LensTip.com

Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-P DX 70-300 mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR

12 August 2018
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality and image stabilization

There are so many 70-300 mm lenses available on the market that this time our comparison chart includes only Nikon products. Still it should be noticed that you see both full frame and DX lenses. The tested lens doesn’t differ greatly from its twin without stabilization, the vibration reduction system being the only difference that sticks out. For obvious reasons full frame stabilized lenses are physically heavier, bigger and optically more complex; they come with a higher filter diameter but you should also notice their superior aperture fastness.

In the photo below the tested Nikkor AF-P DX 70–300 mm f/4.5–6.3G ED VR is positioned between the Nikkor AF-S 85 mm f/1.8G and the Sigma A 35 mm f/1.4 DG HSM.

Nikon Nikkor AF-P DX 70-300 mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR - Build quality and image stabilization

The tested lens starts with a plastic mount in which there are embedded contacts and an 18×15 mm frame. Inside that frame you see a rear element, 22 mm in diameter, which is movable – it is situated on the same level as the mount at 70 mm and when you pass to 300 mm it hides over 3 cm deep inside. The movement of the element reveals a green electronic plate so you cannot speak about proper darkening of the interior or a completely sealed construction.

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Nikon Nikkor AF-P DX 70-300 mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR - Build quality and image stabilization

An immobile ring with a plate featuring the name and basic parameters of the lens and a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, is the first part of the proper casing. In that place you can also find a serial number and an inscription “MADE IN THAILAND”.

Nikon Nikkor AF-P DX 70-300 mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR - Build quality and image stabilization

The next part is a zoom ring, as wide as 78 mm. Most of its surface occupies rubber ribbing under which you see focal length markings at 70, 100, 135, 200 and 300 mm. The ring moves evenly and is properly damped.

Further on you see a ribbed manual focus ring, 15 mm wide. It is a stepper motor construction, not depending on the AF/MF mode set in the camera menu. There is no mechanical focusing mode switch on the lens itself.

Nikon Nikkor AF-P DX 70-300 mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR - Build quality and image stabilization

The front element of the lens is slightly convex and 44 mm in diameter, surrounded by an inscription with the name and parameters of the lens, a non-rotating filter thread, 58 mm in diameter, and a hood mount. The whole front element system extends on a homogeneous plastic tube. The lens is physically the longest at 300 mm as its dimensions increases by 5 cm.

Nikon Nikkor AF-P DX 70-300 mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR - Build quality and image stabilization

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 14 elements positioned in 10 groups. One of these is made of low dispersion ED glass. Inside you can also find an aperture with seven diaphragm blades which can be closed down to a value ranging from f/22 to f/32, depending of the focal length you employ.

At this price-point it would be foolish to expect a rich accessory kit and indeed, in this case it is reduced to a bare minimum. You get just a proper snap-on front cap and a cheap, translucent rear ‘transit’ cap made of plastics for the mount.

Nikon Nikkor AF-P DX 70-300 mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR - Build quality and image stabilization

Optical stabilization

Despite the fact that you are dealing here with a cheap, entry-level lens, the producers boast of 4 EV shutter speed efficiency. Of course we had to check it. In order to do so we set the lens at 300 mm and took several dozen photos with exposure times ranging from 1/400 to 1/5 of a second and the stabilization switched on and off. For every set of photos we determined a percentage of out-of-focus shots; then we presented it in a form of a graph of exposure time which was expressed in EV (with 0 EV being an equivalent of 1/320 of a second).

Nikon Nikkor AF-P DX 70-300 mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR - Build quality and image stabilization


If you thought that the claims of the producer, concerning such a cheap piece of equipment might be exaggerated you were wrong. The official result of our measurements amounts to about 3.8-3.9 EV and is, within the margin of error, in accordance with the declared 4 EV. A round of applause!