Saturday, December 29, 2012

Nikon 18-300 first impressions

Those of you who follow this blog have no doubt figured out by now from my last post, my wife and I gave each other what we ourselves really wanted for Christmas. It's a standing joke between us and works well as neither of us are ever disappointed with what the other gets from Santa!

This year "Santa" gave my wife a Nikon 18-300mm zoom lens haha! 

Just for the fun of it how much is 18mm to 300mm  zoom in a Nikon DX format camera? (27mm to 450mm equivalent in an FX camera)

18mm f 3.5 1/250 sec. ISO 400

50mm f 5.3 1/160 sec. ISO 400

300mm f 5.3 1/50 sec. ISO 400

Extreme crop of above picture.

In all three shots I was aiming at the bright yellow sign (which I could barely see). It was a dim overcast day and all my shots were handheld. Certainly not the best conditions for photography and unfortunately not the nicest pictures to show off this new lens with... Except for resizing the first three pictures are straight out of the camera, no post processing whatsoever.  

I took a number of other pictures all handheld at 300mm and was consistently able to get sharp clear results even at 1/30 second shutter speeds. The VR II works like a charm and the lens seems sharp at all focal lengths even without using a smaller aperture for the longer shots. One note, it did seem to take the VR a full second or two to stabilize especially at 300mm but this may have been due to the low light at the time I took these three shots.

Here's another example from today. I've just stepped out of my truck and see a large bird several hundred feet away in the top of a tree... 

18mm f 8 1/250 sec. ISO 200

300mm f 5.3 1/800 sec. ISO 200

300mm picture cropped and cleaned up a bit in Photoshop.

Not bad for a handheld shot from approximately 300 feet away, imagine how good this picture would have been if I was only 50 or 100 feet away! So far this lens is exceeding my expectations in every way. Can't wait to get the new 24mp D7100 to go with this lens if Nikon ever gets around to building one...


  1. THose are great shots for handheld. I have no doubt you are going to continue to be impressed by this lens. You can get by with just this lens if you had to and still get a wide range of amazing photos. It's a good thing your wife doesn't have a DSLR. LOL

    1. Ron I'm thinking that this lens will be a perfect one lens solution for my style of photography where I keep the camera always within reach as I go through the day and for travel and holiday pictures.

      Before I had a chance to play with this lens I was expecting it to be a compromise lens... Sorta good but falling short in many ways. So far this isn't the case at all. As I said in my post, so far this lens is exceeding my expectations big time!

  2. I know what you mean Paul. The Nikon 28-300mm I use is a great lens and takes excellent photos and like you said, it is a perfect all around lens.

    As usual, Q is right. The Nikon lenses are better than the off brand lenses, it's just whether you can afford them or not. I'm going to try to stick with just buying Nikon lenses from now on becuase there really is a difference. You don't notice it as much until you start comparing the photos taken with each lens up close but there is a difference.

    Q, always costing me money! LOL

    1. This is the same conclusion I've come to and will be spending the extra dollars for the Nikon lenses from here on in.

      Though the off brand lenses do well they still don't do as well as an actual Nikon glass. Not to mention that the Nikon lenses seem to hold their value compared to the third party lenses.

      And then there's the issue of future compatibility...

  3. Late congrats on your New Lens! Everything I have seen in your posts so far using this lens is impressive. Tough shooting conditions and this lens is still pulling out a good image! Seems like you have found a good match for your shooting style!


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