Nikon AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II £650/$650
Th e original and best Nikon DX superzoom
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.
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.