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New 18-105VR detailed tests

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Pa, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. I got one of the new 18-105VR lenses yesterday, and finally got around to doing some comparisons today.

    I compared the 18-105VR to the 17-55/2.8 at 18, 35, and 55mm and wide open (for the 18-105), f/8, and f/11. I also compared the 18-105VR to the 28-105 at 105mm and f/5.6(wide-open for 18-105), f/8, and f/11.

    Instead of trying to post all of those results, I just present some highlights. All are 100% crops, no post-processing except for cropping to 800 x 600px.

    I haven't studied all of these results myself, so you are free to draw your own conclusions.

    17-55, 18mm, f/3.5

    NIKON D200    ---    18mm    f/3.5    1/15s    ISO 100

    18-105, 18mm, f/3.5

    NIKON D200    ---    18mm    f/3.5    1/13s    ISO 100

    17-55, 18mm, f/8

    NIKON D200    ---    18mm    f/8.0    1/200s    ISO 500

    18-105, 18mm, f/8

    NIKON D200    ---    18mm    f/8.0    1/160s    ISO 500

    17-55, 35mm, f/4.5

    NIKON D200    ---    35mm    f/4.5    1/640s    ISO 500

    18-105, 35mm, f/4.5

    NIKON D200    ---    35mm    f/4.5    1/250s    ISO 500

    28-105, 105mm, f/5.6

    NIKON D200    ---    105mm    f/5.6    1/500s    ISO 500

    18-105, 105mm, f/5.6

    NIKON D200    ---    105mm    f/5.6    1/250s    ISO 500
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2008
  2. p.s. It's very hard to do controlled tests like this unless you have a dedicated studio. I did this test outdoors in the shade, but the sun was playing hide-and-seek with some clouds, so there were inevitable changes in the ambient light which I couldn't control.

    I may try again tomorrow if the light is more consistent.
  3. cotdt


    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    Is the 17-55 supposed to be this soft at the wide end?
  4. I was very surprised at that too.

    All shots were tripod mounted, so there is little chance for motion blur. The camera said it had focus on each shot.
  5. Ewout_vB


    Feb 6, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Your 17-55mm looks very soft -- is it front or back focusing?
  6. Jim, the colors for the 18-105vr are so much brighter. Is that due to the lighting change you suggested?

    An interesting comparison would be vs. the 18-200vr as a general travel/walk around lens. How is the build quality vs. the 18-200vr?

    Thanks for taking the time to share.
  7. Well, I don't know. I've gotten some very sharp shots from that lens, but I seldom look at 100% crops like this.

    Yes, I'm not sure the color rendition can be compared accurately from these tests.

    The build quality is not as good as the 18-200VR, but it is definitely sharper, smaller, and lighter. I think it will replace one of my 18-200VRs for hiking and travel.

    I'll be posting comparisons with my 50/1.8 in a few minutes in a new thread.
  8. Look at the plots below from SLRGear.com. The higher the number, the less sharp the image.

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