Nikon 18-300mm VR Lens Review

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When Nikon announced a new super telephoto DX Lens in the 18-300 VR I did not give much thought to it. As a full time pro this is not a lens that I would carry in my bag. However, this lens is not billed as a pro lens nor should any of us try and compare it to a pro lens.

I know a lot of you may be expecting me to say this smells like “don’t buy it” but the truth is this lens is pretty good for what it offers. We will get to image quality and price in a few paragraphs but for now I want to remind you guys to look at this lens for who its geared towards.

This really is one lens that could replace three other lenses in your bag. This DX lens offers a huge zoom range from 18-300mm or the equivalent of 27-450mm. That is just an INSANE amount of reach. You can do everything form wide angle group shots to long distance sports captures all the way to shoot a building a long ways away.

With such a large range there are bound to be some issues. At 18mm you will notice the bowing of straight lines. These liens should be straight but instead take on an extreme bend which can be corrected in lightroom with the lens correction tool. It actually is a very effective tool when you want to get rid of those imperfections.

Another issue I saw with the lens was in the edge detail. You can see some major abbreviation going on from purples to other interesting colors. You will also notice some vignetting around the edges of the frame when you are shooting at the wider angles.

Now onto the positives about this lens. One its built extremely well with a metal mount and very nice VR mode with both active and standard. Two the range is just insane, to be able to go from an ultra wide to a full on detail shot at a distance makes this a winning lens.

There was one feature that surprised me more than anything. That was the ability to focus while zoomed out to 300mm from around 8 inches from the subject. To be able to close focus from that short of a distance is just incredible.

In the end you have to look at who this lens is for. Its for that person who does not want to take 2 or 3 kit lenses with them but once one lens. Sure that lens may be $1,000 but some people would rather pay that than have to not only change lenses but carry around multiple lenes.

Remember this is not a lens that a PRO would use on a photo shoot they were getting paid for. Its for anyone who just wants to capture the moment that was in front of them and not knit pick every single issue in the images.

If you are interested in picking up this or any other Nikon Lens please check out AllensCamera.com 215.547.2841.

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34 thoughts on “Nikon 18-300mm VR Lens Review”

  1. Hey dude, it is not 18-300 on DX camera ok… It is 27-450mm, don't you know? When you say this image was take with 18mm it is not 18mm it is 27mm, or this far distant was take with 300mm it is not taken with 300mm it was 450mm. When you going to learn the basic things in photography? You also review Nikon D5500 and you realy show that you are goof, because there are minimum half dosent function diseble, that you did not even see it. Halooooo gooofy…are you there…etc.

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  2. Wow great close of her eye.. I shoot with the nikon 18mm to 200mm.. And it's great but love the closeness of the 18mm to 300mm.. I am a Canadian photojournalist /street photographer in Santiago Dominican Republic and I always use the nikon 18mm to 200mm.. But very interested in getting other lens .. Also the 50mm or the 35mm

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  3. Just got 70 300mm afs g, 150$ it's awsome, I'm so pleased. Don't ever see doing over 1k for that lens. Also 70 300 is truly feather light, as a disabled vet who tries to walk around against advise, (must enjoy life) having it so light helps this much, I don't take my 150 600mm sigma over 50 yards walking due to weight. A shame, is really prefer it. So more Seasoned ppl, or disabled, my case both, weight is #1concern above ALL. I'll do post work to make up diff. On important shots, that simple. Thanks Fro Ho

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  4. Hi Jared! I accidentally purchased this lens instead of the 2.8. I can’t return it. I take concert photography. What do you suggest I set my iso and other manual settings at when doing this? I’m half amateur half pro, still learning manual yet I tend to get outstanding shots on auto, been afraid of manual but no more. I’m looking for a way to do low light with this lens since I’m stuck with it, I’m happy but concerned. Thank you much.

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  5. I appreciate your review. I purchased this lens for my wife for Christmas this year. She shoots on a D5500 I got her last Christmas. Sometimes she take pictures for friends or family but mostly it's used for personal photos for her scrapbooks. Some reviews I read the reviewer just trashed it comparing it to professional grade glass. You admitting it falls short of pro grade but is an excellent fit for the weekend warrior type helps me feel better about my purchase. I also picked her up a Hero7 Black edition as she wanted a action cam.

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  6. Im only 16 and i dont make money so i can only get lens for my birthday. I dont know if i should get this lens until i earn money to get more professional lenses or if i should save up for a couple years and get a pro lens

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  7. I am looking to to get a good walk around lens that would probably spend 90% of the time on my camera.

    The 18-140 has great reviews for its IQ for the price you pay. It also has the reach that could be good enough for travel

    but sime body advise me to go for 17-50 sigma

    or nikon 16-85 for better quality

    which one i have to pick or even if i have another choice

    note v my prime lens is my lovely 50 mm 1.8

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