I've been reading the messages here and this (current model) lens never seems to get a mention at all. Is that simply because it is one of the cheaper, consumer type lenses and therefore the experts don't use it? It has VR version 2, is small, light and cheap. This is for use on a D300 by the way. The equivalent 35mm focal length of 105-450 seems perfect to me for a hand-held telephoto which starts at a portrait length and goes on up. Any comments very welcome.
I absolutely adore this lens. After having it for several months I parted with my 80-200/2.8 since it was seeing very little use.
I must qualify my comnments with the fact that I am simply an amateur - I don't have to get the shot. I don't shoot events or sports so the lens speed is not a big issue for me.
I like the fact that the 70-300VR is nearly always close at hand, a nice benefit of its size. I could never make the same claim with the 70/80-200/2.8 variants - I'm just not willing to lug 'em around.
Image quality is just fine for me, better than its predecessors. The filter size is common to other convenient mid-range lenses which is a real plus in my reality.
Rumour has it that a new sibling is about to arrive, a 16-85mm zoom that shares the VR technology and 67mm filter threads - what a great combo!
No, the 70-300 VR won't stay with the 180/2.8 in terms of sharpness, bokeh, or lens speed so perhaps you will be disappointed with it. I don't compare it to other lenses.... I only compare it to the enjoyment I get from shooting it.
I've numerous images in my gallery taken with this lens which might help you decide if the 70-300 VR is going to make you smile or not.
The 70-300 VR is a very good lens for the money. It is clearly better than the previous ED version, particularly above 200mm. The VR is terrific and picks up 3 stops.
Don't compare it to a prime like the 300 f/4. That's an unfair comparison and the prime is much sharper.
The 70-300 works with a Kenko teleconverter if you need a bit of extra reach.
The points made above about the weight are correct - my wife loves using the lens and will hand hold it for hours of shooting. It fits nicely in a small pack so it is a great lens for hiking and travel. The 67mm filter size pairs it nicely with the 18-70, creating a great kit for $600 or so.
Bottom line - the 70-300 provides very good image quality, VR, light weight, and is a very good value overall.
>I've been reading the messages here and this (current model) >lens never seems to get a mention at all. Is that simply >because it is one of the cheaper, consumer type lenses and >therefore the experts don't use it? >It has VR version 2, is small, light and cheap. >This is for use on a D300 by the way. >The equivalent 35mm focal length of 105-450 seems perfect to >me for a hand-held telephoto which starts at a portrait >length and goes on up. >Any comments very welcome.
For The reach, I use my Nikkor 80-400mm VR AF F/4.5. (It's a learning lens without the AF-S and lighter than the 70-200mm but the glass is right up there IMHO) On the DX body, it goes to 600mm. Ckeck ou the Moon-Jet Capture below and the seagull.
To decide on the 70-300mm, you need to ask yourself what you will be capturing. If you need the distance, go to the 80-400mm. If you need to do portrait, the 85mm F1.4 is awesome. If you need the cariable zoom, It's the 17-55mm F/2.8
My daughter was home for Christmas with her D40X and 70-300VR, so I did a quick, informal test of this lens on my D200 compared to my AF75-300 (older design, but pretty good lens). I had a hard time telling the difference. In one set of images, I thought the old AF75-300 looked sharper and had more contrast. In another set of images, it was the other way around. Bottom line for me was that both have very good IQ.
The difference to me was in how the lenses handle. I thought the VR lens was a bit of a struggle on my Markins Q3 head because it has no tripod collar. Handheld, though, it was great - as you would expect for a VR equipped lens. So, for a walking around tele, the VR lens would win for me, but for tripod work, I like the old lens with the tripod collar. Hmmmm.... How do I justify owning both to She Who Must Be Obeyed?
I recently bought a slightly used one and so far so good -- shots are plenty sharp, VR works well. My photography is primarily mid-range, wide, or macro, but I occassionally want a longer lens. I don't mind the high cost and weight of the lenses I use all the time, but didn't want to spend a lot for a long lens that will likely be one of my least used lenses. And I will probably use the 70-300 more than I would have used the 70-200 f2.8 had I bought it instead, as the 70-300 is light and small enough to have in my bag most of the time. I'm about to retire from my "day job" and planning some extensive travel, so am looking carefully at the ounces as well as the dollars on any equipment I acquire.
I can not stop stop praising this lens, when I first bought it I thought that mine was as Winchester Arms yous to exclaim about their model 94 "one in a thousand". I thought that about my 70-300MM VR till I saw images from other owners. Nikon made a relatively low priced lens that shoots like pro glass, a bargain, a steal the best unsung lens in their arsenal, unless you discount the 50MM f/1.8D another hidden gem. I only wish it was a little faster but, with the D300mm or D3 you can manage on dull days. Another wish is that a Nikon TC would fit this lens. This lens is probably the best zoo lens maybe not as sharp as the 70-200mm f/2.8 which I also have but, the 70-300mm VR is kinder to my neck half the weight of the 70-200mm f/2.8.
I recently purchased this lens and have been amazed by it's sharpness and usefulness. It's not the fastest lens in the world and it auto focuses with some difficulty in low light but the pictures are stunning to my foolish mind, especially considering the price. Dennis
You can certainly add my name to the many positive responses to your question about the Nikkor 70-300mm VR11, AFS lens when used in good light. It's a great general purpose walk-around lens with Nikons latest technology at an affordable price. On my D200 performance is excellent up to 200mm. Above 200mm towards the 300mm end, f8-f-11 removes any softness you may encounter. I also own the AF300mm f4 and AF180mm f2.8 prime lenses for low light use. If the light is good it will work with the Kenko PRO 300 X1.4 teleconverter-including VR and AF, but I prefer to use the Kenko on my AF 300mm f4, tripod mounted. My only caveat is the cheap HB 36 plastic lens hood thread. Even with careful handling I have broken two.
This lens has been my favorite lens since I bought it. I have done a lot of eagle photography with it and have not been dissappointed. I recently sold it to be able to get the 300mm f/4 but when the $$ is available again, I will repurchase it, I love it that much.
Rena in Delaware Knowledge is the power behind the lens.
I bought mine this summer and it was my most used lens all summer and fall. Very good image quality, fast to focus, and light weight. Now that short days and cold weather have arrived here in Minnesota most of my shooting is indoors with my 35mm f2 and 85mm 1.8. Can't wait for the snow to melt and to get back outside to strap the 70-300VR back on my D50! Great lens-I would buy it again in a heart beat!!
i got mine with a d-80 last summer. what a killer combo this is! the 70-300vr lens is the best bang for the buck -sharp, light weight & built well. anything longer is way more$$$-fwiw -i'm just an average amateur trying to get better- waywest - a sincity snapper
I don't own this lens yet but have had my eye on it for awhile. I have the non-VR ED version, which, from the samples I've seen in comparison, is not nearly as good as the VR in terms of image quality. Add AFS and VR I think the lens is a steal at its current price. I'm saving for a house otherwise I'd buy one now.
This lens would be a niche lens for me. I use my 300mm f/4 when I need critical sharpness and have a tripod handy. For walk around, such as on hikes, I need something light AND versatile. That's not the 70-200 or the 80-400. I don't like lugging heavy gear unless I know what I'm going to shoot.