Nikon AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR £630/$700
NIKON’S NEWER 18-300MM IS CUT DOWN TO SIZE
When Nikon launched its first 18-300mm superzoom (also on test), we criticised it for being too big and heavy for use as a travel lens. This newer edition is narrower, shorter and slashes nearly 300g off the weight, making it much more manageable. The downsizing is partly down to clever design, but there’s also a sacrifice in the widest available aperture at long zoom settings, which shrinks from f/5.6 to f/6.3. That’s a third of a stop ‘slower’ than in the other Nikon lenses on test, but no slower than the competing Sigma and Tamron lenses.
The construction feels pretty solid and a weather-seal ring is retained on the mounting plate. However, there’s no focus distance scale and, unlike with all the other lenses in the group, the hood is sold separately.
Sharpness is good at wide angles but tails off dramatically at 200mm, and is disappointing towards the 300mm mark. Other attributes of image quality are uninspiring as well, making this poor value at the price.