Nikon has just released a new DX lens – the Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR DX, also known as “AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR“. This 16.7x superzoom lens is designed to work only with APS-C DSLRs like Nikon D3200, with an equivalent field of view of a 27-450mm lens. Boasting 19 elements in 14 groups, this lens is designed similarly to the Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, except it is even longer in size and heavier.
I will be reviewing this lens, along with the 24-85mm this summer.
Official Press Release
MELVILLE, N.Y. – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the addition of two new lenses to the legendary NIKKOR lineup, the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR and the AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lenses. The new 18-300mm VR lens is a versatile and compact 16.7X all-in-one super zoom DX-format lens, while the new 24-85mm VR lens is an ideal standard zoom for any FX-format photographer. These optics were designed to meet the needs of all types of photographers, from those looking to capture everything from family outings to elusive wildlife and stunning landscapes. The new 18-300mm and 24-85mm lenses deliver the performance and superior image quality that photographers of all levels have come to expect from NIKKOR lenses whether capturing still images or HD videos.
To capture stunningly sharp images with excellent clarity and color reproduction or HD video that exhibits sharp critical focus with a dramatic depth of field, the new 18-300mm VR and 24-85mm VR lenses will empower photographers with a variety of exclusive core NIKKOR technologies. Both lenses are equipped with Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) II image stabilization system which provides the equivalent of a shutter speed approximately four stops faster. The built-in Vibration Reduction will help photographers create blur-free images and video while shooting handheld and in challenging lighting conditions. Two focus modes, manual-priority autofocus (M/A) and manual focus (M), are easily selected in both lenses as well. When either lens is in manual-priority autofocus (M/A) mode, users will be able to instantly switch from autofocus to manual focus operation by simply rotating the focus ring, even during AF servo operation. Additionally, both lenses feature an internal focusing system, providing fast focus without changing the length of the lens while retaining working distance through the focus range, and Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology designed to deliver fast, accurate and quiet AF performance. The lenses also boast Nikon’s Super Integrated Coating (SIC) which provides superb color reproduction, color consistency and reduced flaring.
“Whether a pro on assignment, a photo enthusiast or an indie cinematographer, all Nikon users appreciate and rely on the vast selection and reliability of NIKKOR lenses for all of their imaging needs,” said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. “The new AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm VR and AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm VR lenses are fully optimized to capture stunning images and videos while meeting the growing needs of photographers of all levels around the world.”
The NIKKOR 18-300mm VR Lens: Nikon’s Longest Focal Range
Building on the popularity and versatility of Nikon’s telephoto zoom lens lineup which includes both the NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 and 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lenses, the new 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens is Nikon’s longest focal range ever, with an astounding 16.7X ultrahigh-ratio zoom range. The DX-format 18-300mm VR lens is surprisingly compact, lightweight and covers a focal range from wide-angle 18mm to super-telephoto 300mm, equivalent to a focal length of 27mm to 450mm in FX/35mm format. At the 300mm focal length setting, the lens’ large f/5.6 aperture enables photographers to shoot at faster shutter speeds with shallow depth-of-field. This new super telephoto zoom lens is ideal for taking stills when travelling and for all around general photography including landscapes, portraits and distant subjects. The 18-300mm lens is also excellent for recording HD video as it can be used for wide establishing shots, medium close-up shots and extreme telephoto sequences when the users want to separate the subject from the background.
The construction of the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens consists of 19 optical elements in 14 groups with three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements that effectively minimize chromatic aberration, even at the widest aperture settings, and three aspherical lens elements that virtually eliminate aberrations at wide aperture settings. The new lens also incorporates a nine rounded blade diaphragm to help achieve a natural looking dramatic separation between subject and background.
The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR also has a dedicated zoom lock switch which secures the lens barrel at its minimum length and will prevent the lens from sliding during transportation. Additionally, the 18-300mm VR lens is ideal for capturing close-ups with great detail, as it offers a 1.48 ft. minimum focusing distance at 300mm, as well as a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:3.2X.
Price and Availability
The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens will be available at the end of June 2012 for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $999.95*.
Lens Construction and MTF
Here is the lens construction: