Nikon 70-300mm longer range than 28-300mm?

Started Sep 5, 2016 | Questions
tygher_2 New Member • Posts: 20
Nikon 70-300mm longer range than 28-300mm?


I have a D600 and carried out some test shots to check the sharpness of the 70-300mm VR lens over the 28-300mm. What puzzled me is the disparity over the range at 300mm? Is this a fault in one of the lenses or is it a known phenomenon?

Nikon D600 - Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/5.6 - 300mm

Nikon D600 - Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/5.6 - 300mm

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Nikon D600
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
BasilG Veteran Member • Posts: 8,203
Re: Nikon 70-300mm longer range than 28-300mm?

Probably focus breathing. The marked focal lengths (300 mm) are measured at infinity focus. At close focus, focal length is somewhat reduced - an effect that is usually more pronounced with lenses that have a larger zoom ration (as observed here).

AlanWatson Regular Member • Posts: 160
Re: Nikon 70-300mm longer range than 28-300mm?

Agreed. And I think you can see this in the lens's specs: If you look them up in DPR's lenses section the 70-300 is listed as having a maximum magnification of x0.25 (1:4) at a minimal focal distance of 1.5m. The 28-300 shows a maximum magnification of x0.32 (1:3) but with a minimal focal distance of 0.5m. The only way that a 3 times shorter minimal focus distance can give only 25% greater magnification is if the focal length is considerably shorter when focussing close..

selected answer This post was selected as the answer by the original poster.
Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 27,608
Re: Nikon 70-300mm longer range than 28-300mm?

Good replies. By the way, the 70-300 is sharper at all focal lengths. Breathing often causes many zooms to lose their maximum focal length as they get closer. For the $$$, the 70-300 is a real bargain.


-- hide signature --

Steve Bingham
Latest postings are always at the bottom of each page.

 Steve Bingham's gear list:Steve Bingham's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 990 Nikon D810 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro +32 more
OP tygher_2 New Member • Posts: 20
Re: Nikon 70-300mm longer range than 28-300mm?

Thanks to Alan and Basil for your answers. Although I've been 'messing around' with cameras for over 50 years, there is always something new to learn. Your answers made me delve further into the subject of focus breathing and found this detailed 'plain English' explanation from Bob Atkins

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads