Nikon AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II £650/$650

Th e orig­i­nal and best Nikon DX su­per­zoom

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

This is ac­tu­ally the Mk II edi­tion of Nikon’s 18-200mm VR lens. How­ever, both edi­tions have the same op­ti­cal de­sign and sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion VR sys­tem, which in­cludes au­to­matic pan­ning de­tec­tion in Nor­mal mode, plus an ad­di­tional ‘Ac­tive’ mode for over­com­ing in­creased phys­i­cal vi­bra­tions. The most ob­vi­ous up­date is that the Mk II fea­tures a zoom lock switch.

Build qual­ity feels re­as­sur­ingly good and the ring-type ul­tra­sonic aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem is typ­i­cally quiet, and also en­ables the usual full-time manual over­ride. Along with the Tam­ron 16-300mm and other Nikon lenses, the fo­cus ring re­mains fixed in place dur­ing aut­o­fo­cus. Un­like the cheaper Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3, this has a fo­cus dis­tance scale and comes com­plete with a hood.

Per­for­mance

Sharp­ness at 200mm is bet­ter than from the smaller of the two Nikon 18-300mm lenses, but bar­rel dis­tor­tion at 18mm is equally poor. There’s less colour fring­ing, aut­o­fo­cus per­for­mance is faster, and the ad­di­tion of Ac­tive VR mode is a bonus.

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