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| p.1 #1 · Pics: Nikkor AFS 18-300mm/3.5-5.6G DX VR & D800E |
Got it 2 days ago with the 24-85mm. Had only one camera with me, so I used the D800E for the first impressions with the lens. In DX mode the D800E has similar resolution as the D7000/D5100, which should serve as a good baseline.
In a nutshell:
* The lens performs well at the short end. Distortion is clearly visible, but can easily be fixed in PP (hence the recent update by Nikon). Vignetting at open aperture is present, but nothing to worry about either.
* The lens performs ok up until 200mm.
* 300mm on the D800E is a mixed blessing. Personally, I wouldn't use this range, ymmv.
* The AFS 55-300mm is significantly better at 300mm
* It boils down on people's desire for convenience. If you want a one lens setup, the lens is to recommended on the 10/12 MP DX bodies without any big issues. On 16/24MP DX bodies the long end won't get people excited.
* For those who don't mind changing lenses, a 2 lens setup like the AFS 16-85mm and AFS 55-300) will get better technical results, but they need to carry a tiny bit more weight and can save currently $150.
* The AFS is one step above the entry versions. The AF focus by the camera can be manually overridden (not possible with AFS entry lenses)
* Used on a camera like the D90, the lens performs remarkably better than on the D800E (100% view)
* Used as potentially envisioned by Nikon (max 27" inch screen with 2560x1440 or 11x16 inch prints), it will serve their users well. Pixel peepers might have a vivid discussion on the 300mm performance on long distances.
* 300mm at close distances is better
Full D800E resolution
300mm, about 30 inches distance
full D800E resolution (DX mode = 4800x3200)
Comparing the AFS 18-300mm and AFS 55-300mm at 300mm
The scene at 18mm
AFS 18-300mm at 300mm, resized
18-300mm, 100% crop
55-300mm, 100% crop
To put things in perspective. The AFS 18-300mm at 300mm on the D90, 100%
Haven't checked it yet, but my assumption is that the difference between the 2 lenses on the 24MP D3200 will be bigger, but smaller on the 10/12MP generation.