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

The budget lens that comes clos­est to one of Nikon’s more pro­fes­sional op­tics

NPhoto - - Test Team -

With a price of £440/$590, this lens isn’t as ‘budget’ as oth­ers in the group. In­deed, the Tam­ron 70-300mm VC USD is a sig­nif­i­cant step down the price lad­der, even though it has an al­most iden­ti­cal set of fea­tures. You have to look quite hard to see where the Nikon lens has any ex­tras.

One such ex­tra is on the mount­ing plate, which fea­tures a rub­ber weather seal, as also fit­ted to the 55-300mm VR DX-for­mat lens. This is lack­ing on the Tam­ron lens. And where the Tam­ron in­cludes one LD (Low Dis­per­sion) and one XLD (Ex­tra-low Dis­per­sion) el­e­ment, the Nikon has two ED el­e­ments. Even so, it lacks the additional HRI (High Re­frac­tive In­dex) el­e­ment that’s fit­ted to the Nikon 55-300mm lens.


Over­all im­age qual­ity is ex­cel­lent, edg­ing ahead of the Tam­ron lens. The ring­type ul­tra­sonic aut­o­fo­cus is quicker, and full-time man­ual fo­cus over­ride works a treat. While the Nikon’s VR sys­tem is of­fi­cially rated at two and a half stops, in our tests it matched the per­for­mance of all other sta­bilis­ers for static and pan­ning shots. In fact, it goes one bet­ter with an ‘Ac­tive’ VR mode, which boosts ef­fec­tive­ness when shoot­ing from a vi­brat­ing plat­form such as an idling car.

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