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


The AF-S 18-55 II shows quite typical distortion characteristics for a lens in this class. At 18mm there is very pronounced barrel distortion which is reduced to a moderate amount at 24 mm. At 35mm and 55mm the lens is basically free of distortion.

Move the mouse cursor over the focal length text marks below to observe the respective distortion
18mm 24mm 35mm 55mm

The chart above has a real-world size of about 120x80cm.


Vignetting is well under control, especially compared to the lens' successor. Wide open at the shortest focal length, the lens shows light falloff towards the corners that can be visible and maybe disturbing, but stopping down just 1 stop reduces vignetting to a level that is hardly field-relevant anymore.

MTF (resolution)

Despite their cheap price and low build quality, kit lenses often show surprisingly high resolution. The AF-S 18-55 II is no exception to this rule. The center resolution is generally excellent at focal lengths from 18 to 35mm and apertures wide open down to f/8. At f/11 diffraction starts to reuce resolution again. At 50 mm the lens is a bit softer in the image center, achieving "only" very good resolution wide open and excellent resolution when stopped down to f/8.

The image borders perform on a lower level, especially with wide open aperture. The lens needs to be stopped down to reach good to very good performance here.

Please note that the MTF results are not directly comparable across the different systems!

Below is a simplified summary of the formal findings. The chart shows line widths per picture height (LW/PH) which can be taken as a measure for sharpness. If you want to know more about the MTF50 figures you may check out the corresponding Imatest Explanations

Chromatic Aberrations (CAs)

CAs (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) are quite pronounced except for the longest focal length of the zoome range. With values up to almost 2.4 pixels at the image borders they can be visible and disturbing.

However, CAs can easily be corrected in software or by the camera itself (most modern Nikon DSLRs remove CAs themselves if you shoot JPGs).