Friday, February 29, 2008

Lens Review - Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G II DX ED

Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6G II DX ED(2006 Release) FACTORY SPECIFICATIONS

Focal Length : 18-55mm focal range (3.1x zoom) for use in a popular range of focal length with compact and light weight. (equivalent to a 27-82.5mm lens in the 35mm format)
Aperture: f/3.5 at 18 mm, f/5.6 at 55mm. Seven-bladed rounded diaphragm stopping down f/22 (18 mm) to f/38 (55 mm)
Optics: 7 elements in 5 groups. That includes one ED glass element (shown in yellow) and one aspherical element shown in blue.
Closest Focus: 28 cm(0r 1.0 feet) throughout the entire zoom range.
Macro Ratio: 1:3.2
Filter size: 52mm - rotating
Accesories: Only rear/front lens caps. Barrel-shaped HB-33 Bayonet Lens Hood NOT INCLUDED !!! .
CL-0715 Flexiable Lens pouch NOT INCLUDED !!!
Dimensions: 70.5 mm diameter. 74 mm length.
Weight: 205 grams

I have tried this lens for a week on my friend's D80 in Taiwan. It came as a kit lens. Frankly speaking, this lens' resolution surprised me during all the short time i use. But, its rotating front unit stuck me to use it with joy.

Wide angle has a lot of barrel distortion. At wide open aperture, this lens has a lot of vignetting and Chromattic Aberrations. But, but, but... This II version of 18-55mm is quite high resolution graphs even at slowest apertures... Very hard to believe !!

I may recommend this lens only for those with very tight budget. But, this lens will answer your resolution needs perfectly if you do not care about barrelling affect and vignetting at slow apertures.

- No focus scala. Might be confusing for the ones who are used to or working manual focus usually. At 18mm, there is quite high positive barrel distortion
- This lens' weakest point is this: Resolution loss in the extreme corners at wide apertures. But, the resolution is EXCELLENT at the center.
- Vignetting is seen only at widest apertures at 18mm, rest is very good.
- Chromatic Aberrations are exceeding 1 pixel limit, even 1,5 pixel. Only 55mm end has no problem. Trouble...

VERDICT : If your bugdet is very very tight, this lens will not let you down. But after a while, you will start to feel the need of an upgrade. Mechanical quality is week and too much plastic feels poor. Among the low budget kit lenss, this lens has the highest point by means of price/performance graphics. NOT Recommended (6,5/10)


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