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Lens review

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

12 March 2010
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros:
  • solid barrel,
  • very good image sharpness in the frame centre,
  • good image quality at the frame edge,
  • low distortion,
  • slight coma,
  • well-corrected astigmatism,
  • low vignetting,
  • efficient stabilization,
  • excellent autofocus.

Cons:

  • high or very high chromatic aberration at all focal lengths,
  • at 300 mm image resolution could have been better.

To put it in a nutshell Nikon took up to the challenge of the Canon 70-300 IS in a stylish and efficient way. Both lenses have similar properties with the similar pros and cons list and one serious slip-up – in the case of the Canon it was the autofocus, which, for an USM mechanism works badly; in the case of the Nikon it was the chromatic aberration, which level was too high.

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What’s more important, in the case of both instruments the 70-300 mm class lenses users can be encouraged to change their devices into the stabilized ones with confidence. Paying those additional 250 $ you get not only the stabilization but also better optical properties and a more efficient autofocus. Of course encouraging is one thing but following our advice is quite another – after all the sum of 250 $ is not a trifle so everybody must consider such a move individually.


Sample shots:

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 220 mm, f/5.3, exp. 1/800 sec., ISO 250
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 3.8 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 125 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 250
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 3.9 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 70 mm, f/4.5, exp. 1/30 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 3.7 MB
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary
Camera:Nikon D200
Parameters: 70 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/350 sec., ISO 250
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 6.0 MB
Camera: Nikon D40x
Parameters: 250 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/3200 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 2.1 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 300 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/400 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 6.6 MB
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR - Summary
Camera:Nikon D40x
Parameters: 300 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/500 sec., ISO 200
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 4.6 MB
Camera: Nikon D40x
Parameters: 300 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/320 sec., ISO 400
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 1.0 MB
Camera: Nikon D200
Parameters: 98 mm, f/4.5, exp. 1/125 sec., ISO 125
File: JPG, 3872x2592 pix, 3.9 MB



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