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Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AF-S

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Reviews Views Date of last review
44 111135 May 30, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $500.60
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.28
8.98
8.9
70-300vr

Specifications:
4.3x, 70-300mm telephoto zoom (picture angle, when used with Nikon DX format digital SLRs is equivalent to a 105-450mm on a 35mm format SLR)

The VRII minimizes camera shake by offering the equivalent of a shutter speed 4 stops faster. Normal and Active modes are available

Two ED glass elements

The SWM enables fast and quiet autofocusing, and smooth switching between autofocus and manual operation

Two focus modes are available M/A and M

The IF design provides a constant lens length and eliminates rotation of the front lens element, facilitating the use of circular polarizing filters

Nine-blade rounded diaphragm opening


 


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margilli
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Registered: May 13, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 56
Review Date: Jan 5, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $420.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality and build quality far surpass the price point of this lens. Just get one if you are considering this lens. You will not be dissapointed.
Cons:
None given that this is considered a "consumer level" lens.

Perfect lens for outdoor shooting. Easy to carry so it will always be with you. VR works very well when handholding at 300. Easily one of Nikon's best values.


Jan 5, 2010
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tom s
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Registered: Jun 3, 2007
Location: Croatia
Posts: 158
Review Date: Oct 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, inexpensive, excellent color rendition, good ''macro'' performance, fast & silent autofocusing
Cons:
Plastic feel, extends while zooming, bokeh is just average (due to slow aperture: f/5.6 at 300mm)

This is one of the better products in Nikon prosumer range, it's good on both 1.5x crop and full frame. It's relatively compact and discrete, so you can use it for candid portraits.

While the lens has 4 stops of VR, it is not a low light lens (although you can get nice low light shots of static urban scenes at its widest end [70mm]). Highly recommended!


Oct 6, 2009
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piet1966
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Registered: Jul 16, 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, light, excellent VR
Cons:
Slightly soft at 300mm (but not nearly as bad as I expected)

I am an amateur but do my best. This lens continues to surprise me. I bought it a few years ago next to my Nikon D50 and thought it was a very nice lens for its price. Then I became more critical, upgraded to a D90, and started buying more lenses (mostly third-party lenses but with good reviews).. and by now I think it is a great lens.

Between 70 and 200mm, sharpness is really excellent and comparable to that of my Tokina 100mm F/2.8 macro. 300mm is less perfect but still good. For the occasional bird and wildlife, images taken at around 270mm/F8 (which have slightly better quality than when taken at 300mm) and scaled up to 400mm have nearly the same quality as pictures taken with my Sigma 400mm F/5.6 prime. The AF-S focus is obviously much better than that of the (non-AFS) Sigma, and VR works great.

The lens is nicely compact and lightweight. And it must have a good build, because I dropped it once onto a concrete floor, cracking the plastic viewing glass above the distance scale, but everything is still working flawlessly.

All in all, one of my best buys.



Jul 17, 2009
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Skyehigh
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Registered: Jan 10, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 201
Review Date: May 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Not to big to carry around , sharp
Cons:
Not the sharpest 200-300 but nothing else

This lens is very similar to the Canon version , its a great lens to own , not to big and gets really sharp images

May 25, 2009
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Ceko
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Registered: May 5, 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, has a nice contrast too, weathersealed
Cons:
None I can think of

Just a fabulous lens. Very sharp from 70-200mm and sharp to 300mm. What amazes me is the incredible images it produces, it's just like a 70-200 but without the f2.8 and without the HUGE pricetag.

I use it mostly for potrait work and in landscape photography while traveling.

I recommend this much over-looked lens very much.


May 25, 2009
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erlphoto
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Registered: Apr 24, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $585.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Recently purchased and used this lens in an available light situation photographing large groups from a distance. Images are as sharp as a tack! Just as good as my 80-200 f2.8 Nikon lens, and that's saying a lot.
Cons:

I have owned the Nikon 80-200 f.8 for years but needed something with a little more magnification. I photograph singing groups on-stage in concert from the balconies of auditoriums. This lens proved to be as sharp as my old trusty 80-200 doing these groups of up to 100 people. Sharp as a tack. With the VR the smaller aperture didn't make a difference! I just purchased a second one for my son to use.

Apr 24, 2009
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stevecoad1
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Registered: Apr 1, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 1, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $572.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Much sharper than expected, fast, accurate focus
Cons:
A little slow in low light conditions

I use this lens on a D90 so maybe the format helps but I have found that the image, if I do my part, is always tack sharp. Wide open it is not bad but I try to shoot a couple of stops down use shutter speed to compensate. This works very well.

This lens has taken some truly excellent shots and it is a great value. I don't think it is quite as sharp as a 70-200 but it is also 1/3 the price. Buy it you'll like it.


Apr 1, 2009
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fdevyatkin
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Registered: Feb 11, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 2620
Review Date: Mar 31, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Versatile zoom range, nice and light, great resolution and short end, more than acceptable at long end.
Cons:
f/5.6 requires high iso for action shots. A little soft at 300mm

A very useful walk around lens. Lots of fun for outdoor social events, weddings etc. Close it down to f/8 or 9 and IQ is very high. Will not take TC. nice combo with D700

Mar 31, 2009
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bravinneff
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Registered: Apr 22, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: Jan 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $375.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price/performance ratio is hard to beat.
Cons:

I bought this lens used based upon on the glowing clamor it inspires on internet forums.

The major downsides one reads about the lens is the center softness between 250-300mm (wide open - it supposedly gets better one or two stops down), plus soft corners at these focal lengths that stay relatively soft compared to the center, regardless of aperture.

The first thing I did when I got this lens was mount it on a tripod and test these attributes using live view for critical focus. Testing at four different focal lengths (70, 125, 200, 250, 300), with test shots done wide open and f5.6, f8, f11, and f16, I discovered the consensus is mostly correct, but I also learned that determining this kind of thing is just as prone to focus error as it is to alleged softness.

When you use live view (D700 in my case) and zoom in to the pixel level to establish critical focus, the first thing you will notice is that the tiniest smidgen of focal adjustment can radically alter pixel-level sharpness. The second thing you will realize is that no autofocus system can establish focus to this level of precision. The third thing that will enter your mind is to question how much the anecdotal evidence about the sharpness of this lens (or any other lens for that matter) is due to tiny focus errors, which wider apertures exacerbate.

Having said that, I concluded that this lens is actually quite sharp at 300mm and f5.6 at the center definitely acceptably sharp, if not just plain sharp. But it is not as sharp as it is at 250mm and shorter. This corroborates the collective opinion on this lens. And yes, the corners at 300mm lack somewhat wide open as well, but they do get remarkably sharp even up to f16.

I also know that handholding this lens and chasing things like birds will never garner the tripod-live-view level of focus precision, so there is some merit to avoiding 300mm and f5.6, but you know what? I just did that with some flying geese and I was blown away by 300mm and f5.6 when the camera and lens nailed focus. F8 was a little better.

Highly recommended. Even at 300mm and f5.6.


Jan 28, 2009
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eishier
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Registered: Jan 19, 2009
Location: Spain
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great price/quality ratio. Lightweight and sharp.
Cons:
Slight vigneting, large minimum focusing distance



Jan 19, 2009
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SSISteve
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Registered: Jul 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1962
Review Date: Oct 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $480.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Lightweight, surprisingly very sharp.
Cons:

When this lens first came out I am sure many were not expecting much but I must say this has been a gem. It is lightweight and easy to carry around all day and has produced very good sharpness, contrast, and nice colors. Many times I find myself grabbing this lens versus my Nikon 70-200mm VR. For what this lens delivers you would be hard pressed to to beat it in this price range.

Oct 8, 2008
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SimbaSyiem
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Registered: Sep 15, 2008
Location: United Arab Emirates
Posts: 8
Review Date: Sep 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, portability, zoom range, fast focus, VR, decent build, sharp at 300mm...
Cons:
none

An excellent light weight lens for anyone not wanting a heavier zoom.. AF is fast and silent.. VR works well.. The lens is sharp at 300mm between f9 and f11... colours are nice and contrasty... Could have been a little faster, but then that would also triple the price...

Combined with a 16-85VR, it completes my kit...


Sep 22, 2008
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turtle14
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Registered: Jul 12, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 262
Review Date: Aug 30, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great image quality from 70 to 200. VR works great. Can be very sharp with good light.
Cons:
A bit soft on the far end of the focal range (>250mm). In low light image quality can suffer a bit.

I use this lens for wakeboarding photography and I have had excellent results with it so far! Here are some examples for those that say this lens is not sharp:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arturodonate/2661811623/in/set-72157604149766841/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/arturodonate/2343025796/in/set-72157604149766841/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/arturodonate/2808889204/in/set-72157604149766841/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/arturodonate/2808038579/in/set-72157604149766841/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/arturodonate/2343027570/in/set-72157604149766841/

Granted, its no 70-200 f/2.8, but its also a small fraction of the price! The only real downside that I see is that the image quality suffers greatly in low light (with a D50, newer bodies may have less trouble). It definitely shines outside during a sunny day, though!


Aug 30, 2008
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Julius
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Registered: Jan 26, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 941
Review Date: Jun 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, compact, well built (even if it feels a little plastic) very effective VR, outstanding value for the money.
Cons:
None for the price

This lens was a big and very pleasant surprise for me. I purchased it to have a light walk around setup with my D300 complimenting my excellent 16-85mm lens, giving me a 35mm equivalent coverage of 24-450mm, and all in a small shoulder bag. On the top of that, this is a full field lens so I can use it on my D3 as well. Since I have the 70-200 f/2.8 VR and the 200-400 f/4 VR lenses I had a good base for comparison when I tested this lens on both cameras.
The end results show that this lens stood up well against both of these lenses. Understandably it has the limitation of being only a f/5.6 lens at 200-300mm but stopping it down to f/8-11 it is very sharp and I can hardly tell the difference between the 3 lenses at the corresponding focal lengths. The 2 pro lenses have a touch more contrast and just a bit more sharpness (hardly noticeable) but they are very close. On the D3 this lens is DEFINITELY better at the corners compared to the 70-200 VR lens which is known to be soft at the corners (and mine is not an exception) on the full field sensor camera.
All in all I am very pleased with this lens and the best part is that it is always with me even when I go for a short hike or walk.


Jun 5, 2008
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Mono
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Registered: Oct 5, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 70
Review Date: May 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, VR, Range
Cons:
Bit plasticky

For the money I wasn't expecting that much from this lens, but from it's first outing at a football match, I was pleasantly surprised Smile The Autofocus tracked fast & detail was more than acceptable.

Very good for the money.

Sample shots from the football match, all taken with this lens :-

Sample Shot 1
Sample Shot 2
Sample Shot 3


May 19, 2008
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lextalionis
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Registered: Jul 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1076
Review Date: May 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $579.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: All-around good lens for the bag at the price.
Cons:
Too soft at 300mm

Good lens for those who don't want to break the bank. Here are some sample shots taken with a D80:

Sample Photos

-Roy


May 5, 2008
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Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AF-S

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
44 111135 May 30, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $500.60
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.28
8.98
8.9
70-300vr


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