AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
Great lens for action and nature!
I bought this lens because I could not afford the 70-200 and actually the lens is very good and you get the added 100mm. This lens is not heavy, focus is fast and is easy to use. I use it for architectural detail shots, landscape, nature and sports. The VR works as designed and is priced right!
July 31, 2010
At 300mm this lens is tack sharp
Before I bought the lens I read the reviews and especially the negative ones. Several of the reviewers complained that the lens was "soft" or "fuzzy" when extended to 300mm. As a result I tested it by photographing my cat's name tag at a distance of 43ft #13.1m#. The smallest letters are an 1/8th of an inch #4cm# and they are tack sharp. For those that got bad pictures with this lens I have several questions. Have you received any training in the proper use of telephoto lens? There are basic rules for a lens of this type. A) Don't use a shutter less than the length of the lens. On a camera with a DX sensor this lens is the equivalent of a 500mm lens on a 35mm film or FX digital camera, which means you shouldn't use a shutter speed slower than 1/500th of a second. B) Try to shoot with an aperture of no less than an f11 to ensure enough depth of field. C) Don't attempt to hand hold it when extended to 300mm. Tripod mount or Monopod mount at a minimum. It would be nice if this lens had a tripod mount, but it doesn't so we make due. One more point. This is not a fast lens. It needs plenty of light. Increase your ISO and don't plan on getting any Sasquatch pictures on a moonless night without one huge flash. Bottom line, this is an excellent lens for the money, if you have some training and/or experience using a telephoto lens.
January 8, 2015
This is my go to lens for landscape and wildlfie photography. I have used it on a D7000 and now on my D-610 and the results are the same. clear, sharp images all the time.
November 13, 2014
Portable and Sharp Telephoto Zoom
This 70-300mm zoom lens is easy to travel with and is optically excellent and affordable. The image of the Parthenon below was taken with a Nikon D700 camera body from the roof top of an open air taverna. The camera settings were the following: a shutter speed of 1/40 of a second (on a small table top tripod), an aperture of 7.1, an ISO of 6400, a focal length of 195mm, Tungsten White Balance, and Matrix Metering.
November 3, 2014
Superb telephoto for budget-minded photographers
Finally had a chance to get this lens out and have been nothing but impressed with it.
First of all; no, it's not on par with the faster - and vastly more expensive - telephoto lenses in Nikon's lineup in terms of clarity, sharpness, build quality, or low-light performance. It's also 1/5th the price on average and so it's really not a fair comparison to begin with. However, with that in mind, the optics and image quality are still top-notch. In fact, for a consumer-grade lens, the IQ and overall construction of the lens itself is among the best I've found in this price range.
I got this lens primarily to use for my son's soccer games, where lugging around my 70-200mm 2.8G on a monopod just isn't convenient or necessary even. With ample light, the 70-300mm shines and produces surprisingly sharp images, even at the minimum and maximum focal lengths. I found that the clarity tends to degrade minimally between 200-300mm, but is still very usable.
The VR II feature works and works very well. If you're hand holding, it definitely comes in handy and the difference with VR on vs. off is marked and noticeable. Given the relatively hefty weight of the lens, this feature might benefit some more than others, especially if you're not used to shooting with a lens that has a little bit of weight to it.
Auto focus is fairly quick and I didn't find much hunting at 300mm, even on an overcast day. This is especially nice with the crop factor if you happen to be using a DX body, letting you reach out and get the shot without much hassle or wasted time. You can always 'help' the AF by focusing manually from the start and letting the AF take over before getting the shot, but I haven't found myself needing to do that at all.
Overall, I would highly recommend this lens to anyone looking for a quality zoom for outdoor sports, nature shots, candids, and even portraiture. Like mentioned from the start, there are better and faster lenses out there but, for this price, you really can't go wrong and won't be disappointed with the quality you'll receive for the money.
May 10, 2014