Nikon 18-55mm VR AF-P

DX VR G NIKKOR (2016-)

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Nikon 18-55mm AF-P

Nikon DX VR AF-P NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5~5.6 G (55mm filters, 7.1 oz./200g, 10"/0.82'/0.25m close-focus, about $95, or $410 as included with D3300). bigger. I got mine at Ritz, gray market, and you can get them gray-market through Amazon for $95 or for $247 USA at Adorama or at B&H.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to my personally-approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Nikon does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, store demo or used camera. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.

 

August 2016   Nikon Reviews   Nikon Lenses    All Reviews

 

Sample Images

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Doors to Atlantis, Nassau, Bahamas

10 August 2016. Nikon D3300, Nikon 18-55mm AF-P at 18mm, f/3.5 hand-held at 1/4 at Auto ISO 900, Perfectly Clear. bigger or full-resolution perspective-corrected file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display high resolution files properly).

 

Lobby, Atlantis, Nassau, Bahamas

10 August 2016. Nikon D3300, Nikon 18-55mm AF-P at 18mm, f/3.5 hand-held at 1/4 at Auto ISO 720, Perfectly Clear. bigger or full-resolution file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display high resolution files properly).

 

Nassau, Bahamas

08 August 2016. Nikon D3300, Nikon 18-55mm AF-P at 48mm, f/9 at 1/320 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear. bigger or full-resolution file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display high resolution files properly).

 

Cove Tower, Atlantis, Bahamas

10 August 2016. Nikon D3300, Auto Distortion Correction OFF, Nikon 18-55mm AF-P at 18mm, wide-open at f/3.5 at 1/2,000 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear. bigger or full-resolution file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display high resolution files properly).

The distortion goes away with Distortion Correction ON, and the key here is that even wide-open that the 18-55mm is ultrasharp.

 

Cove Beach, Atlantis, Bahamas

10 August 2016. Nikon D3300, Auto Distortion Correction OFF, Nikon 18-55mm AF-P at 55mm, wide-open at f/5.6 at 1/640 at Auto ISO 100. bigger or camera-original file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display high resolution files properly).

The most difficult thing for a zoom to do well is to be sharp at its tele setting wide-open, and here the 18-55mm AFP is wonderfully sharp. Many lenses need to be stopped down to be this sharp.

 

Lobsters, Atlantis

Lobstermania, 08 August 2016. Nikon D3300, Nikon 18-55mm AF-P at 31mm, f/4.2 hand-held at 1/13 at Auto ISO 12,800, Perfectly Clear. bigger.

 

Poseidon's Table, Nassau, Bahamas

08 August 2016. Nikon D3300, Nikon 18-55mm AF-P at 38mm, f/4.8 at 1/60 at Auto ISO 1,100, Perfectly Clear. bigger.

 

Katie at Leucadia Pizzeria

Katie and gumdrop at lunch, 02 August 2016. Nikon D3300, Nikon 18-55mm AF-P at 55mm, f/5.6 at 1/100 at Auto ISO 800, Perfectly Clear. bigger or full-resolution file (after Perfectly Clear) or camera-original file (before Perfectly Clear) to explore on your computer.

 

Introduction

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Specifications   Performance   Usage

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New   Good   Bad   Missing

Adorama Pays Top Dollar for Used Gear

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

This new Nikon 18-55mm AF-P is a significant improvement over the old 18-55mm VR II, and it's better than any other 18-55mm because no other 18-55mm is sharper, it focuses essentially silently, and most importantly it focusses instantly and has instant manual-focus override. Other brands are softer, and no other 18-55mm offers autofocus anywhere near this fast or has instant manual-focus override.

This lens was announced worldwide in January 2016, but not in the USA until August 2016.

The old 18-55mm VR II doesn't focus very fast, and requires moving a switch to get to manual focus. Good riddance.

Nikon's 18-55mm P is extraordinary in that unlike every other 18-55mm kit lens, its new stepper autofocus motor lets it focus essentially instantly, even in near total darkness, even on the cheapest D3300 camera.

It focuses so close that you won't need a macro lens.

This is the world's first 18-55mm kit lens with instant manual-focus override, it's also the first with ultra fast focussing. Canon's 18-55mm IS II still sounds like a kid's toy as it focuses, slowly.

 

New & Good

● Stepper motor for ultrafast AF

● Instant manual-focus override; just grab the ring

● Silent operation ideal for movies.

● 12-element optical design, one more element than the old 18-55mm VR II.

 

Bad

● Plastic mount.

 

Missing

● No switches; VR and AF/MF now controlled in camera menus (but you can just grab the ring any time for instant manual-focus override).

 

Nikon 18-55mm AF-P

Nikon 18-55mm AF-P extended to 30mm. bigger.

 

Compatibility

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It has a traditional mechanical diaphragm actuator, not an E diaphragm, so its diaphragm works on all Nikons.

The problem is that the new AF-P autofocus motor system only works on camera models originally introduced since about 2013. If your camera is too old, the focus system, even in manual mode, won't work at all, making the lens completely useless with no workaround.

It works great on my D3300, D500 and D810.

Nikon says forget it on any of the D1, D2, D3 or D4 series, the D800, D700, D610, D600, D300 series, D200, D100, D90, D80, D70 series, D60, D50, D40 series, D7000, D5100, D5000, D3200, D3100 or D3000. It also won't work on any 35mm camera.

Nikon cautions that you need to have the latest firmware installed for it to work on the D5500, D5300 or D3300.

 

Specifications

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Name

Nikon calls this the Nikon DX VR AF-P NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5~5.6 G ∅55.

    DX: Won't work well on film or FX cameras.

    VR: Vibration Reduction.

    AF-P: Stepper Autofocus Motor.

    NIKKOR: Nikon's brand name for all their lenses.

    G: Gelded for cost-reduction and removing compatibility with older cameras.

    ∅55: 55mm filter thread.

 

Optics

12 elements in 9 groups.

2 aspherical elements.

It moves in and out as you zoom.

 

Diaphragm

Nikon 18-55mm AF-P

Nikon 18-55mmAF-P. bigger.

7 rounded blades.

Stops down to f/22~38.

 

Focal length

18~55mm.

When used on DX cameras, it sees the same angle of view as a 28~85mm lens sees when used on a 35mm or FX full-frame camera.

See also Crop Factor.

 

Angle of view

28.8º ~ 76º

 

Autofocus

Silent stepper motor, super-fast. If you're in a silent environment and hold your ear to the lens, you will hear a slight hum as it focuses.

Internal focus.

No external movement as focussed, so no air or dust is sucked in.

 

Close Focus

0.82 feet (10" or 0.25 meters) from the image plane.

 

Filters

Plastic 55mm filter thread.

 

Hood

Bayonet mount.

No hood included.

 

Size

2.54" diameter x 2.46" extension from flange.

64.5mm diameter x 62.5 mm extension from flange.

 

Weight

7.070 oz. (200.5g) actual measured weight.

Rated 7.3 oz. (205g).

 

Announced

Worldwide: January 2016.

USA: Kept secret until USA announcement 17 August 2016.

 

Promised for

Not formally imported to the USA.

Available gray-market now.

 

Price, USA

August 2016:

$247, full USA waranty.

$95, imported as gray-market.

$410 as a kit with the D3300, imported as gray-market.

 

Performance

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Specifications   Performance   Usage

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Overall   Autofocus   Bokeh   Distortion

Falloff   Ergonomics   Macro   Mechanics

Sharpness   Stabilizer   Sunstars

 

Overall

Performance          top

The all-plastic 18-55mm AFP is super sharp, focuses ultra fast and super close. It's a complete winner.

 

Autofocus

Performance          top

AF is essentially instantaneous, possibly the fastest focussing Nikkor I own, and it's this fast even on the basic D3300.

It holds focus while zoomed if the camera is ON, but not if the camera is off. This is because the lens magically keeps its focus electronically as zoomed.

 

Bokeh

Bokeh, the feel or quality of out-of-focus areas as opposed to how far out of focus they are, is pretty good. Out-of-focus backgrounds don't distract. Of course backgrounds get softest as you get closer to your subject and shoot at the 55mm end of the zoom range.

Nikon 18-55mm AF VR P Bokeh

Davis 6250 weather station, 02 August 2016. Nikon D3300, 18-55mm AF VR-P at 18mm, f/3.5 at 1/800 at Auto ISO 100. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).

 

Nikon 18-55mm AF VR P Bokeh

Davis 6250 weather station, 02 August 2016. Nikon D3300, 18-55mm AF VR-P at 55mm, f/5.6 at 1/320 at Auto ISO 100. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).

 

Ryan and Katie Smiling

Ryan and Katie at breakfast, 09 August 2016. Nikon D3300, built-in flash ON, Nikon 18-55mm AF-P at 40mm, f/4.8 at 1/60 at Auto ISO 360, Perfectly Clear. bigger. Only Ryan is in focus; Katie is farther away.

 

Distortion

Performance          top

Most Nikon DSLRs correct this lens' distortion automatically. The D3300 with which it ships completely corrects the distortion if you have Automatic Distortion Correction ON.

The D500, D90, D3100, D3200, D3300, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D7000, D7100, D7200, D5, D4, D4s, D600, D610, D750, D800, D800E, D810, Df and all newer cameras can be set to correct the distortion automatically in-camera — so long as you have the latest camera firmware installed that covers this new lens.

If you don't use in-camera correction, it has strong barrel distortion at 18mm, moderate distortion at 24mm and none from 35 to 55mm.

If you don't use in-camera correction, it's easy to correct fully with Photoshop's lens distortion filter using these correction factors:

At 10'/3m on DX
18mm
+5.3
24mm
+3.0
35mm
±0.0
45mm
-0.5
55mm
-0.7

© 2016 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

Falloff

Performance          top

Falloff is minor and goes away as stopped down.

Most Nikons can be set to correct this as well.

 

Ergonomics

Performance          top

Ergonomics are great.

Most of the lens is the zoom ring, which zooms well.

You may grab the front focus ring at any time for instant manual-focus override. It's electronic; there is no direct mechanical connection between the ring and the lens.

The 18-55 P collapses; just turn the zoom past 18mm.

Nikon 18-55mm P
Nikon 18-55mm P
Collapsed. bigger.
Erected to 55mm. bigger.

 

Macro

Performance          top

Macro gets super close; you can fill the frame with the face of a watch. You need no separate macro lens.

Nikon 18-55mm AF VR P Macro Performance

Kienzle Flieger Automat 800/2843, 02 August 2016. Nikon D3300, 18-55mm AF VR-P at 55mm, f/9 at 1/320 at Auto ISO 100. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).

It gets super-close, and it's super sharp. Your only sharpness limitation will be that there is zero depth-of-field at macro distances; in this shot only some of the face and some of the hands are actually in focus.

Nikon 18-55mm AF VR P Macro Performance

600 x 400 pixel crop from above image. Nikon D3300, 18-55mm AF VR-P at 55mm, f/9 at 1/320 at Auto ISO 100. Camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).

If this crop is about 6" (15cm) wide on our screen, then the complete image printed at this same extreme magnification would be about 40 x 60" (1 x 1.5 meters). In this case, you're seeing the texture of the silver paint on the watch face.

 

Mechanical Quality

Performance          top

Nikon 18-55mm AF-P

Nikon 18-55mmAF-P. bigger.

It's all plastic, even the mount. Of course the glass is glass and the electronic contacts are metal, but otherwise it's a plastic lens.

This is fine; it keeps the weight down.

I've never had a problem with any of my plastic-mount lenses breaking in the ten years that I've owned them. Just be careful not to grab a heavy camera by the lens, hold the body or strap when picking it up.

 

Sharpness

Performance          top

The 18-55 AFP is a very sharp lens. Your skill as a photographer is the only limitation.

Nikon 18-55mm AF VR P Sample Image File

Knotty Wood, 02 August 2016. Nikon D3300, 18-55mm AF VR-P at 52mm, f/7.1 at 1/200 at Auto ISO 100. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).

In the lab, its biggest limitation is lateral color at the 18mm end.

At 18mm, there is some minor yellow-blue lateral color, while the underlying image is sharp. It's super-sharp wide open; it doesn't get much sharper as stopped down. The most obvious defect wide open is darker corners from falloff; they're still sharp. The biggest defect stopped down at 18mm is the lateral color, not any lack of sharpness.

At 35mm it's just a little softer in the corners, but with no lateral color it's sharp enough for anything.

At 55mm it's super sharp everywhere, even wide-open in the corners.

 

Image Stabilizer

Performance          top

The stabilizer locks-down the image very well. I have no problems shooting at 1/4 of a second hand-held at 18mm.

 

Sunstars

Performance          top

Forget sunstars; the curved diaphragm blades eliminate these.

 

Usage

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The AF/MF and VR ON/OFF controls are now found in your camera's menu system, not on the lens.

The button on the zoom ring unlocks it so you can move the zoom ring between the shooting settings (18~55mm) or the collapsed lock (L) position.

 

Recommendations

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Specifications   Performance   Usage

Recommendations   More

This is the best basic kit lens ever offered. It offers faster focus than most other Nikon lenses, as well as great sharpness, stabilizer and close-focus performance. Add the fact that it's small, light and inexpensive, and we have a winner.

The very best protective filter is the Hoya multicoated HD3 55mm UV which uses hardened glass and repels dirt and fingerprints, and is also multicoated.

For less money, the B+W 55mm 010 is an excellent filter, as are the multicoated version and the basic multicoated Hoya filters, but the Hoya HD3 is the toughest and the best.

For a $200 lens, an $11 basic multicoated Hoya filter is all you need, although filters last a lifetime, so you may as well get the best and consider the Hoya HD3 which stays cleaner than the others since it repels oil and dirt.

I got mine gray-market at Ritz, along with my D3300, and you can get them through Amazon for $95 by themselves. I'd get it gray-market; the USA version costs $247 all by itself at Adorama or at B&H.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use that or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Nikon does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, store demo or used camera. I use the stores I do because they ship from secure remote warehouses where no one gets to touch your new camera before you do. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection.

Thanks for helping me help you!

Ken, Mrs. Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

More Information

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Specifications   Performance   Usage

Recommendations   More

 

Nikon's 18-55mm AF-P page.

Nikon's 18-55mm AF-P press release.

 

© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

 

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12-13 August 2016