Review Nikon AF-S DX 18-105 mm 3.5-5,6 G ED VR (N APS-C)

In August 2008, the Nikon 18-105 mm was launched. This lens, called in full Nikon AF-S DX 18-105 mm 3.5-5,6 G ED VR, is an alternative to the Nikon 18-55 mm kit lens. The range on the long end, 105 mm, is so great that a lot of photographic situations can be managed without having to change lens. The Nikon 18-105 mm is much cheaper than the Nikon 16-85 mm. In the last few years the Nikon 18-200mm and the Nikon 18-300 mm have joined the competition for the Nikon 18-105mm. What does it offer? This was one of the first lenses we’ve tested. We decided to test it again. This time with a modern 24 megapixel camera (Nikon D3200 and Nikon D7100), evaluating the quality of both jpg and RAW files.
 Nikkor 18-105 VR18mm
Field of view Nikon 18-105 mm @18 mm
Nikon 18-105 @105 mm

Two images, shot from the same position, illustrate the large 5.8 zoom range of the Nikon 18-105mm. Without changing your lens, you will get two totally different images. The field of view of this lens is equal to the field of view of a 27-157mm lens on a camera with a full frame sensor.

Construction and autofocus

Both the lens body and the mount are of plastic. During focusing, the filter does not rotate. The focus ring and zoom ring run smoothly without the lens feeling cheap. As with many other Nikon lenses, the AF drive is provided by a Silent Wave Motor. That means fast, almost silent and virtually no hunting in low light. Thanks to the built -in SWF, you will also have AF using Nikon camera bodies without an AF motor, like the Nikon D3200 or the Nikon D5200.

Image stabilization Nikon 18-105 mm

The effectiveness of Nikon 18-105 ‘s  integrated image stabilization is measured at a focal lenght of 105 mm. The effectiveness is about 4 stops, which is a lot.IS-Nikon-18-105-

18mm3p5Nikon18-105mmNikon AF-S DX 18-105 mm/3.5-5,6 G ED VR @ 18 mm, f/3.5, 1/640, 100 ISO


Vignetting is expressed in stops and is somewhat on the high side at 18 mm at f/3.5 and f/4.0. And at 105 mm, the vignetting is only a bit too high at f/5.6. Vignetting can be controlled by certain programs.


Distortion Nikon 18-105

The distortion in RAW files (Move your mouse over the graph), is high at every focal length, especially at 18 mm. Distortion can be controlled with software.distortion-jpg


Less fast zoom lenses on a camera with an APS-C sensor supply almost never a nice bokeh. The Nikon 18-105mm is no exception. The maximum aperture at 62mm is f/5.2. The depth of field, even though the small image sensor, is quite large. The background is uneasy about the blurry circles are readily identifiable and have no uniform coverage.The bokeh changes shape by light waste in the center is the beautiful bokeh around. In the corners the bokeh takes the form of a cat’s eye 



This lens is very sensitive to backlight; both ghosting and flare can be seen. You will have to take this into account when photographing.Nikkor_18-105_mm_overstraling

Resolution Nikon 18-105

The resolution, expressed in LW/PH, reached in the center at different focal lengths and apertures nice values​​. The corners are less sharp than the center aperture and stopping down hardly helps.
Thanks to the high resolution of the test cameras (24 megapixels) this “softness” in the corners will in practice almost be invisible to most photographers.

Chromatic aberration Nikon 18-105 mm

The chromatic aberration remains sufficiently low in jpg files, thanks to the in-camera correction. Chromatic aberration is one of the parameters where you can distinguish the professional Nikon lenses (designed with lateral chromatic aberration almost completely absent) from cheaper consumer lens, which is less heavily deployed on completely eliminating chromatic aberration. At high magnifications you may can encounter purple and green edges in the corners in sharp contrast transitions. That is easily corrected in Capture NX or Lightroom.

chromatic aberration Nikon 18-105mm

Conclusion Nikon AF-S DX 18-105 mm 3.5-5,6 G review


  • Good performances in the center
  • Handy zoom range
  • Effective image stabilization
  • Favorable recommended retail price


  • Moderate optical performances in the corners
  • Strong distortion
  • Sensitive to flare

The Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105 mm 3.5-5, 6 G ED VR is equipped with an effective image stabilization, and is practical in use due to the wide zoom range. This lens is not very fast and in terms of resolution and distortion, this lens performs only very moderately. The lens is sensitive to backlight, but the recommended retail price is attractive.