Test of VR 70-300mm and VR 500 f4mm

Started Jan 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
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OleThorsen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,088
Test of VR 70-300mm and VR 500 f4mm

I know all these different posts about tests with various lenses mounted to the FT1 adapter can be a bit boring, but I believe they can be of value for people either thinking about getting the Nikon 1 cameras or J1/V1 owners wondering how specific lenses would perform on the J1/V1 cameras.

Nikon AF-S VR 70-300mm f4.5-5.6G

The VR70-300mm lens mounted on the J1/V1 cameras with the FT1 adapter is a pretty compact and leight weight walk-around super telephoto lens giving a 190-816mm FX eq. FOV.

I don't own this lens myself, but I decided to borough my father's VR70-300mm to test how this lens performs with a 2.7 crop. I decided to use the same test objects as I used for my portrait lens test, so I had to find the Christmas elf dolls in my wife's Christmas boxes As I always do when I test lenses I mounted the V1+FT1+VR70-300mm on a solid tripod triggering the shutter with a ML-L3 remote, and I used the SB-N5 flash in manual 1/16 output swivelled to the side to trigger a SB-800 in SU-4 mode with manual output adjusted to the different apertures tested, bounced at my white ceiling to give some pleasing light.

Subject distance was adjusted so the dolls filled the frame, though at 280 and 300mm I was at the end of my living room so the subject distance was limited to 7.8m (25.6ft).

A note about AF speed. This lens mounted on a V1 needs good outdoor light to have a fast autofocus, specially at 300mm f5.6. In less than good light i.e. indoors it hunts a lot for focus on a V1. I had to use a powerful torch to help the V1's AF-S getting an AF-lock for this indoor test

  • 70mm f4.5 (190mm FOV): sharpness excellent, CA none

  • 100mm f4.5 (272mm FOV): sharpness excellent, CA none

  • 155mm f4.8 (422mm FOV): sharpness excellent, CA none

  • 200mm f5.6 (544mm FOV): sharpness excellent, CA none

  • 280mm f5.6 (762mm FOV): sharpness very good+, CA very low

  • 300mm f5.6 (816mm FOV): sharpness very good, CA very low

  • 300mm f6.3 (816mm FOV): sharpness very good, CA very low

  • 300mm f7.1 (816mm FOV): sharpness very good+, CA very low

  • 300mm f8 (816mm FOV): sharpness excellent-, CA none

I must say I'm a little surprised about how good this lens performs on my V1, even the often criticized 300mm is actually very useful stopped down a little. I'm very tempted to buy this lens for a walk-around super telephoto, but will probably wait to see if Nikon launches an update to either 300mm f4 or VR80-400mm here in the coming Spring releases.

See my next post for downsized samples. The NEF files are processed with Nikon Capture NX2 with the Portrait Picture Control, sharpening level 1, increased contrast with a weak S-curve, and sharpening with a combined USM and High pass sharpening step. If you want to see full size samples you can get them at the following rapidshare link:

Note: All samples Adobe RGB, so you have to see them with a colour space aware browser or picture viewer.

Ole Thorsen

Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
(Grook by Piet Hein)

 OleThorsen's gear list:OleThorsen's gear list
Nikon D70 Nikon D200 Nikon D300 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon 1 V3 +28 more
Nikon 1 J1 Nikon 1 V1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 (Lumix DMC-FT1)
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