Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical Review

For the provided Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical lens many thanks the store ProFotoSalewhere you can find many new and used lenses for different systems, including similar lenses Nikon DX Nikkor.

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical. Increase.

Browse Navigation:

  1. In short
  2. History, unlike the previous version
  3. Three of the best superzoom
  4. Main Specifications
  5. Assembly
  6. Stabilizer
  7. Focusing
  8. Image quality
  9. Sample photos with source
  10. Alternatives
  11. My experience
  12. All Nikon DX Series Lenses
  13. Prices
  14. Results
  15. User Comments
  16. Add your review / comment or question on the lens

Please note that Nikon has two similar lenses in the 18-300mm class, one with an aperture ratio of 3.5-5.6, and the second with an aperture ratio of 3.5-6.3. The latter is shown in this review. Its name on the case looks like Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical, but in the review I will call it abbreviated - Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G.

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherica

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical

In short

Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G is a superzoom with a record set of focal lengths. The possibilities of such a versatile set of focal lengths are very great. Surprisingly, the lens turned out to be light enough with a small / compact size. Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G uses a very good stabilizer.

Of obvious flaws, low aperture in the range of 100-300 mm and an abundance of chromatic aberration. True, the latter are noticeable only on old cameras or when picking in RAW files. New cameras partially eliminate some of the lens flaws.

Superzoom is always a choice between the convenience of using a single lens and the quality of the image created. In this case, Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G shows a good balance of these components. It is not terrible in terms of image quality (which is already good) and is very pleasant to use.

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherica

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical


On June 14, 2012, the Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-5.6G DX VR superzoom was introduced.

2 years later, on April 10, 2014, it was supplemented with a Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G lens.

In fact, the Nikon 18-300/3.5-6.3G is a simplified, lighter and cheaper version of the Nikon 18-300/3.5-5.6G DX VR.

The main differences between the Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-5.6G DX VR and the Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G DX VR.

The main differences between the Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-5.6G DX VR and the Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G DX VR. increase.

TOP 3 Super Zooms for Nikon DX

Below I have listed the 3 most 'powerful' superzoom for Nikon cameras with APS-C sensor (for spring 2020):

  • Tamron 18-400/3.5-6.3 VC, the largest zoom ratio (22.2x) and the longest focal length at the long end (400mm)
  • Tamron 16-300/3.5-6.3VCwidest viewing angle (16 mm)
  • Nikon 18-300 /3.5-5.6G VR, the biggest aperture at this zoom ratio (300 mm and F / 5.6)
Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherica

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical

Main technical specifications of Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical:

Review Instance Name Near the front lens: 'Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED VR'. On the body in gold letters 'Nikon DX VR AF-S Nikkor 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED'. White lettering 'Nikon DX SWM VR ED IF Aspherical ∞-0.48 / 1.6ft Ø67 Made in China 2171457'
Basic properties
  • DX (Nikon DX) - Designed for crop cameras with APS-C Nikon DX series sensor
  • AF S (Auto-FocuS motor) - the lens uses a built-in focus motor
  • G (Gelded) - means no iris ring and transfer of focusing distance to camera
  • ED (Extra-low Dispersion) - the use of special low-dispersion elements in the optical scheme
  • AS (ASPHERICAL) - use of special aspherical elements in the optical design
  • SWM (Silent Wave Motor) - silent wave focusing motor
  • IF (Internal Focusing) - internal focusing
  • SIC (Nikon Super Integrated Coating) - Special Integrated Super Enlightenment Optics
  • VR (Vibration Reduction) - Built-in Image Stabilizer
  • AM - usual focus switch, it is possible to use it like M / AM, but with certain limitations described in the review
  • RD (Rounded Diaphragm) - rounded aperture blades
  • Rubber basket (Rubber lens mount seal) - dustproof and waterproof mount seal
Front Filter Diameter 67 mm, plastic thread for filters
Focal length 18-300 mm EGF for Nikon DX cameras is 27-450 mm
Zoom ratio 16.67 X (usually rounded to 17)
Designed by for digital cameras Nikon DX
Number of aperture blades 7 rounded petals
Tags focal lengths for 18, 35, 70, 105, 200, 300 mm, bayonet mount mark and hood mounts
  • 18 mm - F / 3.5-F / 22
  • 35 mm - F / 4.2-F / 29
  • 70 mm - F / 5.0-F / 32
  • 105 mm - F / 5.6-F / 36
  • 200 mm - F / 6.0-F / 40
  • 300 mm - F / 6.3-F / 40

The lens is deprived of the aperture control ring, control is via the camera menu (G - lens type)

MDF (Minimum Focus Distance) 0.48 m over the entire range of focal lengths, maximum magnification ratio 1: 3.45
Stabilizer features 4 stops by CIPA standards, based Vcms (Veye Coil Motors)
The weight
  • 550 grams claimed
  • 551 grams measured, lens without hoods and lens hood
  • 597 grams with hood and hoods
Optical design 16 elements in 12 groups, including

  • 3 aspherical elements (aspherical elements are shown in blue on the optical diagram). The presence of aspherics is indicated on the case with the inscription 'Aspherical'
  • 3 low dispersion elements (shown in yellow on the optical diagram). The presence of such elements is indicated on the housing by the abbreviation 'ED'

Optical design Nikon 18-300 3.5-6.3The image of the optical scheme is clickable to enlarge

Lens hood Nikon HB-39, bayonet type, plastic, uses the same lens hood Nikon 16-85 / 3.5-5.6G VR
Transportation With a soft cover CL-1018
Manufacturer country China, inscription on the lens: “MADE IN CHINA”
Period From April 10, 2014 to the present day (at least in the spring of 2020)
Instructions View ->

Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G is one of the three darkest lenses in the Nikon DX line. The other two are Nikon 70-300mm / 4.5-6.3G AF-P and Nikon 70-300mm / 4.5-6.3G AF-P VR. The difference in aperture ratio between F / 5.6 and F / 6.3 is 1.27 times (that is, about 1 / 4-1 / 3 steps). Almost all superzoom at its long end have a value of F / 6.3. Aperture sacrificed for large zoom ratios.

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherica

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical


To the touch Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G is pleasant and weighty, its weight falls short almost up to 600 grams (with a hood and covers). The lens body is made of plastic. Despite the huge zoom ratio, the lens has enough compact sizes while using small and common filters with a diameter of 67 mm. For example, the same diameter of filters is used far from superzoom Nikon 18-70 / 3.5-4.5 и Nikon 18-105 / 3.5-5.6 VR.

The zoom ring is wide, comfortable, rubberized. The focus ring is not rubberized, but pleasant to handle. Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G uses metal mountnear which is located rubber compressor, protecting the camera mount from dust and moisture. However, Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G does not apply to protected lenses. The focus ring is plastic, and the zoom lens is rubberized. Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G is made only in China.

The retractable barrel of the lens 'trunk' consists of two sections, they are strong enough to the touch, without any backlash. In the extended position, the sections are significantly lengthened and the lens becomes enormous.

There is a bayonet mount mark and a mark on the case for quick installation of the hood. The lens uses a small plastic hood HB-39, which is fixed in special grooves located near the front lens of the lens. The lens hood comes with the lens. The hood can be installed in the opposite direction for transportation. In this position, access to the zoom ring is partially lost. Exactly the same lens hood Nikon 16-85 / 3.5-5.6G VR.

When changing the focal length, the rear lens moves in the middle of the lens body like a pump - it draws in and pushes out air. This contributes to the contamination of the insides of the chamber (mirror shaft and all the nodes that are there). Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G air pump effect is very pronounced. During a sharp zoom, air escapes not only from the rear lens, but also from under the zoom rings. On some cameras, a strong stream of air from the rear lens may burst through the viewfinder eyepiece. But if you rotate the zoom ring smoothly and slowly, then this effect may not be noticed.

The Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G comes with a soft case CL-1018, and the lens itself comes in a small cardboard box with a characteristic Nikon coloring.

Diaphragm lens consists of 7 rounded petalswhich form a fairly even opening on slightly covered diaphragms. But on average and very covered aperture values, the aperture opening looks very uneven.

Frame (trunk) of the Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G does not spontaneously change its size under its own weight. In the review, I had a practically new lens, perhaps the spontaneous movement of the trunk begins only with time. For example, when the camera is tilted down, the trunk of the lens may spontaneously lengthen (focal length increases). To prevent such an unpleasant incident, there is a focal length switch-lock 'LOCK 18' (the so-called 'castle'), which tightly fixes focal length at a value of 18 mm. To fix the lens trunk, you must first set the 18mm focal length (as evidenced by the inscription 'LOCK 18'). There is a pointer next to the button that shows in which direction to move the switch to lock the lens. In the locked position, the switch indicates orange. The switch is located in a convenient place - under the thumb of the left hand, so the lens can be quickly and comfortably 'removed from the lock' before starting shooting. The main thing to remember about this switch and not try to force the zoom ring to move in a locked state.

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherica

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical


Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G has a second-generation Nikon VR image stabilizer that can compensate 4 stops by shutter speed. In values excerpts this means that you can shoot at shutter speeds 16 times longer than what a lens without a stabilizer requires.

To enable / disable the stabilizer on the lens there 'VR ON / OFF' button. The stabilizer itself works very well. I was able to take pictures without blur and hard work at 300mm focal length and 1/30 second. Unlike more advanced lenses, such as the Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-5.6G DX VR, for example, this lens does not have the ability to switch stabilizer modes.

When the image stabilizer is turned on and off, the viewfinder does not twitch, which may cause some other stabilizer lenses.

The lens can track the movement of the camera during panorama shooting. In this case, the stabilizer will suppress vibration only in the direction perpendicular to the movement of the camera.

The stabilizer is quiet.

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherica

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical


Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G focuses thanks to 'SWM'-motor (Silent Wbird Motor is a quiet wave / ultrasonic focus motor) and refers to 'type lensesAF S'(with built-in motor focusing), and therefore it will automatically focus on any Nikon digital SLR camera. The lens is used compact swm motor.

The lens will automatically focus on all Nikon DSLR cameraseven on amateur series models Nikon DXthat do not have a built-in focus motor: D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D3500, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600as well as mirrorless cameras Nikon Z with adapter FTZ / FTZ II.

During auto focus, the motor does its job quietly enough, but still noise from the focus motor clearly audible on videos recorded using the microphone built into the camera. During auto focus in Live View, you can sometimes hear a rather strange crackle, which is associated with a quick and multiple change in direction of focus.

Auto Focus Speed ​​- average. Focus speed is comparable to other similar lenses such as Nikon 18-105, 18-140 и 18-200. Only more advanced lenses with a ring focus motor have significantly faster automatic focusing.

During focusing, the front and rear lenses remain stationary, as the lens uses internal focusthat is indicated on the case by the letters'IF'-'Iinternal Focus' - 'Inner Focus'. While changing the focal length, the front lens also does not rotate. It is possible to use any filters without problems.

The minimum focusing distance is only 48 cm, while you can shoot with a maximum magnification of 1: 3.45. This is a great indicator for such a lens. Thus, the lens allows you to shoot amateur 'macro'. At 300 mm focal length and when focusing on MDF, the distance from the subject to the front lens of the lens is about 15 cm.

During auto focus, the focus ring remains stationary. In manual focus mode, the ring rotates approximately 180 degrees, when extreme positions are reached, it does not rest, but continues to slide, without affecting the focus. Manual focus is easy.

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical

Switch 'A-M'

On the lens housing you can find focus switch 'A - M'. In position 'A', automatic focusing works, and in position M - manual focusing.

Switch 'A-M' in this lens is non-standard. Normally, in all lenses equipped with such switches, manual focus cannot be performed in 'A' mode. But here is what the instructions say for Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3:

Manual focus can be performed even when the lens mode 'A-M' is set to 'A'. Set the camera to AF-S focus mode and press the shutter-release button halfway to autofocus. Then, while keeping the shutter-release button pressed halfway, manually rotate the lens focusing ring to fine-tune the focus. Note. Do not try to rotate the focus ring while the autofocus function is operating. When the autofocus function completes, release and press the shutter-release button halfway again.

Thus, in AF-S mode, after successful focusing, you can still rotate the focus ring to adjust the focus or refocus it. Unfortunately, such a property is only a semblance of a full-fledged mode M / A or A / M with the possibility of constant manual focus control.

In fact, in AF-C / AF-A modes, you can do the same thing, and it’s most convenient to use the same behavior of the focus ring when the activation button is reassigned to another one, for example, on AF-ON... However, it is better to use exclusively 'M' for manual focusing with this lens and 'A' for automatic focusing.

You can find more information about lenses with a similar feature in the section '' Features '' A '' focus mode, for select Nikkor lenses with 'A-M' switch.

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical

The effect of F / 6.3 on focus

The instructions for most Nikon cameras indicate the threshold for the maximum relative aperture of the lens with which correct auto focus will be available. Most Nikon cameras are designed for lenses only. no darker than f / 5.6. For example, camera Nikon D3200, D40, D70, D700, on which I tested the lens, theoretically should not work correctly with this lens. But still, as my practice has shown, in conditions with good lighting there are no special problems with automatic focusing even on cameras that are not designed to work with lenses with F / 6.3. Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G goes beyond F / 5.6 at a focal length of 125 mm (can be viewed in EXIF), at this value the maximum relative aperture is already 1: 6.0.

You can find a list of Nikon cameras whose focus sensors can easily focus with lenses with a maximum aperture of F / 5.6-8.0 here. At the time of writing, there were only three Nikon DX SLR cameras with this feature: D7100, D7200, D500. In Live View mode, the restriction to F / 6.3 may not work. At the time of writing this review, there is only one super zoom with a similar zoom ratio that uses F / 5.6 at its long end - this is the Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-5.6G DX VR.

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical

Focus Features

  1. Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G does not have a window with a scale of distances, the depth of field scale and other useful marks.
  2. When changing the focal length, focusing is lost.
  3. Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G has quite a pronounced 'Focus Breathing' effect (changes in the angle of view during focusing). When focusing towards the MDF, the angle of view increases. It may seem that the lens does not have an honest 300mm focal length. But keep in mind that an effective focal length of 300mm is available only when focusing at infinity. During focusing towards the MDF, the effective focal length decreases, which is why various conspiracy theories about deception with the indication of real values ​​of focal lengths can be found on the network
  4. Focus Shift (focus shift, changing focus distance due to iris)
  5. Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G does not have a hard stop (hard infinity mechanical stop) which allows you to accurately and quickly focus the lens to infinity under any external temperature conditions. For accurate aiming at infinity, you can’t just bring the focus ring to its extreme position
  6. Teleconverter compatibility unknown
  7. The lens must be well compatible with the Nikon FTZ adapter for Nikon Z mirrorless cameras and with a Nikon FT1 adapter for cameras Nikon 1
Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherica

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical

Image quality

The lens was developed at a time when there were cameras with an APS-C sensor at 24 MP, and therefore at least theoretically it should not have any problems with modern sensors. But there are problems.

It is believed that by default superzoom cannot produce good image quality. But everything is a bit wrong, everything very much depends on focal lengths, aperture values, excerpts and parts of the frame. In general, the Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G is a classic representative of its family and it is sometimes very difficult to achieve high image quality. You always expect only bad things from such a spread of focal lengths and sometimes you are pleasantly surprised at what modern optics are capable of.

The following describes the capabilities of the lens without taking into account software improvements.


  • confident sharpness at an open aperture in the center of the frame in the range of 18-100 mm
  • low sharpness at the edges and corners of the frame by 18 mm at F / 3.5, sharpness at the edges of the frame becomes acceptable after F / 8.0
  • good resolution in the center of the frame on covered apertures (in the F / 8 region) in the range of 18-100 mm
  • there is a general slight drop in sharpness after 100 mm of focal length
  • in the range of 100-300 mm, the lens is weak at almost any aperture
  • 300 mm sharpness is best in the range of F / 8-F / 11, but still at an insufficient level, the edges of the image never come back to normal at any value of the focal length


  • the overall level of distortion is at a level typical for such lenses
  • strong distortion over almost the entire range of focal lengths
  • in the wide-angle range, the distortion pattern is barrel-shaped, after 35 mm of the focal length and up to 300 mm - pillow-shaped
  • the nature of distortion is unified, easily corrected in the editor


  • the overall level of vignetting is at a level typical for such lenses
  • vignetting is most pronounced at extreme positions: 18 mm at F / 3.5
  • with increasing focal length, vignetting at an open aperture decreases
  • vignetting almost disappears at F / 5.6 for 18 mm and F / 11 for 300 mm
  • vignetting is practically independent of the focusing distance
  • vignetting is easily fixable in the editor


  • lens severely affected by chromatic aberration
  • very strong chromatic aberration at the corners and edges of the frame by 18 mm and in the range of 200-300 mm
  • least chromatic aberration in the middle focal length range, from about 50 to 100 mm
  • strong milling


  • the lens behaves well in side and back light
  • getting the effect of a 14-ray star is quite difficult
  • sometimes you can get neutral and even pleasant bokeh (especially in the TV range)
  • Concentric 'onion' circles are present on the discs of confusion

Modern Nikon cameras, which were released after the announcement of this lens, easily automatically correct distortion and vignetting. Many cameras can automatically correct part of the chromatic aberration. Sometimes software features that enhance the original image from the lens can work wonders.

If you use a camera with this lens that was published before 2014, then shooting in RAW with the subsequent use of the latest version of Capture NX-D or any other original utility allows you to automatically correct vignetting, distortion and chromatic aberration.

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherica

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical

Sample Photos

Examples on Nikon D3200, APS-C 24 MP with AA filter. Examples are shown without treatment... Easily convert original RAW files with the original Nikon Capture NX-D v 1.4.6 utility.

  • Picture Control Mode: SD (Standard with default settings, 3, 0, 0, 0, 0)
  • White balance: Auto (with default offset)
  • Active D-lighting: ON (the camera does not allow you to select a level ADL)
  • Noise reduction: ON (the camera does not allow you to select the noise reduction level)
  • use of the function 'Aut. distortion control 'with this lens on the camera Nikon D3200 unavailable, apparently the lens came out after the announcement of this camera and there is no data in its memory for distortion control. Perhaps a new firmware might change that.
  • The lens was used without filters, with the original lens hood in the active position.

Original RAW photos (12-bit '.NEF') can be download from this link (35 files, 650 MB). Due with the current situationYou don’t take much.

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherica

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical


Below is a list of all hyper-zooms for SLR or mirrorless cameras with an APS-C sensor and a range of focal lengths greater than or equal to the classic 18-200 mm.

Tamron (different mounts):

  1. Model A14 Tamron 18-200/3.5-6.3 AF (IF) Aspherical LD ​​XR DiII Macro, February 2005. Country of manufacture Japan or China. The version for Pentax cameras has a metal mount, for Nikon / Canon / Sony / Minolta the mount is plastic. In March 2008, an improved Tamron Model appears for Nikon cameras. A14 NII with built-in focus motor, focus mode switch, 8 microprocessor pins and metal mount.
  2. Model B018 Tamron 18-200/3.5-6.3 AF Di II VCAugust 2015.
  3. Model B011 Tamron 18-200 mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III VC, black or silver, December 2011, for mount mirrorless cameras Sony E и Canon EOS M
  4. Model A18 Tamron 18-250/3.5-6.3 AF Di II LD Aspherical [IF] Macro, September 2006. Country of origin Japan or China. In December 2007, an improved model appears for Nikon cameras Tamron model A18 NII with built-in focus motor, focus mode switch and 8 microprocessor pins.
  5. Model B003 Tamron 18-270/3.5-6.3 AF Di II LD [IF] Aspherical VC MacroJuly 2008.
  6. Model B008 Tamron 18-270/3.5-6.3 AF Di II VC PZD, December 2010. Country of origin China or Vietnam.
  7. Model B008TS Tamron 18-270/3.5-6.3 AF Di II VC PZDSeptember 2016.
  8. Model B016 Tamron 16-300/3.5-6.3 AF Di II VC PZD Macro, February 2014.
  9. Model B028 Tamron 18-400/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD, June 2017.

Promaster (various mounts):

  1. PROMASTER 18-200/3.5-6.3 DIGITAL XR EDO AF Aspherical LD ​​(IF) Macrocopy Tamron model a14 under the Promaster brand. Japanese assembly

Sigma (different mounts):

  1. Sigma 18-200 mm/3.5-6.3 Zoom DC, February 2005.
  2. Sigma 18-200/3.5-6.3 Zoom DC (+ -HSM) OS (Optical Stabilizer)September 2006 velvet or smooth black body. The HSM motor is only available on Nikon camera lenses.
  3. Sigma 18-200/3.5-6.3 II Zoom DC HSM OS (Optical Stabilizer)October 2011.
  4. Sigma 18-200/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM MACRO | C (Contemporary, Optical Stabilizer), January 2014.
  5. Sigma 18-250/3.5-6.3 Zoom DC HSM OS (Optical Stabilizer)January 2009
  6. Sigma 18-250/3.5-6.3 Zoom DC Macro HSM OS (Optical Stabilizer)June 2012.
  7. Sigma 18-300/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM MACRO | C (Contemporary, Optical Stabilizer)September 2014.

Quantaray (different mounts):

  1. Quantaray 18-200/3.5-6.3 Dio Multi-Coated, copy of Sigma 18-200mm/3.5-6.3 Zoom DC (2005) branded as 'Quantaray'
  2. Quantaray 18-200/3.5-6.3 Dio OS (+-HSM) Multi-Coated, copy Sigma 18-200/3.5-6.3 Zoom DC (+-HSM) OS (2006) under the banner of 'Quantaray'.

Nikon (F):

  1. Nikon 18-200/3.5-5.6G DX VRNovember 2005.
  2. Nikon 18-200/3.5-5.6GII DX VRJuly 2009.
  3. Nikon 18-300/3.5-5.6G DX VR, June 2012.
  4. Nikon 18-300/3.5-6.3G DX VRApril 2014.

Sony ('A' or 'E'):

  1. Sony 18-200/ 3.5-6.3 AF DT, A mount, most likely uses an optical design Tamron model a14.
  2. minolta 18-200/3.5-6.3AF DT Dmount A is likely to use an optical circuit Tamron a14
  3. Sony 18-250/3.5-6.3 AF DT, A mount, since 2007, most likely uses Tamron Model A18 optical design.
  4. Sony 18-200/3.5-6.3 OSS, E-mount, May 2010
  5. Sony 18-200/3.5-6.3 OSS LE, E-mount, May 2012
  6. Sony 18-200/3.5-6.3 PZ OSS, E-mount, September 2012

Hasselblad (Sony E):

  1. Hasselblad E 3.5-6.3/18-200 OSS copy Sony 18-200/3.5-6.3 OSS, September 2012

Pentax (K):

  1. Pentax 18-250/3.5-6.3 AL SMC DA [IF], October 2007, most likely uses Tamron Model A18 optical design.
  2. Pentax 18-270/3.5-6.3 ED SMC DA SDM, September 2012, most likely uses an optical design Tamron model b008.
  3. Samsung 18-250/ 3.5-6.3, with a Pentax KAF2 mount, 2008, (most likely uses the Tamron Model A18 optical design.

Canon (EFS):

  1. Canon 18-200/3.5-5.6 IS Zoom Lens EF-S (Image Sbabilizer), August 2008.

Samsung (NX):

  1. Samsung 18-200/3.5-5.6 ED OIS i-Function, Samsung NX mount
Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherica

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical

My experience

Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G was very pleasant to use. This is primarily due to the low weight and good stabilizer. You can shoot for your own pleasure and not worry about lubrication, even in the TV range.

For those who value quality rather than convenience, Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G can be divided into a set of two lenses, for example, Nikon 18-55 / 3.5-5.6G AF-P VR и Nikon 55-300 / 4.5-5.6G AF-S VR or Nikon 70-300 / 4.5-6.3G AF-P VR.

At the same time, for amateur shooting, especially in situations such as vacation, image quality with Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G will be quite enough.

But still, I liked the Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G much less than a similar one. Tamron 16-300mm F / 3.5-6.3. And if I were to buy a new similar lens, then I would be inclined specifically to Tamron 16-300mm F / 3.5-6.3.

Some users who used the more advanced Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-5.6G DX VR and the Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G at the same time could hardly tell the difference in their image quality. It is believed that Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G in general more successful and optically successful lensthan Nikon 18-300/3.5-5.6G DX VR.

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherica

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical

An accurate list of all Nikon DX Nikkor lenses

  1. 10.5 mm/ 2.8G AF Fisheye [gold ring]
  2. 35 mm/1.8G AF-S
  3. 40 mm/2.8G AF-S Microphone
  4. 85 mm/3.5G AF-S VR Microphone
  5. 10-20 mm/4.5-5.6G AF-P VR
  6. 10-24 mm/3.5-4.5G AF-S
  7. 12-24 mm/4G AF-S [gold ring]
  8. 16-80 mm/ 2.8-4IN AF S VR [gold ring]
  9. 16-85 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR
  10. 17-55 mm/2.8G AF-S [gold ring]
  11. 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S [black / silver]
  12. 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6GII AF-S [black / silver]
  13. 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR
  14. 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6GII AF-S VR
  15. 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-P
  16. 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-P VR
  17. 18-70 mm/3.5-4.5G AF-S
  18. 18-105 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR [Thailand / China]
  19. 18-135 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S
  20. 18-140 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR [Thailand / China]
  21. 18-200 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR [Japan / China]
  22. 18-200 mm/3.5-5.6GII AF-S VR
  23. 18-300 mm/3.5-5.6G VR
  24. 18-300 mm/3.5-6.3G VR
  25. 55-200 mm/4-5.6G AF-S [black / silver, Japan / China]
  26. 55-200 mm/4-5.6G AF-S VR
  27. 55-200 mm/4-5.6GII ED VR
  28. 55-300 mm/4.5-5.6G AF-S VR
  29. 70-300 mm/4.5-6.3G AF-P
  30. 70-300 mm/4.5-6.3G AF-P VR

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherica

Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical


Prices can look at this link.


Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G is a fairly compact and lightweight superzoom, pleasant to use even with light amateur DSLRs. It has a powerful image stabilizer, but the image quality is only at a good level when paired with modern image enhancement methods on new Nikon cameras. It can easily serve as one and only highly functional lens for travel and street photography. Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G has the largest zoom ratio of any original Nikon lenses for SLR cameras.

In general, this is a simplified version of the more 'powerful' older brother Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-5.6G DX VR. For a record zoom, you have to pay with strong chromatic aberration and insufficient sharpness. But let me remind you once again that superzoom is always a compromise between convenience and quality.

10 main advantages:

  1. huge range of focal lengths
  2. compact body dimensions at 18 mm focal length, fairly light weight, small diameter of the front filter
  3. highly effective built-in image stabilizer
  4. internal focusing, long stroke of the focus ring, fixed focus ring during auto focus
  5. small MDF, good maximum magnification ratio 0.29 X
  6. ultrasonic focusing motor (for example, similar Tamron 18-250 / 3.5-6.3 Model A18 does not have a motor)
  7. good build quality: metal mount, hood included, rubber mount seal, rubberized zoom ring
  8. 18 mm focal length lock
  9. 6 special elements are used in the optical design
  10. confident sharpness at F / 8 in the center of the frame in the range of 18-100 mm, some optical distortions are corrected automatically on modern cameras or when processing RAW

10 main disadvantages:

  1. focusing speed is average, and the lens travel time from infinity to MDF and vice versa is quite large, it is used compact swm motor
  2. AM switch does not support full manual focus control typical of the mode Nikon 'M / A', for example, like Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-5.6G DX VR
  3. noise from the focus motor, especially in Live View, where a distinctive crack appears during difficult focus conditions
  4. low aperturenegatively affects focus quality with some cameras
  5. very strong and unpleasant effect of the air pump
  6. curved aperture on medium and tightly closed diaphragms (rounded petals do not help)
  7. plastic focus ring (not rubberized)
  8. no focus distance scale
  9. high price tag at the start of sales, which amounted to about $ 900 (in 2020, the price tag fell to the level of $ 700)
  10. strong vignetting at 18 mm and F / 3.5, a noticeable drop in sharpness with increasing focal length, especially along the edges of the image, strong chromatic aberration at some focal lengths at the edges and corners of the image, overall poor image quality

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

Specifically for the lens from the review many thanks the store ProFotoSalewhere you can find many new and used lenses for different systems, including similar lenses for slr cameras.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 33, on the topic: Review of the Nikon DX VR AF-S 18-300mm 1: 3.5-6.3G ED SWM IF Aspherical

  • B. R. P.

    Thanks for the review.

  • Yarkiya

    I had 3,5-5,6, it is optically good in everything except for a sharpness of 300 mm on any hole, that is, its value as a telescope is practically zero. We can’t even bear his weight for travel, even after a short walk the neck gets tired, I can imagine what will happen after or during the trip. But perhaps the situation will be saved not by an ordinary neck strap, but by a shoulder harness.

    • Pokemon

      Only 600 grams + crop camera, well 2 kilos with batteries and flash drives.
      Not so much ... Although depending on what kind of tourism, if the tropics are summer, I agree you can die.

      • koba

        a little wrong ... 600g + the camera for which it was created, basically, and this is the D5300 or D5500 with its 400 grams. That is, in the end, the weight will be no more than 1,2 kg. Actually, this was offered and offered to ordinary users and this brings the company considerable sales. For its purposes, it is completely suitable, it is inexpensive ... And optically the Sigma 18-200 C is the best of the superzoom, it is even more compact and made better, at 200mm it gives out the best quality among superzoom, for this a bunch of special glasses were pushed into it.

    • Michael

      You would have to blame Sigma 120-400)) Then all this will seem like childish babble

      • koba

        I understand this, I sometimes wore and took off all day with 3kg equipment, besides there was something in my bag, as a result, the backpack took about 10kg, the next day my wrists hurt ... After those years I don't even feel 2kg in my hands , by the way, I advise everyone to do this exercise, I took a month with 3-kg equipment without a tripod, and then any equipment 2kg and below will seem weightless ...

  • Aries

    From my experience .. it is better to put FF optics on the crop, for example 28-200 sigma, and then the sharpness over the entire range is very good ... because the center of the zoom works ... all angles and the center are exactly according to the light of sharpness

    • Arkady Shapoval

      this is only part of the truth. If the lens is weak, then it will be weak on the crop. Crop only cuts off the edges, but at the same time, the pixel density on the sensor at the crop is usually higher than that of the full frame of the same release time, and therefore it will be more difficult to achieve 'per pixel' sharpness on the crop.

      • Pokemon

        I, too, at one time came to this conclusion (possibly incorrect).
        On Fuji S3Pro, Tokina 28-70 / 2.8 went great, and on Fuji S5Pro - Nikkor 28-70 / 2.8.
        Yes, so I didn’t want to shoot.

        • RussTamblyn

          I wanted to shoot so much that I didn’t want to shoot

  • Sergei

    I use 18-300 with 5.6 on the long end. It produces a good image up to 250mm, after which it is soapy. The bokeh at large focal lengths is quite good. But the only drawback is weight. It is 830g. And it's hard to use it as a station wagon. I would even consider 18-200 for a hike or vacation. It is lighter, and the difference between 200-300 mm can be completely smoothed out by cropping the image.

    • Sergei

      Here is another example with 18-300 3.5-5.6

  • Sergei

    Question to Arkady: will there be a review for the version with a hole 5.6 on the long end or is it not interesting to you?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      If possible it will be. Interesting.

      • Sergei

        If you are in Pskov - write, I will give you a drive;)

  • Volodimir

    Miraculous looking around. In 2016, p. Do you have a look at Tamron 16-300mm F / 3.5-6.3 Di II PZD VC? Is it possible to look at Tamron 18-400 mm f / 3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD?
    First of all, do I have super zumi, is there a more critical parameter for vibrator 16/18 for a short time 300/400 for a short one?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I do not even know. In each case, 16 mm is more important, somewhere 400 mm. All the same, sometimes 16 mm is a lot, and 400 mm is not enough.
      I want to take 18-400 from the representative office of Tamron in Ukraine.

  • Iskander

    I am considering buying a Canon EF-S 18-200mm f / 3.5-5.6 IS so far for a cropped DSLR, but with an eye to using the Canon EOS RP full frame mirrorless through an adapter. In this regard, the question arose: it is rumored that the Canon RP (and R, too), despite being compatible with the EF-S mount, when mounting cropped lenses, the sensor is scattered, and it is impossible to get a picture from the entire area of ​​the matrix. Is it so? Maybe someone came across?

    • Michael

      Yes, with the EF-S, only the center section of the sensor will be used, no choice. The camera is already out, the instructions are on the site. If you look closely, it would be good to familiarize yourself - everything is written there

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Only part of the APS-C will work. Forcing the entire sensor with native EFS lenses seems impossible. In general, I do not recommend tormenting the full frame with such a cropped lens. It’s better to sell it and take something similar for a full frame to replace it.

      • Iskander

        Thanks for answers. Yes, I just found an option - Canon EF 28-200mm f / 3.5-5.6 USM in excellent condition at a ridiculous price of 2200 UAH, but it has no stub :-( With a stub in this range, Canon seems to have nothing. Only white 28-300L ...

  • Onotole

    Bokeh is somehow not very ..

  • DM

    As for me, I would take 18-55 and 55-200, and 35 1.8DX, at a cheaper price, I think the quality will be better, and 3 lenses are better than one. Actually, I have all these three lenses. Anyway, for the most part I use 18-55. Nikon d3200 camera.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Of course, this set will produce better image quality than one 18-300. True, there will be 300 mm.

  • Friend Radozhiva from the 13th year

    1. Yes, but for some reason 6,3 is much cheaper than 5,6.
    2. Once 5,6 was worth about 36 kilo rubles and it seemed like oh! how expensive!
    3. Another 18-30 has an excellent little thing: a lock so that the trunk of the lens does not come out.
    4. It's good that I didn't buy either one or the other, and thanks for the tests and sample photos: I have read many times that the quality of their shooting is "niochin", but as a tourist lens it is a great option! No, today this is no option: a much more effective solution would be to buy a P30Pro - yes, it’s expensive, but you don’t need any fleet of optics, filters or problems. Plus it is very convenient: a photo and video camera - everything in one bottle, always at hand, instantly ready to use: took out and took a picture, + HDR modes. The night, the sky is dark blue, but where the sun has set - such beautiful dark blue-blue-light blue transitions and clouds of the same shades - you do not need to adjust anything - and the photos and videos are of excellent quality, I would not say that the noise a lot, not at all. This is also taking into account the fact that I was shooting on the go, at speed, and even through the window ... In order to make such shots on a DSLR, I would have to stop, take a tripod - without it, well, absolutely nothing, the remote control, and still conjure with the settings and then mess around with postprocessing in the program ... Previously, it had to be done. But now - reluctance. I believe the time for DSLRs is over. And mirrorless too. For artistic photography - I do not argue, they are still suitable, but as tourist cameras - no longer. Camerophones at first squeezed out all the soap dishes, soon the line for DSLRs.
    5. This is only mine

    • Joe

      All this is very curious - but only until you start talking about “the time of DSLRs is gone. And mirrorless too. "
      You really don't know how phones and cameras differ?
      These are different tools for different tasks.
      With different functionality, different usability, different efficiency, and different results of use.
      To declare the total advantage of phones over cameras is like declaring a complete and unconditional victory of high-capacity station wagons over all other types of vehicles, from sports coupes to mining dump trucks.

  • Friend Radozhiva from the 13th year

    5. This is just my opinion. In fact - many thanks for the great review and examples of photos, I always read Radozhiva with pleasure :)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      And thank you for your feedback.

    • Iskander

      Well, as for me, an advanced soap box, for example a Canon G series, is better - there is compactness, and aperture up to 1.8, and a stub, and a large (like for a soap box) matrix, and a human flash, and cheaper than this smartphone. Only you can't call, that's the trouble, that's the trouble :-)

  • Sergei

    I had both versions of these lenses in my arsenal.
    Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-5.6G DX VR - bought new as soon as it came out.
    Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G - took it from the hands for 200 USD (due to weight), could not refuse because of the price.
    So, the first version at a wide angle is sharper than the second, from about 28mm to 105mm, I would even say very sharp. And in the first version, both open and covered, do not change the picture much, regardless of the focal point.
    And the second is somewhere up to 70 mm - soap, covered up save the picture, but do not reach the first version. But from 70mm to 300mm it is quite sharp, perhaps even sharper than 70-300VP (it is necessary to test) and the picture is even in the center and at the edges.
    18-200 II - up to 70mm. sharper, much more than Nikon 18-300 / 3.5-6.3G, and then vice versa.
    Carcass test D7100
    PS. My conclusion is that they are completely different.

  • Sergei

    Shot at 300mm f6.3

  • Alexander

    Hello everybody. How is 18: 300-5,6 going to be with d800? Need to urgently d90 out, the choice is 800 or 7200?

  • Alexander

    The difference is two / 60tr 800 and kit 18/105 + 7200 37tr. D90 will remain for macro + 85 or 60 macro. 18/300 will go to a new device - from butterflies to distant mountains

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