My adventure with Nikkor 18-105mm began when I was rush to buy a new kit lens for my Nikon D5300 camera. It was around 2 weeks ago. A day earlier my wife hit the Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 VR II accidentially making it diagonal on front part of the lens. In effect I was not able to adjust the kit to my photos and one thing, that I could do was taking photos manually.
Knowing that repair old one cost 60 GBP (at least in the Epsilon service shop) I have decided to buy a new one. Being in London that day I popped in to the Cex shop in Euston and bought other one. I was aimed at Nikkor 18-140 mm to use it in flightseeing without permanent changing the lens during the flight. I saw on board, that they have Nikkor 18-105 mm only. After short test I made quick decision and bought it.
Having 2 days to give it back just in case I decided to test this lens and get to know all prons and cons of it. In the result I gave it back to the Cex shop 2 days later. Anyway in this article I would like to share my opinions & test results with you.
I took into consideration almost all issues, that has been raised up with previous lenses. The 18-105 mm tst was more comparison between my previous ones: Nikkor 18-55 mm f3.5-5.6 VR and Nikkor 55-300 mm f4.5-5.6 VR. Becaue during that days I had both Nikkor 18-105 mm and Nikkor 55-300 mm this test will be more focused on comparison between those 2 lenses.
Nikkor 18-105mm f3.5-5.6 VR vs Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 VR II
A first thing, that I would like to mention is distorsion. I have not described it before, because I didn’t realize, that it may influence for my pictures a lot. To be honest making a panoramic views by the Nikkor 18-55mm was really pointless (Pic. 1). I would like to mention, that I used to make panoramic views on 18 mm mainly.
Let’s see how it looks in Nikkor 18-105 mm f3.5-5.6 VR. I have created 2 panoramic views on 18 mm (Pic. 2,3).
Aforementioned examples shows the panoramic views, that has been stitched near the edges of picture. In general in case of Nikkor 18-105 mm it seems to ben better. In another case I prepared a view stitching the pictures closer to the middle of the picture. Unfortunately it looks much worse.
As you can see above the stitched images are not useful at all. Both Nikkor 18-55 mm and Nikkor 18-105 mm are not capable to make a good panoramic views without supporting software.
Let’s take a look on another feature – macro. Officially macro in Nikkor 18-55 mm doesn’t exist however I was able to make a favourable photos of plants and insects. This issue is open and depends on your needs. you may say, that cropping the picture to make an object bigger is a joke. I can tell you, that they are fine. Everyone will have own opinion about this. For me the macro in 18-55 mm really works (Pic. 4).
On the contrary to Nikkor 18-55 mm f3.5-5.6 VR II the Nikkor 18-105 mm f3.5-5.6 can’t provide equal results. First of all the closest focus distance is 45 cm rather than 28 cm. In this case even when use higher focal length you won’t be able to make a good macro picture (Pic. 5-18) .
As it worst the long distance is not an only problem. You may have struggle with a chromatic aberration also, that strikingly interferes into your macro photos (Pic. 10-12) during the unfavourable light conditions.
I can bring the best example to compare the macro both in Nikkor 18-55 mm and Nikkor 18-105mm using the pictures below (Pic.13-14). There are the photos of Polytrochium Commune moss.
See below also another examples…
…while the wooden plank experiment…
As you may have noticed, the Nikkor 18-55 mm can provide far better macro effects than his cousin 18-105 mm.
At the next step I focused on the zoom features. I compared the Nikkor 18-105 mm with Nikkor 55-300 mm. In this case I think, that Nikkor 18-105 mm features slightly better quality than other one. It can be see in the photo quality, that has been attached below (Pic. 19-22).
There are an example photo, that fred me to compare two Nikkor lenses. The parametres are approximate, becuase photos has been taken on Landscape mode.
In my last step I will show you how the Nikkor 18-105 mm f3.5-5.6 VR works in the night conditions. I compared it with Nikkor 55-300 mm f4.5-5.6 mentioned above. It’s a clue, that Nikkor 18-105 mm should work better because of the aperture. See it in the photos listed below (Pic. 23-25):
In general Nikkor 18-105 mm is able to make better shots than Nikkor 55-300 mm (considerating from 55 to 105mm). Nikkor 18-105 mm f3.5-5.6 VR works fine in the night conditions. For smaller focal lengths it privides a better aperture unlike to higher aperture, where Nikkor 55-300mm prevails.
See the examples of aperture for a certain focal length listed below:
55 mm – f4.6 (33-500), f4.8 (18-105)
70 mm – f4.6 (33-500), f5.0 (18-105)
105 mm- f4.8 (33-500), f5.6(18-105)
Now is the time for some photo examples taken by Nikkor 18-105 mm f3.5-5.6 VR:
In my case the Nikkor 18-105 mm f3.5-5.6 VR was not sufficient to use. You must make your own decision. I hope, that all prons and cons, that I have shown in this short article will help you choose a lens, that you think about.
- Nikkor 18-105mm f3.5-5.6 VR – Ken Rockwell review
- Nikkor 18-105mm f3.5-5.6 VR – optyczne.pl (Polish)
- Nikkor 18-55mm vs Nikkor 18-105mm
- Nikkor 18-105mm vs Nikkor 55-300mm in Lenshero.com