Archive for the ‘Nikon Nikkor 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 Reviews’ Category

Nikon Nikkor 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 Review

April 11, 2008

Nikon Nikkor 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 Review

“Destined for greatness”

nikon nikkor 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G

I needed more reach than I have with my 18-200 VR, and was not able to obtain the 80-400VR, so I got this lens thinking I could get rid of it if I didn’t like it. I am very happy that I did!

I am extremely impressed with this lens. It appears to me that the VR is actually better than on my 18-200VR. The lens has superior balance, size and weight for handheld nature photography. Lens flare (when I could get it to appear) was acceptable, the contrast is tremendous, and the bokeh was
quite pleasant. Auto-focus is very accurate and quick. In addition, the lens was extraordinarily sharp all the way to 300mm.

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Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR Review

March 19, 2008

Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR Review

“Amazing Lens”

nikon nikkor 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G

Up front I have to admit that I’m comparing this lens to 20 and 30 year old Nikkors of the pre-autofocus era, and the main lens it replaces is a Nikkor Reflex 500mm. So it isn’t saying much that the 70-300mm VR makes my old longest focal length lens seem of another class and era—obviously that’s true. Even so, I’m very impressed with the crisp clarity of images from this lens. The ED optics in combination with the image stabilization technology provide amazing sharpness even at hand-held shutter speeds I would never have considered using with my old equipment (at 300mm I can shoot 1/60 sec without losing sharpness, so I’ve gained at least 2.5 stops over my old set up). At 300mm focal length the autofocus mechanism does get confused sometimes, but I believe it’s a function of the demands I’m making on the lens—trying to focus on birds with twigs, leaves, etc. in both the foreground and background. In such conditions it’s best to disable autofocus. With the 10 megapixel capability of my D80 added to the features of this lens I’m able to get shots I would never have thought possible before. Others have written that they can see the VR mechanism working in the viewfinder, but I don’t; I feel the lens doing something when VR is engaged, but the viewfinder image looks normal to me. Can’t explain that. Considering what the lens can do I find it quite light and reasonably sized, but I’m comparing it to the 500mm mirror lens on a F3 motor drive body, so folks may want to judge my comments as highly subjective. As for price, if not for this lens I probably would have waited to buy a 300mm f4 which of course would not have VR, would have been tripod-bound, and would have been more than twice the cost; so, again, for what this lens can do, it’s a great buy.

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Nikon AF 70-300mm Review

February 11, 2008

Nikon AF 70-300mm Review

Best lens in its category

nikon nikkor 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G

I got this lens to replace my older Quantaray 70-300mm. I got tired to losing a lot of images to camera shake at the 300mm end. Plus the lens I had was old (almost 10 years) and optically it wasn’t that great.

The Nikkor 70-300mm w/VRII is perfect for me. I love the way the VR works. I’ve been able to get useable images taken at the 300mm end with a 1/6th shutter. Very impressive. No more camera shake issues at the long end. I’m also very impressed with how sharp it is (it is sharper than my 18-70mm) and also the focus is fast and quiet. It is on the big side, but not to much larger than any other 70-300mm lens. I’m very happy with the performance of this lens. I find the addition of the VR to be very much worth it.

Granted its not a fast lens and I never intended it to take the place of or performe like an f/2.8 lens. Its not fair to compare it to any f/2.8 lens. Comparing to the previous 2 Nikkor 70-300mm models or any of the 3rd party 70-300mm’s, this newest Nikkor addition is the best. For the average amerture hobbiest this is a great lens to compliment any of the kit lenses.

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Nikon 70-300mm Lens Review

January 28, 2008

Nikon 70-300mm Lens Review

Lens Rocks! Discard the poor reviews due to shipping etc.

nikon nikkor 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G

I am very impressed with this lens. It is wonderfully sharp. The auto focus can hunt slightly in dimmer conditions but you would probably expect this with a 4.5 lense. Don’t let this stop you at all. I would by it all over again for sure. By the way, I bought mine from ritz camera (.com) on Sunday and delivered on Thurs. (I paid $504 due to the $25 off for using paypal plus free shipping and no tax). Many photos are better than my 18-200mm VR lens. I’m so glad I bought this as the extra reach is going to help me out on the softball field where my 200mm was just short. One other thing I noticed was it is slightly noisier than my 18-200mm VR (but not terribly much more). It is enough to notice, but no show stopper. Your going to love the photos you get from this. I’m thrilled to have it and now be in the 300mm range. What a keeper. I plan to keep both my 18-200 and my 70-300. Mine comes with a 5 year warranty directly from Nikon.

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Nikon 70-300 VR Review

December 22, 2007

Nikon 70-300 VR Review

“Very Nice Lens But it Has its Quirks”

nikon nikkor 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G

After exhaustive research on many lens, I finally decided to plunk down the $500+ (at the time this was written) to purchase this lens. It may not be the best on the market but it compliments my Nikon 18-70mm DX lens nicely. I was looking towards Nikon’s 18-200mm DX lens, however; the price pushed me to choose this one (as it was nearly half the price and my two lens can nearly cover all the range of the one 18-200mm).

QUALITY/WEIGHT:

build quality is cheap yet sturdy… the plastic is a little chinky but cuts down on the weight. My Nikon D200 has no problem handling the lens weight, however; I have heard (unconfirmed) reports that this lens is a little heavy for the lighter cameras (D80, D70, D40, ETC). The Ring Connector is metal and has a rubber gasket on the outside so as to provide minor protection (for the lens mount) from the elements.

You also have to keep this in mind, when discussing weight, quality & price; the bulk of the price of this lens is going into the glass elements (all 17 elements of them). It gets expensive when you place that many high-quality optics into a tube. I’m really not that surprised a the price, although $400 price-range would probably be more suitable for this lens

FOCUSING/LENS ATTRIBUTES:

Focusing can be quite fast… at times. You’ll find, at the Max 300mm focal range, that the lens has a pretty hard time auto-focusing in on a subject. At times it would focus pretty quick, at the 300mm range, while at others it cannot focus at all. You can get around this quirk by bringing the subject into near focus (manually) then letting the auto-focus take over; it works every time. I find this focus problem disappointing especially given the price of this lens.

The quality of the Bokeh (Out of focus areas of the photograph) is very nice and pleasing. The images are sharp, vignetting (dark areas in the corner of your photos) is hard to find and lens flare rarely a problem.

VIBRATION STABILIZATION:

All I can say is that it works… it can come in handy. It’s not going to stop the image guaranteed for you; it’s only meant to slow down the rate at which the camera moves (vibration from holding). You can notice the difference; with it off you’ll see that the image (at say 300mm) really bouncing around; then you flick on VR. It takes a sec or two but then the image smooths out, it still wobbles around, but much more slowly.

With VR enabled, you can usually go 2-3 (sometimes 4) stops down, then what you’d normally be able to do when hand holding.

THE “SHOCK” TEST:

I haven’t “shock tested” my lens yet (IE dropped it) but I have heard (again unconfirmed reports here) that it holds up pretty well to a drop… although I would never recommend testing that out.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

The 70-300mm range should be noted: Although the lens states that it is a 70-300mm zoom, this lens was intended for a 35mm camera or full-frame CCD/CMOS sensor Digital Camera. All (or at least the majority) of Nikon’s DSLR (D200, D80, ETC) are NOT Full-Frame sensors. They are approximately 1.5x factor of a full-frame sensor (due to the smaller sensor size).

What does this all mean?

Well it’s simple, since this is a 35mm lens and not a DX lens (ie built to account for the 1.5x factor in most nikon digitals) you have to apply the 1.5x conversion. This means that the Nikon 70-300mm on a Nikon DSLR will give an apparent zoom equivalent to a 105-450mm lens. I actually do not mind this apparent zoom and this should also cut down on vignetting; as what the lens projects onto the sensor is larger then the area of the sensor itself. In short: parts of the image spills over the sensor, since this lens was meant to project onto a full-frame sensor/35mm film.

CONCLUSION:

Pros:
Pleasing Bokeh
Fast Auto-Focus (when working properly)
Vignetting is minimal
Image Stabilization (VR)
Flare is minimal
1.5x factor (105-450mm) makes for nice zoom
Colors are very good

CONS:
Plastic Casing
Near Inability to Auto-Focus at 300mm range
Price (even though it is cheaper then the 18-200mm DX)
1.5x factor (105-450mm) might make it more zoom then you need
Lens could be faster (F/4 would have been nice)

I love this lens, even for it’s quirks, however; you may want to wait till it drops in price a little more (it falls almost bi-weekly). It may not be the fastest on the market, but it’s size, optics, image quality and VR make this a must have lens for Serious Nikon users!

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