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Review Nikon AF-S DX 18-55 mm 3.5-5,6 G VR and Nikon D3200(N APS-C)

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In 2006, Nikon released the Nikon 18-55 mm, written fully as Nikon AF-S DX 18-55 mm 3.5-5,6 G VR, the first kit lens from Nikon with Silent Wave Motor. We've tested this lens both with a Nikon D5100 and a Nikon D3200 . The optical performance of this lens clearly benefits from the extra resolution of the 24 megapixel Nikon D3200 . This kit lens is often bundled together with one of the cheaper Nikon camera bodies. This lens is not very fast (f/3.5-f/5,6)and the zoom range is limited. An alternative to the Nikon 18-55 mm is the Sigma 18-50 mm; this one too has image stabilization and is half a stop up to two stops faster. Nikkor 18-55 VR bouw
test Nikon 18-55 mm, test Nikon kitlens, test Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55 mm/3.5-5
Nikon AF-S DX 18-55 mm 3.5-5,6 G VR @ 18 mm
test Nikon 18-55 mm, test Nikon kitlens, test Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55 mm/3.5-5
Nikon AF-S DX 18-55 mm 3.5-5,6 G VR @ 55 mm

The Nikon AF-S DX 18-55 mm 3.5-5.6 G VR has a 3x zoom range with an angle that matches that of a 24-83 mm lens on a camera with full-frame sensor. Thus, the range is too limited for portrait photography.

Construction and autofocus

 

Both the house and the mount are made of plastic and the filter rotates during focusing. That is not convenient if you use a polarizing filter. The focus stroke is very short stroke, focusing manually is therefore difficult. The focus ring and zoom ring run very smoothly without the lens feeling cheap. The drive of the autofocus is done with a Silent Wave Motor. The drive is almost silent and fast. Focusing is quick with a Nikon D5100; from 15 meters to 1.5 meters in 0.23 seconds. Commuting in low light is rarely observed.

Specifications
Nikon 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor
Image Stabilization:+
lenses/ groups:11/8
length x diameter:80 / 73
filter size:52
Weight:265
Lens hood:-

Image stabilization

 

The effectiveness of the built-in image stabilization is measured at a focal length of 55 mm. The effectiveness is about 3 stops.

IS-Nikon1855

Vignetting

 

We've tesed a copy of the Nikon 18-55 mm earlier on a Nikon D5100. Vignetting, expressed in stops, was remarkably low at all focal lengths and apertures. Move your mouse over the image for the vignetting of our previous measurements on a Nikon D5100. With another copy of this lens, tested on a Nikon D3200 , our Imatest mesaurements show vignetting will be seen in a blue sky when the lens is fully open.

vignettingNikon1855VRD3200

Distortion

 

The distortion, expressed as a percentage, is substantial at 18 and 24 mm, but at the other focal lengths nicely low. Distortion can be controlled with software. Move your mouse over the image for the results of another copy tested on a Nikon D5100.

distortionad3200Nikon1855VRmm

Flare

 

The lens suffers from ghosting and flare at an open source. In practice, this should be taken into account.

Nikon 50 mm flare

Resolution

 

The resolution, expressed in lines/sensor height, reaches very nice values immediately at full aperture in the center over the entire zoom range. The resolution in the corners is disappointing, when used on a Nikon D5100, it is best to work at f/8.0. At that value, the difference between center resolution and corner resolution is not that high anymore.

 

ResolutieNikon1855mmVRD3200

Chromatic aberration

 

In this area, the Nikon 18-55 mm performs, mounted ona Nikon D5100,  rather poor at 18 mm and in situations of high contrast the chromatic aberration will have to be controlled with software. NMounted on a Nikon D3200 , chromatic correction of the jpg files is corrected in the camera.

CAD3200Nikkor 18-55 VR

Conclusion Nikon AF-S DX 18-55 mm 3.5-5,6 G VR review

 

Nikkor 18-55 VR

See our list of tested lenses or the lenses with a Nikon mount tested by us to compare the performance of this lens to other lenses.
ECWYSIWYG score: This table shows the performance of this lens when you store the files in the camera as jpg, with all available in-camera lens corrections applied. This score gives you for this lens/test camera combination: "What you see is what you get".
18
28
7.2
7.1
8.6
7.9
5.6
23
35
7.7
7.5
9.4
8.2
5.7
33
50
8.2
7.2
9.4
8.4
9.9
55
83
7.3
6.3
9.5
8.2
9.6
Overall
Overall
7.6
7.3
9.2
8.2
6.5
Pros
  • Good resolution especially in the center
  • Low vignetting
  • Low purchase price when purchased with camera
  • Fast autofocus
  • Compact construction

Cons

  • Center resolution better than in corners
  • Not a fast lens (f/3.5 - f/5.6)
  • Limited zoom range
  • Considerable distortion at 18 mm
  • Sensitive to backlight
  • High chromatic aberration at 18 mm
The Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55 VR mm/3.5-5.6 G is compact and lightweight. The lens does have limitations. The zoom range is somewhat limited and the lens is not fast (f/3.5-f/5,6). We've tested this lens both with a Nikon D5100 and a Nikon D3200 . The optical performance of this lens clearly benefits from the extra resolution of the 24 megapixel Nikon D3200 . The resolution is high, when mounted on a Nikon D3200 . The resolution in the center is higher than in the corners. Chromatic aberration can be an issue for jpg files at 18 mm, if the chromatic aberration is not corrected in the camera. The same applies for NEF files, which don't benefit from in-camera correction of chromatic aberration. If the Nikon 18-55 mm is purchased with a camera, the purchase price is low.

 

Anno Huidekoper
Author: Anno HuidekoperWebsite: http://www.annohuidekoper.nl/
Als freelance fotograaf deel ik graag mijn kennis. Dat doe ik onder andere in de vorm van bijdragen schrijven voor CameraStuffReview. Fotograferen is voor mij meer dan alleen kijken. Het is de zoektocht naar het leven in het beeld. Wat zorgt voor spanning in de foto waardoor je er naar blijft kijken? Wil je meer van mijn werk zien of wil je meedoen aan een fotoweek, fotocursus of fotoworkshop? Bezoek mijn website!

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