Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nikkor AF-S 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5

This is a lens which has been around for quite some time - it was a standard kit lens for many years. Pretty small and light, and I like how it's not f/5.6 but f/4.5 at the long end. Sometimes, these small differences can...make a difference!

+ small and light. On the other hand, it's not a very long zoom, so this is to be expected
+ nice focus ring, better than other lenses in the same category
+ faster at the long end than most of the other zooms of the same category

- no VR
- pretty limited zoom range, other lenses have come since which deliver better range.
- not great reselling value

The f/4.5 maximum aperture at 70mm can be potentially very useful. It's only half a stop, but that's the difference between ISO 1600 and ISO 2400

Intended Users
Great for:
  • novices looking for a simple, no-frills lens
  • if you want a midrange zoom which is faster at the long end than f/5.6, but you can't afford anything expensive this is your lens.
  • when money matters, this is a very cheap and very good for its price lens

Not for:
  • people who are already experienced with cameras and look for a better option
  • those who need zoom reach (this is not the lens for sport photos etc)
  • lack of VR might be a show-stopper for some people.

Final Verdict
All in all not a bad lens, but it's somewhat obsolete. It doesn't have a lot of zoom reach, and - although a decent performer - it doesn't really excel.On the other hand, it's quite cheap. Is it worth getting over the Nikkor AF-S 18-55mm? It is a better lens, that's for sure. But perhaps not that much better to justify the price difference. From a value standpoint, I think there are other options out there - such as the 18-105 VR.

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