Nikkor AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 D ED - Review / Test Report - Analysis
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Distortion

Despite its fairly ambitious 4.3x zoom ratio the Nikkor exhibits only marginal barrel distortion at 70mm and slight pincushion distortion towards the long end of the zoom range.

Move the mouse cursor over the focal length text marks below to observe the respective distortion
70mm 200mm 300mm

The chart above has a real-world size of about 120x80cm.

Vignetting

The AF 70-300mm ED is a full frame lens so it can take advantage of a sweet spot effect on an APS-C DSLR. Consequently the lens is capable to produce images that are almost free of vignetting at all focal lengths and aperture settings.

MTF (resolution)

The tested sample produced acceptable performance figures under lab conditions with a sweet spot towards the lower end of the zoom range. At 70mm the performance is very good straight from f/4 and increases further till f/8. At 200mm there´s already a slight decrease in resolution but the quality remains on a very high level. However, at 300mm there´s a more pronounced performance penalty - the center is still good but the borders performance tanks to soft levels and increases only slowly when stopping down. The contrast is also rather dull at 300mm f/5.6.

The quality of the tested lens (centering/alignment) could have been a bit better.

Below is a simplified summary of the formal findings. The chart shows line widths per picture height (LW/PH) which can be taken as a measure for sharpness. If you want to know more about the MTF50 figures you may check out the corresponding Imatest Explanations

Chromatic Aberrations (CAs)

Lateral chromatic aberrations (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) are something of a mixed bag. At 70mm these CAs are well controlled but at 200mm and 300mm the problem is getting quite significant with an average CA pixel width around 1.5px at the image borders.




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