Nikon 70-300 vr review

 

Nikon 70-300 vr review

Nikon 70-300 vr review

Nikon 70-300 vr review

Official name

The official name is AF-s Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G (IF) ED Vr Swm

Legend

Af-s Manual focus override without switch, silent motor
G – no aperture ring, like in older lenses
ED – Extra-low dispersion glass,there are two
IF – Internal focusing
Vr – Vibration reduction
SWM – Silent wave motor

Introduction

The 70-300mm telephoto lenses are very popular because of their wide range and relatively cheap price, compare to primes or longer lenses. These lenses can be used for lots of things like portraits, kids, sports, pets, wildlife, flowers, butterflies, insects or even landscapes.
The stabilizer is very useful in longer focal lengths, but not stops action but reduce camera shake. The gain is more for people with shaky hands. Compare to bigger lenses this lens is much easier to hand-hold.

Specifications

Optical formula:17 elements / 12 groups incl 2 Ed glass
Focal length:70-300mm
Aperture: f/4.5-5.6
Aperture blades:9
Magnification:
Close focus distance:1.5m
Weight: 745g
Dimensions:80×143.5mm (3.1×5.6 inch)
Filter size:67mm
Compatibility: Dx or Aps-C and Fx or Full frame

Range

The 300mm focal length gives a nice reach, to make portraits possible even from 20-40m distance. On Dx camera the 70-300mm focal length gives a field of view of 0.8m(300mm)-3.43m(70mm) from 10 meters. This reach a little short for wildlife, but is possible to make decent pictures with it. From the hide for example this reach can be enough. If we want to make photographs of bigger subjects even the 300mm can be good.
On Fx cameras the range is even more useful, but not very long. This lens can function as an almost-do-everything-apart-from-wide-angle-long-range lens on Fx.

Optical quality

The lens is capable to make nice sharp images at every focal length. Thanks to the usage of plenty of exotic glass elements, the images are very sharp, especially in the 70-200mm range. Colours and contrast are also good but not up to the higher offerings.
Nikon 70 300 review 5
Nikon 70-300 vr review 4
Nikon 70-300 vr at Nikon d7000 – 300mm f/7.1 cropped little sharpened and add contrast the subject is approxinately 10-12m from the camera.
Nikon 70 300 review 6
Images at shorter focal length is very sharp Nikon 70-300mm 125mm iso 3200 1/1000s Nikon d7000 camera
Nikon 70 300 review 7
Nikon 70-300 vr 70mm f/4.5 wide open the sharpness is not bad even wide open

General knowledge to this lens

At 300mm some stopping down helps to enhance sharpness, but not up to the levels of 70-200mm.

Bokeh

The 300mm helps to have a nice bookeh of the lens.

Mechanical and build quality

The lens has excellent quick and silent Swm focusing. The lens is quite enjoyable to use. The lens has an overall plastic feeling, but this makes this lens light compare to heavy pro metal lenses.

Stabilizer

The stabilizer is a Vr II type, with a 4 stops gain claimed by Nikon. The stabilizer helps with still subjects, but doesn’t freeze action for moving objects.

Switches

There are three switches on the camera body. Zoom lock, it blocks zoom creeping, AF or Manual focus, Stabilizer on-off.

Alternatives:

The Nikon 55-200mm, 55-300mm, Sigma 70-300mm, Tamron 70-300mm, 70-300mm Vc and prime lenses in this range. If someone wants longer lenses the Sigma 170-500, 50-500 and 150-500 lenses with or without os (stabilizer).
The smaller consumer grade lenses are not so good, than this 70-300mm, the Tamron is quite close. Longer Nikon prime lenses are much better.

Price/performance

This is a decent lens for the price, but not stellar. The quick and silent autofocus, effective stabilizer, and light weight and wide range makes this lens very desirable.

Strengths:

Light, sharp, good stabilizer, fast and quiet focusing with manual override
Good build quality

Weeknesses:

At 300mm not so sharp, than in 100-200mm range. Plasticy construction and feeling.

Conclusion:

You get what you pay for. A good lens, but not stellar. For general photography like portraits, pet, children is perfectly satisfying. As a bird/wildlife photographer this is not the lens I wishing, although the excellent autofocus, light weight and Vr makes this lens very desirable. The lens is perfectly usable even at 300mm. Here the sharpest at f7.1-f11 range. Those who wants stellar performance left the Af-s Nikon 300 f4 lens with also two Ed glass for two-three times price used. The older 300 f4 prime is also better.





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