Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR

If you are thinking of shooting sports and wildlife, the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor is the perfect lens. It is an excellent value for money lens that puts together many advanced features  along with certain specifications and some extraordinary value. You no longer have to scramble around your camera bag for the right lens when you see a perfect shot as long as you have this lens on your camera. You will be rewarded with the pictures that you have always wanted.


Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR

Design & Construction

The Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G is designed to be used on film and Nikon digital SLRs. It was released to the public along with the Nikon D80 and it complements the Nikon DX 18-70mm perfectly. The 70-300mm matches the optical quality and superior build of up-market kit lenses. The 70-300mm delivers an equal amount of 105-450mm focal range on the DX-format body like the D80. If that is not enough, this powerful zoom lens is also ideal for portrait shots. If you do ever think of upgrading the body on the 70-300mm, know that it is even compatible with high-end Nikon DSLRs like the Nikon D3.

Actual user review:
“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 usable 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 perform 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 amateur hobbiest this is a great lens to compliment any of the kit lenses.” – K.D.Gendron (MA,US)

Features & Specifications

You will be glad to know that Nikon’s 70-300mm VR features vibration reduction that helps combat camera shake. With the VR built in, you will also see it when you compose your snaps through the camera’s optical viewfinder, and will also prove to be assuring at longer lengths. This lens is also an AF-S, and this means that auto focusing is quiet and it is quick. If you own a D40x or a D40 DSLR know that this lens is compatible with these model too.

Many might know the 70-300mm VR lens to be a more up-market zoom, but with this lens comes a very affordable price. Although it does not come close to being as cheap as a DX 55-200mm, it still carries a price tag that is far cheaper than the well-known Nikon 18-200mm DX VR. With this is mind you will be happy to know that this telephoto zoom can be afforded by any Nikon owner. If one thinks about it, this lens is a very affordable solution for that person searching for a powerful lens. You won’t exactly have the convenience of the single lens and you don’t have the longer range at you disposal, which makes the difference whenever you try pulling in small or distant subjects. If you think that sometime down the line you would like to upgrade to a full-frame digital, it should be fine.


The picture quality with this lens is excellent. The lens is very sharp, even wide open, and even at 300mm, with very little distortion at either end. It probably isn’t as sharp as some of the best prime lenses, but overall quality is excellent. Color and contrast are both great. The quality of the glass is very good. Unless you point the lens into the sun, you are unlikely to see any flare, and chromatic aberration is kept well under control.

Typically, the 70-300 handles well and balanced nicely on the D80 with the grip attached. The zoom ring is huge and smooth to operate. Build quality is quite like the Nikon 80-400 and actually feels a bit better than the Nikon 18-200VR. The 70-300 focuses faster than the coveted Nikon 80-400 VR, handles just as well and is sharp to 300mm. The 80-400 seems to focus half as fast by comparison. The new 70-300VR also focuses 2.6 feet closer than the 80-400. People who own the older 70-300 ED should buy this lens because it’s better in most ways, from bokeh to sharpness. Standing on its own merits, this new lens is contrasty, while providing typically good color. At this price range, it’s impressive.

Bottom Line

Seeing that the DX 55-200mm that is available costs around half than what the 70-300mm costs, however, the question many would ask themselves is: Is it worth spending a little extra? Look at a couple of the advantages of the 70-300mm: it has excellent build quality and also full-frame compatibility. However, do all these justify its cost? It is up to you to decide, but what you should do in order to make that vital decision is think about the features you would need the lens to be able to have in order for you to do your photography.

As you know, not all lenses are the same. Even under the name Nikon there are many different lenses that one could choose from, but it would depend on what they photograph most and also what they would need in a lens. The type of photography you are most interested in will help you to determine the type of lens you would prefer to use. For example, whether you shoot portrait, wildlife, sport, nature or water will be taken into consideration when you are looking for a lens for your camera.

Another reason why photographers love to use this lens, besides the fact that it works so well with your camera, is because it is affordable. You don’t have to worry about spending all the money you have on a lens. By spending a small amount of money you can get an amazing high quality lens that you are sure to love. Make the investment today and you will not be disappointed with your choice. At least once you have this lens you know that you can keep it and should the same situation arise again, you know the lens is there for you to use.

Average User Rating:

  • “I have bought over 20 lenses in my life, some quite expensive, but never have I been as pleased with a lens as I am with this VR Zoom lens. The voice coil vibration reduction system is quite amazing and makes a significant difference. I am using an older D100 camera which is not listed as one of the cameras recommended for this lens, but it matters not. They work perfectly together. It takes a bit of practice, however, as the image does not stabilize immediately, but requires a second or more to lock in. You notice the image stabilize and then you can shoot. With VR in normal mode, you can take pictures at 300 mm without a tripod and they are sharp. A monopod is recommended indoors, however, unless you have a fair amount of ambient light or very steady hands. If you have photoshop, or a Mac with iphoto, it is recommended that you use the raw camera images as they allow a few degrees of additional sharpening if necessary. Not sure why, but sharpening the raw VR images a few steps is successful whereas sharpening images via other formats or without VR looks fake. The optics are excellent and areas that are out of focus are pleasing and properly lit. This is a great lens, especially for outdoor nature photography or sports. It is highly recommended.” – R.Birge (CT,USA)
  • “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. “ – Frank H. (NC,US)

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