AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
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
One For The Travel Bag
This lens is the one you want in your travel bag. If you have limited space to pack, this lens offers a great degree of versatility. It is great for landscape as at 70mm you still have plenty of view angle, but when you want to get the close up shot, the 300mm zoom capability will get you in with the subject. Very sharp detail and good light gathering capability. And for the really close up shots you will get sharp detail with amazing depth of field to work with in aperture priority. Landscape, wildlife, and close up, this lens provides a quality results.
March 17, 2014
Outstanding Lens !
I have only two lenses at this point in time. The Nikkor 16-85 3.5-5.6 and the 70-00 4.5-5.6. I find myself continuously reaching for this lens. The lens is amazingly sharp, nice Bokeh!! Just looking through the view finder with this lens give you the feel that you are using professional quality glass. I would post some pictures here but they are severely reduced therefore you really can't see the true image quality.. Anyway, I too same as many other people doing the due dilegence research.But let me tell you now, if you are interested in this lens, don't waste your time any longer. Just go for it !!
May 28, 2013
Amazing Lens at an amazing price.
Amazing Lens at an amazing price. hard to believe that it would be so good
May 25, 2013
Yes, Buy t!
If you are wondering if you should buy this lens, the answer is "Yes!"
With my DX format camera it has an effective range of about 105-450, which I just love, as I do a lot of nature photography. The Vibration Reduction works quietly in the background, but really shows up in stunning, crisp images.
That said, for those of you who have never had a real glass lens, this one will feel heavy and you will need to learn to use your camera with the different balance. Go back to basics, support the lens with your left hand palm up, and you will be just fine. Some people might not like the extra weight, but a good photographer will just learn how to deal with it. I prefer the heavier camera/lens set, which seems to me to be easier to hold steady.
May 21, 2013
I have had so much fun with this lens. From shooting the moon, wildlife, sun rises and sun sets, macroish shooting and panning for motion shots.
April 2, 2013
great lens in affordable price
bought this lens last month and I'm very happy with it, the photos were sharp, It was also an additional to my D7000. I also had a 85mm f 1.8.
March 28, 2013
Just received it today and it's going to work perfect for my everyday outings with my kids!
March 14, 2013
Great lens for the money. sure the 70-200 II VR is way better but for the price you cant beat it. I use this lens when I am going to be at events that can get out of control, so my 70-200 II VR does not get hosed.
January 19, 2013
Perfect zoo lens for crop sensor DSLR
This is my "go to" lens for most animal shots and zoo pictures. The 300mm zoom really lets you get in close on an animal for a perspective that shorter lenses do not allow. The VR works flawlessly and I can shoot handheld to 1/60th sec exposure. I even use this lens for isolation shots where I want a smooth blurred background. Bokeh is silky smooth with a 9 blade round diaphragm. Usually at the zoo I use this lens as primary on a shoulder strap and then carry a 2nd body with f/1.8 35mm in the bag. Love it.
December 12, 2012
Need I say more? Takes wonderful shots, great price, I can't say enough. Photo taken on Daytona Beach, with a Circular Polarizer filter, on Labor Day this year.
November 18, 2012
Very good lens
perfect for nature and landscape, even for street photography in good light. bad for action in low light
November 7, 2012
Very good lens
Sharp, ultra tele on DX, light and cheap. Best for nature and street photography.
November 1, 2012
I briefly considered the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 but with the price hovering around $2K used it was beyond my means. I have had the 70-300mm 4.5-5.6 VR for over 1 year and have not been disappointed in the least. I have used it for wildlife photos, distant landscapes and even for the occasional "macro" prior to purchasing the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VRII. For me it has rendered very good quality images out to about 250mm and then gets a tad soft but still quite usable. This lens has VRII which allows for up to a 4 stop advantage in lower light or at longer focal lengths. For certain it is responsible for allowing me to obtain hand-held images that would have otherwise been impossible. The autofocus hunts quite a bit starting at 200mm and increases as one moves to 300mm. In very poor lighting the hunting becomes more of a safari above 200mm. I've viewed outstanding pictures taken with the 70-200mm f/2.8 and several similar scenes taken with the 70-300mm and frankly, at the same focal lengths and apertures, the differences of contrast and general clarity between the two does not permit me to rationalize the hefty $1800 price difference. For some the performance difference may be critical to their work or perhaps needing the larger aperture one is just willing to pay for the top of the line product. I recommend this lens without reservation. I am currently using it on a Nikon D7000.
August 27, 2012
the price is right of what it takes
i just bought my
AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
yesterday July 7,2012 and its great...
July 7, 2012
Not a pro
I have owned this lens for nearly a year now and shoot with a D5100 and am amazed by the difference between the kit lens and this wonderful piece of glass. Wonderful bokeh even at 300mm, Sharpness and VR...
I love this lens.
May 11, 2012
I Never Leave Home Without It!
The AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 is unequivocally the best modern telephoto zoom lens if you want a dedicated zoom tele with light weight and a moderate price.
This lens works perfectly on all Nikon digital cameras, along with most Nikon autofocus film cameras made before 1990. This lens is a G-type lens, meaning it has no aperture ring. It won't work on any manual focus camera.
The 70-300mm VR is very sharp with low distortion, an easy manual focus and a fast and accurate autofocus. The VR II, the new version of vibration reduction gives extremely sharp pictures. I've actually gone 4 stops sharper! I don't have to lug a tripod around. The autofocus is quiet and the instant manual focus is.......well, instantaneous.
This lens is perfect for fast action shooting such as sports. I wouldn't use this lens for indoor or outdoor low light shooting. The 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II is much faster in low light.
While the 70-300mm can be stopped down to f/32-40, my advice is don't! Diffraction will give you soft images at these f-stops. Diffraction is a softening effect similar to using a soft-focus filter or shooting through a window screen.
This lens does not produce any lateral chromatic aberration (LCA) with any modern Nikon model since 2006. Distortion on DX is non-existent. With FX cameras there is moderate distortion which can be corrected with Photoshop's lens distortion filter.
There is a phenomenon called falloff. Falloff occurs towards the corners of a DX frame and appears as darkened corners. While the 70-300mm has very little, I haven't seen any on my images. The 18-200mm VR by contrast has falloff at 200mm and f.5.6 on DX cameras. Falloff also occurs and maybe more noticeable on FX and film cameras.
There is no vignetting with this lens, even when I stacked several filters. There typically is no problem with film cameras either with stacked filters. If any vignetting does occur with a film camera, it will be at 100mm. If you're planning on using three or more stacked filters on a film camera, check there first.
There are no problems with flare and ghosting. This lens also has no problem with shadow created by a flash, even at the closest focus distance.
As for sharpness, the 70-300mm is sharp at most settings. It's normal for tele zooms to have the worst distortion at the long end. It is worse at f/11, but much better at f.16. Use f/8 if you can or f/16 if you want depth of field. At f/22 and f/32 there is diffraction, as with all lenses. There is no lens that can overcome the laws of physics.
In a quiet room you'll hear the VR running. It's noisy, but, this is normal. You will feel the VR system when it's working. The VR starts with a "klunk" and stops with a "klunk" after you release the shutter.
Many zoom lenses tightly pack the focal lengths together at one end of the scale. The 70-300mm VR has them evenly spaced and a big-fat zoom ring that is easy to use. There is a little focus shift while simultaneously zooming. The best technique with this lens is; zoom first then focus.
Of all Nikon's tele zooms the 70-300mm VR is the best compromise of size, weight, price and image quality. This lens is like the American Express card, I never leave home without it! This combination of performance, size and weight is my favorite to carry around all day.
April 17, 2012
Heavy but worth it.
Bought this to replace a kIt lens and am very happy with the purchase. Nice bokeh, quick and accurate focusing and sturdy, Sometimes does not read my mind as to focus points but other than that a wonderful lens.
April 3, 2012
I like this lens ideal for wildlife
I got this lens a year ago. to shoot wildlife and I like the range. I have used it for wildlife and action sports with my D300s
March 8, 2012
I love this lens! I am a Portrait photographer and this is nice when I want to be across the creek or something like that. That pictures are sharp and it has a relativly high f/stop for a telephoto lens!
I can't say enough good things about it!
February 23, 2012
GREAT LENS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Been using this lens for about 2 yrs, attached to my Trusty D90, does everything I want it to do and More, excellent for Wildlife and it matches the ruggedness of my D90,neither have ever failed me. I am a Nikon user for more than 40 yrs/ professionally, no matter what SLR/Nikon You pick, you can't go wrong.
February 3, 2012
35mm F100 Dynamo
Fantastic for film and digital cameras alike, fast focus, average aperture, and great zoom, with active VR car shooting is easy
December 31, 2011
Nikkor lens AF-s VR Zoon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IFED
Wonderful lens-I first bought the 70-300mm without VR and returned it. Could not get good quality shots and was poor in low light.
This lense is wonderful for nature and action shots plus good for close up images. Very clear and I have no complaints at this time.
The cost is more than the original lens without VR-however the quality and ease of use, auto focus is worth it.
November 7, 2011
This lens have captured many great shots with so much detail & color for me. It is a excellent lens for sports, nature and people.... I am totally pleased with this purchase.
November 5, 2011
I really like this lens for nature and wildlife photos. It is solid, sharp and bright, despite its relatively small maximum aperture. I especially like the VR feature, which allows for hand-held photos down to 1/125th. For the price, I think this is a fine lens.
Can't wait to use it to shoot my grandchildren's sports events.
August 15, 2011
A very versatile lens
Began with a 50-200mm lens that came with the d5000. I purchased this so as to not to have to carry too many lenses. The 70-300 gave me what I needed. The AF and VR are invaluable.
August 15, 2011
Very sharp in daylight. Does not focus fast in low light which is to be expected for a 4.5 -5.6 stop lens. Good value for money. Hope it lasts for years.It is mounted on my Nikon D7000 camera.
July 27, 2011
Huge zoom! And great quality
I purchased this 70-300 lens about 1 month ago, ever since i can't stop using it. It really does the job for zoom photography. This lens replaced my 55-200 VR lens because of it vast amount of coverage. I love this lens. It's a great lens for people who are looking for that extra zoom without spending thousands of dollars. Great quality photos at an affordable price.
July 19, 2011
Really worth its price
I bought this lenses more than a year ago. I couldn't make up my mind whether take 55-300, or 70-200. I bought 70-300 mm and I'm really happy with it. I've recently shoot a wedding and I've been travelling a lot through this year and I couldn't ask for anything better- well probably it could have lower f/. But with this price...
The overall quality is great! Buy it! Do not hesitate.
July 15, 2011
Feels good in the hand
I had a Nikon before but traded it in for something else. Although the lens was good it did not lock on to the target as quickly as the Nikon. When hand holding the Nikon fits comfortably in my hand and is easy to hold steady.
July 13, 2011