Nikkor AF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED DX - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published June 2006

Lens kindly provided for testing purposes by Tobias Jordan!


The Nikkor AF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED DX is the standard kit zoom often sold in combination with entry level Nikon DSLRs. It is a designated DX lens projecting a reduced image circle and as such not compatible to full-frame SLRs. The field-of-view is equivalent to 27-82.5mm so while it may not be a speed daemon it covers a quite attractive range.

You will probably not shop for a naked Nikkor AF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED DX but if so the price of less than 180US$/€ already indicates that there're limits of what you can expect from such a lens.

The build quality is quite bad due to rather cheap plastics everywhere but that's a fate shared by all entry-level kit zooms. The very broad rubberized zoom ring which feels reasonably smooth. Due to cost cutting measurements there isn't really a dedicated focus ring - you simply use the slightly fluted front portion of the inner lens tube instead. The target audience for this lens will probably not mind but this is surely an annoyance for more serious users. The lens is available in a black and in a silver variant to match the body colors of Nikon's entry level DSLRs.

As you can observe above the lens extends during zooming (and focusing) and it reaches its longest length at the two extreme ends of the zoom range. The shortest physical length is around the ~35mm setting. The front element rotates so using a polarizer is quite cumbersome. Typical for all G lenses the Nikkor does not provide a dedicated aperture ring anymore. Surprisingly the Nikkor features an AF-S motor (silent-wave (ultrasonic)) but while this has the benefits of providing near silent AF the speed is comparatively slow.

Equiv. focal length27-82.5 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/5.3-f/8.4 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction7 elements in 5 groups inc. 1 ED and 1 aspherical glass element
Number of aperture blades7 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.28 m (max. magnification ratio 1:3.2)
Dimensions69 x 74 mm
Weight210 g
Filter size52 mm (rotating)
HoodNikon HB-33 (optional), barrel-shaped
Other featuresLens provides distance (D) information to the camera.

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