Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED IF AF-S DX VR II

Check availablity: Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, B&H, eBay.

This lens replaced the initial version in 2009. It is, however, in almost every respect identical to the previous version. The main difference is a button added to lock the lens at 18 mm. Also, the letters “VR” are in gold lettering. Otherwise, the lenses are identical.

This is a lightweight (for the range) travel zoom. The 11.1x zoom range means that some compromises have been made. However, it offers very good sharpness at the wide end. Sharpness is not so good beyond 130mm. Barrell distortion at the wide end, pincushion distortion at 50 mm. It has a moderate amount of chromatic aberration.

IF design means that it will only reach 200mm at infinity.

While is only says “VR” (in gold lettering) on the lens barrel, this lens actually uses Nikon's second-generation VR system, called VR-II. The VR on this lens works very well.

Mechanical construction gives a solid feeling. The ring SWM ensures quiet and fast auto-focus. However, like many superzooms, it suffers from lens “creep” when you carry it around. This version of the 18-200 mm has a zoom lock at 18mm that prevent “creep”, but only as long as you keep the lens locked. When you unlock the lens to have it ready for shooting, the “creep” is just as bad as the previous version.

Rating: Ed: -, User: - (normalized, 0=useless, 50=average, 100=excellent).

Mount: Nikon F.
Format: DX/APS-C.
Aperture range: f/3.5-5.6 to f/22.
Optical zoom: 11.1x.
Close focus distance (CFD): 50 cm / 1.64 ft (from sensor plane).
CFD magnification: 1:4.5 / 0.22X.
Focus: AF (built-in, ring-type).
Groups/elements: 12/16.
Filter diameter: 72 mm.
L x D, W: 96 x 77 mm, 560 g.
Approximate street price: USD 765 (new, w/o tax).
Production: 2009-today.

Company Profile

Key info

Established: 1917
HQ: Tokyo, Japan
Web: Global, EU, US, man

Nikon is a multinational corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan specializing in optics and imaging. Its products include cameras, lenses, flash units, scanners, binoculars, microscopes, measurement instruments, and steppers (used in semiconductor fabrication). The company was founded in 1917 as Nippon Kōgaku Kōgyō Kabushikigaisha (Japan Optical Industries Corporation), and renamed Nikon Corporation, after its cameras, in 1988. Nikon Corporation is one of the companies of the Mitsubishi Group.

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