18-36mm lenses have long been many photographers' standard short zooms for full-frame shooting. Here's the equivalent of that range in a 1.5X 35mm lens factor for small-format digital Nikon SLRs only. Small DX image circle allows compact size with constant aperture.
Handsome satin-black metal with generous, easily grippable, smooth-turning zoom and manual focus rings. Handy switch for manual and autofocus with manual override. Traditional large zoom and distance scale numerals.
IN THE LAB
SQF performance excellent at all focal lengths. However, we found noticeable barrel distortion (1.31%) at 12mm, only slight pincushion (0.56%) and (0.57%) at 18mm and 24mm. Light falloff at 12mm was gone by f/8, and by f/5.6 at 18mm and 24mm. At the closest focusing distance of 11.7 inches, the magnification ratios were 1:15.9, 1:11.0 and 1:8.0 at 12-, 18-, and 24mm, respectively.
Convenient to use with outstanding optical performance throughout except noticeable barrel distortion at 12mm, which may be expected from such a focal length.
12-24mm (12.33-23.37mm tested), f/4 (f/3.91-4.06 tested), 11 elements in 7 groups. Focusing turns 90 degrees clockwise. Zoom ring turns 50 degrees counterclockwise. Focal lengths marked at 12-, 15-, 18-, 20-, and 24mm.
• Diagonal view angle: 99-61 degrees.
• Weight: 1.04 lb.
• Filter size: 77mm.
• Mounts: Nikon digital.
• Included: Lenshood.
• List price: $1,199.
Street price: Approx. $974.