I acquired a new lens for my camera bag some weeks ago. It is the AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED from Nikon. I decided to get a better lens to replace the cheapie 18-55 kit lens that was included with my D50.
The 18-70 doesn’t have a huge difference in range over the 18-55, but it is a little better. And I think that is a kind of sweet spot for the range of focal lengths at this price point. Additionally, the 18-70 has a smaller range of f-stops: 3.5-4.5, where the 18-55 is f3.5-5.6.
The new lens seems better constructed than the kit one: it feels more solid and sturdy, where the 18-55 has a very plasticky feel to it. So far as size goes, the 18-70 seems to better balance out the camera than the 18-55 did. The 18-70 is slightly longer and thicker then the 18-55. The difference in length is more noticeable when the lenses are zoomed in. Check out the photos below for a side-by-side comparison of the two lenses.
Performance-wise, the new lens is a good one. It is sharp and quick to focus. I like that you can easily override the autofocus by adjusting the focus ring. The zoom and focus rings move easily – there is no stiffness.
Admittedly, this wasn’t a very in-depth or scientific review. It is just my opinion after having used this lens after a month. I believe that it is a good choice for a lens to keep on the camera for everyday use. If you want (or need) a more in-depth look at this lens, have a look at the reviews by Ken Rockwell and Thom Hogan.
I suppose I should wrap this up with some photos taken over the last month with my new lens – it’s the only one I’ve used in that time!