Purchase Nikon's 70-300 mm lens?

MIkeAMIkeA Posts: 20Member
edited July 2014 in Nikon Lenses
I'm thinking about buying Nikon's 70-300 mm lens. Been reading reviews but wanted to check here for thoughts about the lens. I'm just an amateur but am looking for a lens that's going to provide solid image quality and enough focal length for some wildlife photos. Thanks for the help.
Post edited by MIkeA on
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Comments

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,823Moderator
    edited July 2014
    Hi MikeA,

    What body will you be mounting this on? What type of wildlife...birds, large game, etc?
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • JonMcGuffinJonMcGuffin Posts: 312Member
    You're looking at the right lens, particularly if good value is what you seek. It's versatile, built well, and will likely not disappoint irregardless of what body you put it on however do realize that's it's not truly "great" at anything. VR implementation is ok, sharpness is good, AF speed is ok, it's not a lens to shoot in poor light, etc. I have owned it for years now and despite having better lenses in all regards, I just can't part with this lens as I always remark how good it is when I use it...
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 467Member
    Just don't buy the 70-300mm G - the old non VR $100 one ....
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,368Member
    Yes, you might want to avoid AF 70-300mm F4-5.6G or AF 70-300mm F4-5.6D IF-ED on modern 16+ MP bodies (neither are sold new anymore, as far as I know).

    The AF-S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G ED VR is a good bang for your buck lens, offering the best performance in the 70-200mm range, and decent performance at F8 between 200-300mm. It is okay for wildlife in bright daylight conditions, while usability drops off in the early morning and evening, for fast moving subjects.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • amvjamvj Posts: 65Member
    edited July 2014
    Mike,

    I have a Nikon 70-300MM VR lens (camera Nikon D7000). The lens offers good image quality between 70-200 and from 200-300MM its okay but not great. The lens has back focus issues especially noticeable when the light is low. Its heavy and focus speed is bit faster compared to Nikon's DX zoom lenses.

    As PB_PM said, the sweet spot of this lens is F8.

    I am not a good photographer but you can check my photostream for some sample photos taken with the lens:
    flickr.com/photos/gokul-amvj/
    Post edited by amvj on
    flickr.com/gokul-amvj
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited July 2014
    Yes I know its 4 times the price
    But the if you want a first class lens in this category the 80-400mm AF-S Nikkor f4.5-5.6G ED VR is the bees knees

    There are some good reports on NRF of third party lenses in this range
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,182Member
    edited July 2014
    It really depends which body you are shooting this lens on. I got great results when shot with my D700 but below average enough on my D800E that I sold it after 10 days of use. I loved this lens immensely and have had 4 samples over the last 5 years.

    Anyone tried it on the D600/D610 bodies by any chance?
    Post edited by kanuck on
  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,182Member
    Sevencrossing, that's version VR II right?
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited July 2014
    Sevencrossing, that's version VR II right?
    Nikon just say VR but I think it is VR3

    up to four stops slower for steady images at any focal length when shooting handheld. Four ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and one Super ED glass elements
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,191Moderator
    I had thought this was VR III, but the info from Nikon states, "the new AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR features Nikon's second-generation Vibration Reduction technology to ensure every handheld photo and HD video is razor-sharp. Nikon VR (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization provides 4 stops of blur free handheld shooting." Strange, I was certain it was VR III… oh well….
    Msmoto, mod
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 536Member
    @MikeA: Difficult to answer your question. As a consumer zoom the 70-300 is a good lens at around $600. If you want to do much better at 300mm you are looking at a $1300 - $1400 Nikon 300 F4 prime lens. Or you could go all in at $5.800 with the Nikon 300 F2.8.

    Bang for buck? Go 70-300 - you will be able to make good pictures in good light.
    Best possible image quality? Go with one of the 300mm primes.

    Will you see a difference in image quality between the different lenses? Depends on how you plan to output your images. On Facebook you will not see a difference. On your HD TV You will not see a difference. Printing at 13x19 on a good printer you will.

    For most non fanatic Nikon shooters the 70-300 is a very good lens. It all depends on what you want the lens to do.

    Disclaimer: I do not own any of the lenses above.
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    As long as you stop down to F8 above 200mm you will be fine.
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,070Member
    I was considering the 70-300 vr for a long time. Reviews seem to show that the tamron 70-300 is better. I decided to go with the nikkor 70-200f4. Works well with tc to get to the 300mm reach.
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,099Member
    For budget DX shooters I think the current version 70-300 is a no-brainer. I use this lens a fair amount on the D7000 and D7100, at both the short and the long end. As mentioned above, it depends on what you want to shoot. It has the virtue of having decent VR that the 300/4 doesn't (currently) have. At least can be a good lens to learn off of if your goal is to save up for some of the longer and 10X more expensive Nikon glass. See CoastalConn's posts for his work with long range Tamron zooms that are at intermediate prices.

    Consider renting one before you buy to see if the lens you are looking at is getting you where you want to go.
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    I was considering the 70-300 vr for a long time. Reviews seem to show that the tamron 70-300 is better. I decided to go with the nikkor 70-200f4. Works well with tc to get to the 300mm reach.
    I agree technically, the nikkor 70-200f4 is a different class of lens than the 70-300 VR, and having 200mm at f4 is more vesatile. The lens alone is more than twice the price, and the Nikon TC14 (eII or eIII) is alone almost the price of the 70-300 VR., making the combo 3 times the price.

    I cannot speak for anyone else sample, but my 70-200 / 2.8 with TC14 eII is not as sharp as my 70-300VR at 300mm (or 280) and f8.

    The combo is also much heavier.

    As you are satisfied, clearly this combination is the right answer for you, but may not be for some others.

    .... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 918Member

    I agree technically, the nikkor 70-200f4 is a different class of lens than the 70-300 VR, and having 200mm at f4 is more vesatile. The lens alone is more than twice the price, and the Nikon TC14 (eII or eIII) is alone almost the price of the 70-300 VR., making the combo 3 times the price.

    I cannot speak for anyone else sample, but my 70-200 / 2.8 with TC14 eII is not as sharp as my 70-300VR at 300mm (or 280) and f8.

    The combo is also much heavier.
    MikeA never responded back to tell us more, but I agree with H's post above (as long as we are talking about the AFS 70-300). I used to use the 70-300 a lot until I got the 300 f4, which is faster and sharper, but also much bigger, heavier, and pricier.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,368Member
    I was considering the 70-300 vr for a long time. Reviews seem to show that the tamron 70-300 is better.
    Most of them I've seen say it's basically a tie, and to pick whichever one is on sale. :))
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,070Member
    edited July 2014
    I went to the zoo recently with a bunch of photographers and one of them had a D5100 with the 55-300.. her pictures came out quite nice ! its really quite good and good value .. much better option than the non vr 70-300. IQ reviews quite well too.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,215Moderator
    edited July 2014
    You don't say which body you have? Personally, I found the IQ was pretty good up to about 240 on my D7000 but only up to 200 on my D7100. For shaky old me, the VR was inadequate and the lack of a tripod foot was an oversight on Nikon's behalf but having said that, there is no doubt the 70-300 VR is brilliant value for the money you can get them for. I sold mine last weekend after my 70-200 arrived. IQ not a great deal better, but its VR is super (but over twice the price for a shorter focal length range).

    BTW, 'reviews' had me expecting a far better IQ on the 70-200 f4 than it actually has so go by a balance of reviews and peoples experience for a real world idea of what you'll get.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • JonMcGuffinJonMcGuffin Posts: 312Member
    @spraynpray - I agree, the VR on the 70-200 F4 (just shot with this all day) is phenomenal and in an entirely different league than the 70-300. IQ I presume to be a little better across the entire range. By that I mean that I can see it, but it's marginal. If Nikon ever came out with a new 70-300 4.5-5.6, put the new VR in it and made the optical qualities between 200-300mm just a tad better, priced it at around $799 this would be a truly wonderful little gem of a lens.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 973Member
    I contemplated this lens for a long time, but eventually decided on the 300 F4. I knew I wanted a lens to push at 300 and I didn't think this would do it for me. My 300 F4 is sharp wide open. I know it is expensive, but if you are serious about shooting wildlife at 300 mm...it is about the least I would go for.

    That being said I think bang for the buck the 70-300 is a good performer. I just think it isn't the greatest for someone looking to shoot it more exclusively at the 300mm range.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 769Member
    I own 2 current 70-300VRs, They are GREAT! I also have and use the 55-300VR a lot. The 70-300VR is faster. The 55-300VR is very good close up. At LONG distance the 70-300 VR is better. Thom Hogan conclude the same thing. I have owned 70-200 and personally do not rate them as a filed, wildlife lens as highly as they are heavy> I do not like TCs. The 300 end on these lens is NOT perfect but I find myself needing that end a LOT! Either 55-300Vr or the 70-300 Vr are a GREAT bang for the buck! I have some awesome photos shot with them. Also I had great photos with the forerunner of these lens. They also work well on full frame. I still use them on in a while on my F5.
  • TonTon Posts: 509Member
    edited July 2014
    My 2 cents as a user for about 8 years. I bought the Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR for €650.- and used it a lot on my D200 and D300, but on my D600 FX it is much better. I miss (BIF) shots with the 70-300mm because AF is slow for this. I only use it now when there is a lot of light available and mostly f/8 and 1/1000 or more so nothing can't go wrong. When you have time, meaning 2 seconds more for composition and AF, it is a fine lens. With these speeds I mostly don't use VR (a fraction quicker AF)

    All this because I 'am spoiled by the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8, but 4 times the price.
    Sorry, Everybody here says the same, nothing new from me.
    Post edited by Ton on
    Those who say it can't be done, should not interrupt those doing it!
  • paniolopaniolo Posts: 7Member
    I have both the 70-200 f2.8 and the 70-300. 70-200 is heavy but excellent. I use the 70-300 for travel and when weight is a problem - lens is slower focusing but image quality is quite good.
  • TriShooterTriShooter Posts: 211Member
    I sold my 70-300mm because the focus is slow, and the quality poor at 300mm.

    Whether it is a camera, or a lens if you cannot focus fast and accurately images are lost.

    I agree with buying a used Nikon 300mm F4 in Excellent Condition for a thousand, or less dollars, and you will have a lens that will fast focus, and is tack sharp. VR is great for stills, but does not stop action.
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