Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor

 
Lens Reviews / Nikon Lenses i Lab tested

Lab Test Results

  • Blur
  • Chromatic Aberration
  • Vignetting
  • Geometric Distortion
18-105mm $397
average price
image of Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor

(From Nikon lens literature) The new compact and affordable AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens continues the tradition of NIKKOR precision optics to provide photographers with sharp, high-resolution images. The integration of an ultra-compact Silent Wave Motor ensures fast, quiet and accurate autofocus operation, and complements the lens' compact form factor.

SLRgear Review
September 2, 2008
by Andrew Alexander

The Nikon 18-105mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 is Nikon's latest ''kit'' lens, sold with the D90 digital SLR camera. The lens is designed to fit a camera with an APS-C (''subframe'') sensor, so while it will mount on Nikon film or FX digital bodies, it will show obvious vignetting when set to any focal length.

Small and light, the 18-105mm represents a field of view of approximately 27-158mm in 35mm terms. To economize and create a more efficient design, the lens is equipped with a variable aperture; as the zoom extends the focal length, both the smallest and the largest apertures change. The following chart represents the largest and smallest apertures you can expect at a given focal length:

Focal length 18mm 24mm 35mm 50mm 70mm 105mm
Largest aperture ƒ/3.5 ƒ/3.8 ƒ/4.5 ƒ/5 ƒ/5.3 ƒ/5.6
Smallest aperture ƒ/22 ƒ/25 ƒ/29 ƒ/32 ƒ/36 ƒ/36

The lens is equipped with Nikon's vibration reduction (VR) technology, advertising a hand-holding improvement of up to three stops. The lens ships with a petal-shaped hood, takes 67mm filters, and is available with a MSRP of $400.

Sharpness
The 18-105mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 provides very sharp results, at least as good as its recent contemporaries and better than previous designs in the same focal length range.

Perhaps the best word to describe the sharpness profile of the 18-105mm is 'consistent'. With most zoom lenses, especially in the ''kit'' category, the designer must juggle a variety of factors, not the least of which is the cost of the design. Frequently a lens will be a good wide-angle performer, only to suffer when used at full telephoto; or, vice versa. This is not the case with the 18-105mm, which shows excellent performance at all focal lengths.

Most lenses show off their imperfections when used at their widest aperture. The 18-105mm is very sharp wide open at all focal lengths, with just slight traces of corner softness; typically, there is a large region of central sharpness (the ''sweet spot'') at 1 blur unit, and corners soften very slightly to 2-2.5 blur units. Stopping down by just one aperture setting improves this performance; best results are obtained in the 35-50mm range, where corner softness disappears. By ƒ/8, the lens reaches its optimal performance at all focal lengths, though for the mid-range (again, 35-50mm) the differences between ƒ/5.6 and ƒ/8 are negligible.

If there's a weakness in the lens at all, it would be performance at 105mm, where image sharpness doesn't quite reach the level seen at other focal lengths. However you'd be hard-pressed to see the quality difference in practical use.

Performance with the lens fully stopped-down isn't as good, but this is to be expected. If you need to stop down the lens, keeping it at the ƒ/22 will give you very good results - between 2 and 2.5 blur units across the frame. The lens is capable of stopping down further, between ƒ/25 and ƒ/36 depending on the focal length, but at these apertures diffraction takes a toll on image sharpness, resulting in images showing between 4 and 5 blur units across the frame.

To summarize, the 18-105mm provides excellent results for sharpness across all focal lengths and apertures below ƒ/22. Optimal performance is seen at ƒ/8, but the difference in quality between ƒ/8 and when the lens is used at its widest apertures shouldn't stop you from using the lens however you wish.

Chromatic Aberration
Chromatic aberration is present in images produced with this lens, but only most noticeably when used at its widest focal length (18mm). CA is generally well-controlled at all focal lengths, showing up mostly in the corners (this is represented by the red ''maximum'' line in our CA test results graph). Zooming out slightly reduces the presence of chromatic aberration drastically.

Generally, the choice of aperture doesn't really influence the presence of chromatic aberration, but according to the test charts we do note a slight rise in CA as the lens is stopped down.

Shading (''Vignetting'')
The 18-105mm does show some evidence of corner shading, but its presence is fairly subtle. If you demand absolutely no corner shading in images produced by this lens, you'll have to use it at apertures of ƒ/11 or smaller; larger apertures result in some form of corner shading. Using a focal length of 35-50mm will help; these focal lengths are a bit more forgiving, and will only produce significant corner shading when the lens is used at apertures wider than ƒ/8.

At the focal length extremes, upwards of 2/3 of a stop of corner shading can be seen when the lens is used at its largest aperture.

Distortion
Distortion has always been a feature of Nikon's consumer-level zoom lenses, and the 18-105mm has not improved in this regard. There is no focal length setting where the lens has been optimized to produce a distortion-free image. The distortion profile for the lens varies widely with the focal length being used.

Test sample, upper left corner,
showing pincushion distortion.

At the wider angle focal lengths (18-21mm), distortion is distinctly of the ''barrel'' type, with the center of the image pushing outward from the middle. This form of distortion is easier to correct in image post-processing software, as both the edges and the center of the image are barrel-distorted. At its widest point (18mm) the edges of the image show 1% barrel distortion.

From 24mm onwards, we see a complex distortion profile: the edges of the image exhibit pincushion-style distortion (the edges of the image are ''pulled'' into the frame) while the center exhibits barrel distortion. The effect isn't dramatically evident - but if you need your photographs to show straight lines as truly straight, then you're in for a bit of a surprise. Straight lines will show the ''moustache'' effect, where they bend one way at one edge, another way in the center, and then back the first way at the other edge. This form of distortion is fairly consistent from 50-105mm; fortunately, it's not especially severe, at around 0.4% barrel distortion in the center and -0.7% pincushion distortion at the edges.

Autofocus Operation
As an AF-S lens, autofocus operation is quick and virtually silent. The 18-105mm will work on all Nikon camera bodies that support SWM (silent wave motor) lenses. Autofocus results can be overridden at any time by simply turning the focus ring.

Macro
The 18-105mm isn't designed for macro work, but is holds up with a respectable 1:5 reproduction ratio (0.2x magnification). Minimum close-focusing range is 45cm (almost one and a half feet) from the image sensor; from the end of the lens, you're looking at about 28cm (11 inches).

Build Quality and Handling

The 18-105mm plugs a gap in Nikon's 18mm+ range of consumer zoom lenses between the 18-70mm and 18-135mm lenses. The 18-105mm can be thought of as a 18-135mm with reduced reach, having a lot in common with that design. In fact it uses the same number of elements in almost an identical arrangement, but one group of lens elements has incorporated Nikon's VR system. It also retains the 18-135mm's seven curved diaphragm blades. Personally, I can't see the justification for another zoom lens in this category; perhaps the designers couldn't make a VR-enabled 18-135mm lens work, and the 18-105mm was the compromise.

The 18-105mm is a solid lens, armed with as many acronym descriptors as Nikon could muster: ED (Extra-low dispersion glass elements, to reduce chromatic aberration), SID (Super Integrated Coating, to reduce flare), ASP (aspherical lens elements, for wide-angle performance), IF (internal focusing, so the lens doesn't change its length during focus), D (provides distance information), G (it's a G-series lens, with no aperture ring), SWM (it's an AF-S lens, so it uses a silent wave motor for fast focusing), VR (vibration reduction) and DX (uses smaller glass elements that only truly cover a subframe camera body).

Compared to the 18-135mm, it's just slightly (3mm) longer and wider, and 35 grams heavier (420g), no doubt to accommodate the VR system. It uses the same 67mm filters, which don't rotate during focus or zoom operation. The lens doesn't have the fit and finish of previous kit lenses; there is no distance scale, and consequently no depth-of-field markings. Focal lengths are marked on the lens near the zoom ring, but that's about it. Two control switches are available on the lens' left side: one which enables or disables autofocus (A or M) and one which enables or disables vibration reduction (ON or OFF).

The zoom ring is the major feature of the lens, mounted forward of the focus ring. It's over 1.5 inches wide and is composed of a thick ribbed rubber texture which is very easy to grip. The zoom action of the lens is not internal, so the lens will extend almost 2 extra inches at the 105mm end. The zoom ring travels roughly 80 degrees in its range. There is a nice resistance in the zoom action, such that I doubt zoom creep will be a problem with this lens.

The focus ring of the lens a comparative afterthought, only 5/16 of an inch in width. It does have a nice rubber texture though, with raised ridges, and the difference in sizes means you won't accidentally turn the wrong ring (provided you remember which ring does what). The focus ring only offers around 100 degrees of travel, which isn't really that great for manual focus control. It is decently smooth, but we've definitely seen better manual focus control. My sense is however that this lens is not aimed at the manual focus crowd.

The lens comes standard with a plastic, petal-shaped lens hood that attaches via a bayonet mount and can be reversed for storage. The lens isn't flocked on the inside but does a decent job shielding the front element from sun coming in at oblique angles. The lens hood adds an additional 1.25 inches to the overall length of the lens.

We're in the final stages of our image stabilization test protocols, and while I can't give you definitive numbers for the VR performance of the 18-105mm, I can tell you it's more than just a gimmick and really does offer improved performance in controlling camera shake. The VR employed in the 18-105mm isn't as robust as that seen in the 18-200mm, offering only one setting for VR (on and off). The VR2 system allows for ''active'' and ''normal'' VR usage, allowing for panning shots which compensate for vertical shake only.

Alternatives

Nikon 18-135mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX ~$340
If you don't need vibration reduction, you'll get pretty much the same optical properties in the 18-135mm and an additional reach of 30mm on the telephoto end. Looking very strictly at the numbers the 18-135mm is slightly sharper than the 18-105mm, especially in the corners; however, the 18-105mm does a much better job at reducing chromatic aberration. The 18-135mm shows off worse corner shading, and both lenses produce an odd pattern of distortion through their focal lengths.

Nikon 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR ~$660
If you do want VR, then this is pretty much the lens in the Nikon lineup you want (or, the 18-55mm VR, if you don't need the telephoto reach). The 18-200mm is a little longer in the tooth than the 18-105mm, and thus the 18-105mm can benefit from some of Nikon's newer technical developments. The 200mm isn't as sharp as the 105mm, but in other categories the two lenses fare about the same.

Sigma 18-125mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 DC OS HSM ~$400
If you prefer to try a non-Nikon alternative, the Sigma 18-125mm is available for your consideration. We haven't yet tested this lens, but user reviews are generally positive. It features a higher macro rating (1:3.8 reproduction), but apart from being slightly heavier (505g) it's very similar to the Nikon 18-105mm. However, the user reviews, as well as our testing of the similar Sigma 18-200mm lens, suggest that optimal image sharpness can only be achieved when the lens is significantly stopped down.

Conclusion
The Nikon 18-105mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 definitely raises the bar for Nikon's current lineup of kit lenses; consistently sharp, even at large apertures, with good resistance to chromatic aberration. Corner shading is prevalent, but it's not a noticeable problem. Distortion is evident and irregular, but again, you're probably only going to notice it if you need your straight lines to be absolutely straight.

The inclusion of VR to this level of lens is a welcome addition; we don't have pricing for the lens individually, but there will finally be an alternative to the 18-200mm VR for users who don't need that range of focal lengths. Nikon was able to improve the optical quality, reduce the weight, and presumably, the end price. It's easy to recommend the 18-105mm to Nikon shooters as an excellent walk-around lens.

Sample Photos

The VFA target should give you a good idea of sharpness in the center and corners, as well as some idea of the extent of barrel or pincushion distortion and chromatic aberration, while the Still Life subject may help in judging contrast and color. We shoot both images using the default JPEG settings and manual white balance of our test bodies, so the images should be quite consistent from lens to lens.

As appropriate, we shoot these with both full-frame and sub-frame bodies, at a range of focal lengths, and at both maximum aperture and ƒ/8. For the ''VFA'' target (the viewfinder accuracy target from Imaging Resource), we also provide sample crops from the center and upper-left corner of each shot, so you can quickly get a sense of relative sharpness, without having to download and inspect the full-res images. To avoid space limitations with the layout of our review pages, indexes to the test shots launch in separate windows.

Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor User Reviews

8.4/10 average of 31 reviews Build Quality 7.7/10 Image Quality 8.4/10
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (7 reviews)
    versatile, strong built
    poor in low light

    I've purchased this lens a while ago with the intention of using it for wide angle shots and the ability to zoom in on far away subjects as I like animal photography. I m very satisfied with the overall quality of the pics it delivers and the autofocus speed and accuracy. The lens is light weight and doesn't feel strongly built but I once left it fall on the floor and no scratch at all. I can only recommend it to any photographer . No negative points so far except the 5.6 at 105mm of course.

    reviewed June 23rd, 2015 (purchased for $399)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (3 reviews)
    Excellent for the price
    None

    Over the decades I've owned lots of cameras and lenses - good, bad and indifferent.

    This is one of the better lenses I've owned and by far and away the best kit lens I've ever owned.

    I'm simply amazed at how good it is given that Nikon bundle it with their DX DSLRs for such a low price.

    reviewed June 7th, 2014
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (3 reviews)
    Affordable VR lens, light weight and sharp enogh for me!
    At the price, I can't think of one.

    I bought this second hand about 18 months ago and I'm really pleased with the results.

    It is a surprisingly good lens and only comes off the camera if I need something with a longer reach or true macro capability.

    The VR is only really needed in low light but it certainly works when you want it to.

    reviewed May 15th, 2014 (purchased for $130)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (8 reviews)
    Good zoom range, affordable
    A bit soft, noticable distorsion, cheap build quality

    As a beginners first (and only) lens the Nikon 18-105 is a good choice, especially if budget is tight. It is more powerfull than the 18-55 but not as heavy and expensive as the 18-200. While it does not have the optical or mechanical quality of the 16-85 it cost about 1/3.

    Sharpnes is decent, sometimes even good, but not much more. Distorsion is somewhat noticable and non-linear which makes it diffucult to correct in camera or in post-processing. The mount is plastic and wear soon makes it fit loosely. There is no weather-sealing gasket or focus distance scale.

    reviewed May 5th, 2014 (purchased for $250)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (4 reviews)
    Good ergonomics, useful range, as sharp as anything else under $2000.
    None.

    Versatile lens at a great price now the 18-140mm is around the corner. Does everything you want apart from bokeh'd portraits.
    Better than the 18-200 considering the price differential.
    Can get a 70-300 vr with the saving.

    reviewed September 18th, 2013 (purchased for $150)
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by (2 reviews)
    range, decently sharpy for kit, VR
    ugly distortion, plastic, average AF speed

    very decent kit lens and also beat the similiar kit lenses on the market at similar price. Distortion is preety evident and complex to say. It will work good on 12mpx -16mpx sensor other wise look for better lens for more demanding sensor. Oh Af speed is decent but nothing to rave about. Also sharpness is preety nice ( also little less sharp on corners). this lens is very sharp at 5.6( till center to edge) and up to about f10, only using at 105mm close it a little to about f7.1 or f8. VR is also one good point of this lens in my hands I can get a good result of 1/2 speed of actual focal lenght.

    A good performer if this is your step into dsrl world.

    reviewed July 21st, 2013
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (8 reviews)
    Light
    Weak at 105mm

    18-105 bought from Adorama as a refurb white box deal. Cheap and worth it. This is the lens i put on my D7000 when my wife is using it.

    Sharp from 18-about 90 or so. Not any better than 18-200 that i can tell. Very light, simple and cheap. I don't even have a filter on it...

    I also have 5 other nikkors... so in comparing if you can spring for a longer zoom, go for it. I have had this lens for 3 years and it serves a good purpose for family gatherings, with VR and low light shots... And don't be afraid of the white box jobs. They are ok even though the warranty is one year instead of five. The only lens that has let me down was an 18-200.

    The 18-105 is a good sacrificial lamb if you have to share your camera with others, too.

    reviewed February 23rd, 2013 (purchased for $265)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    easy to use, vr, sharpness, price
    distortion at low focal length

    I bought this lens with the Nikon D7000.
    At first I thought that the lens will produce standard image but to my surprise the pictures come out amazing.
    The lens is very easy to use and is suitable for any use, whether wide or close-up photography.
    In the auto focus status the lens will get the desired result for the simple user but not for professional user.
    There is a little distortion at the corners of the lens- vignete, especially at 105 focal length,
    Nothing that damage the image and can be easily corrected in Photoshop.
    I use that lens for at least 85% of the pictures I take.
    Lens withstand harsh conditions, cold and heat, not affected by them at all.
    Strongly recommended for those looking for a lens to a wide range of affordable activities for every budget.

    reviewed December 31st, 2012 (purchased for $175)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (21 reviews)
    low-cost and highly efficient lens with useful focal lengths
    none

    I am a professional Nikon user so I expect high performance, and this lens certainly provides superb handling and optical perfection at a very low cost.

    Works perfectly with my D300 and D90 camera bodies when I want a light-weight reliable lens that covers 18-105mm. Instant focus and sharp as any of the professional zoom lenses I use.

    On the D5100 camera body it is very efficient for travel and lifestyle photography. Amazingly sharp at all focal lengths.

    I bought this one from Grays of Westminster.

    reviewed September 2nd, 2011 (purchased for $300)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (5 reviews)
    Impressive Image Quality at 70mm f5.6, vr effective and silent, walkaround lens,
    Some chromatic aberration at wide agle, focus hunt at dark (need flash led to focus), too much vignete at 105mm

    This is the best affordable walk around lens.

    Only problem I found it tends to give too much cool temperature shots, some chromatic aberration at wide agle and too much vignete at 105mm.

    Despite that is a impressive lens, 80% of my shots i use this lens, even having some expensive ones. Very good for portraits.

    Check some awsome shots i had with this at my webpage:

    http://www.carloshackmannphotography.com/Galleries/Landscapes/14214801_Xvmfw#1050422248_WCZ6v
    http://www.carloshackmannphotography.com/Galleries/Landscapes/14214801_Xvmfw#1050421209_Zz5MR
    http://www.carloshackmannphotography.com/Galleries/Landscapes/14214801_Xvmfw#1050401443_MQ7yN
    http://www.carloshackmannphotography.com/Galleries/Landscapes/14214801_Xvmfw#1050399814_VU2Dy
    http://www.carloshackmannphotography.com/Galleries/Landscapes/14214801_Xvmfw#1060039475_dpCRB

    reviewed October 18th, 2010 (purchased for $300)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (4 reviews)
    Decent quatity for a budget zoom, vr , ideal walk around lens
    none really (the flaws are acceptable at the price i piad)

    this is a good lense for it's price, atleast my example is. The most important reaseons to buy were the long reach from 18-105 mm aka 27mm -157.5 mm (35mm) .

    the second one was the VR function and the third the ED glass element , on my Nikon D80 and D50 it is a good walk around lense

    reviewed March 14th, 2010 (purchased for $411)
  • 6 out of 10 points and not recommended by (12 reviews)
    Useful zoom range, Very good VR
    Not durable

    I use this lens for half a year. It was a good lens; good sharpness, good VR, fair focusing speed, etc. I say "it was" because the focusing mechanism was broken a week ago. It worked at most zoom range but I felt like something jammed inside at 105 mm. and MF didn't work!!!

    I decided to sell it AS-IS on a local website.

    What's up Nikon. Your lens last only 6 months. I have been using many Nikkon cameras and lenses for more than 10 years. This is my first Nikkor that was broken. I don't believe it. My ancient manual focus Nikkors are still alive, they built to last forever.

    reviewed January 28th, 2010 (purchased for $300)
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by (33 reviews)
    Sharp, compact, quick, light, handling overall, price
    Really nothing at this price

    After using a lot of gear (C and N) this so called kit-lens blew me away on the D90. With the in-camera corrections of the D90 it is reallygood what this lens can do. For the D7k its a downer. AF is erratic and IQ only so/so. The 16mp´s on the D7k are clearly to much for this cheap lens. To bad.

    reviewed January 8th, 2010 (purchased for $200)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (11 reviews)
    long reach, VR, sharp, sharp, sharp
    None

    I got this lens after using the 16-85 VR for about a year and it's been dissapointing to find out it has a serious flaw with matrix metering.
    But I'm quite sure it's the body, not the lens.
    I used it with spot and CW metering and the results are just as good as from the 16-85 VR which costs more than twice.
    Excellent lens for the money. Can't be beat.

    reviewed December 27th, 2009
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (4 reviews)
    Very sharp, good contrast, VR, solid construction, no creep, great price
    Plastic mount, would be nice to have a distance scale

    I originally purchased a D300 bundled with the 18-135 in December of 2007. While I got very good results with that lens, I sorely missed having vibration reduction. After waiting almost a year for something with VR in a similar range, the D90 was announced with this lens. I sold the 18-135 and picked up a copy of the 18-105 at a very attractive price.

    I have found this lens to be a step up in just about every catagory. While the 18-135 may have a tiny advantage in corner sharpness, I don't think any difference is readily apparent. If you can stop down a bit, the images become identical. Plus the VR more than makes up for any minuscule difference in sharpness. VR yields a tremendous improvement. I can now truly say that it is a joy to shoot handheld.

    According to the review, the 18-105 is much better than the 18-135 at reducing chromatic aberration. Since the D300 automatically process that out, I don't have a basis for comparison there.

    I have seen a noticable improvement in both shading and distortion over the 18-135. The distortion of the 18-105 is more subtle and wavy versus the pronounced pincushion distortion of the 18-135 at most of the higher focal lengths. I used to run shots with architectural details through PT Lens or DxO Optics but now I am content to leave them as shot for everday use.

    For the small tradeoff of 30mm of reduced reach versus the 18-135, this lens is a significant improvement. It's impressively sharp and well constructed for the price. Overall, I couldn't be happier............. :)

    reviewed November 26th, 2009 (purchased for $270)
  • 6 out of 10 points and not recommended by (6 reviews)
    VR, good IQ, good price with VR function
    heavy distortion, soft beyond 50mm

    A very all-around lens and balances well with D90. VR is useful at tele range.

    Actually, even though it has a high zoom range the best results in terms of resolution (center and edges) and distortion can be get around 24-35mm. Other than that the IQ gets slightly worse and distortion gets really heavier.

    I sold this one and bought a 24-85mm f/2.8-4D. And I believe it was the right thing to do.

    reviewed November 13th, 2009 (purchased for $250)
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    Sharp, Contrast, Lightweight , VR, Decent size Focus Ring, Solid Construction
    Plastic Mount

    For a kit lens with the D90 I couldn't believe the sharpness of the images, while wide open there is corner softness on most focal lengths, stopping down to f/5.6 at the wide end fixes most of the this.

    I found the sweet spot for my lens was at f/8 with center sharpness being somewhat sharper at f/5.6 from 35-70mm, however at f/8 the frame is sharp all over.

    - Noticeable vignetting at wide end
    - VR works well enough for me that i can get 7 out of 10 shots sharp at a 1/2 sec exposure handheld @ 18-50mm
    - Compared to the 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5D IF it is slightly sharper at all focal lengths, That being said the images become almost the same in terms of sharpness when you get to f/8-f/10

    I took this lens to an Airshow while the 105mm is just barely enough for take off and landing shots the shots that i did take surprised me for a non prime lens. I will most likely hold on to this lens until i get the 16-85mm VR,

    Also I used this lens on the D90 I do not know performance on other cameras.

    reviewed April 10th, 2009 (purchased for $320)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    Excellent sharpness, value, general versatility
    Distortion a little strong, Vignetting visible at widest aperture at 18mm, though not terribly apparent on the field.

    If you can get around the len's somewhat pronounced distortion at the wide end, it is definitely a step above all other "kit lens" until your budget allows for a much more expensive f/2.8 standard zoom.

    reviewed March 1st, 2009 (purchased for $280)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (2 reviews)
    Value, Sharpness, Range, Vibration Reduction, Contrast, Weight
    Lack of Distance scale, Distortion at 18mm-22mm

    I sure am surprised that I am the first person to review this awesome lens! I am very happy that I decided to drop the $250 on this lens. I was shooting with the Nikon 18-70mm lens, which was already great for a main lens - but I was ready for something that added some range and low light usability. The lens is quite sharp throughout. Although not perfect - I consider it sharp as it is sold as part of the D90 kit. It may not be 100% tack sharp - but it's very impressive for a lens found under $300! The range is also very convenient and useful for travel if you decide not to drop the circa $600 on the the 18-200mm, which doesn't always deliver as much sharpness as we wish for! The vibration reduction works fantastically - especially since the maximum aperture is just average. Luckily - the image quality is ideal at maximum aperture, so no stopping down is required. Anyway - I'm rambling - so just go ahead and give this lens a try if you're thinking about it!

    reviewed February 22nd, 2009 (purchased for $250)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    VR!!!, solid build-quality, great all-in-one lens
    None found so far

    I had been wanting a VR lens for quite some time to replace the 18-135mm Nikon on my D50, but the only one that met my needed focal length range was the 18-200mm, a great lens but way more than I could spend! Then a couple of weeks ago I saw this lens for $267.00 online, read a few reviews, then decided to jump on it...and am glad I did! Have used it often over two weeks and am super pleased: build-quality and design very similar to the 18-135mm it replaced, but the VR is unbelievable!! I've taken several shots at 105mm (157mm equivalent) at speeds as low as 1/5 sec and the results were amazing. While I'm not saying those shots were as sharp as higher shutter speed results, I can say my wife didn't notice anything when she viewed them. If you want one lens that can't take probably 90% of your shots, this is as good as it gets...for the price.

    reviewed February 4th, 2009 (purchased for $267)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (3 reviews)
    AP-S and VR 86.5viewing angle on 18mm
    "a bit heavy" said from my sister

    comes with the d90 for 1109.00 ship n taxed
    105mm vignetting

    reviewed February 1st, 2009
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (5 reviews)
    sharp, good range, light, VR
    distortion

    I am using this lens now for a while, and find it the optimal carryalong lens for me. It is very sharp with good contrast and very good Bokeh. The build quality is good enough for me, since I do not change lenses very often. Even if I did, it would probably last for a long time.

    I like the VR, since it allows me to go for 1/15 sec almost through the complete range. That is more than I expected. I also like the manual focus override. I like the zoom ring. It does not creep and works well.

    You will get distortion at both ends, which you want to remove in postprocessing. If you do not want that, do not buy this specific lens. You probably want a prime then, since almost all zooms have a lot of distortion over a wide range.

    Chromatic aberation was never a real problem with this lens, though it has CA. Vignetting, I never observed. You will get vignetting only full open at 18mm.

    reviewed December 11th, 2008 (purchased for $200)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    price, sharpness at medium apertures, good vr, weight, ilter size
    slight softening at 105 wide open, build not as good as some Nikons

    A great match for the D90 optically, and a decent all in one travel lens...longer zooms compromise optical quality, so I'm happy with the 105. Previous lenses included the excellent 18-70...this seems just as good an optical bargain + VR + an extra 35mm of zoom; well done Nikon. I've added the 70 -300 Nikon, a Sigma 10-20 wide zoom and hope for a tamron or Sigma macro for Christmas!

    reviewed November 16th, 2008
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    Sharpness, VR, cost
    slight corner-softness

    Upgraded to this lens after the autofocus motor on my 18-55 II failed. Proved to be an excellent decision as the lens is a considerable improvement over the old D40 kit lens.
    Optical quality is stellar; delivering sharp, contrasty images. Sharpness is consistent throughout its range, and excellent even when wide open.
    Construction quality is good, despite the plastic mount; VR and autofocus operations are virtually silent.
    VR performs admirably, helping the lens deliver great low-light performance.
    There is some minor corner-softness and distortion, but not really noticeable unless you go looking for it.

    All in all, this lens is a worthy addition to Nikon's lineup, and the best bang for the buck you can currently get.

    reviewed November 16th, 2008 (purchased for $290)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (2 reviews)
    Sharpness,sharpness,sharpness!
    18 mm

    I have Nikon D60 and replaced my 18-55/3,5-5,6 VR kit.Very sharp and now i can use CPL filters for mountain landscape pictures.Fast focus, nice touch and more PRO look on your camera such kit lens.This is my second lens i ever used so i'm very happy with my little upgrade.For beginners is perfect combination- good body(D60)+cheap lens(around 250-300 USD).Go out and shoot!

    reviewed November 10th, 2008 (purchased for $295)
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    Compact for travel, VR
    Vignetting at 105 mm Distortion at 18 mmm

    I waited forever to choose a lens other than the kit to buy a D80, thinking I did not want a slow, variable aperture lens, then gave up and preordered the D90 with the kit lens.
    I am pleasantly surprised with the kit lens + VR combo.
    After using Canon PowerShot and comparing with my film SLR experience (Olympus OM's + mostly prime lenses) I have only 2 minor complaints about the 18-105: Noticeable vignetting wide open at 105 mm and noticeable distortion at 18 mm. I know software can correct both but this is still an extra step. I know tests show CA wide open but the D90 processes this out in software. Overall this is a practical range for travel, I am planning to add a 70-300 VR and a longish fast Macro to round up the range. The fast tele lenses I really drool over are $4,000 - 8,000. You can't always get what you want…
    Recommended, but I would not go buy this lens to add to a range if it did not come as a kit

    reviewed November 6th, 2008 (purchased for $300)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    price, sharpness, contrast, and VR
    none, given it`s intended consumer class market

    What other lens in this price class offers so much for the money?
    I`ve had all the other Nikon AFS18-XX(X) lenses and all were just fine but IMO this one is the right focal length for all around amateur street shooting especially since it has vibration reduction.
    The build quality is comparable to the 18-135 and better than all the 18-55`s and sharpness is as good as it gets in this segment.
    OK, so there`s some distortion wide open but PT Lens ($15) fixes most of it if it bothers you.
    If you need something faster you should consider spending 4-5 times more for the next step up.

    reviewed November 5th, 2008 (purchased for $250)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (4 reviews)
    Focal length, image stability, sharpness, easy to use for novices
    naturally heavier than the 18-55mm kit lens I replaced, otherwise nothing really

    After seeing plenty of reviews all over the web, I got the impression many Nikon fans felt there's no place for this lens in the lens lineup, but I disagree. It's the perfect upgrade from the 18-55 II kit lens (which broke from being dropped, hence the replacement upgrade). One thing many Pro reviewers agree on is that VR seems to be a necessity now, rather than a luxury, so based on that, the 18-135mm seems to be redundant (but nonetheless a lens I seriously considered before this came out).

    If you play with the 18-135, the difference between image magnification between 105 and 135mm is minimal. then the difference between 135mm to 200 mm is noticeable, but an extra $380 !!

    Well, if this lens is in your budget, and you simply want to take great pictures of your family, I thoroughly endorse this lens.

    The distortion at 18mm is noticeable when doing close ups, but only people looking for this will notice, such as lens reviewers and gadget geeks. All you really notice is the quality of the steady shot from the VR, and of course double the focal length of the 18-55mm for details shots of buildings and landscapes.

    In the UK, this lens is being extracted from the kit and sold separately as some sellers are then offering the D90 body alone to owners who already have the 18-200mm (or similar), and don't rate the 18-105 as a worthy addition to their collection. I think there's a trick here that you and I can exploit to buy a really affordable VR lens with a very useable focal range, while the rest of the market scrambles of much more expensive (and admittedly superior) alternatives.

    After reading the reviews on SLRgear.com, I made up my mind to buy and I'm very happy I did so. Thanks for all you who reviewed the lens here and to SLRGear.com.

    reviewed October 24th, 2008 (purchased for $240)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    Very sharp!

    I've been very happy with this in combination with a D90.

    reviewed October 21st, 2008
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    SHARP!!!
    Plastic mount

    It is currently the best kit lens.
    It is quiet, fast and light.

    And I think 18-105vr + 70-300vr should be a good combination

    Vignetting at 18mm F3.5 may not be a serious problem when using with D90. Because D90 has built-in vignetting control which is similar to D700

    And so far, I don't have any serious vignetting problem when using this kit lens with D90

    reviewed October 15th, 2008 (purchased for $300)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (4 reviews)
    VR, Good focal range, inexpensive
    Plastic mount, distortion, some corner softness

    This is a decent little lens. It is nice to have the VR, and I don't really like the 18-200 so I thought I would give this a try. No lens creep like the 18-200 and seems like OOF areas render a little better than the 18-200. Overall sharpness is very good, but definitely in the worst cases at 18mm & f3.5 heavy vignetting and a bit more distortion in some cases though not terrible.

    In some cases I do think that the 18-70 is still a better all-around lens, but when you need the VR this + 70-300VR does pretty well as lightweight travel kit.

    reviewed October 15th, 2008 (purchased for $320)