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  Reviews by: Jerry Rose  

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

Review Date: Jun 19, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp throughout the zoom range, quick and accurate focus, low distortions, and the VR feature is soooo nice. Solid but reasonably light weight plastic build - a trade off, but lens is in no way lacking durability.
Slight purple fringing when the sun is behind the subject.

I bought the 70-300 VR as my primary walk around lens. I don't shoot many buildings, but prefer scenery, sunrise/sunsets, and most of all birding. Given the type of photos I take, there is no detectable distortion in my photos. I did consider the 70-200 VR but in pre-purchase tests, found this lens was just as sharp and a whole lot lighter. It may be plastic, but the lens is solid, tight and perfectly balanced on my D80 body. Sure it could be built better, but only at a huge weight penalty. For my purposes, the lens is nearly perfect and the build is easily a 10.

The smooth creamy bokeh was a surprise bonus. I thought I was going to be giving up on some of that when I passed on the 2.8 aperature. When I open it up, the subject is in clear crisp focus and the background is so smooth that there is no distracting detail.

The VR feature is fantastic. As good as it is, I did improve on my great keeper rate by shooting in doubles. Usually both shots are perfect, but at least one is always spot on.

I've read that this lens can be soft at full zoom. But my copy is just as sharp at 300mm as it is anywhere else. (And I am picky about sharpness.) Get one ... you will love it too!