Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR: The Inexpensive Performer

I recently had a chance to try this lens for a period of four months shooting everything from landscape to portraits, with flash and in available light. Like all kit lenses, they are manufactured cheaply and comes in plastic mounts and therefore, we should not expect them to deliver outstanding results in comparison with other lenses that are usually sold separately. Even with a VR feature, this lens is still considered a slow performer but nonetheless, the VR comes in handy every time you're in a low light situation and would want to pick a slower shutter speed.

Being more inclined to shoot portraits, the samples shown here are all portraits shot by this inexpensive performer. I must confess, this lens did not yield any spectacular images when I used it in available light, hence, all the sample shots here were aided by an artificial light source either from my SB-800 or from the built-in flash of my D300.

If you're expecting a pleasant blur of the background or what we call the bokeh, you will be disappointed because its lens opening of f/3.5-5.6 at a focal length range of 18-55mm can never produce a blur of the foreground or the background unlike if it is with a telephoto range where the lens opening of the lens is not at all crucial. After a brief stint in my dry box, I decided to sell this lens not being worthy to keep and for use in taking better images. In its place, I purchased the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX which is currently on the test run on my D300. Incidentally, if a lens stays with me for over a year, then it must be good!!

Thanks to Jacqueline Karen, Brandy, Rida and Janice for posing in the photos. The first and second photos above were taken at Johndel Beach Resort in Nasugbu, Batangas. The third photo was shot at Lewis Grand Hotel in Angeles City while the fourth and last sample photo was taken at Narra Park, Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa City. All photos were taken using a Nikon D300 fitted with a Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR.