Product Type: Nikon camera lenses
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Nikon 70-300mm Lens
Member Name: JJJJ
Nikon 70-300mm Lens
Date: 23/03/12, updated on 27/03/12 (109 review reads)
Advantages: Clarity of image throughout zoom range, light
Disadvantages: Minor adjustments of the zoom ring can be tricky
Specification and Design
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Although the lens has a far-reaching 300mm zoom, on the whole it isn't that versatile as an all-in-one choice - this is because the 70mm starting point is too telephoto to suit landscape photographers who'll want a wider angle to work with. For me, a 50-300mm would be much more efficient, and mean that I don't need to switch lenses as much as I currently do. There is actually a Nikon 28-300mm lens on the market, but it's a bit out of my budget at around £700. Back to the 70-300 VR, and it's a fairly light lens for its size - this is down to its mainly plastic construction (apart from the metal lens mount), which is what keeps the cost relatively low. That said, the lens does feel well made and has a certain robustness about it. Most importantly the glass used in the lens is top notch, and like the majority of Nikon's other kit lenses, the overall quality is very impressive. The maximum aperture at 70mm is f4.5, and this rises to f5.6 by the time you reach the telephoto end of the zoom; because of this, the lens isn't a great low light performer.
Performance - optical tests
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First of all let's talk about the zoom ring - this large rubberised grip can be turned quickly and easily, although tiny adjustments can be a little tricky due to the fact that it can stick a little when you first turn it. Although it's auto focus by default, manual focus is an option with the lens, and this is done by turning the smaller ring towards the back of the product. The lens (which takes 67mm filters) is fairly quick to focus, although it can sometimes struggle a little in dim conditions. Regarding the image quality, images are sharp throughout the zoom range and there's hardly any vignetting (darkness at the corners of your image) in evidence. Other chromatic abberations are pretty much non-existent, and the overall image quality is very pleasing.
Final Word - worth the money?
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Overall, I would highly recommend Nikon's 70-300mm VR - it's a great choice for wildlife photographer, offering a long zoom combined with a light weight and reliability. Yes there are some minor niggles, but as I said in my opening paragraph, this is a budget offering and there are always going to be slight compromises made in terms of the build quality. The price is very reasonable for what you get, although if you haven't got quite as much to spend then the Nikon 55-200mm VR may be a cheaper fall-back option (it costs around £150 less).
Summary: Far reaching Nikon branded zoom
|Ease of use:|
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