The lenses I am considering are:
- Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR Lens (new)
- Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens (old)
As far as I can tell the only differences are:
- The old one has an active/passive VR mode switch (which could be useful!)
- The old one has a focus meter
- The old one weighs double
- The old one will be known to my camera's firmware and allow it to correct distortion.
- The old one has a one stop wider aperture (at max zoom)
I've not found any comparisons but read (impressive) reviews for each. The only comparison I've found by Ken Rockwell.
The original 18-300 VR is much bigger and heavier, and more expensive. I'd forget about it. It adds a focus distance scale, and that's about its only benefit. This new lens is less expensive, smaller and lighter, while the old lens is a big heavy beast you'll not want to carry everywhere around your neck.
By the way I have a Nikon D5200 and I know how to use it.
What other significant differences am I missing between the two lenses?
I want to make an informed decision, like the new one has a 7 bladed diaphragm rather than a 9 one (old) -will this actually make a difference, will I see heptagonal bokeh?