We put eight compact and lightweight zooms to the test
Recent wisdom says that a superzoom is the most travel-friendly option when taking your D-SLR on holiday or on a business trip, or when travelling to far-flung places for any other reason. A relatively dinky DX Nikon won’t weigh you down, and there’s a lot to be said for the versatility of a lens that covers everything from wide-angle coverage to telephoto reach in one convenient package. It means you can respond to pretty much any photo opportunity with just the turn of a zoom ring, instead of weighing yourself down with additional lenses that you need to change every few minutes.
Popular current superzooms for DX-format Nikons include 18-200mm and 18-300mm lenses from both Nikon and Sigma. These have effective zoom ranges of 27-300mm and 27-450mm respectively. Both give you a generous focal length range, but neither go overboard at the wide-angle end. For this, as well as for outright zoom range, the Tamron 16-300mm is leader of the pack, with its effective 24-450mm range.
But is a superzoom really the best option for travel? While they are convenient, they can also be fairly chunky. Indeed, Nikon’s original 18-300mm is so