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


 

August, 2011
(tested with Nikon D7000)

The Nikon AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR was first announced in August of 2008. It was originally available only as a kit lens bundled with the D90 camera. It was eventually included as a kit lens with other cameras and also sold individually. This is a DX lens, and as such, using it on film or full frame (FX) cameras will produce circular vignetting since the DX lens won't cover the entire image frame. (Full frame cameras do have a crop mode which utilize only the center of the sensor, eliminating the black corners when using a DX lens.)

This is a plastic lens, including the lens mount. The zoom and focus rings are rubber coated. There's a switch for manual focus, but you don't need to push it to the "M" position. You can manually focus just by turning the focus ring while it's in the "A" position. There's also a VR on/off switch. This is an AF-S lens, which means it will auto focus on all Nikon DSLRs. The auto focus isn't as quick as Nikon's more expensive lenses, but I did find it slightly faster than the Nikon 18-55mm DX VR lens. The front element doesn't rotate when focusing, so using filters is no problem.

The 18-105mm VR is sharp in the center throughout the zoom range, with f/8 being the peak. Center sharpness does drop off slightly at the long end of the zoom though. The corners and borders aren't up to the level of sharpness of the center, and even at f/8 are a little on the soft side. Chromatic aberration is visible throughout the zoom range, but easily correctable either in camera or with post processing. There is barrel distortion at the short end of the zoom and pincushion distortion from about 35mm onward. The barrel distortion may be a little tricky to correct, but the pincushion shouldn't be a problem. Vignetting is present wide open at both ends of the zoom range, enough to cause concern under certain situations. Stopping down one or two stops though will usually correct the problem. Flare is well controlled and not an issue.

I got my copy of the 18-105mm DX VR as a kit lens with the Nikon D7000 DSLR camera. Although I was happy with the overall performance I really had no use for it, so it was eventually sold. Since the maximum zoom range is only 105mm it wasn't going to replace my 18-200mm VR as a do it all lens (see review). As a mid range zoom I much prefer the image quality and larger aperture of my current go to lens, the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 OS (see review). If you're a casual photographer the Nikon AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR is a fine all purpose lens. As kit lenses go, I preferred the image quality of the 18-55mm VR (see review), but if I had to choose I would pick the 18-105mm because of the extended zoom range.

 

 

Specifications:

Focal length 18-105mm
Maximum aperture f/3.5
Minimum aperture f/22
Lens Construction 15 elements in 11 groups
Angle of view 76o - 15.20o
Closest focusing distance 0.45m (1.48 ft)
Maximum reproduction ratio 0.20x
Number of diaphragm blades 7
Auto focus type AF-S (Silent Wave Motor)
Filter diameter 67 mm
Macro No
Dimensions 76 mm (3.0 in) x 89 mm (3.5 in)(Diameter x Length)
Weight 420g (14.8 oz)




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