Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 vs. Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3: The Ultimate Lens Showdown for Versatile Photography

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Are you looking to capture breathtaking landscapes, stunning portraits, or action-packed shots but unsure which lens to choose? Look no further, as we dive into an in-depth comparison of the Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 and Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 that cater to various photography styles and requirements.

We understand the significance of selecting the right lens for your unique vision, and in this article, we’ll dissect the strengths and weaknesses of these two popular options.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or an aspiring hobbyist, the right lens can make all the difference in the quality and versatility of your work.

Our comprehensive guide will help you navigate the features of these lenses, including focal range, weather sealing, bokeh quality, and distortion control, so you can make an informed decision that elevates your photography game.

Discover the benefits of each lens and how they can enhance your photography experience, from capturing sweeping vistas to intimate moments.

Join us as we explore the ins and outs of these remarkable lenses and help you find the perfect match for your creative endeavors.

Stay tuned and get ready to capture the world through a new lens!


Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VRTamron 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC Nikon F (DX)
Max ApertureF3.5-5.6F3.5-5.6
Aperture TypeVariableVariable
Focal Range (mm)18-14018-200
Mount TypeNikon F (DX)Nikon F (DX)
Zoom Ratio (X)7.811.1

The Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 and the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 both have variable apertures, with a maximum aperture of f/3.5-5.6. This means that as you zoom in or out, the maximum aperture changes, which can impact low light performance and depth of field control. However, variable aperture lenses are generally more affordable and lighter in weight compared to fixed aperture lenses.

The Nikon lens has a focal range of 18-140mm and a 7.8x zoom ratio, making it a versatile choice for various photography genres. In contrast, the Tamron lens offers an even broader focal range of 18-200mm and a higher zoom ratio of 11.1x, providing more flexibility in terms of composition and framing. Both lenses are designed for APS-C / DX format cameras.

The Nikon lens offers a slightly shorter focal range, which could lead to better image quality and less distortion at the expense of some versatility. On the other hand, the Tamron lens has a broader focal range, making it a more flexible option for various photography situations.

Design and Ease of Use

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VRTamron 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC Nikon F (DX)
Diameter x Length (mm)⌀78×97mm⌀75×97mm
Weight (gr)490400
Filter Thread (mm)6762
Weather SealingNoYes
Zoom MethodRotary (extending)Rotary (extending)
Distance ScaleNoNo
DoF ScaleNoNo
Hood SuppliedNoYes

The Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 measures ⌀78×97mm in diameter and length and weighs 490 grams, while the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 is slightly smaller and lighter, with dimensions of ⌀75×97mm and a weight of 400 grams. The size and weight of a lens can impact portability, balance, discreetness, storage, and ease of lens swapping, with lighter and more compact lenses generally offering increased convenience and comfort.

Both lenses feature a rotary (extending) zoom method, meaning they physically extend when you zoom in or out. This type of zoom lens is typically simpler in design and may be lighter compared to internal rotary zoom lenses. However, extending rotary zoom lenses can be more challenging to weather-seal and may alter the camera’s balance while zooming, requiring additional effort to maintain stability during shooting.

In conclusion, the Tamron lens has an edge over the Nikon lens due to its smaller dimensions and lighter weight, making it more convenient and comfortable for photographers who prioritize portability and balance. However, both lenses share the same rotary (extending) zoom method, which could impact weather sealing and handling during zooming.

Lens Mount and Barrel

The Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 features a metal lens mount without any weather sealing, making it less resistant to moisture and dust than lenses with a sealed mount. The lens barrel is predominantly made of polycarbonate plastic, which is lightweight and budget-friendly but not as durable as metal. The zoom and manual focus rings have textured rubber grips, and the inner barrel moves smoothly without any detectable wobbling as the focal length changes.

On the other hand, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 has a predominantly plastic lens mount with a few metal elements. Although the lack of metal on the mount is disappointing, it does have a rubber gasket to prevent moisture from seeping in, providing some moisture resistance. The lens barrel has a double barrel zoom design with a rubberized zoom ring that is not particularly smooth but does not exhibit any wobble or movement when extended. The lens also has a zoom lock switch to prevent zoom creep.

In conclusion, both lenses have their pros and cons in terms of lens mount and barrel. The Nikon lens has a sturdier metal mount and a smooth zooming mechanism, but lacks weather sealing. The Tamron lens, on the other hand, has a mostly plastic mount with some weather resistance and a double barrel zoom design that provides stability but lacks smoothness.

Ultimately, if you prioritize durability and a smooth zoom mechanism, the Nikon lens may be more suitable. However, if moisture resistance and a stable lens barrel are more important, the Tamron lens may be the better option.

Weather Sealing

The Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 lacks weather sealing, as there are no gaskets at the lens mount, no internal seals on rings or switches, and no fluorine coating on the front element. This absence of weather sealing makes the Nikon lens unsuitable for use in harsh weather conditions or environments with high levels of moisture and dust.

In contrast, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 is described as moisture-resistant, featuring a rubber gasket around the mount to prevent moisture from entering. However, it’s important to note that “moisture-resistant” does not equate to being fully weather-sealed. This lens can handle light rain but should not be exposed to heavy downpours or submerged in water.

In conclusion, the Tamron lens offers superior weather sealing compared to the Nikon lens, providing better protection against moisture in less demanding conditions. While neither lens is fully weather-sealed, the Tamron lens’s moisture-resistant design offers an advantage for photographers who occasionally shoot outdoors or in unpredictable weather. However, for those who frequently shoot in harsh conditions, investing in a fully weather-sealed lens may be a better option.


The Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 features 2 rings: a zoom ring and a focusing ring. The zoom ring, located near the front of the lens, is covered with a thick, textured rubber grip band, making it comfortable to hold and operate. The focusing ring, situated behind the zoom ring, is narrower but still features a ridged rubber grip band.

The zoom ring has a pleasing resistance and is well-damped, while the focusing ring has a long throw but lacks tactile feedback. There are no windowed distance scale or depth-of-field indicators, and the lens does not have an extension lock switch on the zoom ring.

On the other hand, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 also has two rings: a rubberized zoom ring positioned towards the back and a focus ring at the front. The zoom ring’s resistance varies at different points and includes a zoom lock switch to prevent loosening over time.

The focus ring turns smoothly with hard stops at either end but only travels about thirty degrees, making manual focusing more challenging. There is no focusing distance scale or depth of field, but the front element remains stationary, simplifying the use of polarizing filters. The focus ring is narrow and rotates when the lens is in autofocus mode.

In conclusion, the Nikon lens offers a superior ring design with its comfortable, textured rubber grip bands and well-damped zoom ring. While the Tamron lens has some advantages, such as the stationary front element and zoom lock switch, its inconsistent zoom ring resistance and limited focus ring travel make it less user-friendly. If precise control and comfortable handling are priorities, the Nikon lens is the better choice.


The Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 is equipped with two control switches located on its left side. The first switch enables or disables autofocus (A or M), allowing users to quickly switch between autofocus and manual focus modes. The second switch activates or deactivates vibration reduction (ON or OFF), providing control over the lens’s stabilization system. The aperture is managed via a mechanical lever.

In contrast, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 features two switches/buttons: an AF/MF selector and an on/off switch for the VC (Vibration Compensation) system. Both switches are easy to locate and use. The AF/MF switch is positioned near the front of the lens, while the VC on/off switch is closer to the mount. These switches provide users with quick access to change between autofocus and manual focus modes and control the lens’s stabilization system.

In conclusion, both the Nikon and Tamron lenses offer simple and functional switch/button designs for easy operation. However, the Tamron lens has a slight edge with its more intuitive placement of the AF/MF switch near the front of the lens, making it more accessible for quick adjustments. While both lenses offer similar control options, the Tamron lens’s design and placement of switches/buttons provide a more user-friendly experience.

Filter Thread

The Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 features a 67mm metal filter thread, which accepts attachments of the same diameter. Filters such as graduated neutral density filters and polarizers can be used with ease as the filter thread remains stationary during focus or zoom adjustments.

Positioned immediately behind the filter ring, the front element of the lens boasts a relatively flat design. Attaching an optional bayonet-style lens hood is made easy with the use of a small indicator mark found on the outer edge of the filter ring.

On the other hand, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 has a 62mm front filter thread, which is somewhat uncommon but still easy to find and relatively inexpensive. The non-rotating front element simplifies the use of polarizing filters.

In conclusion, both lenses offer non-rotating filter threads that allow for easy use of various filters. However, the Nikon lens has a slight advantage due to its larger and more common 67mm filter thread size, which ensures greater compatibility with a wider range of filters. The metal construction of the Nikon lens’s filter thread also adds durability, making it a more reliable choice for photographers who frequently use filters in their work.

Lens Hood

The Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 does not include a lens hood in the package, making it an optional accessory available for separate purchase. This petal-shaped, plastic hood features a bayonet mount and can be reversed for storage. The ergonomic bevel and smooth rotation allow it to effectively prevent lens flare and protect the front element from impacts.

In contrast, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 comes with a plastic hood, which is supplied with the lens and attaches via a bayonet mount around the 62mm filter thread. The hood can be reversed for transportation, but it moves with the front of the lens as the focal length changes. While most effective at 18mm focal length, it may not provide enough shading when zoomed out to 200mm due to its shallow depth.

In conclusion, the Tamron lens has a slight advantage in terms of lens hood design, as it includes the hood in the package, providing immediate protection and shading for the front lens element.

Focusing and Optical Stabilization

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VRTamron 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC Nikon F (DX)
AF MotorSilent Wave MotorDC motor
Rotating Front ElementDoes not rotate on focusingDoes not rotate on focusing
Min Focus Distance0.45m0.49m
Max Magnification (X)0.230.25
Full-Time Manual FocusYesYes
Focus MethodInternalInternal

Focusing Performance

The Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 boasts an ultrasonic Silent Wave Motor, providing a fast, quiet, and almost silent autofocus experience. It performs well in both single-servo and continuous autofocus modes, and offers manual focus override by simply turning the focus ring.

Thanks to its internally focusing design, the lens maintains a constant length and the front element remains stationary during focus adjustments. Nevertheless, the lens does exhibit focus breathing, which causes the image to appear smaller when focusing more closely, especially at the longer end of the zoom range.

On the other hand, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 features an upgraded AF motor that is fast, silent, and offers good AF Servo tracking. It can swiftly acquire focus with little or no hunting and has reasonable AF accuracy. While it performs well in midday light, it struggles in low-light situations due to its maximum aperture of f/6.3 at the long end.

The lens lacks full-time manual focusing override and has imprecise manual focus with a narrow focus ring that rotates during autofocus. The minimum focusing distance varies with focal length, and the lens also exhibits focus breathing. The internally focusing design ensures the lens length remains constant regardless of focus and zoom settings, but the focus breathing effect is very pronounced.

In conclusion, the Nikon lens offers superior focusing performance due to its faster, quieter autofocus system, and the ability to manually override focus with ease. While the Tamron lens has a fast and silent AF motor, it struggles in low-light situations and lacks full-time manual focusing override. Therefore, the Nikon lens is a better choice for photographers who prioritize fast and accurate focusing performance.

Optical Stabilization

Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) technology is integrated into the Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6, enabling compensation for up to 4 f-stops of hand-held shake. With an efficient built-in VR stabilization, photographers can shoot hand-held at slower shutter speeds, such as 1/15 second with the 140mm focal length, and achieve sharp results in about half of the shots taken. The stabilization slider offers two positions: on and off.

On the other hand, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 features Tamron’s Vibration Compensation (VC) technology, which compensates for about 2-3 stops in shutter speed, making it effective for hand-held shooting in low-light conditions.

The VC system works silently, stabilizes images even at 200mm focal length, and allows for sharp images at shutter speeds as low as 1/10th of a second. However, the VC system takes about a second to lock on. For critical sharpness, good results can be obtained over two stops, while up to 4 stops advantage can be seen for a slightly lower demand.

In conclusion, the Nikon lens offers superior optical stabilization due to its efficient VR technology, which compensates for up to 4 f-stops of hand-held shake. While the Tamron lens has a decent VC system, it takes slightly longer to lock on and offers slightly less effective compensation. Therefore, the Nikon lens is the better choice for photographers who prioritize optical stabilization for sharper hand-held shots.

Image Quality

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VRTamron 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC Nikon F (DX)
Special Elements1 ED (extra-low dispersion) glass element, 1 aspherical lens element1 hybrid aspherical element + 1 low dispersion element
Diaphragm Blades77
Circular ApertureNoYes


The Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 exhibits chromatic aberration, which is more noticeable in this model than previous Nikon offerings. In most cases, this aberration is not considered objectionable, as test images reveal only minimal dark blue fringing in the corners around regions of high contrast. The lens also boasts impressive coma performance, producing sharp and well-defined points of light with no evidence of smearing or distortion, even when shooting towards the corners of the image.

On the other hand, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 also exhibits chromatic aberration, particularly at the edges and in high-contrast situations. This aberration is noticeable when shooting at 18mm and up to 100mm, with green and pink fringing visible on contrasting edges.

The lens, however, is designed with a low dispersion element to minimize chromatic aberrations. In terms of coma and spherical aberration, the lens may show some signs of these optical issues, such as haziness around edges and slight softness in the image corners.

In conclusion, while both lenses exhibit chromatic aberration, the Nikon lens has a slight advantage due to its generally unobjectionable chromatic aberration and excellent coma performance. The Tamron lens, although designed to minimize chromatic aberrations, still shows noticeable fringing and some signs of coma and spherical aberration.


Sharpness is a strong suit of the Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6, particularly in the center of the image where it performs well even at wider apertures. Stopping down to f/5.6 and beyond further improves center sharpness. However, corner sharpness can be slightly lacking, particularly at wider angles, but can be significantly improved by stopping down to around f/8.

The ideal aperture for achieving the sharpest results varies depending on the focal length used, but generally falls between f/8 and f/11. However, diffraction can start to become noticeable around f/8 and can become a more significant issue at f/16 or smaller apertures.

The Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 has impressive central sharpness at most focal lengths, but the edges tend to lag behind, especially at wider apertures. The sharpness improves dramatically as the lens is stopped down to around f/8 to f/11, but the smallest apertures should be avoided. At 18mm, the central sharpness is excellent and the edges reach very good levels from f/5.6 to f/11, but are just fair to good from open aperture to f/4, good at f/16 but poor at f/22.

However, sharpness is poor when shooting at f/32 and f/40. It’s worth noting that at this focal length, corners can be very soft with prominent green and pink chromatic aberration. Overall, the lens delivers visually sharp, contrasty, and punchy images, but with some limitations.

In conclusion, both lenses display good sharpness characteristics, but the Nikon lens offers more consistent performance across various apertures and focal lengths, especially in the corners. The Tamron lens delivers impressive central sharpness, but the edges may not be as sharp, particularly at wider apertures and longer focal lengths.

Bokeh Quality

With its 7-blade iris diaphragm, the bokeh produced by the Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 can be somewhat jittery. Bokeh quality is a subjective matter, and it can range from fair to good depending on various factors such as focusing distance, focal length, and aperture settings. The softest and most pleasing backgrounds can be achieved by stepping back and zooming in to the longest focal length possible, and shooting at 140mm f/5.6.

On the other hand, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 features a circular 7-blade aperture diaphragm that maintains a nice, round shape even when stopped down. The longer focal length and wider aperture settings of 140mm f/5.6 produce desirable and beautiful bokeh, with point light sources blurring into natural, rounded shapes.

The bokeh quality is smooth and pleasing, especially when zooming in. However, at wider angles, the out-of-focus background can look a little busy and unattractive, but overall the lens does a great job in producing pleasing bokeh.

In conclusion, while bokeh quality may not be the primary concern for wide-angle photography, both lenses offer decent performance in this regard. The Tamron lens, with its circular aperture diaphragm, produces a smoother and more pleasing bokeh compared to the somewhat nervous bokeh of the Nikon lens.


Thanks to Nikon’s Integrated Coating, the Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 generally demonstrates minimal flare and ghosting in most shooting scenarios. However, in instances where the lens is pointed directly towards the sun or other bright light sources, some ghosting may still be observed.

Attaching the optional petal-shaped lens hood (HB-32) can be an effective way to further minimize the risk of flare and ghosting. It’s important to note that the presence of ghosting can be somewhat controlled, with fewer instances occurring when using a fixed lens and more when using an older single-coated zoom lens.

In contrast, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 is somewhat flare-prone and can produce ghosting artifacts in certain situations, especially when shooting into the sun. It is important to position the lens correctly and be careful when shooting in bright light. The lens hood, while useful, is not very deep and may not provide adequate shading when zoomed out to 200mm.

In conclusion, the Nikon lens has a clear advantage when it comes to flare and ghosting control, thanks to its Integrated Coating and the optional petal-shaped lens hood. The Tamron lens, while still a good performer, requires more careful handling in bright light situations to avoid flare and ghosting issues.


The Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 exhibits noticeable vignetting at various focal lengths, especially when in-camera correction is disabled. It becomes more prominent towards the ends of the zoom range than in the middle. To minimize vignetting, stopping down the aperture to f/5.6 or f/8 can help brighten up the corners.

On the other hand, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 exhibits noticeable vignetting at certain focal lengths and apertures, particularly at 18mm and f/3.5 as well as 200mm at f/6.3. This can result in darker corners in the images, especially when shooting wide open.

However, the issue can be managed by stopping down the aperture, which reduces the vignetting effect. Additionally, you can use lens profiles in popular RAW converters to automatically correct the vignetting, ensuring a more balanced exposure across the frame.

In conclusion, both lenses exhibit vignetting to some extent, but stopping down the aperture can help reduce vignetting in both lenses.


At various focal lengths, the Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 shows noticeable distortion, especially at the wider focal lengths. At 18mm, barrel distortion is evident, while from 35mm to 140mm, pincushion distortion is noticeable. Fortunately, in-camera distortion correction is available, and post-processing software can also address it. Some users recommend turning on the Auto Distortion Correction feature in the camera’s menu to minimize distortion.

In comparison, the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 has some noticeable distortion as well, with barrel distortion at 18mm and pincushion distortion at longer focal lengths. The distortion can be corrected in post-processing with the lens profile correction option. However, the distortion pattern at wider angles is a bit difficult to correct completely. It’s worth noting that the distortion is reasonably well-controlled for a superzoom lens at this price point.

In conclusion, both lenses exhibit some level of distortion, but the in-camera distortion correction can make it easier to manage without relying on post-processing.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, the choice between the Nikon DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 and Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 depends on your specific needs and preferences as a photographer. The Nikon lens offers better superior focusing performance, improved optical stabilization, and a more comfortable ring design. However, the Tamron lens provides a broader focal range for increased versatility, superior weather sealing, smoother bokeh, and better vignetting control.

If you prioritize durability, smooth zoom mechanism, fast and accurate focusing, and better optical stabilization, the Nikon lens may be more suitable. On the other hand, if you value portability, weather sealing, a more flexible focal range, and smoother bokeh, the Tamron lens might be the better option.

Meet the Author

Wei Mao

Wei was a cruise photographer who worked at Disney Cruise Line. He is a lucky traveler who has been to more than 20 countries with his camera while working on an around-the-world cruise. Photography has changed his view of the world forever. Now he wants more people to benefit from photography through his blog.

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