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Keywords: Nikon Nikkor Wide Mid Tele Zoom APS-C DX AF-S Tested


SoCalMan

Registered: June 2006
Posts: 1
Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor review by SoCalMan
Review Date: 6/23/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $250.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent performance for the price
Cons: Build quality could be improved

This lens is destined to be a Nikon classic, not because its image quality is fantastic, but rather because it offers an unusual combination of quality and price.


I own two Nikkor 18-70 zooms. I have more than 20,000 images with this lens.


Optical quality is very good. The lens is sharp at all apertures, has good contrast, focuses quickly and reliably, and has excellent macro performance. There is some variability lens to lens, try to test several if you can. These lenses easily exceed the resolution of a 6MP camera (e.g., Nikon D70s), and test the resolution of a NikonD200 (10.5MP).


Build quality is OK, but not first rate. On the other hand, this lens will be obsolete well before it wears out.


There are two significant issues. First, there is a lot of vignetting, especially at 18mm. This is easily corrected in Photoshop or Nikon Capture. Second, there is moderate distortion at 18mm, and it is complex and CANNOT be easily fixed with software. Be careful taking pictures with a flat horizon.


As a one off lens, it is priced at about $300 as of June 2006. As a kit lens, it is much cheaper. At these prices, it is an extraordinary bargain.


I have tested this lens against Nikon's new 18-200 zoom. Up to 70mm, the 18-70 is every bit as good, and better in some samples. Of course, there is no VR. My experience with the 18-200 is that it starts to fall apart rapidly after 100mm.
wei

Registered: November 2005
Posts: 3
Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor review by wei
Review Date: 11/27/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: light weight, 18MM, fast focus.
Cons: its not 2.8, Ive seen fastr and better sharpness lenses

nice lens, works great with the D70, light but not as good as the 17-55 F2.8. the 18MM is important on 1.5 cameras like D70, D2X and all other family brothers and sisters. fast focus, not the sharpness I familier with but in the overall good performance.
Sumeet

Registered: November 2005
Posts: 5
Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor review by Sumeet
Review Date: 11/20/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent image quality sharp images
Cons: Slight vignetting when wide open

This is a fantastic lens for the price. I have been using this for about 2 months now and I am extremely happy with sharp and good images, fast accurate focusing with manual override. I opted for this lens with D50.


Any better optic than this and you will have to spend top $$ (Almost 3 times, considering the Nikkor 17-55. A better & brighter lens but I believe none of the lenses are free from CA, geometric distortion & vigenetting so 18-70 makes the best choice for money spent.). A must have for all Nikonian as a general purpose all round everyday lens.


Slight vignetting, geometric distortion when wide open at 18mm but you can correct this in post processing (use PTlens a freeware at http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/).
NikonEddy

Registered: November 2005
Posts: 3
Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor review by NikonEddy
Review Date: 11/14/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Focal length range, Price
Cons: Could be faster

I finally decided to have this lens when I bought the D70, at first I was against it but I certainly dont regret it, Its a great lens, no discernible vignetting at any focal length. Very easy to hold and use. Highly recommended for Nikon owners
langier

Registered: November 2005
Posts: 7
Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor review by langier
Review Date: 11/5/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $250.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small and lightweight
Cons: Not the best build for heavy usage

This is a Nikon sleeper in the league of the 36-72 and 70-150 Series-E lenses.


Cheap and optically sharp. Light weight and compact.


Not a bullet-proof build, but much cheaper than the 17-55. A good range with a 35mm equivalent of about 27-105.


Even on a D2x, this is a very good lens and covers a very adequate range with a longer reach than the 17-55 at less than 25% its cost.
WCranston

Registered: November 2005
Posts: 4
Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor review by WCranston
Review Date: 11/3/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $200.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Lightweight inexpensive quality optic for DSLR
Cons: "Only" 70 on the highend. No VR and not 2.8.

This is a great lens for the price, especially when bought as part of a kit. The out of focus areas are quite nice and smooth (WAY better than the Nikon 28-200 G.) This lens is very sharp. I give it a 10 overall because of awesome price/performance ratio and gave an 8 for image quality because 10 is reserved for 70-210 VR and 85 1.4.
dumbo

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 3
Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor review by dumbo
Review Date: 10/25/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Nice zoom range, Good image quality
Cons: Some vignetting on the wide end if shot wide open

This lens is very good. It has a nice zoom range and is a very handy allround lens, reaching from wide to short tele. Being sold as a "kit lens" with the D70 this lens was considered "A cheapo kit lens" when it fisrt hit the market, with the Canon 18-55 in mind. Time have shown that Nikon chose to provide a much better lens for the first time SLR buyers. This lens have very good image quality.
It's sharp throughout the range, with it's sweet spot at 24-35mm.
It's sharp allready wide open, but gets sharper when stopped down to f/5.6-f/8, where it has it's sweet spot.
Chromatic Aberrations is very well controlled, and is small enough to not really be seen in a print, even if you provoke the lens to show it's worst.
The downside of this lens is the vignetting. It's not very bad, but wide open at the wide end it's clearly visible with large areas w/o much detail. It can easily be corrected for in software in the few cases it's annoying.
Distortion could be less of course, but as long as you're not an architectural shooter you can correct for this distortion using PTLens or another suitable software on the few pictures where this is disturbing.


Overall this is a very good lens and very much worth it's price. When bought in kit with a D70 it's a steal.


Of course there are things that could be better. The contrast could be better. A f/2.8 aparture wouldn't hurt either. But then the price would be much higher. This is a very good compromise.
neticen

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 3
Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor review by neticen
Review Date: 10/21/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Handy zoom range, surprising build quality, great value
Cons: Not quite wide enough on the wide end, and some vignetting, both minor

This lens is a phenomenal value with the D70 kit. It is light, flexible, and the image quality AND build quality is the best of any lens I have ever seen in a body kit from Canon or Nikon.


There have been some people harping on this lens for vignetting, and yes some of it is true. There is some vignetting at 18mm wide open and it is annoying. On the other hand, it is not nearly as bad as some have made it out to be. If you really want to work in very wide angles, you need to be using a different lens. This is a utility zoom lens and you need to adjust your expectations.


I personally think that everyone who owns an Nikon dSLR should have this lens. It is like that great screwdriver that just seems to fit. It is never perfect, but it is almost always "good enough" that you are glad it was handy.
afs

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 4
Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor review by afs
Review Date: 10/20/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $250.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: great range, excellent performance at a good price, AF-S, very sharp when stopped down and excellent overall.
Cons: cheap build, large extension while zooming, aperture, sharpness unless stopped down

I had this as my kit lens with My D70 for the first 6 months or so. I took many beautiful pictures with it. It has proven to be a very good solution as a lightweight all-around lens.
Sharpest when stopped down to f/8-f/11, this lens is not bad wide open, and improves as you stop down towards the sweet spot. I found that using flash helped a lot, since you could afford to stop down more in some situations.
The lens covers a very good range for the beginner and intermediate photographer...and its image quality is good enough for a pro's lightweight lens. But it still has a lot to be desired.
For one, I found construction to be lackluster after I got to know about better lenses, and held a few pro lenses. Eventually the plasticky build, shaky front section, and doubling in length when zooming made me seek a better alternative. I also found the 3.5-4.5 aperture limiting, and the need to stop down so much also was a problem.
The small manual focus ring I did not like at all in feel or size.
A good lens overall for the beginner or for a light travel lens. But there are many better lenses out there.
aryko

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 9
Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor review by aryko
Review Date: 10/20/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Best wide-angle bang for the buck
Cons: DX lens, vignetting with Cokin filter system at wide angle

This is a great lens, and a fabulous value when purchased with the D70. It covers a very wide zoom range - 18mm to 70mm which covers many situations. The lens contains at least one ED element, which helps with chromatic abberation. It's lightweight but has some metal components.


The lens has very few drawbacks; the only one I can see is that I use the Cokin P filter system, and at 18-20mm there is some vignetting from the mount adapter. I suspect you wouldn't get this with a slim screw-on filter.


The aperture range is 3.5 - 4.5, the practical effect being that you are always in the f/4 range on the wide end. It ramps up pretty quickly - I think around 35mm it's already at f/4, then f/4.2 at 50mm. The minimum opening size is f/22 (at 18mm) - f/29 (at 70mm).


It's a G-class DX lens, so you can't use it on older Nikon bodies that don't set the aperture on the body; as well, as it's a DX lens, it would vignette on film. I can't testify to this directly, but perhaps at around 50mm you'd zoom past the vignette.


As an AF-S lens it's the quietest lens I own, and it has a switch to go between Manual (M) operation and Manual/Auto (M/A) operation. I see no reason to ever switch it out of M/A - basically it operates on autofocus, but you can tweak the focus with the focus wheel without switching it to manual.


It's no an internal zoom model, so there is some lens extension when you zoom out. The lens doesn't rotate during focussing though. It comes with a pretty useful lens hood that also attachs in reverse on the front for storage.


The only thing I'd replace this lens for is the 12-24mm lens, but then I'd need another lens to go 24-70mm or just stick with primes. For right now though, it's serving very well.
Coner Manika

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 1
Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF DX AF-S Nikkor review by Coner Manika
Review Date: 10/19/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $300.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Excellent 'walk around' lens, sharpness great, low distortion
Cons: Vignetting quite a problem

This a a great lens that I use constantly for a variety of purposes. It's not quite wide enough to be the 'perfect' lens, but it does a very good job.


The zoom ring is well dampened. The focus ring has the annoying quality of not have an 'end point,' but it does have the right speed feel to it.


The lens, as the review mentions is very compact and light-weight.


My biggest problem with the lens is the vignetting that occurs at anything less than f/5.6. This is not a huge problem as Adobe Camera Raw (and apparently DxO) can take care of this without much issue. Nonetheless, it's an annoying fact and certainly the weakness of the lens.


Great lens, just watch the vignetting.
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