Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Macro £430/$500
What’s good: Class-leading zoom range, extra wide-angle perspective, refined handling. What’s bad: Not especially sharp at some focal lengths, noticeable distortions and fringing. Our verdict: It’s the best buy for outright zoom range with little sacrifice in image quality. With its reasonably compact and lightweight yet splash-proof construction, refined handling and class-leading zoom range, the Tamron 16-300mm is a very attractive buy at a competitive price. It also gives you a wider viewing angle than any other Nikon-compatible superzoom lens on the market. Colour fringing is a bit on the high side, but all Nikon DSLRs from the D3 and D300 onwards (apart from the D60 and D3000) automatically correct this if you shoot in JPEG, or process your Raw images in Nikon software.
Our second-favourite is the Sigma 18-300mm, which is slightly sharper up to focal lengths of 145mm, a bit softer at 200mm, and about equal at 300mm.
The Tamron 18-200mm is unbeatable value, delivering good performance at a great price. Of the three Nikon lenses on test, the 18-200mm VR is the winner, despite being relatively short on reach.