Nikon AF-S 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G DX Nikkor Lens

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76% Tried & Tested
This lens offers the longest zoom range currently available for any interchangeable lens camera system, but it comes with all of the usual optical compromises associated with a super-zoom.”

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Key Features

  • 18-300mm focal length
  • 27-450mm equivalent focal length on DX cameras
  • F3.5-5.6 maximum aperture; F22-32 minimum
  • Ultrasonic-type AF motor with full-time manual focusing
  • Image stabilization, VR II
  • 77mm filters
  • 0.45m/17.72" minimum focus
  • Nikon F mount for for DX DSLRs

Product Description

The AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR offers the highest ever zoom ratio for a Nikon interchangeable lens, giving a 27-450mm equivalent range on one of the company's DX-format cameras. The lens is a much more complex design than the older 18-200mm - utilizing 19 elements in 14 groups and, at 120mm long, is 23% longer. A lens with this sort of focal length span is never going to match a pair of lenses covering the same range for image quality, but that's not the point of products like this. Ultimately, the 18-300mm is a decent performer, optically, but its bulk and high price should be taken into consideration compared to competitive third-party options.

Specs

Principal specifications
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size APS-C / DX
Focal length 18–300 mm
Image stabilisation Yes (VR II)
Lens mount Nikon F (DX)
Aperture
Maximum aperture F3.5 - F5.6
Minimum aperture F22.0 - F32.0
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Optics
Elements 19
Groups 14
Focus
Minimum focus 0.45 m (17.72)
Maximum magnification 0.32×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Ultrasonic
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale Yes
DoF scale No
Physical
Weight 830 g (1.83 lb)
Diameter 83 mm (3.27)
Length 120 mm (4.72)
Materials Plastic barrel, metal mount
Sealing No
Colour Black
Zoom method Rotary (extending)
Power zoom No
Zoom lock Unknown
Filter thread 77 mm
Hood supplied Yes
Hood product code HB-58
Tripod collar No

Reviews

DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other lenses in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Optical Quality
Build Quality
Autofocus
Image Stabilization
Ergonomics and Handling
Value
Tried & Tested
Tried & Tested
76 %
Overall Score

Nikon's AF-S Nikkor 18-300mm F3.5-5.6 VR lens offers the longest zoom range currently available for any interchangeable lens camera system. But this comes with all of the usual optical compromises associated with a superzoom, in a large, heavy package. It's also much more expensive than third party alternatives.

Good For

Nikon DX SLR owners looking for the longest possible zoom range in a single lens.

Not So Good For

User Reviews

  • iFawaz80, Aug 29, 2013 GMT:
    very nice & very smooth & it's also very HEAVY !

    I own this lens i like it so much very smooth , when it focusing u will never hear any motor , silent , like a clouds in summer but its very Heavy its around 1kg (830g)

    Continue Reading

Questions & Answers

QUESTION

Wanting new lens for D3200

Hi all! I just recently purchased my D3200 within the last year and love it! I'm still new to learning everything, but am always open to suggestions. I love to take pictures of family (babies, group shots, at the pool, etc.), landscapes, flowers, birds, my dogs, etc. I'm my family's photographer (as in I'm the ONLY one to take family photos, only one to ever bring a camera, etc.). I only have 2 lenses, a Nikon 50mm f/1.8D and a 70-300mm f/4-5.6G. I really enjoy my 50mm because of it's size and it also gives me wonderful pictures. I use my 70-300mm sometimes, mainly for taking pictures of birds, but it's big to haul around. I have limited usage for it because of the 70 focal length. So, I've been wanting to purchase another lens, e.g. 16-85mm. However, the thought of carrying around 3 lenses tires me! So I also debate whether to purchase a lens with a more vast focal length range like the 18-200VR2 or 18-300mm. That way I can be covered and don't have to worry about missing a shot to ...

RaqueBalboa asked
1 year ago

ANSWERS

I would not recommend buying a all in one lens. 50 mm f/1.8 is an awkward lens and it is the widest you have. Based on the lenses you mention the budget seems not to be the main issue. The 16-85 mm VR and 70-300 mm VR combo can cover almost all your needs with some being left for 50 mm f/1.8. You will seldom need to carry both your lenses, 70-300 mm being a specialized lens that is used only when you expect to have distant subjects. 85 mm is enough, at least for me, for walk around. Continue Reading

baloo_buc answered
1 year ago

Convenience is high but optical quality mediocre. Better to miss a few shots than end up with hundreds of poor ones. David Continue Reading

David Lal answered
1 year ago

Welcome to every photographer's dilemma. I personally think the 18-55 kit lens (surprisingly sharp, quality lens) + 55-200 will do it for most people. The 16-85 is a step up optically and has a great zoom range but it's also $600. Since you already have the 70-300 I would recommend keeping that and getting the 16-85. Those two match up well. Continue Reading

bseng answered
1 year ago

QUESTION

Am I picking the right lenses for the D800?

Yet another one of these threads, I'd like some opinions :) I'm planning on moving from DX to FF and am trying to figure out my lens strategy. I'm in absolutely no way a pro, and I never will be; I photograph whatever ends up in front of my kit, be it landscape, portrait (in the sense of facial pics of family), general travel photography, macro etc. I even occasionally try to photograph my nephews ice hockey attempts (indoor sport). So, my kit right now: D7000, Nikon 35 f1.8, Nikon 50 f1.8, Nikon 105 f2.8 Micro , Nikon 70-200 f4 and Nikon 18-300 f3.5-5.6. I am getting the D800 and these are my thoughts: Sell the 35 f1.8 DX and the 18-300 (seeming it could be used in crop mode but really not the quality lens I'd put on the D800?). Thus keeping 50, 105 and 70-200. To this, I'd love to add something wide and I'm thinking 14-24 f2.8 or 16-35 f4. I'm the type that read review after review after review (not always a good thing once passing the confusion level of reading to many peoples ...

jdb264c asked
1 year ago

ANSWERS

The 14-24 is the mother of all wide angle zooms (so great that Canon shooters buy it and put with using MF). That said, there are some pretty usability issues--it's super heavy, requires an expensive filter kit to use filters, bulbous, prone to flare, etc). The 16-35 is pretty darn good and accepts pretty standard 77mm filters for less cost. Nice constrast and color. The center is extremely sharp, but the borders fall apart somewhat--though if you stop down you're probably fine, esp. when you move toward 20mm. Lots of distortion at 16mm. Not so good for architecture but fine for landscape. In your case, I think I'd go for the 16-35. The 24-70 is a nice lens. You already have several of the focal lengths covered in primes (esp. if you add the 16-35). I'd get it if you're shooting events or something where you miss shots if you can't jump from wide to short tele very quickly. I like mine for landscape here in Alaska as I'm often shooting in bad conditions. My fingers have bad ... Continue Reading

shawn in ak answered
1 year ago

The 14-24 is a fine lens, but not without it's flaws.   Optically, the main one is that it flares easily, in spite of having nano coating.   If you shoot it outdoors, you'll be well advised to be sure the front of the lens is shaded. A lot of people say their 14-24 is the best lens they rarely use.  I guess I'm with them.  It's so wide on FX that it's not something you typically walk around with, and it's so big you have some issues packing it.   So it's often passed over instead of packed.   The 16-35vr sounds a lot more usable day to day. Since you have the 70-200f4 (a great lens, from what I've heard), you might as well decide if you want to be an F2.8-zoomer or a F4-zoomer.   (14-24, 24-70, 70-200 or 16-35, 24-120, 70-200).    Can't go too wrong either way there.    I've got the F2.8 zooms, and while I love them, I also wonder if I'm going to take them all on a 3-week trip to Europe in the fall, and if so, how to carry them.   The F4 set would all go without question. Continue Reading

PHXAZCRAIG answered
1 year ago

The 14-24mm is a super lens but only if you need its properties. I use it for nightscapes and for that is the undisputed heavy weight champion. But for walkaround I find it too wide and has curvature so it needs to be used in a way that creates a great image. It is large and heavy. So I would not consider it a travel lens. As far as 16-35 goes, never used it but it sounds appealling. I think personally I would prefer the Sigma 35mm F1.4 as its the sharpest lens DXO have ever tested and it gets a lot of rave reviews. Its cheaper as well than the 16-35. It depends on how often you think you would shoot at 16mm. If I wanted a wider photo I would do a panorama as I prefer those to wide angle lens shots anyway. So a high quality useable focal length like 35mm would be handy for travel, light, takes filters, super sharp, little distortion and could make a super high quality handheld panorama (simply swivel on your hips and take 3 photos, take a photo of your hand before and after the ... Continue Reading

1 year ago

QUESTION

What lens to get for D5100? Pls help

Hi So I'm looking for some direction here. I'm an intermediate photographer who works with a Nikon D5100. I have a 50mm prime lens but I'm looking for another one that can be more of my go to lens. I was looking at those below but I'm not sure on what I should move forward with. I like to do portrait, outdoors, weddings etc...Open to additional options or brands that would work with my camera as well but would like to avoid having to manual focus. Pls help. Thx AF-S DX NIKKOR - 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX NIKKOR - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor - 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED Nikon 85mm f/1.8 G

Rellsunn asked
1 year ago

ANSWERS

I'm not familiar with the 18-300 but that's certainly a nice range. I had the 18-200 but wasn't really happy with the image quality and sold it.  Not that it was horribly bad but I replaced it with the 24-120 f/4 which is really a decent lens. It's my go-to lens and I use it for just about everything, including weddings. The 70-300 is also a very good lens and I use it a lot at outdoor events like birthday parties and sporting events. The image quality is very good but it might be a little long for an everyday lens. I also have the 85mm f/1.8. I use it for portraits, mostly outdoors because of it's focal length. The image quality is very good but will it focus on your 5100? I've heard good things about the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 which might be a possibility. I'm not sure it would qualify as a go-to lens though. -Steve Continue Reading

SteveLig2 answered
1 year ago

Is that the only lens you have? I would find that quite limiting Certainly covers everything but it's slow. I don't have personal experience with it but lenses with a wide zoom range tend to have poor image quality. Lots of people like this lens; others don't. Another slow wide-range zoom. Not a bad lens but I don't see it for portraits or weddings. Goes from telephoto to very telephoto. I have this lens. Very sharp. Fairly good portrait lens but somehow makes very cold images. Now, do you have a normal zoom? That's probably the most important lens in your kit. I have a 16-85, which is another slow zoom but it's really sharp. That's the lens that's normally on my D300. For more money, the 17-55 f/2.8 is a good professional lens for DX. Continue Reading

Leonard Migliore answered
1 year ago

A lot of shooters like me like the 16-85 & 70-300 VR pair. What you get is 2 fine, sharp sunny day if slow (at 3.5) lens. In the 16-85 you get a solid built lens with a metal mount & a distance scale. One of Nikon's best in the DX line. Continue Reading

GlennW answered
1 year ago

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It's advised to register your product with Nikon so that we can send you information about future updates or service issues that may arise.


Nikkor lenses come with a standard one year warranty and Nikon Inc. lenses sold by authorized Nikon Inc. dealers will have a Nikon Inc. Five Year Extension. To register for the five year extension, one copy of the included form must be mailed in as indicated. Keep the Customer copy of the form as well as the original proof of purchase (sales receipt)."


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