Nikon AF-S DX 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED

This is a rather nice lens, and it is really cheap. It sits on my D80 most of the time, which makes sense, since it does not support autofocus on the D5500. If you have a compatible camera, and you can find this lens for a good price, go for it.

In a way, there’s really nothing exciting about this lens. It’s 18-70mm, which on DX is around 27-105mm, so a bit wide to short telephoto. And 3.5 to 4.5 maximum aperture is not that great either. Sure, you get somewhat blurred out backgrounds given the right circumstances, but nothing like a f/1.8-lens (not that you would expect 1.8 in this type of lens).

But I’d say it is rather sharp, and the focal length suits me fine. It makes for a decent all-around lens for my D80. I’ve been using my 35mm f/1.8G on the D80, and I probably will from time to time still, but this is the new standard lens on the D80 from now on.

Build quality seems excellent. It’s plastic as many other DX lenses, but the mount is metal. It was introduced in 2004, two years before the D80, and came as a kit lens with D70 och D70s. Furthermore, it feels solid.

Obviously, one of the newer 18-55mm lenses is an alternative, and I would say that at least my AF-P VR model is sharper than the 18-70 and focuses faster (it would be a bit strange if that wasn’t the case). But the 18-70mm has a bit longer range, and it also simply looks better. It’s a bit fatter, which makes for a more attractive combination with the camera, I think. And it should perhaps be said that AF-P does not work on the D80.

But the 18-70mm doesn’t have VR, which I miss sometimes.