Nikon AF -S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF -ED VR
The budget lens that rivals professional-grade glass
Telephoto zoom lens > £440, $590 > www.nikon.com This lens is hardly cheap, but it does represent a serious step up in performance over Nikon’s 55200mm VR or 55-300mm VR optics. In that sense, it’s a massive money-saver. It boasts a ring-type ultrasonic autofocus motor, plus rugged build quality that includes a metal, weather-sealed lens mount. Two Extra-low Dispersion lens elements minimise chromatic aberration and improve sharpness, and you get Nikon’s superb VR system.
In use, its performance rivals that of a prospec lens. Sharpness is excellent, and those EDglass elements do a good job of banishing colour fringing in high-contrast scenarios. Factor in the negligible distortion levels, as well as compatibility with both DX and FX bodies, and the 70-300mm VR stands out as a terrific allrounder that’s well worth the extra outlay.
Upgrade if you own... a kit lens or even Nikon’s 55-200mm VR, but not if you already own the excellent 55-300mm VR.
runner up... Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD
Tempted by the Nikon 70-300mm VR but don’t fancy splashing out so much cash? This Tamron gives you similar performance, albeit with slightly more fringing and no lens mount seal.