Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED VR - Review / Lab Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)
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The Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED VR is a long awaited lens by many
Nikon users. For a couple of years the community looked with envy towards Canon
where even two good quality, slow speed tele zooms are available. Interestingly
some product images of the Nikkor leaked into the web about a year ago but it
seems as if the lens was either not ready at the time or the immensely popular
AF-S 18-200mm VR blocked required resources. Well, speculations - only Nikon knows.
Unlike most of the recently introduced Nikkors the AF-S 70-300mm VR is a full
format lens but as usual we'll have a look how it performs on a Nikon D200.
Within the APS-C DSLR scope its field-of-view is equivalent to 105-450mm.
By today´s standards in this class the lens is comparatively large and heavy.
However, the build quality of the lens is also pretty decent without reaching
pro grade Nikkors here. The outer construction is made of good quality plastics
and a metal mount. As already reported by other users the inner lens tube is
marginally loose but this is not unusual for a lens which extends significantly
during zooming. Both the broad, rubberized zoom ring as well as the small focus
ring operate smooth and even without being damped. The lens doesn't suffer
from zoom creeping - at least not straight out-of-the-box.
The Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR is a G-type lens so unlike its predecessors
it does not offer an aperture ring anymore. A lens hood as well as a soft
lens case are also part of the package.
The AF-S 70-300mm VR is the first high-speed Nikkor tele-zoom with a
VR II (Vibration Reduction) offering an efficiency equivalent to 4 f-stops.
The lens offers two VR modes - a "normal" mode for most situations inc. static
scenes, object tracking as well as monopod shots whereas the 2nd "active" mode
to compensate more pronounced vibrations (e.g. when shooting from a moving
Thanks to an AF-S drive (Silent Wave Motor) the AF operations are nearly
silent and quite fast. The front element does not rotate so using a polarizer
remains easily possible.
|Equiv. focal length||105-450 mm (full format equivalent)|
|Equiv. aperture||f/6.8-f/8.4 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)|
|Optical construction||17 elements in 12 groups inc. 2 ED elements|
|Number of aperture blades||9 (rounded)|
|min. focus distance||1.5 m (max. magnification ratio 1:4)|
|Dimensions||80 x 144 mm|
|Filter size||67 mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||Nikon HB-36, snap-on type, petal-shaped|
|Other features||Silent wave AF motor. VR II (vibration reduction), effectivity equiv. to 4 f-stops. Normal and Active VR mode.|