Nikkor AF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 G IF-ED DX - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published March 2007


The Nikkor AF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 G IF-ED DX is one of the latest lenses in the Nikon line-up . The lens is typically sold as part of a Nikon D80 kit but it is also available separately at some places at around 380€/US$ which is surprisingly affordable for such a lens and especially for a genuine Nikkor. This will certainly produce some headaches over at Sigma and Tamron. It is a designated DX lens with a reduced image circle so it is only compatible to APS-C DSLRs. The effective focal length is equivalent to 27-202.5mm on full frame SLRs. Regarding its extreme 7.5x zoom ratio it is obviously meant as an allround lens.

The build quality of the AF-S 18-135mm DX is about in-line with other modern medium-grade Nikkor zoom lenses. The outer construction is made of relatively decent plastic down to the lens mount. Both the zoom as well as the focus ring operate smooth and even without being damped. Unlike its bigger brother, the AF-S 18-200mm DX VR, the lens doesn't suffer from zoom creeping - at least not straight out-of-the-box. Unfortunately there´s no focus distance indicator - probably a cost-cutting measure. The AF-S 18-135mm is a G-type lens so it doesn't feature a dedicated aperture ring anymore.

As you can see above the lens uses a duo-cam design to extend towards the long end of the zoom range. Adding the supplied petal-type hood almost doubles the total length of the lens. Thanks to an IF (Internal focusing) design the front does not rotate so using a polarizer is no problem. The lens features a silent-wave (ultrasonic) AF motor resulting in fast and near silent AF operations.

Equiv. focal length27-202.5 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/5.3-f/8.4 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction15 elements in 13 groups inc. 1 ED and 2 aspherical elements
Number of aperture blades7 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.45 m (max. magnification ratio 1:4.1)
Dimensions74 x 87 mm
Weight385 g
Filter size67 mm (non-rotating)
HoodNikon HB-32 (supplied), petal-shaped
Other featuresLens provides distance (D) information to the camera.

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