This is a big baby ! The AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR is very versatile, has a 16.7x zoom range, a max. aperture of f/5.6 but the downfall is that it is quite bulky and heavy. The new Nikkor 18-300mm VR weight 830 grams and will cost $999, €979. That is nowhere light, nor cheap ! But for that price, you have an equivalent to a 27-450mm once mounted on a DX format DSLR (APS-C sensor) like the D3100, D3200, D5100 and D7000. Its optical formula gets some high-end specs : 19 lenses in 14 groups, 3 UD glass lenses and 3 aspherical elements to improve contrast and reduce chromatic aberrations and distortion. It has a circular diaphragm made of 9 blades and gets the SWM ultrasonic autofocus motorization. Of course, it is optically stabilized (Nikon VR) with the latest version advertised as 4EV efficient.
I like versatile zoom lenses. I personally could live with the 18-200mm attached to my D7000 but for those who are really looking into powerful telephoto lenses, this could be the one, yet a bit pricey for an amateur lens. I appreciate that they kept the telezoom max aperture of f/5.6 of the 18-200mm. This will be one of the main asset of this lens against al other 18-270mm ad 18-300mm lenses. You would also enjoy the closest focusing distance of 0.3m at 300mm which gives a pretty decent magnifying ratio of 0.32x, enough to start doing some macro shots.
The AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR will be available pretty soon, by the end of June 2012 like the other lens announced today, the AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.5-4.5G ED VR.
AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens main technical specs
- Focal lengths : 18-300mm (27-450mm on a DX Digital SLR)
- Zoom range : 16.7x
- Max. aperture : f/3.5-5.6
- Nikon VR image stabilization
- Lens lock
- 9 circular aperture blades
- 3 aspherical lenses
- 3 UD glass lenses
- SWM autofocus engine
- Closest focusing distance : 45cm at 300mm
- Max. magnifying ratio : 1/3.2x
- Filter diameter : 77mm
- Lens diameter : 83mm
- Length : 120mm
- Weight : 830 gr.