Nikon 18-200mm VR II
Nikon 18-200mm VR II (DX only, 72mm filters, 19.9oz/565g, about $760). enlarge. I'd get it at Adorama, Amazon or J&R. Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear, especially the older model 18-200mm VR. Using these links to get yours is what helps me keep adding to this site. Thanks! Ken.
Nikon 18-200mm VR II on the left, DX only, 72mm filters, 19.9oz/565g, about $760), with the original 18-200mm VR on the right. enlarge. I'd get it at Adorama, Ritz, Amazon, J&R or Calumet. Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear, especially the older model 18-200mm VR. Using these links to get yours is what helps me keep adding to this site. Thanks! Ken.
Rear, showing zoom lock switch, Nikon 18-200mm VR II. enlarge.
NEW: Nikon 18-200 vs. 28-300 vs. 18-300 Comparison July 2012
This new Nikon 18-200mm VR II is the same as the old 18-200mm VR, with the addition of a zoom lock at 18mm. Otherwise, it is identical, and you can read everything in even greater depth at my original Nikon 18-200mm VR Review.
Just to keep everyone confused, the original 18-200mm VR used Nikon's second-generation VR system, called VR-II. Therefore you'll see the that the original 18-200mm VR with the VR-II system often sold as the 18-200mm VR-II, which sounds identical to this new version.
The only way to tell which one you're getting is to see if it has a zoom lock button, or the color of VR on the top.
Gold VR and lock button = new version, red VR and no lock button = original version.
The new version says "AF-S NIKKOR 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6GII ED" on it in gold, instead of "AF-S NIKKOR 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 G ED."
I'll run that by you again: the real new II version says "II" in gold just below "DX" by the focus window, while the original version is identical, minus the "II."
Looking for the zoom lock is a much easier way to identify the new version. You also could look at the VR logo, which is gold on the II and red on the original version.
For all I know, since the original version uses the VR-II system, the bottom of some of the original versions may also say VR II in silver. If it doesn't have a zoom lock, it's not the newer version.
So? Except for the zoom lock, both lenses have the same optics, coatings and VR system.
I wouldn't worry about it. Canon's 18-200mm IS has a zoom lock, and I find turning the lock on and off is more of a pain than dealing with zoom creep, so I don't use it anyway.
I haven't had a problem with zoom creep in my original 18-200mm, but others have. Heck, when I remember to turn my original 18-200mm VR to 18mm it stays put, too, without needing a lock.
I think the best thing about this new lens is that it ought to help you score a deal on the original version without the zoom lock.
16 elements in 12 groups. Two are ED glass and three are aspherical, same designation as the original 18-200mm.
Schematic diagram. Blue: aspheric; yellow: ED. enlarge.
Nikon Super-Intergrated Coating (SIC), same designation as the original 18-200mm.
Closest focusing distance
0.5 m/1.6 ft.
Maximum Reproduction ratio
Diameter x length
Approximately 77 x 96.5 mm/3.0 x 3.8 in.
19.832 oz (562.25g), measured.
Approximately 565 g/19.9oz, specified.
(original weighs 19.790 oz (561.1g))
72mm Snap-on Front Lens Cap LC-72
Rear Lens Cap LF-1
Bayonet Hood HB-35
Flexible Lens Pouch CL-1018.
Nikon Product Number
30 July 2009.
Late September 2009.
$760, November 2010.
$850, October 2009.
Nikon 18-200mm VR II. enlarge.
It has the same optics and VR system as the original 18-200mm VR.
I compare the coatings, and they are the same.
When I compared the performance of my original made-in-Japan version to this brand-new version, they are the same. There are slight variations throughout the zoom range, but no more than the usual sample-to-sample variations seen between two samples of any zoom lens.
MTF, 18mm at f/3.5.
MTF, 200mm at f/5.6.
The original 18-200mm also has the VR-II system, identical to the newer lens. Nikon claims 4 stops of improvement for both lenses.
See Nikon 18-200 vs. 28-300 vs. 18-300 for details.
Either 18-200mm is a superb do-it-all lens for any DX Nikon (Not FX).
If you already have the original version (or find a deal on one), don't bother with this new II version.
The only difference is the zoom lock. The zooming feels the same.
If you have problems with zooms creeping, go for the II version, if not, save your money and stick with a proven winner, the original 18-200mm VR. They are the same lens.
Today, both the new and original 18-200mm VR lenses are made in Thailand. I just happened to get one of the very, very first 18-200mm VRs back when they first came out in 2005 that was made in Japan.
If you're shopping for a new lens, I'd save my money and get the original version if you can find it. Zoom locks are more of a bother to me than any zoom creep, which my original 18-200mm VR does not have.
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I support my growing family through this website, as crazy as it might seem.
If you find this as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.
The biggest help is to use these links to Adorama, Amazon, Calumet, Ritz, J&R and when you get your goodies. It costs you nothing and is a huge help to me. eBay is always a gamble, but all the other places have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.
Thanks for reading!