how sharp is the 18-300mmVR

devaji108

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I know it's a supper zoom and all but just wondering how sharp it is....say compared to the 80-200?? r the 18-55
my guess it sharper than the "kit" lens but not quite the 80-200 sharp...

this would make a great walk around lens along with a 35mm prime i would be set. but looking to get good/great IQ
 

KmH

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From - Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR review: Digital Photography Review

Conclusion - Cons
  • Very soft results at telephoto
  • Extreme distortion across most of the range (but can be corrected in-camera with recent SLRs)
  • Image stabilization not as effective as on similar lenses, especially at telephoto end
  • Flash shadowing at wideangle on smaller SLRs
  • Large, heavy and expensive compared to other superzooms

Conclusion - Pros
  • Huge 16.7x focal length range (while maintaining F5.6 aperture at telephoto)
  • Good image quality in the wide to short telephoto range
  • Fast, quiet autofocus
  • Good build quality, smooth zooming action and no zoom creep
  • Decent close-up capability
 

crimbfighter

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I know it's a supper zoom and all but just wondering how sharp it is....say compared to the 80-200?? r the 18-55
my guess it sharper than the "kit" lens but not quite the 80-200 sharp...

this would make a great walk around lens along with a 35mm prime i would be set. but looking to get good/great IQ

I own one, and can speak a little to it's capabilities and the comparisons that you're looking for. I'm no expert, maybe a good enthusiast at best, but hopefully I can shed some light on your predicament. I owned the 18-55 kit lens, and bought the 18-300 to replace both it and the 55-200. I wanted a single lens solution for when I didn't have the space/desire to bring a multitude of lenses, and thought I might be getting into many different types of shooting from near to far. For example, camping trips, family events, air shows, weddings, ect. I wanted one lens to be able to capture all the moments. Now, that's important, because I really was only wanting to capture moments, not the next art fair grand prize winner. So, in that respect, the lens does extremely well. The versatility of the HUGE zoom range is really nice. However, you are compromising IQ.

I also own a 70-200 VRI, which as I understand it, is only has a tinny bit better IQ than the 80-200, but has VR and a SWM for AF (unless you find an 80-200 AF-S). So, optically, it's about the same. What I can say about the 70-200 vs the 18-300, is that, optically, the 70-200 blows it out of the water. The sharpness, contrast, color reproduction, and color saturation are much better with than the 18-300. Distortion is also much better controlled than in the 18-300. That should be expected, however, given the challenges in engineering a super zoom lens. So, if you're looking to get into that "great" category of IQ, then the 80-200 would be the way to go. If you are comfortable staying in the "good to really good" arena for IQ, then you may not care about the difference between the two and the versatility of the 18-300 might win out.

As far as sharpness between the 18-300 and the 18-55, I would say that in the 18-55 range of the 18-300, it was about the same. I didn't really notice a difference, except that occasionally, I felt like the 18-55 was just a teeny, tinny bit sharper. But, that was only with uber pixel peeping. I think the 18-300 maintains that level of sharpness through about the 180mm mark, then the sharpness falls a bit. It's by no means unusable, in fact, it is still fairly sharp. But, again, if you're looking to be in that "great" category, then the 18-300 falls just a tad short. I have honestly not had too many situations where, after the fact, I said, "gah, I wish this shot would have been sharper!" So, I think that speaks to the practicality of the lens, in that it will usually do the job.

Of course I probably just added to your confusion, but speaking in practical terms, if you have the budget, and you're looking for a walk around combo, then I would spend the money on the 80-200 or 70-200. You can pick up a really good copy of the 70-200 VRI for 1000-1300. Then, if you really need that little extra reach, pick up a 1.4x TC to throw on it. That, combined with a wider prime like your 35mm, and I think you would be as happy as a pig in shi...mud...

Hope that helps!
 
OP
D

devaji108

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^ thanks for the personal review.
yeah i am in the process of deciding my my upgrade and am between a few lens all that there + and -
I did have the 80-200 a few years ago and love the sharpness but had to sale all my photog. gear :(
a supper zoom would be a nice travel, hiking and motorcycling lens but I really don't want to give up the much IQ ...

my thought was to maybe get the 18-300 or the tammy 18-270 have the 35mm 1.8 (but looks like i gt a bad copy so gonna get that worked out)for the low light stuff.
but then again i was looking a the 80-200 or the sigma 70-200...
 

goodguy

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Cant compare it to other lenses but I can tell you from my short experience.
Up to 200mm this lens is very sharp.
When getting close to the 300mm then it does indeed gets a bit solf, not very soft but it is there, you can scale down a bit and the picture will get better.
I would choose this lens over shorter lens because in their range this is super sharp and beyond its still very good simply not as good as it is when scaling down toward the 200mm.
 

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