Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 G II ED Lens (f/3.5-5.6)
This lens was usually sold as a kit-lens with Nikon's entry level DSLR's like the D40. It is for the DX/APS-C sensor format of camera and is smaller than the Nikon Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G DX VR lens which replaced it. It is 17 years old and could be bought for $100 USD.
Autofocus is done by the AF-S motor which is supposed to be silent however it does make a little noise. It is much quieter than the AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D lens. It seems to focus very slowly but because the focus throw is so short, its focus performance is not that bad though it's in no way quick. The manual focus is really poor with such a short throw.
Sharpness-wise, this lens is just OK. The AF-S Nikkor 55-300mm DX VR lens knocks its socks off at 55mm. One would think that with ED glass, this lens would out perform the Nikkor AF-S 18-55mm VR lens but this just is not the case. This lens is, of course, sharper than many old manual zooms. Barrel distortion (1%) is obvious on the short end and by 35mm is about 0.2%. It has color fringing. Diffraction has begun by f/8. Use greater stops than this, like f/5.6, for maximum performance. See the 50mm Nikkor Comparison for examples of this lens' performance.
This lens is compared in the comparisons section on this site
This inexpensive little lens in the popular 18-55mm zoom range is most compact zoomed to around 30mm, where its magnification is 1x, and extends for both 18mm and 55mm. It feels solid in the hand and there is no zoom creep. Yes, it's made entirely of plastic, including the mount.
The auto/manual focus button is either autofocus or manual focus. There is no manual focus override via a simple turning of the manual focus collar. The little A/M switch has to be set to manual first. Manual focusing is very difficult because the throw is so short and there is not much resistance.
This is a G lens meaning that there is no aperture adjustment ring. This means turning a knob on the camera to adjust the aperture. This less intuitive method makes the lens less expensive for Nikon to produce.
The rotating front element makes using a polarizer difficult and the lens must be focused again after zooming.
There is no Vibration Reduction (VR).
Bokeh is just under neutral. It is somewhat busy. (Seen below.)
Infrared performance is fantastic.
Takes the HB-45 lens hood.
Pros and Cons
- good construction for the most part
- no zoom creep
- sharp, contrasty performer at certain focal lengths
- compact design
- does not flare easily
- ø52mm filter ring
- maximum reproduction ratio of 1:3.2 (and good macro performance)
- compact design
- no VR
- plastic lens mount
- very poor manual focusing
- noisy focusing motor relative to other Silentwave motors
- no aperture ring
- not the best bokeh
- rotating front element
- no focus scale and no depth of field scale
- Focal length: 18-55mm
- Maximum aperture: f/3.5-5.6
- Minimum aperture: f/22-38
- Lens construction: 7 elements in 5 groups (1 ED and 1 aspherical lens elements)
- Picture angle: 76°-28°50'
- Closest focusing distance: 0.28m (through the entire focal range)
- Maximum reproduction ratio: 1:3.2 (0.31×)
- No. of diaphragm blades: 7 (rounded)
- Filter/attachment size: ø52mm
- Diameter × length (extension from lens mount): 70.5x74mm/2.8x2.9in.
- Weight: Approximately 205g/7.2oz.
- Price: $100 USD (2016)