignetting with the same combination of parameters was 41%. On stopping down the aperture to f/4.0 the vignetting decreases to 32% (−1.11 EV). A noticeable drop of this aberration’s level can be noticed only by f/5.6 where it gets to 19% (−0.63 EV). By f/8.0 and f/11 the brightness loss amounts to respectively 15% (−0.46 EV) and 14% (−0.44 EV).

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A much better situation can be observed at 50 mm focal length where, at the maximum relative aperture, you must take into account the loss of 20% (−0.63 EV) of light in the frame corners. Stopping down the aperture to f/5.6 you can decrease the vignetting to 14% (−0.45 EV). That aberration becomes imperceptible by f/8.0 where it reaches just 8% (−0.24 EV).

After passing to 100 mm focal length you can observe a slight vignetting increase. By f/5.6 that aberration goes to 26% (−0.88 EV), by f/8.0 it is 16% (−0.49 EV) and by f/11 it drops to an almost imperceptible level of 10% (−0.31 EV). Here the advantage of the rival is clear as in the 50-100 mm range it didn’t have any vignetting at all, with the results hovering between 9 and 16%.

At 200 mm focal length you can still observe moderate vignetting values. Applying the maximum relative aperture you have to take into account losses of about 28% (−0.96 EV) of light which decrease to 20% (−0.66 EV) on stopping down to f/8.0. At f/11 and f/16 apertures the vignetting results are respectively 13% (−0.41 EV) and 7% (−0.21 EV). These values are very similar to those we got in the case of the lens’s predecessor.

The maximum focal length means another vignetting increase – fortunately it is not that big. At the maximum relative aperture that aberration amounts to 30% (−1.04 EV) and once again it is a value almost the same as that of the Nikkor’s predecessor. By f/8.0 the vignetting is 21% (−0.67 EV), and by f/11 it reaches 13% (−0.41 EV). The aberration becomes completely imperceptible only by f/16 where it gets to 6% (−0.19 EV).

Our overall assessment of the Nikkor’s AF-S DX 18–300 mm f/3.5–6.3G ED VR vignetting performance is higher than the assessment of its bigger and more expensive predecessor. The differences between them were hard to notice at 200-300 mm focal lengths; in the new model you can notice an increased vignetting level from 50 to 100 mm but without reaching any truly bothersome values. The most troublesome vignetting at the wide angle was reduced for a change. In our view it is a good swap.

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

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

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

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

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