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Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor

 
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18-300mm $697
average price
image of Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor

(From Nikon lens literature) Nikon Inc. has announced the latest addition to its legendary NIKKOR lineup, the new AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR telephoto zoom lens. Designed for the DX-format photographer looking to get more out of their D-SLR camera, the versatile NIKKOR 18-300mm is a compact and lightweight 16.7X all-in-one telephoto zoom lens that delivers high performance and superior image quality. Whether capturing still images or HD video, the 18-300mm lens is built to help users capture content with vibrant colors and sharp details, plus shoot sports, vacations and wildlife with confidence.

“With the addition of the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR to the NIKKOR lens line-up, DX-format photographers have a compact and lightweight all-in-one telephoto zoom that can handle any photo or video challenge,” said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “With the 18-300mm lens, DX-format photographers will be able to capture sharp images and video with incredible detail. Additionally, the lens incorporates renowned NIKKOR optics and technology like a Silent Wave Motor (SWM), three Aspherical and three Extra-low Dispersion glass elements, as well as innovative features like Vibration Reduction image stabilization.”

An All-In-One Telephoto Zoom Lens
With the introduction of the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens, DX-format photographers have a compact and lightweight telephoto zoom lens, over 30 percent lighter than the acclaimed AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens, that produces the incredible results users have come to expect from Nikon’s NIKKOR lens lineup. The 18-300mm lens boasts an impressive 16.7X ultrahigh-ratio zoom range, offering a focal range from wide-angle 18mm to super-telephoto 300mm (27mm to 450mm equivalent in FX/35mm format). The new lens provides photographers with compositional freedom that is ideal for everyday use, whether capturing close-ups, sweeping landscapes, portraits, architecture, nature, sports and fast moving action. When recording HD videos, users will have the ability to capture wide establishing shots, medium close-up shots or extreme telephoto sequences that best complement their creative vision. With the new 18-300mm, photographers that currently use DX-format D-SLR cameras, like the Nikon D3000 and D5000 series, now have a versatile telephoto zoom lens to upgrade their current lens arsenal or complement their kit lens.

Delivering Superior Performance and Image Quality
Incorporating proven NIKKOR lens optics and technology, the new AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens offers an extensive feature set that produces vibrant color, sharp detail with minimal distortion, whether capturing still images or recording HD video. Helping to ensure sharp photos and video even in low-light situations while also combatting the effects of camera shake, the 18-300mm comes equipped with Nikon’s renowned Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization, providing the lens with four stops* of stabilization to help make shooting a blur-free experience, even while handheld.

Weighing a mere 19.4 ounces, the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR is remarkably compact and lightweight, making it a lens that is comfortable to carry regardless of the photo excursion. The construction of the 18-300mm lens contains 16 optical elements in 12 groups and includes three Aspherical (AS) and three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements to produce maximum contrast while minimizing lens flare and ghosting. Its three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements effectively minimize chromatic aberration at even the widest aperture settings. Also, the new lens incorporates a seven rounded-blade diaphragm, which helps achieve a beautiful and natural background blur. Like many of Nikon’s newest NIKKOR lenses, the 18-300mm has a Silent Wave Motor (SWM), designed to deliver fast, accurate and quiet autofocusing (AF) performance, plus Internal Focusing (IF), which gives it a more compact, streamlined lens design.

Price and Availability
The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens will be available in May 2014 for suggested retail price (SRP) of $899.95**. For more information on NIKKOR lenses as well as other Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

*Based on CIPA Standard. This value is achieved when DX-format compatible lenses are attached to a DX-format digital SLR camera and zoom lenses are set at the maximum telephoto position.
**Suggested Retail Price (SRP) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor User Reviews

7.0/10 average of 1 reviews Build Quality 8.0/10 Image Quality 7.0/10
  • 7 out of 10 points and not recommended by (17 reviews)
    Impressive focal length range; handy size; saves having to change lenses in the field
    Vignetting at 18mm; not super sharp; focus breathing at 300mm with close subjects; significantly overpriced

    I've now taken hundreds of shots with my Nikon D7100 to compare the A. 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G DX with B. 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G DX and C. 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G FX, chosen best of three in all categories and carefully compared them.

    Here's what I've observed:

    1. There's bothersome vignetting at 18mm with A, notably more than with B.

    2. Focus breathing with A is unacceptable at 300mm from closest focus to about 10 feet; it drops off quickly after that, as well as with lower focal lengths.

    3. At all focal lengths, subjects at 100 feet to several miles away, A and C are identically sharp. If there's any difference at all, I couldn't see it.

    4. Ditto, last in respect to contrast. C is supposed to lose contrast at 300mm. But if it does, so does A. I see no difference. They're both good at 300.

    5. B is much sharper than A with close subjects, i.e., about 6 feet away, at each focal length; with more distant subjects, they're more similar, but B is still sharper.

    6. C auto-focuses more reliably than A at 300m with a Kenko 1.4x teleconverter. It's a matter of f/9 v. f/8; that small aperture difference seems to matter.

    7. Distortion is bad with A at all focal lengths, except from around 24 - 35mm (35 - 50mm FX equivalent). The D7100 in-camera distortion control works pretty well with RAW images from A, but not as well as with B. With A at 18mm, DC isn't very good, so residual barrel distortion needs post-processing.

    Conclusions:

    A. Nikon has tried to do what probably can't be done with today's technology: Produce a lens that is very sharp from 18-300mm with easily controllable distortion.

    B. A seems to be an upgrade of the 18-105 f/3.5-5.6G DX, which is inferior to B. I have owned them both and got rid of the 18-105.

    C. I would only recommend A to someone who doesn't have other Nikon lenses and wants to cover the 18-300mm range with one lens. It's perhaps okay for that. If someone is willing to use B and C, they can be picked up at virtually the same total price, and offer more utility and flexibility. I would not buy it.

    D. Overall, I would rate A at 7.0 on a scale of 10; not even 8, as I think it's drastically over-priced. A USA model, new, should sell in the $600-650 range.

    E. At 300mm the lens zooms out so far that I'd worry about damaging it with even a slight tap against something out there.

    F. Finally, I rented A hoping to like it and eventually to buy one. I now have no intention to buy one, even when they become much cheaper, which they will when the news spreads.

    reviewed March 5th, 2015