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

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This was announced as the kit lens for the Nikon D90 in August 2008. It has a mixed reputation. Some think it is a worthy rival of the higher priced Nikon 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 G AF-S DX ED VR, while others think it is just a another cheap consumer zoom.

Sharpness is indeed quite good over the entire range, but its other characteristics are less impressive. The 5.8x zoom range predictably results in pronounced barrel distortion (about 3.5%) at the wide end: It becomes almost flat at 24 mm. But at 35 mm the amount of pincushion distortion is significant (about 1.6 %), and it stays like that for the rest of focal range. Vignetting is around 1EV at the wide end at f/3.5. The level of CA (colour fringes) is around 1.5 pixel throughout the whole range.

Build is consumer quality with most parts made of plastic, inluding the mount. The manual focus ring is thin and undampened and there is no focus indicator and no aperture ring.

The VR is first generation, claimed to provide up to three stops improvement.

IR-performance is erratic. Very pronounced hot-spot at the wide end up to f/11. Zooming the lens beyond 24 mm makes the hot-spot less obvious. Stopping down also diminishes the hot-spot.

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/38.
Optical zoom: 5.8x.
Close focus distance (CFD): 45 cm / 1.48 ft (from sensor plane).
CFD magnification: 1:5 / 0.2X.
Focus: AF (built-in, gear-type).
Groups/elements: 11/15.
Filter diameter: 67 mm.
L x D, W: 89 x 76 mm, 420 g.
IR: May produce a hotspot.
Approximate street price: USD 350 (new, w/o tax).
Production: 2008-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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