Nikon Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED review

There's a reassuring heft to this full-frame telephoto zoom lens

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Build quality and handling

Nikon nikkor af s vr 70 300mm f 4 5 5 6g if ed review

The build quality of the Nikon Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED feels more robust and rugged than in either of Nikon's cheaper 55-200mm VR and 55-300mm VR telephoto zooms. Inside, there are 12 groups containing 17 elements, of which two are ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements. The aperture range of f/4.5-5.6 to f/32-40 is controlled by a 9-blade diaphragm.

The oversized zoom ring is particularly smooth in operation and there's no zoom creep. Unlike Nikon's cheaper telephoto zooms, the manual focus ring is fitted towards the rear, within easier reach. Because of the way ring-type AF-S works, the focus ring doesn't rotate during autofocus, so there's no problem with fouling its action while holding the lens in a natural grip.

There's also a neat distance scale positioned beneath a clear viewing panel. A petal-shaped hood and soft carrying pouch are included in the price.


Nikon nikkor af s vr 70 300mm f 4 5 5 6g if ed review

In our tests, sharpness proved very good throughout most of the zoom range, although it dropped off a bit at the maximum telephoto zoom setting. Even so, when shooting handheld at 300mm, it consistently gave very sharp results with great contrast.

Resistance to ghosting and flare is particularly good and the super-fast autofocus is excellent for action sports photography. Distortions are low throughout the entire zoom range.

Sample image:

Nikon nikkor af s vr 70 300mm f 4 5 5 6g if ed review

Taken at 300mm, f/5.6

See full-size image

Tech Specs

Product TypeLens
Maximum Focal Length300 mm
Minimum Focal Length70 mm
Maximum Aperture Wide4.5
Maximum Aperture Tele5.6
Brand NameNikon
Filter Attachment Diameter67 mm
Lens TypeSuper Telephoto Zoom
Depth143.5 mm

Nikon Digital & 35mm Film SLR Cameras

ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelJAA795DA
Product Name70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G AF-S VR Telephoto Zoom-Nikkor Lens
Product LineNikkor
Manufacturer Part NumberJAA795DA
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The AF-S VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED is a high-performance super telephoto zoom lens that has been designed to meet the demands of both digital and 35mm format SLR users. It offers a 4.3x zoom with a range of 70-300mm (105-450mm on a DX Nikon D-SLR) and features ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements that ensure superior optical performance. This lens incorporates Nikon's second-generation vibration reduction system (VR II) that allows flexible hand-held shooting by stabilizing the image to the equivalent extent of using a shutter speed that is four stops faster when compared with a conventional lens (as determined by Nikon performance test). The SWM (Silent Wave Motor) and IF (Internal Focusing) ensure fast and quiet focusing action, and the nine-blade rounded diaphragm makes out-of-focus elements blend smoothly to produce natural-looking, harmonious backgrounds.

Package Contents
  • 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G AF-S VR Telephoto Zoom-Nikkor Lens
  • Lens Cap LF-1
  • Lens Case CL-1022
  • Lens Hood HB-36
Weight (Approximate)745 g