Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II Zoom AF-S DX Review

A flexible and portable lens, the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II Zoom AF-S DX lens is designed to work exclusively with Nikon DX-format DSLR cameras. Because it has a focal length range of 18-55mm, it provides a wide-angle to standard zoom range. As a result, it is perfect for many types of photography, such as landscapes, portraits, and ordinary pictures.

This lens is designed with a variety of features and technologies that work together to improve its overall performance as well as the image quality it produces. In this in-depth review of the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens, we will delve into a variety of aspects of the lens, including its autofocus system, vibration reduction, build quality, handling, image stabilization, shooting experience, image quality, compatibility with teleconverters, comparison with other lenses in its class, pros, and cons, as well as its price and availability.

Key Specs

  • Focal Length Range: 18-55mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/3.5-5.6
  • Format: DX
  • Zoom Ratio: 3.1x
  • Lens Elements: 7
  • Lens Groups: 5
  • ED Glass Elements: 1
  • Aspherical Elements: 1
  • Super Integrated Coating: Yes
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • AF-S (Silent Wave Motor): Yes
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.9 ft. (0.28m)
  • Filter Size: 52mm
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 0.31x
  • Accepts Filter Type: Screw-on
  • Approx. Dimensions: 2.8 in. (70.5 mm) x 2.9 in. (74 mm)
  • Approx. Weight: 7.4 oz. (210 g)

Performance

Impressive performance is delivered by the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens over the entirety of its focal length range. It has an excellent maximum aperture that ranges from f/3.5 to 5.6, which results in a pleasingly narrow depth of focus while shooting at longer focal lengths and enables acceptable performance in low-light conditions.

Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass components are incorporated into the lens, and because of their presence, chromatic aberrations are successfully reduced, resulting in a picture that is both very crisp and clear. The lens elements have been coated with Super Integrated Coating, which helps to eliminate flare and ghosting and produces images with accurate colors and great contrast.

Autofocus System

The lens is equipped with Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM), which is an autofocus mechanism that enables fast, accurate, and almost entirely silent focusing. The performance of the autofocus is quick and stable, which ensures that you will be able to take photographs of your subjects with ease and accuracy. The lens also has a manual focus override feature, which enables you to manually adjust the focus of the image even when the autofocus feature is active.

This function is beneficial when shooting in challenging conditions or when you want complete control over the direction of the picture. The autofocus technology of the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens excels in a wide range of shooting conditions, making it an excellent choice for the day-to-day requirements of photographers everywhere.

Vibration Reduction

Unfortunately, the Vibration Reduction (VR) technology is not included in the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens. When shooting handheld at longer focal lengths or in low-light circumstances, you run the risk of experiencing additional camera shaking and perhaps blurry images. This is especially true when shooting at longer focal lengths.

When shooting with this lens, it is strongly recommended to make use of a tripod or to raise the shutter speed in order to compensate for any possible camera shake. This is especially true in environments with challenging lighting conditions. Even though the lens does not have VR, it nonetheless has a high performance when it is used in conjunction with approaches that are designed to stabilize it.

Build Quality

Taking into account how reasonably priced it is, the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens has a respectable level of build quality. Because the majority of the lens barrel is made from high-quality plastic, the total weight of the lens is kept to a bearable level while yet remaining relatively lightweight. However, in comparison to higher-end lenses that are constructed out of metal, this causes the lens to have a feeling that is significantly less solid.

Having said that, the lens does come with a metal lens mount, which provides the construction with a certain amount of additional durability and stiffness—the zoom and focus ring function fluidly, resulting in an enjoyable and rewarding physical experience. In general, despite the fact that it is not the most robustly constructed lens, the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II has a sturdy enough feel for consistent usage and is appropriate for photographers who place a premium on mobility and cost-effectiveness.

Handling and Ergonomics

Because of its small size and low weight, the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens is an excellent choice for individuals who place a premium on portability. Because of its compact size, it can be carried around with ease and is simple to use even during protracted shooting sessions. Because of its advantageous position at the lens’s front element, the zoom ring enables focus length to be adjusted in a quick and precise manner.

The focus ring has been moved closer to the body of the camera so that it is simpler for your fingers to locate it without requiring you to take your eye off the viewfinder. The lens also has a button that lets you choose between autofocus and manual focus, which enables you to transition between the two types of focusing modes in a hurry. The ergonomics of the lens as a whole have been thoughtfully developed, making it possible for photographers of all skill levels to enjoy shooting in a more relaxed environment.

Image Stabilization

Image stabilization technology is not included in the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens, which is regrettable. This indicates that while shooting handheld at longer lens lengths or in low-light circumstances, you may encounter additional camera shake, which might result in possibly fuzzy photographs. This is especially true when shooting in low-light conditions.

To get over this restriction, you need either make use of a tripod or use the correct techniques for handheld stabilization. Some examples of these strategies include bracing yourself against a solid object or shooting at a faster shutter speed. Although the lack of image stabilization is a disadvantage, it is not unusual for lenses to be sold at this price range, and it is a sacrifice that was made in order to keep the lens both compact and economical.

Shooting Experience

For photographers of all skill levels, the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens provides a shooting experience that is both comfortable and effective. Because of its extensive focal length range, it is able to capture a wide variety of scenes, ranging from large vistas to close-up portraits. When photographing moving subjects or capturing spontaneous moments, the autofocus mechanism functions brilliantly, offering rapid and precise focusing.

This is especially handy for those times when the issue is in motion. Because it is constructed with ED glass components and has a Super Integrated Coating, the lens creates images that have a high degree of sharpness and contrast. Even while the maximum aperture is not all that wide, it still provides some leeway for creative control over the amount of depth that is captured. In general, the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens offers a shooting experience that is both reliable and fun, making it a good option for the requirements of everyday photography.

Image Quality

The image quality produced by the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens is remarkable, especially when one considers the reasonable cost of the lens. Images captured by the lens are crisp and detailed over the entirety of its focal length range, with just slight instances of distortion and chromatic aberration. The utilization of ED glass components results in a significant reduction in fringing and accurate color reproduction.

Flare and ghosting are reduced to a minimum thanks to the Super Integrated Coating that’s been applied to the lens elements; as a result, the produced photographs have improved contrast and color saturation. In spite of the fact that this lens does not provide the same degree of image quality as more expensive lenses, it nevertheless produces results that are attractive when used for more general photography. Whether you’re photographing landscapes, portraits, or just ordinary photographs, this lens gives you the ability to take outstanding images if you have the right skill and the right arrangement.

Teleconverter Compatibility

It is not possible to use teleconverters with the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens. Teleconverters are optical devices that are often utilized to expand the focal length of a lens. This provides more reach for capturing subjects that are located at greater distances.

However, because of the way it was designed and the constraints it places on users, this lens does not have the compatibility or connectors required to permit the use of teleconverters. If you desire a more excellent focal length range or improved magnification, you will need to investigate additional lens possibilities or make an investment in separate telephoto lenses.

Comparison with Competitors

When evaluating the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens in relation to its rivals on the market, it is essential to take into account both its price point and the demographic of consumers it is designed to serve. This lens is generally included as part of a kit with entry-level Nikon DX-format DSLR cameras. It provides a flexible focal length range at an affordable price and is typically supplied with a camera. The Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens competes favorably with comparable kit lenses in its class in terms of image quality and performance.

The lens has a variable aperture that ranges from f/3.5 to 5.6. In spite of the fact that it may not have the same build quality or sophisticated features as more expensive lenses, it is still capable of delivering images that are sufficient for general photographic purposes. The Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II is an excellent option for anyone who is just starting out in photography or who is concerned about their spending and wants a lens that is both reliable and portable.

Specifications

Mount TypeNikon F-Bayonet
Focal Length Range18 – 55mm
Zoom Ratio3.1x
Maximum Aperturef/3.5-5.6
Minimum Aperturef/22
FormatDX
Maximum Angle of View (DX-format)76°
Minimum Angle of View (DX-format)28°50′
Maximum Reproduction Ratio0.31x
Lens Elements7
Lens Groups5
Diaphragm Blades7
ED Glass Elements1
Aspherical Elements1
Super Integrated CoatingYes
AutofocusYes
AF-S (Silent Wave Motor)Yes
Minimum Focus Distance0.9 ft. (0.28m)
Focus ModeAuto, Manual
Filter Size52mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Approx. Dimensions2.8 in. (70.5 mm) (Diameter) x 2.9 in. (74 mm) (Length)
Approx. Weight7.4 oz. (210 g)

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Wide range of focal lengths, making it suitable for a variety of photographic applications.
  • For portability, the design is both compact and lightweight.
  • Because of the reasonable price point, a wide variety of photographers will be able to purchase it.
  • Because they are made of ED glass, these elements contribute to a crisp and contrasty image.
  • The performance of the focusing system is quick and precise, and it also allows for manual override.

Cons:

  • Image stabilization is absent, necessitating the employment of methods or a tripod to get the desired effect.
  • When compared to higher-end lenses, lenses made of plastic may seem like they are less sturdy.
  • It’s possible that the maximum aperture range will limit your ability to photograph in low light.
  • Teleconverters, which expand a lens’s reach, are not compatible with this lens.

Price and Availability

There is a large selection of the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens available at authorized Nikon dealers as well as internet markets. It is commonly included in the “kit lens” configuration of entry-level DX-format DSLR cameras manufactured by Nikon.

Although the cost of the lens varies from one location to another and from one shop to another, it is usually considered to be a good option for beginning photographers as well as photographers working with limited funds. When looking for the most up-to-date information regarding prices, it is recommended to check with local merchants as well as trusted internet sources.

Conclusion

Because of its flexible focal length range, reliable performance, and adequate picture quality, the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II Zoom AF-S DX lens is an excellent option for beginning photographers as well as experienced photographers looking for a cheap and portable lens. In spite of the fact that it does not have specific, more sophisticated capabilities, such as image stabilization or compatibility with teleconverters, it has a steady focusing performance, produces crisp photos, and provides a pleasant shooting experience.

Because of its small form factor and lightweight construction, the lens is ideally suited for casual use as well as photography on the go. When taken as a whole, the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens is a choice that is dependable as well as simple to use for photographers who are eager to experiment with a variety of photographic styles and enhance their abilities without breaking the budget.

Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II Zoom AF-S DX FAQs

Q. Is the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens compatible with full-frame cameras?
A. No, the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens is designed specifically for Nikon DX-format DSLR cameras, which have a smaller sensor size. It is not compatible with full-frame cameras.
Q. Does the lens have image stabilization?
A. No, the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens does not feature image stabilization. This means that you need to use proper stabilization techniques or a tripod to minimize camera shake when shooting at longer focal lengths or in low-light conditions.
Q. Can I use filters with this lens?
A. Yes, the lens has a filter size of 52mm and accepts screw-on type filters. This allows you to use various filters, such as UV filters, polarizers, or ND filters, to enhance your images or protect the front element of the lens.
Q. Is the lens suitable for both autofocus and manual focus?
A. Yes, the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens supports both autofocus and manual focus modes. It features Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM) autofocus system for quick and accurate autofocus performance, and you can also switch to manual focus mode for more precise control over focusing.
Q. Can I achieve a shallow depth of field with this lens?
A. While the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens has a maximum aperture range of f/3.5-5.6, it may not be ideal for achieving a very shallow depth of field. The narrower maximum aperture limits the amount of background blur you can reach, especially at longer focal lengths. However, by using longer focal lengths and getting closer to your subject, you can still create some separation between the subject and background for a pleasing shallow depth-of-field effect.

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