Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II

Started Apr 23, 2013 | User reviews
meloury New Member • Posts: 8
Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II
4

Hi there, Just bought this lens on recommendation of Ken Rockwells site. Couldnt be happier with the initial results. Took it out for a day at the Zoo in Perth, Western Australia. Was astounded at the clarity, and the autofocus! See the included pics.

Martin Eloury

Tiger - Perth Zoo , Western Australia, 21st April , 2013. Nikon D7000

 meloury's gear list:meloury's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR
Telephoto zoom lens • Nikon F (FX) • 2161
Announced: Aug 9, 2006
meloury's score
5.0
Average community score
4.4
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon D7000
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Texas Heat
Texas Heat Contributing Member • Posts: 510
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II

Same here.  Got mine this past Christmas.  Sharp enough for my needs.  I can't see myself ever owning a professional grade lens. Purchased mine from a fellow who didn't have need for it (packaged deal w/600).  For the money, this Is a great lens.

-- hide signature --

Cindy

 Texas Heat's gear list:Texas Heat's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon 85mm F1.8G Tamron SP 90mm F2.8 Di VC USD 1:1 Macro (F004)
OP meloury New Member • Posts: 8
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II
2

just for those that reckon this lens softens out past 200mm. I am more than happy with the 300mm performance.

Perth Zoo, Western Australia. Nikon D7000 with Nikon 70-300 VR II lens at 300mm, 470mm FX equivalent

 meloury's gear list:meloury's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR
tomface
tomface Contributing Member • Posts: 535
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II
2

D7K, 70-300 VR, 200mm

I have this lens and I'm baffled with the results that I'm getting above 200mm. I don't recall ever getting an acceptable capture @300mm. From 70 to almost 200, it is great, but I don't even try using it past 200 because of the result. I'd sure like to find out that I'm doing something wrong. I've tried hight shutter speeds, 1000 and up, in bright daylight, with and without the VR on. I understand that a moving subject, like the pic I posted can be a little tricky without good form, but the static shots are suffering the same fate. I'm ready to give up on this lens, maybe someone here can suggest something I could be missing.

breivogel Senior Member • Posts: 2,403
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II
1

My experience too.  This lens has a lot of astigmatism above 200mm, especially at the borders and corners, and in addition, poor contrast in the center. Usable if you use f11 and stick to the center.

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Brev00
Brev00 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,485
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II

That is a stunning pic but where is the review? Zoos really are a great place for a 70-300 type lens. Thanks for sharing.
--
www.flickr.com/photos/brev00

 Brev00's gear list:Brev00's gear list
Nikon D90 Nikon D610 Nikon D500 Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro Tamron SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD +9 more
Hansa Yindee
Hansa Yindee Veteran Member • Posts: 4,471
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II

Purchased one when they were first released and have been very happy with it.

Most of the work I do is shooting wild monkeys using a D300/70-300VR combo.

This takes place under a dark, hot, humid,  triple canopy jungle in Asia....;-)

-- hide signature --

Jon in Thailand
www.flickr.com/photos/af2899/
.

 Hansa Yindee's gear list:Hansa Yindee's gear list
Nikon D1X Nikon D300 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM +7 more
dw600 New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II

test

Graham Serretta
Graham Serretta New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II

tomface wrote:

D7K, 70-300 VR, 200mm

I have this lens and I'm baffled with the results that I'm getting above 200mm. I don't recall ever getting an acceptable capture @300mm. From 70 to almost 200, it is great, but I don't even try using it past 200 because of the result. I'd sure like to find out that I'm doing something wrong. I've tried hight shutter speeds, 1000 and up, in bright daylight, with and without the VR on. I understand that a moving subject, like the pic I posted can be a little tricky without good form, but the static shots are suffering the same fate. I'm ready to give up on this lens, maybe someone here can suggest something I could be missing.

Check the AF calibration.  You may need to adjust it by using the AF fine tuning facility.

-- hide signature --

GrahamS

jfk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,057
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II

I compared the 70-300 to a 70-200 f4 on FF.  Center sharpness is very comparable, but the borders are weak on the 70-300 at 200mm compared to the f4.  For landscape use,  the 70-200 f4 is the way to go if cost is not an issue. It's sharp across the frame.  For general use such as portraits, wildlife, etc., where edge sharpness may not be as critical,  the 70-300 is quite good for the price.  On DX there is probably no issues.

jfk

inlawbiker Senior Member • Posts: 1,940
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II

For my kids' sports it's been almost ideal.  Mine is very sharp up to 220mm, and I always try to shoot wide open.  Any longer than that it's a gamble.  I'd like to try the Tamron VC against it side by side some day.

 inlawbiker's gear list:inlawbiker's gear list
Panasonic G85 Sony a7C Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 O.I.S Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 +1 more
gear1box Senior Member • Posts: 1,536
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II

Sadly, my sample at least (and it is an early one), is rather disappointing on my D7000; no problems on the 10 meg sensor in my old D80.  The problem is the corners; f5.6 to f8 helps, but it really is noticeable past 200mm.

As i said, mine may have sample issues.  Still, i wouldn't recomend it on a higher density sensor like the D7100.

when i go FX i will get the 70-200 f4.

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gary ray

Semi-professional in early 1970s; just a putzer since then. interests: historical sites, virginia, motorcycle racing. A nikon user more by habit than choice; still, nikon seems to work well for me.

 gear1box's gear list:gear1box's gear list
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GlennW Senior Member • Posts: 2,334
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II

jfk wrote:

I compared the 70-300 to a 70-200 f4 on FF.  Center sharpness is very comparable, but the borders are weak on the 70-300 at 200mm compared to the f4.  For landscape use,  the 70-200 f4 is the way to go if cost is not an issue. It's sharp across the frame.  For general use such as portraits, wildlife, etc., where edge sharpness may not be as critical,  the 70-300 is quite good for the price.  On DX there is probably no issues.

jfk

I take it the speed of the F4 makes the 70-200 worth twice the price of the 70-300. Depends if you have the $$$$ to spend!

On sunny days, the 70-300 is a fine lens, better than the 55-200.

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I Shoot RAW

 GlennW's gear list:GlennW's gear list
Nikon D5300 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm F4-5.6G VR II Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Micro Nikkor 40mm F2.8 +4 more
Chrisd999
Chrisd999 Senior Member • Posts: 1,304
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II

I have both 70-300 VR and 70-200 f4.

IMHO, for the money, the 70-300 VR is one of the best lenses there is. The f4 beats the 70-300 in sharpness, but only in the extreme edges and corners (on my D800). 80% of the image circle is the identical (on FX). The f4 also comes in handy as a slow portrait lens which I take advantage of with my kids/dog/cat every now and then. In this regard it also bests the 70-300, but by a hair. On the other hand, the 70-300 goes 200-300, which some say is soft, but mine is sharp enough, and your example image shows 210mm can be razor sharp.

So to sum it up for my style of shooting, the IQ of the 70-300 has 90% of the 70-200 f4 image quality, but is only 33% of the price.

Having said that, I am passionate about landscape photography, and I can afford the 70-200 f4, so I have that as well, and it is the one I always go for it first.

 Chrisd999's gear list:Chrisd999's gear list
Sony RX1R II Fujifilm X-T30 Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R +13 more
billinvegas
billinvegas Regular Member • Posts: 149
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II
1

Just got a refurbished 70-300, and I really like it.

Haven't had a chance to properly go and shoot with it, however, I did snap this photo about an hour ago, from my back porch. Didn't feel like pulling the tripod out of the closet, (plus the dogs were running amok around the yard)

300mm - f5.6 1/500 - ISO 450 Handheld - Stabilization on

Not as bad wide open as some of the reviews would lead you to believe...

 billinvegas's gear list:billinvegas's gear list
Nikon Df Nikon Z7 Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G +8 more
jY h Junior Member • Posts: 41
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II

Just got My 70-300 VR for My D600 and my initial impressions of the lens based on some informal testing is very very positive.

WernerInMunich New Member • Posts: 13
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II
2

Don't want to disillusion you and the lens is in fact not bad. But: the photo with the tiger was shot with aperture 8.0 and sharpened "hard" as exif tells us. Attached you can find a comparison between this lens, the 70-200 VRII and the Zeiss 135mm 2.0 APO. All three pics shot wide open and are 100% crops from D800E. Developed in Capture NX2 without any sharpening.

Yours Werner

ralphcramdon Senior Member • Posts: 1,170
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II
2

meloury wrote:

just for those that reckon this lens softens out past 200mm. I am more than happy with the 300mm performance.

Perth Zoo, Western Australia. Nikon D7000 with Nikon 70-300 VR II lens at 300mm, 470mm FX equivalent

cool shot

the rumors that this lens is soft at 300 or wide open are more urban myths, it is very good at all apertures and focal lengths

sometimes i think if a lens doesn't cost too much people don't think it can be any good

UGPRO Contributing Member • Posts: 615
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II

meloury wrote:

Hi there, Just bought this lens on recommendation of Ken Rockwells site. Couldnt be happier with the initial results. Took it out for a day at the Zoo in Perth, Western Australia. Was astounded at the clarity, and the autofocus! See the included pics.

Martin Eloury

Tiger - Perth Zoo , Western Australia, 21st April , 2013. Nikon D7000

This is a pretty old thread, and i just came cross and had one doubt.

Btw, great shot even at such low shutter speed.

Coming to my doubt, Is there a "VR II" version in 70-300 range ? I know about only one single version marked "VR".

 UGPRO's gear list:UGPRO's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D700 Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D Nikon AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF +8 more
Michael Benveniste
Michael Benveniste Veteran Member • Posts: 5,285
Re: Review of Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR II

UGPRO wrote:

Coming to my doubt, Is there a "VR II" version in 70-300 range ? I know about only one single version marked "VR".

There's only one version of the lens, but Nikon USA's marketing blurb reads "The compact, lightweight AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED delivers 300mm of telephoto reach (450mm equivalent on DX-format D-SLRs) with Nikon’s second generation of Vibration Reduction (VR II) for enhanced hand-held and low-light shooting. "

So the one version is a VR lens which has VR-II.  Confused yet ;-)?

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Such commentary has become ubiquitous on the Internet and is widely perceived to carry no indicium of reliability and little weight. (Digital Media News v. Escape Media Group, May 2014).

 Michael Benveniste's gear list:Michael Benveniste's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 995 Nikon D800 Nikon 1 V2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Nikon D7200 +40 more
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