Purchase Nikon's 70-300 mm lens?

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  • TriShooterTriShooter Posts: 219Member
    My experience with the 70-300mm was that it was very decent lens for close in shots in good light, or with flash / strobes where the subject fills the frame, like at small family outings, even at 300mm. The weakness of this lens is glaring to me when you are far away from the subject shooting over 200mm, and wherever aggressive cropping is required, at which point the softness of the 70-300mm lens is very noticeable compared to the generic af-s version of Nikon 300mm f/4 which is still an outstanding lens.

    VR for stationary subjects, and slower moving subjects is a missing on the old 300mm f/4. However, for fast moving objects like sports, swallows, ducks making a quick pass, and wherever acquiring fast focus is the priority I want the old 300mm f/4. VR for fast action shots is minus on most lenses, not a plus, for me.

    I do not own the 70-300mm anymore, because like many others have found that the 70-200mm, and the D version of the 80-200mm focus faster, and are sharper wherever you put the focal length, and crop much better.
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 357Member
    How does the Nikkor 55-300 compare similarly to the 70-300? Is there a noticeable difference in focus speed, performance and sharpness?
    I currently have them both at hand, a refurbished 55-300 that came in a kit with my also refurbished D7100 and a used 70-300 I got from a pawn shop. Tried the 55-300 once to compare it for sharpness with the 70-300 and found the 55-300 at 300mm was softer on the corners even stopped down compared to the 70-300 at the same FOV. Needless to say I boxed the 55-300 and put it for sale. The 55-300 is really slow, the slowest focusing Nikkor I've ever owned: it's even slower than my sole D lens, a 24mm f/2.8, it feels in hand just like the 18-55 or 55-200 kit lenses, its hood is known to break easily as it is made of several pieces and "clicks" into place with a spring loaded button instead of the usual single piece construction bayonet mounting of all the other modern Nikkor lens hoods, and its front both turns and extends/retracts while focusing. The 55-300 is lighter than the 70-300 though, and its VR action is both quiet and vibration free, whereas the 70-300's VR action makes clicking noises when engaging and disengaging and hums while working at the longer FOV and you can feel all the clicks and hums in your hands. Zooming action feels about the same, with maybe a little less friction on the 55-300.

  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,251Member
    Thanks for the info guys. Now to hurry up and wait while I save up for the lens. :D
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    I would keep an eye out for a refurb from the Nikon store, or one of the majors that have a solid return policy. The factory refurbs can be great deals.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,251Member
    Definitely an option, but I for some abnormal reason like buying my electronics new. Totally unreasonable from a pricing standpoint, but I enjoy new electronics.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Me too, I was just pointing it out :)>-
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 357Member
    Haven't seen the 70-300mm VR refurbished, that's why I got it used.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,251Member
    edited April 2016
    Well, based off the rumor on the main page, I'm kind of glad I held off on buying the 70-300...

    I'll at least wait a couple months and see what my options are.

    It didn't seem like a lens that needed replacement, but who knows.
    Post edited by NSXTypeR on
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,003Member
    NSXTypeR said:

    Well, based off the rumor on the main page, I'm kind of glad I held off on buying the 70-300...

    I'll at least wait a couple months and see what my options are.

    It didn't seem like a lens that needed replacement, but who knows.

    The lens is soft at the tele end with poor AF lock on compared to better, modern lenses. The range, 70-300, though is very useful. I often use the 70-200 on the 810 wishing I had a little extra on the tele end.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,185Member
    edited April 2016
    Hope the 70-300 update is nice... :smile: a good quality 70-300 with good/fast AF performance, that would complement the D500 would be an excellent wild life/sports kit, without going for the 80-400 ! The old/current 70-300 is already being used with the D7xxx for wildlife with ok results and lots of "grumbles". A new 70-300 with excellent IQ and that works with TC will be a dream for D500 advanced amateurs !!

    I was wanting the 70-300 range but the IQ compromise was not worth it for me so I went with the 70-200 F4(with TC to get more reach) I would have been very attracted to a new 70-300... may still consider one as the size/weight/reach attributes look very sweet!
    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.

  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 357Member
    I unloaded mine as soon as I got my 55-200 VRII as the newer lens is much sharper when compared FOV to FOV, the VR is so much more effective while being absolutely noise and vibration free, and best of all it's really light and compact. The 55-200 VRII is much more useful for me than the 70-300 VR ever was, so much so that I now have it attached to my D3300 all the time instead of my 50 1.8G. It isn't as fast nor as quiet focusing though, and no "NORMAL/ACTIVE" selection for the VR means stuttering footage while panning during video shoots, but shooting at 60fps hides that somewhat. I don't miss the longer reach much since I hardly used that, so a new 55-300 VRII might still not be interesting for me, especially given that it will be heavier and larger. Any future 70-300 will only interest me if I ever move up to FX, but in the meantime, buzz-buzz Nikon, I want a 24 1.8 DX prime and an updated 17-55 2.8 with VR, buzz-buzz indeed!
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,251Member
    edited April 2016
    I plan on only getting FX compatible lenses even though my bodies are DX right now, so waiting for a refreshed 70-300 is fine for me.

    While I know the new one will definitely be more expensive, I just hope there isn't a significant increase in price.
    Post edited by NSXTypeR on
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,314Member
    I have no plans on getting rid of my current 70-300 VR, even though now I've got multiple options for the focal range because, (a) my copy of the lens has treated me very well indeed (pretty sharp throughout), and (b) it's a great alternative when wide aperture is not a priority and what I feel like carrying around is a priority.
    - 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]
  • daveznspacedaveznspace Posts: 179Member
    my copy of the 70-300mm vr was terrific on a d700, it locked on fast and rarely missed. I also had bought a 80-200mm 2.8 af-s and it was terrible compared. Unfortunately my effin new tripod broke that lens and d700 as well
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,185Member
    edited April 2016
    New version of the 70-300 VR on the way :-) may be a low end version though so.. may not be what you want.. I hope its a high end version ...
    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.

  • daveznspacedaveznspace Posts: 179Member
    Since it's supposed to be the vr 2 version, it should be better
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 1,089Member
    I use the 70-300 for wildlife photos. The 200-500 is sometimes to long a lens if something starts coming towards you!
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 1,089Member
    I would like to have the 80-400 VR Nikkor but I will not pay that kind of price. In hand the 200-500 looks like it costs Nikon as much to make the 80-400VR?
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,251Member
    Well, considering that I've just applied for a scholarship of sorts, that leaves me a bit of money left over for, ahem, gear. Granted, that's if I get the scholarship, but if I do...

    NAS, here I come!
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,497Moderator
    D500. >:)
    Always learning.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,251Member
    It really depends on how much I get, but I think I'll shoot with the D7000 until it dies and grab a new 70-300 whenever it comes out. At least I'm justified because it works with the new E lenses.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • picturetedpictureted Posts: 153Member
    I bought the 70-300VR for my D90 and never liked it, but my biggest issue was the lack of a tripod collar. Extended to 300mm it's not stable on a tripod. Coupled with the need to stop down a lot at the longer lengths made it a no-go.
    The 300/4 AF-s is among the sharpest lenses I've used, only hampered by lack of VR, and weight. I only use it now with tubes as long macro if I need greater working distance than the 200/4 macro. The 200-500 has replaced it - longer range and fantastic VR and that 500/5.6 is so useful.
    For daily use the 70-200/4 is much better in all regards and I'd rather crop 200mm (D810) than use the 70-300 at 300mm. I've been impressed with it's performance wide open throughout it's range (just like the 200-500).
    pictureted at flickr
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,185Member
    edited May 2016
    @pictureted +1 for good info.

    The new expected 70-300 VR could be interesting...

    Would be nice if a DX version surfaced..
    eg a new 55-250 VR F4 !! 67mm Filter :-) yeah I am dreaming .. maybe Sigma may do it but never Nikon :-)
    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.

  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 1,089Member
    I own three of these lenses and one of the older version. Nikon was extremely wise to leave off a tripod collar! A tripod collar when unneeded is like a bipod on a lightweight hunting rifle. Unless you need it set up in place, it is extra weight and a worthless device. It actually is one great lens used properly. The modest 55-300 is also a great little lens! But putting a tripod collar on a lightweight lens is not a good design. When the 70-300 Nikkor VR gets updated I mwould guess it will NOT have a tripod collar either. And if it came in a DX version it would improve nothing. Some of my most successful 70-300 shots were with a Nikon F5.
  • picturetedpictureted Posts: 153Member
    DaveyJ said:

    I own three of these lenses and one of the older version. Nikon was extremely wise to leave off a tripod collar! A tripod collar when unneeded is like a bipod on a lightweight hunting rifle. Unless you need it set up in place, it is extra weight and a worthless device. It actually is one great lens used properly. The modest 55-300 is also a great little lens! But putting a tripod collar on a lightweight lens is not a good design. When the 70-300 Nikkor VR gets updated I mwould guess it will NOT have a tripod collar either. And if it came in a DX version it would improve nothing. Some of my most successful 70-300 shots were with a Nikon F5.

    The 70-200/4's collar can be removed when you don't want it. If you like using your telephotos for landscapes, the 70-300VR's lack of a tripod collar is fatal flaw. I prefer shooting landscapes at ISO 64 and f8-f11 for DOF and to optimize the resolution of the lens and avoid vignetting if possible - that often means a long exposure and a tripod much of the time. I might have gotten a bad copy, but even with the lower MPs of the D90, I found it lacking. With higher MP bodies it's worse.
    pictureted at flickr
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