AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Great all around lens
Ease of use: it is well balanced on a D5100 - it is far from that front heavy feeling that deteriorates mirrorless APS-C cameras. I love the focus ring... but it could be a bit more wide. It weighs just as much, that it is comfortable for a walk. Zoom rings and tubes are OK, no creeping, and turning smoothly. Plastic bayonet?? I can't state anything about it, because I use it since less than two weeks. I have read many users stating it is strong enough, but I will handle with care.
Sharpness: excellent at the center, and no dramatic drop towards the edges. Great color rendering.
Distortion: really exists, and somewhat pronounced. Sometimes ADC is a Must.
Vignetting: pronounced with max. aperture at the wide and long end - stopping down by 2/3-1 stop helps much. But in some situations you have to live with it.
Macro: it is not really intended for macro, but makes nice pictures of flowers.
Out of focus blur: I love it at 105mm - but obviously, there are far more powerful bokeh-makers.
VR: helps much. At wide end, even 1/2.5s handheld is possible with appropriate shooting technique.
Focus speed: not a speed demon, but fast enough in most of the situations.
Zoom reach: usually you won't need more at the tele end, but if you shoot wildlife (butterflies, birds, mammals etc.), a 70-300 VR tele will improve the situation much. Wide is nice, but nothing more than standard.
Final words: bearable compromises, great performance for price.
April 4, 2012
5 Stars based on class of lens
I originally got this lens with my D90 when it was first introduced 3 years ago, when I was new to Digital SLR after decades shooting film with Canon equipment. The 18-105 is the most versatile lens in my kit now in that it handles a wide range of shooting styles from landscapes, travel, portraiture, and almost macro close up very well but excels in none of them. Over the last several years I have gotten some of the best lenses Nikon makes, which are stellar for their specialty but none, are more versatile regardless of price. I recommend this lens for beginners who are not sure of their special interests yet and probably will not know until after taking thousands of photos. This lens allows someone to explore such a wide variety of shooting subjects that it is almost an essential lens for newcomers.
I also recommend this lens to travelers and casual shooters because it is light weight and quite capable of producing images that anyone regardless of experience, would be proud of.
What is its strengths: Light weight, wide range of zoom, very close minimum focusing distance(almost macro), nice flare resistance, good contrast, excellent Vibration Reduction(VR), smooth manual focusing, good sharpness at widest apertures and excellent sharpness stopped down to, say f/8, good out of focus rendering at longer focal lengths which is really effective at 90mm or so for portraits that blur the background pleasantly to isolate the very sharply focused subject, and bargain price.
What are the weaknesses? It is not as good for ambient light indoor photography because its maximum aperture not optimized for it....use a flash when the light is dim, moderately slow automatic focusing in low light, geometric distortion at the widest focal lengths, a little pincushion distortion at 105 mm focal length, Software correctable CA at wide apertures. These all sound bad but they impact every lens to varying degrees and compared to other lenses in its class and price range, these are better specs than others.
Note that this lens has a plastic lens mount which I've heard is criticized for potential weakness but my experience is that after 80,000 shots on two different Nikon cameras(D90 and D7000) in rough conditions of event and back country shooting it seems rugged and I would have no qualms about taking it anywhere.
So, with $10,000 in great, heavy lenses in my bag, the 18-105 is still shot frequently, particularly for walks and travel, or anywhere when using the great SB900 flash with it.
April 1, 2012
Awesome lens, works perfect for every occasion, great lens for a great price
March 21, 2012
It is what it is...
Understand that many of these reviews lack objectiveness - it's mostly peoples' opinions and if we stand back and look at the "big picture", we'll come up with a more balanced perspective. One thing to keep in mind is that this is a sub $400 lens - period. If you want to subject your body and lens to chasing antelope across the desert, don't include this lens. If you want zero distortion throughout the zoom range, forget it. This is certainly the area whereby if you want more, you have to pay more. Also, taking great photographs isn't always technical - it's artistic. Some great photographers take better photos with their phone-cam than others do with a $5000 DSLR kit.
Having said that, this lens performs very well for where Nikon has it priced. When you add this lens to today's entry level DSLRs - 3100 through 7000, you have a package that people could only dream about having just 5 years ago at a price that nearly everyone can afford.
The lens performs well under most conditions. If you find yourself in low light, mid zoom and you can't use the flash, then crank up the camera's ISO. I've used this lens on my low end 3100 with the ISO at 1600 and was mildly impressed with what I got. Outdoors with lots of light is a no-brainer. Wide angle shots are reasonable for the amateur who wants an inexpensive starter kit without dragging around multiple cameras or lenses and/or shelling out multiple thousands of $$$.
If you want a good performing, all-in-one lens that will give you just a bit more reach than the 18-55, this one works very well for the PRICE. If you want a better lens, be prepared to pay for it.
February 20, 2012
My Most used lens
I have a 18-200 lens, I use this lens most of the time. I always seem to go back to this lens.
November 23, 2011
I'd call it a "Prosumer" lens....
....I think "kit" lens is a little demeaning for this lens. I've been using my 18-105 for about a year, bought brand new after I dropped my 18-70 and broke it. I've used on my D100 and D80 with spectacular results.
I've done portrait shoots with this lens, using two strobes, camera at ISO 100, the lens set to f/5.6 as well as f/8 and the sharpness and color of the results blew away not just me, but the people who hired me to take the pictures. The lens produces a beautiful bokeh as well. I have a Nikkor 50mm 1.4 lens as well which, of course, at f/5.6 is mind boggling but it is a prime and on a DX is almost telephoto....not ideal for wide shots, unless you stand in the next room over from your subject!
Whether I want to walk around NYC or Upstate NY in the mountains, the 18-105 is all I need, covers just about every situation I'm in. I carry around my 70-300mm in case I see bird of prey out there I want to capture but it's a rare occasion, believe me. The 18-105 has been a fantastic lens for me.
November 17, 2011
Got this lens as an upgrade to the 18-55mm.
The lens is very sharp and works without any
problem with the D7000. Read a lot of reviews before buying it and found it to have no negetives in its use after 500+ photos in low light, bright Sun, inside or outside, under any condition. Great Sharp Lens for the Price.
October 31, 2011
Nothing but pure excitement
One great lense. Picture are sharp and clean. I'm glad to have this for the fall color.
October 15, 2011
Great versatile starting lens
This is a great versatile lens to get started. Very broad range from wide angle to zoom. The AF-S is great for quick accurate focusing. Solid speed though f/stop naturally a bit limited. Also very affordable.
August 29, 2011
Great replacement for my old 18-70mm lens
It came as a pleasant surprise that my new D7000 came with this 18-105mm lens that is so much sharper than the 18-70 that came with my old D70 - thank you, Nikon!
August 18, 2011
Go To Lens
I have a variety of lens from Nikon and continue to purchase new and used. But day in day out I have found this lens to be my go to lens for everything from night photography to landscapes to portraits. This lens is resonably priced and does a great job. In fact if you have a D3100 all the way to a D300s you should have this lens. I'll add a few photos
so you can see what it is capable of. Nikon please continue to make lens of this quality at this price point. Most of us can't afford a 1600.00 plus F2.8 we want one but..... Anyway boys and girls buy this lens it will be your most used lens I promise.......
August 14, 2011
Amazing lenses for the price
Come with my Nikon D7000
really Great Lenses for the price
good job Nikon :)
August 4, 2011
Great versitile lens
I love this lens on the DX format, as it works great for all around shooting from moderate wide angle to moderate telephoto, making it great for action shots, where things change quickly, to buildings and landscapes. This is my primary lens for the DX format. Qualtiy, of course, is great. All images are sharp., no problems at all. Sure, some geek with a microscope can probably find some imperfection, but I'll bet you won't notice it!
July 25, 2011
This lens is great!
Use it for all now. Never use standard lens at all.
June 29, 2011
Great kit lens, came with my D7000
The reputation that kit lenses have are not always good, but this has been a joy to have. You just cannot go without a wide angle sometimes, this lens was a savior at a wedding. I brought my 35mm prime lens and was just to difficult there to get the whole picture. Very quick focus and lets plenty of light in for great pictures. Recommend with camera kit.
June 16, 2011
just used it on a wedding carried two other lenses but never changed lenses
June 11, 2011
Up until a few weeks ago, these lens was the one I hardly used. I didn't think of it as a quality lens because it was the "kit" lens with my D90, and I have been looking at replacements. I was wrong. I took it to a Photo Safari on the Oregon coast, and it takes awesome images as long as you understand the limitations of the lens, and use some good technique. It will never be great in low light unless its on a tripod, not a big deal, almost all of my images were on a tripod. I probably could have gotten away with just bringing this lens with me if needed. It's stayed on my camera almost all of the time. Over all, Great lens. People shouldn't look down on it for being a "kit" lens.
May 23, 2011
Excellent Lense for All around Shooting
After 1000 photos with the D7000 this lense has not let us down. Images are sharp bright, and excellent quality. I purchased the D7000 instead of the D5100 for many reasons but the kit lenses were so far apart. The 18-105 is great!
April 20, 2011
This Lens takes great pictures!
This is a great all around lens. I love the image stabilization feature. It really does the job, you can hand hold the camara at very slow shutter speeds and get crisp, clean pictures. Colors are vibrant and natural.
April 18, 2011
Great Walk-Around Lens
Don't let this lens being sold as a 'Kit Lens' fool you. There is a reason Nikon chose this as a kit lens for some of the higher end DSLR's. First it has a good focal length that allows for good scenery type shots, good portraits, and decent close-ups. It's auto-focus is fast and accurate also. It also comes with a very affordable price for those of us who are budget minded. I really find this lens a great compliment to my Nikon D300s.
April 18, 2011
This is my forth new Nikon lens it is by far my favorite. I have coupled it with my D7000 and that combination is producing incredible results. This lens focuses quickly and it produces clean clear images. If I could have only one lense to use this would be my choice. Do I like this lens would I recommended it in a word YES!
April 17, 2011
The price is great. The lens gave a better range of possibilities.
April 16, 2011
I love this lens
I bought he D90 that came packaged with this lens. I have owned various other lenses and this one has become my favorite to use. I keep it on the camera at all times, only changing it out if I need a zoom lens. It was great for taking pictures in doors and came in handy during christmas. I could get great wide angle shots and it had enough of a zoom that I could get some really good close up shots. It has amazing clarity and the VR option is just a bonus. I highly recommend this lens.
April 16, 2011
easy to use, good range, portable, no blur
This is our first lens. We purchased it as part of a set when we purchased the camera (Nikon 3100). This lens is very user friendly. It has a great range for taking portraits and not too distant scenery. It's not too large so it packs up well. With the vibration reduction on we haven't had to worry about blurry pictures. Overall we are very pleased and would definitely recommend this lens.
April 16, 2011
Great kit lens
I got this lens with my D90 kit and all I can say is that I am highly satisfied.
I have used it indoors and outdoors and just like other nikkor products the quality is outstanding.
April 15, 2011
Great, Very Versatile
This is a great lens or a beginner such as myself. Has a great range and makes it easy to have tons of options without having to switch lenses. I love shooing with it, and can't wait to try out some more Nikkor lenses.
April 15, 2011
A useful and practical lens
This is the lens that I use the most because of the wide range of use. I get excellent images with with little "messing around". I especially like the non rotating telephoto. I don't have to reset my polarizing filter when changing zooming in or out.
April 15, 2011
far and near
with this lens you can go wrong it goes far and near at needed! and its has auto focus, the picture is still amazing, a no brainier can use.
April 15, 2011
My everyday lens
Great lens, stays on my camera all the time. If there is a down side, I haven't found it yet.
April 14, 2011
Great everyday lens
I keep this lens on my D300s about 95% of the time. It has been great since the very first day. I use the lens primarily for wedding, but also enjoy it as a walking around lens. Lately I have been using it for putting together panoramas. The only drawback that I have experienced is quite a bit of pin cushion effect at various focal lengths. The positives include very fast and accurate focus, as well as the VR.
April 14, 2011