14) First, let’s take a look at different sharpness comparisons from the center of the frame all the way to the edges. We will start with 18mm, with different aperture values:
Next, let’s take a look at the lens at 24mm:
From here, when zoomed in to 35mm:
And lastly, here is how the lens looks like at 55mm:
I will let you draw your own conclusions based on the above 100% crops. And now on to individual lens comparisons.
15) Nikon 18-55mm AF-P vs Nikon 18-55mm AF-S VR II
The one generation older iteration of this lens has almost identical design, yet displays a bit different curve of sharpness. The older AF-S version is better at 18mm wide open at f/3.5, both in the center and in the mid-range. Only the corners are equally sharp (or rather soft), AF-P has much more controlled aberration. The same holds for f/5.6 (at 18mm), the older generation lens is still a tad better. At f/8 I would call it a draw (AF-P has again better corners), which also holds true for smaller apertures. The older generation is also a bit sharper in the center at 24mm at f/5.6, but the situation changes at 35 and 55mm, where the AF-P version is better at all aperture values throughout the frame. In general, the AF-S has quite weak corners and suffers earlier from diffraction, there is also quite a noticeable amount of chromatic aberration. Only at the same values, the peak sharpness comes earlier (wider open) than with AF-P version.
16) Nikon 18-55mm AF-P vs Nikon 18-140mm AF-S VR
This is a much larger zoom and hence one could expect a bit worse resolution values, at least at some focal lengths. In general, this zoom is known for very strong performance at 18mm even wide open (with rather weak corners though), and then with deteriorating tendency at longer focal lengths. My copy of this lens displayed, however, a bit different behavior. The corners indeed proved to be soft until f/8, but even the central sharpness was not nearly close to Nikkor 18-55mm AF-P (or AF-S) lenses at 18mm. Surprisingly, the best result I could achieve with the 18-140mm lens was at 55mm – here I was expecting the smaller AF-P zoom to lead. So in general, the level of sharpness was with some rare exceptions worse (with chromatic aberration comparable to the AF-S version of the 18-55mm).
17) Nikon 18-55mm AF-P vs Nikon 18-105mm AF-S VR
I did not have this cheap kit zoom at my disposal while testing the 18-5mm AF-P lens, so I can only deduct indirectly, from inspecting photos in my archive. I assume the 18-55 is equally sharp at 18mm and slightly sharper at other focal lengths, with differences more visible in the corners.
18) Nikon 18-55mm AF-P vs Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX
Even if it is not very fair to compare a zoom lens with fixed prime lens, I still did this comparison very quickly for myself. After-all, the 35mm AF-S DX lens is also an entry-level lens. The comparison gives us a rough idea about how sharp the zoom is, because one can expect a lot of resolution from a fixed prime, especially at f/4 – f/5.6. With both lenses set at f/5.6, I was positively surprised that the Nikkor 18-55mm AF-P lens displayed only slightly lower resolution in all parts of the frame (and much better aberration control) – so the little zoom is really strong.