Nikon 18-200mm VR Nikkor Reviews, Samples and References

First published on: Monday, 9 June 2008

Last update (Sep 13, 2009): Nikon D200 plus 18-200mm VR at Windfest 2009.

Despite some of its quirks and minor faults, the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens was one of my most favorite of walk-around lenses due to its very versatile zoom range and reasonable optical and build quality.

I’m collecting some of my Nikon 18-200mm VR thoughts and photos in this post, plus summarizing and linking to other user and professional reviews, samples, galleries, resources and references.

Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens


Thom Hogan’s rating of the 18-200mm VR

Thom Hogan assigned an overall rating of three stars for the Nikkor 18-200, and states the following as reasons to buy the lens:

  1. Really wide focal range.

  2. Decent quality for a superzoom.

Thom Hogan’s 18-200mm VR review

Thom Hogan always calls it as he sees it, and I agree with the review which points out in no uncertain terms the drawbacks and strengths of the lens. In the end, his opinion is that the 18-200mm VR is certainly Nikon’s best super-zoom lens and worth the asking price.

Ken Rockwell’s 18-200mm VR review

Ken’s review probably holds the record for being the most comprehensive 18-200mm VR review out there.

It might be comprehensive, but it certainly doesn’t make for difficult reading.

There’s a ton of practical advice on the pros and cons of this lens, with sample images.

He’s also provided distortion numbers for the lens that you can run through Adobe Photoshop’s distortion filter for image correction.

An indication of the durability of the lens construction is given in the drop test page.

Sample photos

Recent Additions

Nikon D200 plus 18-200mm VR at Windfest 2009 — A great set of action / extreme sports photos by Pixelfixer, who also posted another thread on the same subject.

You can see the entire collection of pictures here. For post-editing, Pixelfixer used Nik Color Efex Pro, PhotoKit Sharpener and Imagenomic Noiseware.

Nikon D5000 plus 18-200mm VR sample photos by Kadath

Nikon D5000 plus Nikko 18-200mm VR sample photos by Kadath

Kadath aka Sam Posten was one of the first owners of the Nkon D5000, and he has generously made available many test pictures in his D5000 Flickr gallery set.

All images were shot with the Nikkor 18-200 VR mounted on a Nikon D5000.

Also note that most, if not all of the photos taken by Kadath were shot in the Adobe RGB space, and the images will look washed-out and dull if you’re not viewing them on a color space-aware browser. You could download the images and open them up in a color space-aware application such as Adobe Photoshop.

Some of my favorites are:

  1. Ford 1 (full resolution).

  2. Ford 2 (full resolution).

  3. Dusk / Sunset.

  4. Baseball (Sports Action) 1.

  5. Baseball (Sports Action) 2.

  6. Lion Statue (full resolution).

  7. Flowers on a Tree (full resolution).

The JPEGs are straight from the camera without any editing.

Additionally, Sam has hosted two NEF / RAW files from the D5000 for the images titled “Needlepoint” and “Onyx” — the links to those RAW files can be found in this post (or just right-click and download to your hard drive — Needlepoint, Onyx).

18-200mm at the Super GT

Just some of my shots at a race car event with the lens and my Nikon D300.

Colorful Cuba

This is a superb gallery of photos from Cuba, photographed by Emmanuel Buenviaje with the Nikon D300 plus 18-200mm Nikkor lens.

John Paskey’s extensive Nikon D40X plus Nikon 18-200mm VR collection

Nikon D40X plus Nikkor 18-200mm VR photos by John Paskey

Looking at John’s PBase gallery (some real adventure travels there, see the Dragoman Overland one), you might be tempted to think that all the photos were taken with top-level (and expensive) equipment.

But John reveals in this forum post that most of the 700 shots were taken with a Nikon 18-200mm mounted on a Nikon D40X.

He also proclaims the D40X / 18-200mm VR combination as the best-handling travel digital SLR.

Now, that’s saying something.


  1. The 18-200mm VR is NOT suitable for serious or critical architecture photography, and Nikon never intended for it to be used this way.
  2. A few owners of the Nikon D60 / D40X / Nikon D40 in this thread have no problems with the balance of their camera and the 18-200mm VR lens. “Soccer Mom” Jeri is one of them — read her feedback.


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