AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
THINGS STARTED OUT WELL ENOUGH ...
My initial impressions of this lens were very favourable. It seemed to be well made (for a plastic lens), and the sharpness of the images I got with it were very pleasing. The zoom ring worked well, with no trace of sloppiness at all. The range of the lens, from, effectively, 27mm wide angle, to 82.5 mm telephoto, was very useful (allowing for the cropping factor), enabling it to be used in a variety of conditions, and it was not too bulky, even when zoomed out to the 55 mm setting.
Time, however, was not kind to this lens. Annoying issues became noticeable as the months passed. For example, I could never find a lens hood that didn't intrude at the edges of the image when the lens was used at the 18 mm setting. It meant I had to crop images a bit more than I wanted to.
The other issue was the distortion in vertical lines at the wide angle setting. This would render things like trees, and the edges of tall buildings, with curved sides, and the images would not look good. Using the distortion correction option on the camera menu made little difference.
The most unpleasant surprise came more or less one month after the year's warranty expired: the lens developed a “wobble,” in that the front element would move noticeably up and down when the zoom ring was used (and the zoom ring itself had become very stiff and jerky to use). This “wobble” could be seen as a distinct up and down movement through the viewfinder, as if somebody had nudged the camera. So, forget about using the zoom when taking video images, as this up and down movement would be too obvious.
At first, the wobble didn't affect the operation of the lens, but after a couple of weeks the focus became worse, and in some conditions, such as low light, the lens hardly focussed at all.
Some research on the Internet revealed this “wobble” was a common problem with this kit lens, being that it is made down to a price. My research also told me that getting the issue rectified would not be easy. Some owners reported a six to eight week delay whilst the lens was with Nikon USA (and Nikon have now made it impossible to get your equipment repaired locally), and attempts to get any information were usually met with explanations like: “The item is held awaiting parts.”
The deal breaker, as shown by Internet forum comments, was that the price of out-of-warranty repair was such that it was far cheaper to look online for a replacement lens. I have to ask, what is the point of making this lens of such cheap quality that it is only going to last you about a year?
I should point out that I am neither a professional photographer, nor a “prosumer” snapper (whatever that means!). No, I am not anything other than a weekend photographer, so I hardly think I subject my lenses to overly rough treatment or excessive use. I honestly expected this lens to perform flawlessly for a lot longer than just over twelve months.
Then again, I have read forum posts by photographers who have subjected their 18mm-55mm lens to far more use than I have, and it has failed in less than a year. In one case, a user reported about how the whole front element of the lens fell out whilst he was using it.
Would I recommend this lens? No! Most definitely not! I would recommend that people purchase the camera body only, and then pay the extra for a different lens to the 18mm-55mm.
My recommendation would be to go for the 18mm-105mm lens. The extra cost would be worth it. Also, the extended range of this lens would come in very handy. It would be far more useful to you in a whole range of photographic applications than the 18mm-55mm. Yes, the 18mm-105mm is just another plastic lens, but, hopefully, the build quality is that much better, so you would get more use out of it before it, too, exhibited the dreaded “wobble.”
December 5, 2013
The lens came with the camera and I've really enjoyed the wide angle view the lens provides along with the easy use of the VR feature.
December 4, 2013
OK In a Bundled Kit
This lens was bundled with the 55-300 mm version in a D5200 kit that joins my Canon 60D gear. The included 18-55 mm lens will not get the most out of your Nikon body. Its results are meaningfully 'soft', but you are also not going to get the latest-greatest in a price point bundle. It simply gets you started with a lens that will be suitable for snapshot sized prints. However, you may find that it can make for a suitable portrait lens where soft results are desired. When you want razor detail in a close up macro type shot, it won't be there.
The lens is okay in a start-up bundle, but a serious shooter looking for sharpness would not purchase a stand-alone copy. The sample shot included would not well tolerate a blow up even though the D5200 body used with it is highly capable.
July 28, 2013
I have had this lens for about 3 years now and I take pictures for fun. This is easy to use and takes nice pictures. For an entry level lens I think you will be very happy with it.
July 19, 2013
Good For a Kit Lens
I got this lens as a kit lens with my D3200 and it is a good lens for a kit lens. Even though some people tend to say that the kit lenses aren't very good, this one surprised me. It's great for the price. This lens however isn't for all people. I would recommend this lens to anyone who is looking to take pictures for memories, someone who doesn't have a ton of money, or someone looking to carry around something small. Don't count on this lens for good zoom though. If you can manually focus, you can also get good macro type pictures if you're willing to get up close and/or on your knees. It's not a lens to use all the time(for photographers or beginning photographers) but it's a nice lens to have. Overall, it's impressive for a kit lens.
July 15, 2013