Dec 17, 2009

Review: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

This is the kit lens that comes with the Nikon D90, usually at a premium of about $200 over the stand alone camera body. Or you can buy it separately for about $350. If you're wondering whether to buy this lens as part of the kit - go for it. This lens is a bargain for only $200 and a great way to start out if you're new to dSLRs. Focal length range covers just wide enough to get the entire Thanksgiving table in the frame to enough zoom for close up shots outside. Shoot with this lens for a couple months and you'll have a sense of whether you want to invest in the wide (11-16, 12-24mm) or the tele (80-200, 70-300mm) for your next lens. VR is handy, provides a significant improvement for handheld shots at low shutter speeds. Admittedly, build quality could be better - I'm not a fan of the plastic lens mount. But it does keep the weight down. Autofocus is fast. Image quality overall is very good, photos are sharp across the frame with a little distortion at 18mm and slightly less detail along the corners, but you'd only notice this at 100% crop. I have noticed that outdoor shots in direct sunlight tend to be about half a stop overexposed, but this is easy to correct. In total, this lens is a great value and the low price doesn't reflect the high quality shots you can take with it. Highly recommended.

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