Nikon AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR £630/$700


NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

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.

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