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  Reviews by: Mayank B  

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

Review Date: Aug 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Weight, size, price, sharpness, color, contrast
None, really, for the price...

A bit of history:
I quit the Canon camp earlier this year. Had an EOS 350D, got tired of the very poor performance of the EF-S 18-55 kit lens (distortions, corner softness, focussing errors, poor colors and contrast and cheap build) and later upgraded to an EF 17-40L which was great in many ways but had unacceptable and pronounced left corner softness at 17mm. Sold that as well and got the new Canon EF 18-55 IS lens. It was nicer IQ-wise than both the earlier lenses but with the amount of problems I faced with the first two (and the amount of money I spent), I had lost faith in Canon by then and sold-off all my equipment.

Now the review:
I recently bought a Nikon D40 (got a great price). My first results with this lens were astonishing!! At f7.1, corner sharpness, distortions, vignetting, contrast and rendition of colours were too good to be true and even upon pixel peeping the results (raw files), found nothing really to complain about. In IQ and IQ alone, this lens seemed way better than Canon EF-S 18-55, EF-S 18-55 IS and EF 17-40L (three lenses I've tried).

Am not going to rave about build quality but it is better than the Canon kit lenses. It is a bit slow to focus and hunts in low contrast situations but I can live with that. Left corners are noticeably soft at 55mm f8 onwards (have noticed this in two copies), however, left corner softness at 55mm is acceptable at f7.1. Doesn't handle flare too well but I am careful. Purple fringing can easily be rectified in PP. Vignetting has never been an issue for me with this lens.

Highly recommended, to say the least.