Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6G VR is a typical kit zoom lens for APS-C digital SLR cameras. It does not have the high build quality, does not allow convenient manual focusing, its optical image stabilizer is not especially efficient and the same goes to the multy-layer coatings. Being sharp at the entire focal range both at the center and at the edges of the frame, the lens exhibits typical optical results for a lens of such class in the terms of distortion, lateral chromatic aberrations and vignetting. The autofocus of the lens is silent thanks to Silent Wave Motor, precise but not especially fast with Nikon D40.
All in all there’s no reason to recommend this lens for purchase, this also applies to owners of previous versions of Nikon kit zoom lens (I mean Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-55/3.5-5.6G ED or ED II). Yes, you get the lens which is sharp at the entire focal range and has 1st gen optical image stabilizer but these are perhaps the only advantages of this lens.
It would be incorrect to say that you can’t produce a good shots with this lens. But along with the convenient focal range, lightweight housing and almost zero cost of the lens (because you get it «for free» with your camera) you have to live with its slow speed which could be a significant limit if you often shoot interiors or in low-light condition, especially without a tripod.
Author of the review and photos: Evgeny Artemov, firstname.lastname@example.org
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