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Alternative Nikon Kit Lenses – Review Results

A few weeks ago we posted a review from Camera Labs that explored the options for Canon DSLR owners when it comes to kit lens upgrades. This of course only appealed to those of you with Canon DSLRs and I received a few emails from readers wanting information on alternatives for Nikon users.

I’m not a user of Nikon DSLRs so couldn’t offer much personal advice – but today stumbled upon a helpful article in Digital SLR User magazine (UK) which reviews 4 Nikon Kit Lens Alternatives. Nikon generally offers two options for kit lenses (the 18-55mm II and the 18-135mm – but you can always choose to buy the camera as a ‘body only’ option and upgrade to a better lens. This review looks at the two kit lenses already mentioned and two other possible upgrades to consider.

If you want to read the full review I recommend tracking down the August 2007 edition – but if you just want a quick summary – here’s how they ranked the four alternatives:

1. Nikkor DX 18-200mm VR f/3.5-5.6 – rating: 4 Stars

This was the most highly recommended of the four lenses due to it’s good build quality, excellent zoom range and image stabilization. Of course price wise it was almost double all of the other lenses tested). On the downside it was the biggest and heaviest of the zooms and had a little ‘zoom creep’ (the zoom moves a little when you point it downwards).

Their summary of this Nikon Lens was – ‘The DX 18-200mm is the graddaddy of zoom lenses in the Nikkor range right now, and it’s compact, easy to use and offers superb zoom capability. The second-generation VR II technology is an added bonus.’

It received 4 stars for ‘handling’, ‘functions’ and ‘operation’ and 3 stars for ‘cost’.

2. Nikkor DX 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 – rating: 4 Stars

The ‘Pros’ of this lens were listed as brighter f4.5 aperture at 70mm, superior build quality and longer zoom than the basic kit lens. The ‘Cons’ were it’s expense and that it had a few corner sharpness issues.

‘Handling’ and ‘Operation’ both scored 4 stars and ‘cost’ and ‘functions’ scored 3 stars.

“The DX 18-70mm is a big step up from the DX 18-55mm II in every respect. It’s a great general-purpose zoom, especially if you’re considering a 70-300mm now or in the future.


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Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse

is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals.

He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

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