Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 VR Review

Image © Nikon USA


My Nikon D500 is a great camera and there might be times when I want to use that camera outside its primary purpose.  It's primary purpose is the long range sport shooter, paired with the 70-200/2.8

What about the other times?  FX lenses in the wide range are going to be too tight, so we look at a dedicated DX lens range.  The 18-140/4.5-5.6 VR is a great candidate.  See how well it fairs below.

All images in this review taken with the Nikon D500.

1/320, f/5.6, ISO 100 @ 140mm

1/250, f/7.1, ISO 1800 @ 140mm

1/100, f/5.6, ISO 450 @ 66mm


 This lens is mostly made of plastic, so the weight is not really there.  It balances well on the D500.  It is by no means a large lens.

The zoom ring is nice and smooth and your field of view with the DX crop factored in is 27-210mm.   That is a pretty good range for a walk around all in one shooter.

It works well in many situations from street photography, wildlife and photojournalism as you will see in the images samples provided.

1/250, f/5.6, ISO 360 @ 140mm

1/200, f/4.8, ISO 100 @ 56mm

1/160, f/5.3, ISO 560 @ 95mm

Image Quality

I've looked at the 18-200VR and 18-300VR.  All considered great performers from Nikon.   I generally don't need much more than the 200mm-ish field of view on the long end.  A majority of third party sources and some small testing I've done on my own have shown that the 18-140 was generally a better performer in all comparable ranges.

1/640, f/6.3, ISO 100 @ 22mm

1/400, f/5.3, ISO 100 @ 95mm

1/250, f/7.1, ISO 100 @ 140mm

1/250, f/7.1, ISO 100 @ 112mm

Auto Focus

We are not in pro grade AF territory here, but the performance is great for everyday use.  I've not missed  shot because the lens could not focus fast enough.

1/640, f/5.6, ISO 100 @ 140mm

D500 HDR mode
1/400, f/5.6, ISO 100 @ 100mm
Bottom Line:
If you don't need the longer field of view of 210mm, then this is a great value lens when you look at the performance that you get from it.  If you do need more reach and an all in one, then the Nikon 18-200 or 18-300 lenses might better fit your bill.  You might also want to consider a 2 lens kit, perhaps the 18-55 and the 55-200VR.

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