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Nikon AF-S 70-300 mm VR lens

By dpreview staff on Aug 9, 2006 at 06:05 GMT
Buy on GearShop$586.95

In conjunction with their announcement of the new D80 digital SLR Nikon has also revealed two new lenses, the first of which is the AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (a mouthful if there ever was one). This lens features ED glass, Internal Focusing, a Silent Wave Motor and Vibration Reduction (II), it provides an equivalent field of view of 105 - 450 mm on a DX format digital SLR (such as the new D80) and has a maximum aperture of F4.5 at wide angle and F5.6 at telephoto. It will priced at $699 in the US and £399 in the UK and should be available in October.

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Press Release (Nikon UK):

Nikon is pleased to announce the AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm
f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED

Nikon UK is pleased to announce the introduction of the AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED, a high-performance telephoto zoom lens incorporating Nikon’s most advanced features.

The lens features Nikon’s Extra Low Dispersion (ED) glass, Silent Wave Motor (SWM) and enhanced Vibration Reduction (VRII) to ensure the best images. Optics have also been perfected for use with both Nikon DX format digital and 35mm film SLR cameras.

The Zoom-Nikkor lens offers 70-300mm (4.3x) zoom performance, and is suitable for various telephoto shooting opportunities, particularly in sports, nature and wildlife photography. When used with a Nikon DX format digital SLR, the picture angle is equivalent to what would be experienced with a 105-450mm lens on a 35mm.

SLR Advanced Nikon engineering has given rise to a compact lightweight lens design that offers outstanding optical performance and excellent handling characteristics.

The new Nikon Vibration Reduction (VRII) system enables users to take substantially sharper handheld pictures at slower shutter speeds approximately 4 stops slower* than would otherwise be possible. For VR shooting, users can select two VR modes to suit shooting conditions. Normal Mode primarily reduces camera shake in handheld shooting, detecting panning automatically. Active Mode can compensate for vibration when shooting from, for example, a moving vehicle.

The AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED also incorporates the Silent Wave Motor, an outstanding feature that offers fast and precise autofocusing with super-quiet operation. The two ED glass elements provide higher resolution and high-contrast images.

Together with the AF-S DX 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED lens, the new lens gives Nikon digital SLR owners a focal-length range from a wide 18mm to super telephoto 300mm (the picture angle is equivalent to 27mm to 450mm of 35mm format).

RRP: £399.99
Sales release date: October 2006

AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED Major Features

  • 4.3x, 70-300mm telephoto zoom (picture angle, when used with Nikon DX format digital SLRs is equivalent to a 105-450mm on a 35mm format SLR).
  • The VRII minimizes camera shake by offering the equivalent of a shutter speed 4 stops* faster. Normal and Active modes are available.
  • Two ED glass elements minimize chromatic aberration in the entire zoom range while ensuring high resolution and contrast. Outstanding Nikkor optical performance makes it suitable for photography with both Nikon digital and 35mm film SLR cameras.
  • The SWM enables fast and quiet autofocusing, and smooth switching between autofocus and manual operation.
  • Two focus modes are available — M/A and M.
  • The Internal Focus (IF) design provides a constant lens length and eliminates rotation of the front lens element, facilitating the use of circular polarizing filters.
  • The nine-blade rounded diaphragm opening makes out-of-focus elements appear more natural.
  • A flower-shaped bayonet hood is provided.
  • ø67 mm filter attachment size (Non-rotate).

*Under Nikon measurement conditions.

Note: Specifications, design, product name, standard accessories, and release schedule may differ by country or area.

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

Focal length 70 - 300 mm
Equiv. FOV 105 - 450 mm equiv. FOV on a DX format digital SLR
Maximum aperture F4.5 (W) - F5.6 (T)
Minimum aperture F32 (W) - F40 (T)
Lens construction

• 17 elements in 12 groups
• 2 ED glass elements

Picture angle

• 34°20’ - 8°10’
• 22°50’ - 5°20’ with Nikon DX Format

Minimum focus range 1.5 m (4.9 ft) throughout the zoom range
Attachment size 67 mm
Dimensions 80 x 143.5 mm (3.1 x 5.6 in)
Weight 725 g (1.6 lb)
Included accessories 67 mm Snap-on front lens cap (LC-67), Rear lens cap, (LF-1), Bayonet hood (HB-36), Flexible lens pouch (CL-1022)
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Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR


Total comments: 2
By dlmvegas (Jul 27, 2012)

I have read review after review of 300mm lenses. Does any company make a 300mm that is sharp at 300mm? Most of the reviews of the zoom variety say that at 300mm it's soft. So why buy a 300mm zoom? Also can't seem to find any plain 300mm lens reviews where they aren't soft either.

By eric (11 months ago)

Spend $6000 to $24000 and you can get a nice sharp 300mm. People buy these because software can fix most softness issues, Additionally, most people dont print 24MP photos 1:1 (the size of a bus) so the softness is minimized when printed at 4x5 or put on screen at 1024x768.

Total comments: 2