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102 Reviews
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137 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VR is a revelation
I have traded in my D version 70-300 for the new VR and so far I don't regret it. The optical quality is very good, probably slightly sharper and higher contrast than its predecessor. The VR capability is extraordinary. It becomes possible to take handheld telephoto shots that previously could only work on a tripod. For instance, today I shot waves breaking on rocks at...
Published on 19 Jan 2008 by D. Palmer

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It broke!
I bought this lens to replace a Nikon 55-200 vr which I gave to my son. It was a great lens but I was looking for the longer focal length and an improvement in quality. I chose this lens instead of the Tamron 70-300 VC because the reading buyer's reviews indicated that Tamron seemed to suffer from quality issues.
The lens impressed from the outset - it is solid and...
Published 17 months ago by tiposx


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137 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VR is a revelation, 19 Jan 2008
By 
D. Palmer "pabs" (glasgow) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (Camera)
I have traded in my D version 70-300 for the new VR and so far I don't regret it. The optical quality is very good, probably slightly sharper and higher contrast than its predecessor. The VR capability is extraordinary. It becomes possible to take handheld telephoto shots that previously could only work on a tripod. For instance, today I shot waves breaking on rocks at 300mm (450mm equivalent) at 1/30 second, with amazingly sharp rocks and lots of water movement.

The build quality of this lens is similar to the 18-70mm DX Nikon, which it complements beautifully. The major differences with the older 70-300mm Nikon lens are in size and weight. It's much bulkier and about 40% heavier, which becomes very noticable with one of the lighter budget Nikon DSLRs. Also the zoom ring is much tighter; Nikon have possibly responded to earlier complaints about zoom creep on the old D lens (but have maybe slightly overcompensated).
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 80-200 or 70-300...one view, 24 July 2011
This review is from: Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (Camera)
Thought long and hard about buying the Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 but then read a very good article by Ken Rockwell on the 70-300 that I finally purchased. My main concern was the speed of the lens given I was looking for a lens I could use at sports events with my children and although still very apprehensive about the purchase I decided it was worth the gamble for a number of reasons, mainly:-
1. The 70-300 was an almost 50% price reduction relative to the 80-200, and if I didn't get on with the lens then second hand prices are very good and little to loose for a big saving...and Amazon saved 80 relative to Jessops on-line prices.
2. The extra 100mm at sports events might deliver the make or break difference in image size and reduce the need to blow up and loose image quality, and from that perspective I had probably under called the ability of the 80-200mm to give me what I wanted. The great news is that the image quality is very sharp and therefore still allows significant cropping on a bigger image...best of both worlds.
3. The quality of the materials and functionality are excellent, no one would feel short changed by the touch and feel of the lens, it is a quality Nikkor product with metal mount and operates smoothly with VR technology that definitely provides another dimension to working the lens down to light levels you might otherwise convince yourself infeasible.
4. Physical size and weight were a concern for me and as much as I was attracted to having something impressive attached to the front of my D7000 I was drawn to the practicality of a more compact product that I was likely to take with me at every opportunity, and that's proven to be the case. It's also light enough not to require support every time you get it out of your bag.

I'm a very keen amateur looking for impressive results on a realistic budget and although I could have afforded the faster lens the newer 70-300mm has so much going for it, it doesn't disappoint. One very satisfied customer.
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203 of 211 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very sharp lens and VR works a treat, 19 Feb 2007
By 
I. B. Harvey (Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (Camera)
After owning the G and DX 70 300 lenses I have found this one to be very slightly sharper. The fringing is less on this lens than the other two. The 70 - 300 G lens is incredible value and mine was just as good image quality as the DX version. The focusing on this VR version is faster and quieter than the previous versions. VR works great but noticed a strange anomaly with the VR. If you sit down or rest against any fixed object then this reduces the effectiveness of the VR system. Also a useful tip is if you take many consecutive shots standing up you may find one of them very sharp. In fact using this technique I have taken a 300mm shot at 1/4 sec shutter speed tack sharp. I have proved that you must switch off VR when taking pictures (and the 18-200mm) at normal to high shutter speeds as VR takes the edge off of the picture when it is not needed. This lens is great. Stop it down one stop and the whole 70 - 300 is very sharp. I have taken a hand held shot of the moon with VR enabled and got a very nice picture showing the craters and scars across the moons surface. Very pleased with it.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking lens that really works, 22 Jan 2010
This review is from: Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (Camera)
I'd been using an old AF Nikkor 70-210 for several years and fancied treating myself to a newer, slightly longer lens, and after reading several reviews I decided to get the 70-300 VR.
I have not been disappointed.

I was concerned about the overall length, as my favourite camera bag is quite dinky, but the 70-300 is really quite compact and pretty lightweight too.
The autofocus is fast and exceedingly quiet, and the VR is very effective, if a little spooky.
This is a night-time shot taken handheld at 1/2 a second - []

This is a very reasonably priced lens, and one that performs very well.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great travel lens, 14 Dec 2010
By 
David Sewell (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (Camera)
I'll be upfront, unlike at least one other reviewer of this lens, I do have the heavyweight, expensive f2.8 version, and I wouldn't swap that lens for this one. However, it is difficult to take a heavy lens on an airplane. Even if you can find the baggage allowance for a heavy lens, you still have to lug the thing around with you when you get to your destination. I therefore bought this relatively lightlens for a recent holiday, when I knew that I would be out on foot for 5-6 hours at a time. Did I miss the two extra f-stops at the top end? Frankly yes, I did, but having said that the lens performed beautifully and did everything I could reasonably (and unreasonably!) ask of it. The colour balance is great, the lens is sharp (except possibly in the corners), the VR works fine, and, most importantly when travelling, the weight is light. All in all a great lens for an active holiday.

Downsides are that the focusing ring can be difficult to find when the camera is up to your eye, the maximum aperture is too small to use an extender with it (I shoot mainly wildlife at 300mm-600mm), and the lens coating comes off a little too easily in the jungle - be sure to buy a UV filter to go with it. That last one is not a weakness of this particular lens, it applies to any lens you buy.

Would I recommend it to a friend? Yes, every time.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value Telephoto Zoom, 2 Feb 2010
By 
M. Harris - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (Camera)
This is a brilliant 70mm-300mm lens.

When used with Nikon DX format digital SLRs - such as the D5000 - this is equivalent to a 105mm-450mm. This is a long zoom for the price.

This lens has VR, which is just brilliant, allowing you to capture far more pictures without the need for a tripod.

This lens produces great quality pictures too, certainly more than good enough for most amateurs.

f4.5 (at 70mm) to f5.6 (at 300mm) is not the best, but at this price it is more than acceptable.

The zoom ring has a nice feel to it, and doesn't seem to suffer from any zoom creep. The focus ring also feels good, and has immediate manual overide capability when set to Auto Focus which is easier than having to switch between Auto and Manual Focus.

It even comes with a lens hood as well as a lens bag in the box, which is handy.

I would recommend this lens to everyone looking for a long zoom at a reasonable price.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent image quality for the price and size, 11 Nov 2009
By 
Paul W (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (Camera)
I have the Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR lens but while it produces top notch images its very big and very heavy. I've tended to find it gets left at home when I go hiking unless I know for sure I'll be using it.

So I decided to invest in the Nikon 70-300mm lens because its half the weight of the 70-200 and significantly shorter in length. Its also 300mm - the 100mm extra being handy now I've swapped to a Nikon D700 from a D60 and lost the 1.5 crop magnification.

I didn't have high expectations of the lens. I'd assumed that beyond 200mm it'd be a bit soft and unusable. However stopped down to f8 its actually fairly sharp in the centre - better than the Nikon 18-200mm VR lens I used on the Nikon D60.

I've not had a lot of use yet but initial shots are looking very promising - hopefully this lens will get carried along more often than my back bracking 70-200mm!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great lens - superb sharp results, 11 Aug 2009
By 
Daniel O'DONOGHUE (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (Camera)
I have owned this lens for over a year now, and have used it in a wide variety of different situations: sports photography, wildlife, candid photographs of people, etc. Paired with my D80, results have generally been superb - very sharp, even at 300mm, and with the aperture wide open. The quality of the images, both in terms of sharpness and contrast, is notably better than those from the 18-135mm kit lens which came with the camera. The VR works a treat - I hand-held some shots of a christening service in a church (albeit at the bottom end of the focal length range) at 1/8 second, and the results were fine. The only occasional minor problem I have noticed is the lens hunting for the correct focus - but usually this sorts itself out fairly quickly. Overall, I have been very happy, and if you can afford it I recommend spending the extra money on this Nikon lens, rather than on one of the lower-cost alternatives.
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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nikon 70-300 AF-S VR - Cracker of a lens, 17 Aug 2008
By 
R. Lisle (Oxford) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (Camera)
I'm very impressed with this lens. Before I bought it, I read reviews on various websites, some saying it was brilliant, some saying it wasn't very sharp, too big, too heavy etc.I took the plunge and bought one and haven't regretted it. I've used this on d40 and d300 bodies and it works superbly on both.

The autofocus is very fast, quiet and accurate. The VRII system is also very impressive allowing very slow shutter speeds - I've had sharp, handheld images at 1/30 sec at 300mm which would be completely impossible without it. As for the size and weight, for a lens with a maximum focal length of 300mm with a built in focusing motor and an optical stabilisation system it's not really a problem (the canon equivalent is the same size but 100g lighter). The build is also fairly solid with smooth zoom and focus rings. Mine has had it's share of knocks and bumps as well as being caught in rain and has carried on unaffected (note that the lens mount has a seal round it, helping to stop rain from seeping between camera and lens). I can't really complain about sharpness either, the only times I think the image is a bit soft is at the longer focal lengths which could as easily be due to bad panning technique, relying on the autofocus too much in poor light etc....

For a 300 mm lens at this price, it's got genuinely useful features, it's compact, not too heavy and impressively sharp - Fantastic value!
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't think about buying the f2.8 pro lenses... get this!, 23 April 2010
By 
Julian Evans "Jules" (Darkest Shropshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (Camera)
I 'ummed' and 'ahhed' about buying an f2.8 pro lens for months. Then should I get one with VR or go for one without... that's about 1700 against about 750... then I started reading about this lens. OK it's f4.5, but it's also got ED glass, Silent Wave Motor and VR.

Eventually, after reading many reviews and putting off the decision I went for this one... thinking "if it's not up to scratch I could sell it on eBay and not lose too much". I'm so glad that I made this choice. The lens is wonderful. I use it on a D700 and the combination of the camera's wonderful low light capabilities and the lens's VR system means that the smaller aperture just isn't an issue. To be honest I don't think it would be an issue with any other camera either. Unless you want to take pictures of fast moving objects in very low light, this is the lens for you.

The focus is fast, don't let other reviewers put you off... it's fast. It's as fast as my f1.4 50mm. Yes, the lens can occasionally hunt, but it's rare, and the auto/manual focus means that you just grab the ring and move it to approximate focus and it's done. It's also not as heavy as a lot of people make out. The build quality is excellent and simply put, for the money... and when considered against the vastly more expensive 70-200mm VR or the 80-200mm non VR options it's a 'no brainer'.

I shoot pictures to sell on iStockphoto and this lens is fast becoming my all-rounder. I don't shoot smaller than f16 (to avoid diffraction... I'd do that with any lens though) and I LOVE the 'bokeh' (blurry background qualities) on this lens.

If you're unsure just do it. You won't be disappointed. 5 stars out of 5 for Nikon's best kept Nikkor secret.
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Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
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