Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Nikon 18-135/3.5-5.6 G IF-ED

So I'm trying to get back into photography and have started working to get rid of all my old equipment.  As I do so I thought I would take it out and take photographs and then write about the experience here.  Why not I figure.

Anyhow this is my first entry for doing this so we'll see how it goes.  All of these photos were taken using a Nikon D40 and the lens you see pictured to the left the AF-S Nikkor 18-135mm/3.5-5.6 G IF-ED.  Got to love the names they come up with.  

Let me just start by saying in case someone besides the three people who normally read this blog stumble upon this. I am not a professional photographer. I am not even a serious amateur. I'm simply someone who enjoys taking pictures. So these will be the impressions of a pure amateur and what I think of the lens.

All of these photos were also taken in full "Auto" mode and were then edited using GIMP.


OK my thoughts.  The best part about this lens being an 18mm to 135mm is the 135mm part of it all.  The picture above was taken zoomed in with me standing at full height.  For doing nature photography like this it's very handy.  I used the same thing for these other flower photos.

What is nice about this is that if you are traveling and you come upon some nice flowers like this you want to photograph it's fairly quick and easy to do.  If I had had my standard 18-55mm lens that came with the D40 I would have had to squat down, etc. to get the same effect that I could do here standing at a comfortable distance.

The 135mm zoom also allowed me to take a nice shot of a squirrel that I saw having a snack one morning.

In that squirrel photo you also see the limitation of a 135mm lens as compared to a 200 or 300. I could get a nice shot of the squirrel, but a bit more zoom would have been nice.

In fact what I found in using this lens was that I was either on one end of the spectrum or the other, probably because of what I was shooting. If I had been at home taking pictures of the kids I would have been living more in the middle, but walking around Pullman taking photographs I found I lived more on the edges.


The biggest problem I found with the lens was that in low light situations it was a bit over-matched. Just shooting in early morning light I found that the lens really struggled when I was shooting in shadows, especially at the wider angles.

The only other issue I ran into was that I found it quite difficult to shoot in manual mode.  It's one reason why all of these shots were done in "Auto" mode.  Perhaps with time I would get used to all the controls being on the camera, like aperture, and not a physical dial on the lens, but for this first adventure I found it frustrating to try and manage it manually.

If I could only have one lens and had to choose between this lens and the 18-55mm lens that came with my camera, I would choose the 18-55. It's lighter and is a great range for taking family photos. If I were going on a trip I would take the 18-135mm as it gives you more flexibility.

Here is the full gallery.

18-135mm F35-56 G ED