Per­for­mance

NPhoto - - Test Team -

De­spite hav­ing an ul­tra­sonic mo­tor rather than a ring-type ul­tra­sonic sys­tem, aut­o­fo­cus­ing is fairly fast. More un­usu­ally for this type of mo­tor-driven ar­range­ment, the lens fea­tures full-time man­ual fo­cus over­ride. Good lev­els of sharp­ness are main­tained through­out the zoom range and dis­tor­tions are quite well con­trolled, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the ex­tra widean­gle po­ten­tial of the lens. The orig­i­nal ver­sion of this lens was well re­ceived. Up­dated in 2009, this sec­ond edi­tion has the same op­ti­cal de­sign and Vi­bra­tion Re­duc­tion sys­tem, plus new coat­ings to re­duce ghost­ing and flare. It’s less prone to zoom creep than the orig­i­nal, though not com­pletely im­mune. The zoom lock switch is there­fore a use­ful ad­di­tion to the sec­ond edi­tion.

Big­ger and heav­ier than the Sigma and Tam­ron 18-200mm, 18-250mm and even 18-270mm lenses, this lens is almost the same size and weight as the newer of Nikon’s 18-300mm su­per­zooms. In ad­di­tion, the fil­ter thread is larger, at 72mm in­stead of 67mm, while the zoom range is more limited than in most com­pet­ing lenses. Up­mar­ket fea­tures in­clude ring­type ul­tra­sonic aut­o­fo­cus and a fo­cus-dis­tance scale be­neath a view­ing win­dow. The dualmode VR has both Nor­mal and Ac­tive op­tions, and there’s the usual rub­ber weather-seal ring on the mount­ing plate.

Per­for­mance

Com­pared with most su­per­zooms, lev­els of sharp­ness are more con­sis­tent through­out the zoom range. How­ever, that range is more limited than in most newer com­peti­tors, which are also lighter and smaller. Dis­tor­tions are av­er­age, though fring­ing is well con­trolled.

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