Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G VR IF-ED 35mm Zoom

Available At:
AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G VR IF-ED

Delivers high-level optical performance designed for use exclusively with Nikon DX format digital. Offers broad 18 - 200mm focal range for use in a variety of situations (equivalent to a 27-300 lens in 35mm format).

User Reviews (29)

Showing 1-10 of 29  
Raymond   Intermediate [Apr 01, 2010]

I agree with the lens creep issue.
Other than that a very usable lens for most situations

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
Rabid_Clam   Casual [Feb 15, 2010]
Strength:

Very versitile lens with both automatic and manual settings available for any shot one could want to make. Has vibration reduction to assist in clear images. Over all is a highly recommended lens for any AF compatable Nikon camera body.

Lens comes standard with front and rear caps and also the lens hood which is very quick mount and does not use filter threads leaving those free filters. FIlter does not interfere with the image taken at any focul length even with the hood in place.

Weakness:

This model has an inherent issue of lens creep where if you are carrying this lens with the front pointed down the lens will fully expand to full extent. Lens will not lock in position. Over all this is totally unacceptable. Nikon no longer manufactures this model because of this problem, the new one has a lock to prevent or retard creep. Nikon agreed with m y complaint and at this time they are repairind the lens at their expense uncer warranty.

With the (supplied) lens hood mounted changing filters can be a bit tight but the hood is easily removed so really is not much of an issue, just something else to do when exchanging filters.

Great all 'round lens for both amature and pro. Fits a wide variety of Nikn pro bocies. Does not work with tele-converter. Compact lens easily transported. Has extreme wide variety of frames to create an excellent shot of most any subject near and far. Great quality lens. Is a perfect lens to take on a vacation where only one lens will fit almost any occassion. The 18mm wide angle is not as wide as what I needed but it is excellent for what it does. I did add a second lens, the Nikon 10-24mm wide angle lens which makes my set almost complete.

With only these two lenses I have a very full range of capabilities for almost any situration.

Customer Service

Customer service were excellent. They offered a NO hassle program to repair this warranty issue. Where parts have to come from Japan there is a very long lag time of 2 to 3 weeks just to get parts so adding freight-in time with examination time then the long wait for parts and then repair and freight out a simple repair could take up to or over 5 weeks. Nikon does not stock repair parts, they are made and shipped for eah submission. But customer service is excellent otherwise and done with top notch professionalism.

Similar Products Used: Have used Tameron lenses in the 35mm days.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
armando_m   Intermediate [Jan 05, 2010]
Strength:

Wide zoom range
VR

Weakness:

Heavy
Lens distortion at 18mm

I use this lens with a Nikon D40, it was purchased shortly after the D40. Iin comparison with the kit lens (in the same focal length range), contrast and color is very very good, the main difference is VR. And what a difference! VR helps a lot in low light situations. AF-S works very well, focusing quickly and only gets confused vs a large area with no contrast. After carrying the camera for a long time it does get heavy, I like to carry it by holding the lens rather than having the camera strap on my neck. A small annoyance, the zoom barrel will slide up or down if shooting in nearly vertical angles, this can be a problem if the camera is on a tripod, also the zoom extends by itself also when carrying the camera in near vertical angles. Be careful with the M/A focus switch, I have forgotten many times to set it back to auto, specially if your are shooting in manual focus and at 18mm it is difficult to see on the camera viewer that the photos are slightly blurry. When using a tripod the manual says to turn VR off, I have shoot with a tripod leaving VR both on and off and noticed no difference.
If this lens had a larger maximum aperture it would be outstanding.

Similar Products Used: Tamron 28-200mm on a film 35mm SLR
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
Mel_Snyder   Professional [Aug 31, 2009]
Strength:

One lens for most outdoor situations - even sports, if the light is good enough

Not the sharpest tool in the shed, but sharp enough

Weakness:

VR is good, but can't compensate for poor technique

Not reliably razor-sharp at all focal lengths.

Really too slow to use at optimal DSLR ISO settings indoors

f4-5.6 isn't sufficient for sharply separating subjects from background

Zoom "creep" when camera carried is annoying

Looks like an amateur lens - no one will confuse you as a pro carrying a camera with this lens

This lens is rather amazing for its range, and the ability to handle a diverse range of situations. It's in no way competitive in quality to primes, or even more limited-range zooms.

But sometimes, good is good enough. Example: The Paris Marche du Fiertes, their gay pride festival. Hundreds of thousands of people having more fun than you can imagine. I spent a few hours in the march, with my D300 and the 18-200, with a Tamron f2.8 28-75mm and a Nikkor 35mm f2 in a belt pack. The Tamron is very, very sharp for portraits, and the 35mm is like a 50mm on a DX sensor.

I never changed lenses. I got way over 1000 shots, and the only ones I screwed up were because of changing light conditions and guessing backlight compensation.

Here's what I find about the lens:

1. VR doesn't compensate for sloppy technique. Much of the "sharpness" issues are the result of photographers getting sloppy on focusing and bracing proper;y.

2. It distorts more at 18 mm than my 17mm Tokina, which weighs about as much as the 18-200. But for people-shooting in a crowd, it's fine.

3. The lens - at least mine - is least sharp around 135mm. VERY sharp at 18mm - stunning. I put it on my lap and shoot inside places where they say "no pictures" like the Sistine Chapel and the Sacre Cure in Paris. Results are terrific. I find that if I take the trouble to really make sure of focus, I get great, sharp portraits at 200mm. But shot-to-shot variability is great.

4. Lens creep is a bear. Lens shade is pure junk.

5. A high quality fast zoom like the Tamron XR Di is a necessity when you're traveling. This lens is too slow for indoors work.

6. Color balance seems excellent, neutral. My Tamron is quite warm.

In the end, I give this lens 3 stars. It's nowhere near as sharp as my 80-200mm f2.8 AF-D two-ring or my 70-210 f4-5.6 Nikon. At normal shooting, it can't hold a candle to my Nikon 35mm f2 or my Nikon 50mm f1.8.

But when getting shots from telephoto to wide angle in tight spots, its excellent. And if all you do is outdoor travel shots, you don't need any other lens.


Mel

Customer Service

Unknown

Similar Products Used: None as "amateur" - mostly pro lenses like Nikon f2.8 80-200 AF-D
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
SanPasqual   Intermediate [Jun 04, 2009]
Strength:

Broad range of focal lengths - like having 1 good and 1-2 mediocre lenses in one.
Modest weight.
VR.

Weakness:

Distortion over a range of focal lengths.
Focal length creep.
Soft images above 130-140mm.
Flimsy build quality
Limited to DX camera use

I have a mixed impression about the 18-200mm lens. The lens is definitely multi-purpose, but said capability comes with a cost in performance. Lens distortion is a big problem with the lens; the broad range of focal lengths, compact size, and light weight will compromise image integrity. The lens readily slips in focal length, aqnd that is a design problem that Nikon did not have resolved when my lens was built. In general, the lens has a flimsy "feel" about it; for comparison, the 35-135mm was a work of art and very well built without the aforementioned lens slippage. VR is a big plus and works well; however, the lens does not resolve with high image clarity / sharpness above around 130-140mm. In fact, images appear to be quite soft. There are better values in used lenses and for less as long as one is willing to dispense with VR. This lens is crippled by its limitation to DX, which limits use to 1 of 2 Nikons that I own. This is one lens that I may sell sooner rather than later as it is a so-so lens and will be less important as FX sensor-bearing cameras become more prevalent.

Customer Service

Depends - some techs are great and some are not.

Similar Products Used: Nikon 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-D
Nikon 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5 Ai-S
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Available At:
galton   Intermediate [Apr 13, 2009]
Strength:

Awesome range, good performance, price is not cheap but more than reasonable. Really, the only serious complaint about this lens is that it doesn't actually do EVERYTHING. That said, this is one of the best go-to lenses for most uses you can find.

As with most other lenses, if you have a specialised need, you'll need to lay out money for a specialised (and likely pricey) lens. For many users, a smaller, lighter, faster lens will be a nice thing to have around, even if you won't use that other lens very frequently. Lovers of the wide will need an extra lens.

VR works extremely well, it balances and handles well, and the performance/quality is really quite impressive with a modern DX camera. Focussing is fast and accurate (depending which camera body). Yes, you probably shouldn't expect to use this for Ansel Adams photography, hard-core architecture, ten times lifesize macro, etc.

Weakness:

Serious issues:
1) VR is a wonderful feature but CANNOT stop moving subjects. If you need to capture subjects like this in low light (despite the amazing low-noise performance at high ISOs of the newer digital cameras), you need a faster lens or a flash (and the flash technique to match). For many users, a good normal prime at f1.8 would suffice. (If you need stop-action at 100 metres at night, you'll need an expensive exotic). For the average owner, this would probably be noticed when trying to photograph children or small animals - both of which move more than seems possible. For most users, this really will enable you to ditch the tripod much of the time - but a monopod or good technique (like a big heavy wall to lean against) will still improve your photos.
2) Size: I don't mind the size or balance much, but my wife finds it very heavy and hard to use during a long day. And sometimes I want a smaller and more convenient lens too. You may very well want to have a couple of smaller, lighter lenses of whatever combination. (The kit lenses are a bit bigger than ideal but very good matches for the smaller nikon digital SLRs).

Nitpicking (but may be important to some):
1) Lens creep. See above. When walking around, the barrel extends obscenely. Physically not so comfortable, in some cultures may cause offense.
2) Lens hood/lens cap: the lens hood works well for what it is designed for and noticeably reduces negative effects of difficult lighting situations, but it is big. It is easily reversible by twisting on, making it easy to travel with, but when reversed, it gets in the way of usage (you can't reach the zoom barrel easily); if you want to remove it/put it on right so that you can zoom, the lens cap gets in the way and has to be removed first; you can't put the lens cap on when the hood is on properly; and if you want to toss it in a pocket, it's just bigger than is comfortable. Not a critical issue, but for a lens that is ergonomically excellent, it's surprisingly annoying and will have you cursing one of the few trade-offs that was not dictated by the limits of optical design.

Not the actual Holy Grail. Far better than your average lens, however, and may replace most other lenses for most users. If you're heading out the door and don't know what you need, this is probably it. It will not, however, replace your campstove nor cook you breakfast in the morning.

The range is excellent, the sharpness and colour, operation, and VR capability are all well above average, and well above what one might expect in a lens this versatile. It is well-built: not a tank, but solid. The price is very reasonable for what you get. Ultimately, it is an excellent all-purpose lens for DX cameras - probably 90% or more of users would be hard-pressed to find a reason to buy anything else.

The weaknesses all flow from the positives: the biggest weakness for the "average" user is that VR does not help with subjects that are moving. You may be able to do without your tripod, but for photographing children, dancers, performers, you will probably need a faster lens or a flash. Second, this is not a monster, but it is not small - every user have to decide for themself whether it is comfortable (and may depend on which camera you are using it with; on a D50 it's big). My lens suffers from lens creep: when walking around with it over the shoulder, it extends into an absurd length that makes we worried I'll whack it against something and cost me a pretty penny. Finally, it's not an FX lens: you can't use it with your film camera or cameras with full-sized sensor.

Customer Service

Not needed.

Similar Products Used: Most lenses are similar in that they cover the same uses. My comments here are intended to point out where this lens doesn't cut it - and you may want to have a different lens handy. I have used all of these: but this is still the lens I use most frequently.
1) Fast lenses. This lens is 2-3 stops slower than a fast prime, 1-2 stops lower than a fast zoom. For low-light motion photography, you'll need something faster, and VR won't help. For many users, a fast prime would be a good cheap complement.
2) Smaller lenses: This is a big lens - your handsize may vary. For maximum comfort, a smaller lens is nice to have around (like your fast prime or a simple zoom) for occasional use.
3) Superwides: this is a good general-purpose wide lens at about 28 mm equivalent. I like much wider - this is not that lens.
4) Super-low distortion/high performance: for perfect reproduction of Escher-type complexity with maximum accuracy, a zoom like this will not cut it. This lens is pretty sharp, but for capturing dollar bill engravings for counterfeiting, you need a specialised and expensive lens.
5) Cheap throw-aways: you'll cry if you break this unless you're rich. It's nice to have a beater around.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Biezel   Intermediate [Jan 19, 2009]
Strength:

Zoomrange, colourrendition, weight, fast AF and VR.

Weakness:

To soft for the D200, distortion and awfull ca's.

After reading lots of raving reviews, I bought one for our Scotland trip last year.
The long zoom range, VR and fast autofocus were the reasons for this dicision.
I found out that colour rendition is OK. Sharpness is also good from 18 up to a 125 mm. From that point on the lens gives softer pictures.
VR is amazing. It's my first VR lens, and it works better than expected!!
Zoom creep is no issue on my lens. AF is fast indeed.

But: I was disapointed about two things: a lot of cromatic abberation and a lot of distortion on 18-24 mm. It takes up much time to change that in pp. For nature pics I'll keep using primes on my D200. As for portraits and animals.
I'll use this lens mostly for photographing people (snapshots).
On the D70 it's ok, because the sensor and lens do not outperform each other.
On the D200 it's a bit of a disapointment. I get sharper pics from the 18-70 AF-S 3.5-4 kitlens. Because it seems to be the best superzoom lens you can get, I did expect more sharpness and less ca.

Customer Service

It's fast and good. Used it twice.
The first time with the well kniown D70 problem.
The second time I dropped a lens on the floor, right on the aperture handle.
Both items were returned within 10 days!
Thank you Nikon Repair Holland!

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
kay Shumway   Intermediate [May 19, 2008]
Strength:

The VR function works really well

it is so versatile 11 times zoom is amazing

It is sharp at all settings.

I don't like to change lenses out in the field. This one works so well for most situations.

Weakness:

None.
I have not experienced any lens creep which is what some people talked about when I was reading reviews to make a decision.

I was fortunate to be able to buy the 18-200 lens before we took a trip to Scotland. I lugged two other lenses along , a 70-300 VR lens and a 105 mm lens and never used them The lens stayed on my camera the whole time. It is sharp at 200 and wonderful for close ups of people at 18. I was unable to bring a tripod because of the weight and never missed it. I have a 70-200 lens which I love. It cannot be used without a tripod but it is 2.8 which allows more picture taking in low light. The f3.5 is close enough for me for travelling and indoor pictures. It is a great addition to my lenses. It focuses quickly and gives sharp images all the time. I even took some decent pictures from a moving train. I will keep it on my camera most of the time, except when I am taking nature shots with the tripod. I think this lens is a great starter lens. I wish I had had it when I bought my first Nikon camera.

Customer Service

I haven't needed any yet or ever.

Similar Products Used: I have a nikon D80 with a 70-300 VR lens

a 70-200 2.8 lens
a 2x teleconverter which I use on the 70-200 lens only

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Grandpaw   Intermediate [Mar 24, 2008]
Strength:

Compact
Sharp
Great range from wide to telephoto
Good quality
Nikon

I have purchased the Nikon D80 with a 18-200VR Nikon zoom lens. The lens is slightly larger that the 18-135 but has a stronger telephoto and the Vibration Reduction that is very helpful when shooting at slower shutter speeds in less that perfect lighting conditions.

I have taken pictures of very small print at about 1/8th inches tall at a distance of about ten feet and can enlarge the picture on the LCD screen on the back of the camera and read it just fine. I have also printed 20x30 inch prints with no problem at all.

This is a very versatile lens and covers just about any normal shooting situation that you should come across. I use it on a Nikon D80 and it focuses fast and the sharpness and color are very good. I will have to add that I do not have a lot of experience with various lenses but I can say with confidence that this is a very nice lens and one that will cover most situations with ease.

I would recommend this lens to anyone interested in getting a sharp do everything in one type of lens that will eliminate having to carry an assortment of lenses everywhere you go. I am one VERY SATISFIED customer, Jeff

Customer Service

NA

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mule   Intermediate [Nov 26, 2007]
Strength:

It captures enough wide angle that it will cover many indoor needs. The zoom to 200 is sufficient for a lot of daily use. It is lightweight and compact so if you are making that hike and don't want a lot of equipment, this is a good choice.

I spent some time in the store with other lenses and discovered this one was quick to focus and made less noise than other lenses. The noise factor may not be significant but it is nice to keep quiet when shooting photos of people while remaining descreet or capturing nature shots.

If you are going after sports you will want something with a stronger zoom and larger aperture but for most uses, this is a great lens. Read the other reviews out there and you will see most people agree

Weakness:

I suppose I could say that the aperture isn't large enough for some settings but it would be a bit of an unfair criticism for this price point.

First a bit about the reviewer... I shot a lot of 35 mm from the late 70's to late 80's. I shot for a newspaper and college. I took off about 20 years and just re-entered the digital scene.

I was fortunate that the informed sales staff encouraged me to upgrade to this lens when I purchased my D80. It is a great all around lens and I would have soon upgraded from any kit lens to this product soon after I made the purchase. .

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
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