18-55 Lens Comparison

stevesayskanpaistevesayskanpai Posts: 3Member
Hi there,

I am amazed that there is no answer to this on the whole of the internet (it seems), but I am looking for a comparison of three variations of the Nikkor 18-55 lens for still photography.

I own the 18-55 AF-S VR with my D5100, and am considering whether to get the D5500 with no lens, the 18-55 AF-S VR II (retractable) or the new 18-55 AF-P VR (retractable).

Even DxOMark hasn't reviewed these lenses yet, is there ANY information about their comparative quality/performance available? Thanks so much for any help you can provide!

Comments

  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 468Member
    edited July 2016
    18-55 mm kit lens is one of those lenses which you will feel the need to upgrade from a few months into photography anyway, whichever the version... Probably why there are no in-depth comparison tests. I can't imagine the three being much different from each other. I say keep the one you already have till you are ready to upgrade to a different range better lens.
    Post edited by Paperman on
  • retreadretread Posts: 509Member
    I have the 18-55 that came with my D5100. I carried it and used old manual lenses until I could afford something better. It now lives on the shelf with the rest of my maybe I will use it someday for something gear. The D500 came without lens as will any new cameras.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    There isn't any info because they are all pretty much the same. I sold my 18-55 the first-time around...don't even know which make it was. Kept it the second time around as a cheap and light kit on my D5000. If you have any of the newer versions I wouldn't worry about another. Save up and get a different lens.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    Kit lenses , especially the 18-55 s in general have a bad reputation. However, NOT the nikkors. The nikon 18-55 lenses are really quite good. If you dont need more range or very shallow DOF they are very good value lenses and worth keeping. The new retractable ones are small and really quite sharp. I have not played with the newest AF-P version but I cant imagine that it would be worst than the previous retractable one.
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,789Member
    edited July 2016
    Rockwell has just got hold of a P model and report expected ...though for him if its not a bottle bottom its sharp....You have to decide if you are a multiple lens man ( 18-55 + 55-200) or a one lens man . The later is best served with a 18-140 ..very cheap grey and much better than the 18-200 and 18-300 alternatives but you look on DXO.
    Retractable would do my head ..I want it ready to go without delay.
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • stevesayskanpaistevesayskanpai Posts: 3Member
    edited July 2016
    Two things - 1. I've been very happy with my 18-55 and have got what I consider to be some good shots with it. Take a look at my portfolio if you are interested - http://www.stevenjamesmartin.com/Portfolio - a large number of these were taken with the kit lens. I'm not expecting or assuming that everyone will think my images are good, I'm just pointing out that I have been able to achieve what I consider to be fairly good results with the kit lens.

    My current shooting lineup is:
    Tokina 12-28 f4
    Nikkor 18-55
    Nikkor 50 f1.8

    2. Having said all of that, if I WERE to replace my kit lens with a sub-£500 similar focal range lens, what would you recommend?
    Post edited by stevesayskanpai on
  • SportsSports Posts: 365Member
    @

    If I WERE to replace my kit lens with a sub-£500 similar focal range lens, what would you recommend?

    An option would be a 35mm prime.
    Another option would be the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 (my friend recommends this).
    I'm sure you'll be able to get other recommendations as well.

    D300, J1
    Sigma 70-200/2.8, 105/2.8
    Nikon 50/1.4G, 18-200, 80-400G
    1 10-30, 30-110
  • retreadretread Posts: 509Member
    I use the Sigma 17-50 in place of the kit lens. Works great and covers my lower light needs.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,027Moderator
    I bought an 18-55 VR for my wifes D3100 and tried it on my D7100 - it was a sharp lil' sucker alright. My clicking buddy has a Canon and hates the Canon version for being cheaply made and soft.
    I have the 17-55 f2.8 as a normal zoom which is a better lens, but no VR (grrr) and heavy so all all things considered, for the money I think the 18-55 VR is great value.
    Always learning.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    @stevesayskanpai your images are pretty good. I did find the 18-55 to be pretty sharp and VR is good. However it is what it is and it is slow. It has plastic mounts , but all this makes it light weight. You have a good eye and it seems pretty good technique. Gear is only part of it, but you can also always gain from better gear.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,039Member
    tcole1983 said:

    @stevesayskanpai your images are pretty good. I did find the 18-55 to be pretty sharp and VR is good. However it is what it is and it is slow. It has plastic mounts , but all this makes it light weight. You have a good eye and it seems pretty good technique. Gear is only part of it, but you can also always gain from better gear.

    Plastic mounts aren't really a huge problem, a lot of the 18-whatever lenses are plastic, including the 18-105, 18-135 and I think 18-140. They're all generally good lenses.

    I'm not really familiar with the 18-55 P, I know there are 2 versions of the new 18-55. Is the P version an electronic aperture for video?

    If the 18-55 had a proper focusing ring and a better build, I think I'd be fine with an 18-55. That being said, I bought my kit for the zoom range, and I think I'd be a bit disappointed at first with just the 18-55 if I were starting out again.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    I have the 18-140 .. its metal mount.
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • stevesayskanpaistevesayskanpai Posts: 3Member
    The AF-P comes in two versions, VR and non VR. It has a 'proper' focusing ring and is beautifully built. I'm REALLY impressed with it - I tested it against my Tokina 12-28 at 18 and 28mm and it comfortable won!

    Not sure if I can link to a thread on DPReview here where I've posted samples?

    I'm also really pleased with my new D5500 - form factor wise it's far more like a mirrorless camera than my D5100 - the little bit less weight, combined with the smaller kit lens, makes a huge difference for portability.

    I'm actually considering returning my Tokina 12-28 (still within a month of purchase) due to its inferior image quality (though of course the kit lens can't go to 12mm!)
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,925Member



    I'm also really pleased with my new D5500 - form factor wise it's far more like a mirrorless camera than my D5100 - the little bit less weight, combined with the smaller kit lens, makes a huge difference for portability.
    blockquote>

    The D5500 is a great little camera. I bought one for my wife along with a 35mm 1.8DX lens.

  • BVSBVS Posts: 400Member

    Not sure if I can link to a thread on DPReview here where I've posted samples?

    Shouldn't be a problem. I'm curious to see your photos.

    D7100, 85 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 35 1.8G DX, Tokina 12-28 F4, 18-140, 55-200 VR DX
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    What are you looking for really? Why do you need a comparison? From your pics I see a couple in lower light with motion blur. Need faster shutter speeds...higher ISO or a faster lens (f2.8 or 1.8). Your portraits all have the same perspective...shooting the 35? A better zoom might give you couple things like more options for perspective, more range and faster shutter speeds in low light.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 369Member
    To the original poster: http://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/nikon/reviews/ . They are not optically so different from each other. I think the later versions generally offer slightly better optics, but it's marginal. The P version is reportedly excellent at auto-focus (per Ken Rockwell reported above).

    I'm a proponent of using these kit lenses given their appropriate tasks. Stopped down one, they're quite sharp - optically they are less challenged than the longer zooms with having to extend for reach, so their distortions are simpler to correct, and Nikon distortion correction is excellent with these. Good daytime, evening, walkabout lens for static subjects - landscapes.

    Everyone is so gaga about mirrorless size and weight advantages, and these are a perfectly good example of what can be done. I use with my D7100, and aside from cachet, they make excellent images and allow me to walkaround with good ergonomics and not suffer the weight of big lenses. I loosely define that as any lens that tips down when held on my strap :-)

    I've become very sensitive to purple fringing, and all of my fast glass has it. GIVEN STATIC SUBJECTS, these kit lenses with VR do a better job than my 35mm f/1.8 DX. Shooting a scene at f/4 with VR is better, to me, than shooting f/2 with the prime when I have a tree branch against the sky.

    Of course they're not perfect, and gear snobs will always scoff at the idea of putting plastic in front of their $2K bodies. But in final results, they are incredibly capable.

    Inverse: taking it to a dinner or bday party - the 35mm DX kicks butt over the kit zoom. So just keep in mind the intended use.
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,265Member
    I've taken some of my favorite pics with the 18-55 that came with my D5100. Nice little lens. Don't use it a ton since I got the 16-85, but I'm in no big hurry to dump it either.
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,789Member
    Some of you are very lucky that your wife will accept an inferior camera to the one hubby is using ..If I have a d810 she wants the same ....pain in the ass.
  • alderesalderes Posts: 12Member
    edited July 2016

    ..If I have a d810 she wants the same ...

    Here is the tactical trick: I keep telling my wife that she really is making fantastic shoots even with the D70s. I praise her for the obvious capability to find attractive objects and perfect perspectives. To be fair: Its true, I'm not winding her up. And I always say to her: Youv'e got the view, I've got the tools, you are the artist, I'm the craftsman. I keep searching, she is finding. And by the way, a D810 is far to heavy - isn't, darling :-)

    Post edited by alderes on
  • alderesalderes Posts: 12Member
    As far as the 18-55 lenses are concerned: Go to the DXOMARK site and compare one of them with the 16-85, 18-105 and 18-140 - and will not hesitate to drop the 18-55 lenses. My personal favorite is the 18-140.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,789Member
    I did have a look and boy was the 18-55 bad and yes I have two 18-140s
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 880Member
    The 18-55 is frankly a lens to use when you can subject the camera you are using.....to rough setting.....it is NO WHERE near as sharp and proper colors as say the 16-80 so if it isn't critical.....maybe this lens is OK.......it is not good enough for really important work. I am a fan of the lens.......but only for what it is....an expendable low cost kit lens.
Sign In or Register to comment.