Here’s what’s caughtoureyethis month… Nikon AF-P 70–300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR
Kit out your kitbag with our latest roundup of Nikon-compatible goodies
Nikon’s AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR has been a firm favourite with us for years thanks to its optical quality, FX coverage, and relatively affordable price point. But it’s now over ten years old, so Nikon has replaced it with this AF-P version, which isn’t to be confused with the recently-released DX-only AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR (£329/$399).
At 80.5x146mm, it’s almost identical in size to its predecessor, but despite being fully weather sealed, it’s 65g lighter, at 680g. Other improvements include Nikon’s stepping motor autofocus module, which should provide faster and quieter, as well as nearsilent continuous AF when shooting video.
But arguably the most significant gains come from the new VR system, which now provides a 4.5-stop shutter speed advantage (up from 2.5 stops in the old AF-S version). It also incorporates a Sport VR mode, which enables the lens to deliver a more stable viewfinder image when shooting fast action or while panning. Like it’s predecessor, it features a nine-blade diaphragm, but this is now operated electromagnetically for more consistent exposure during high-speed bursts, and smoother exposure transitions during video capture. Finally, minimum focus distance has been reduced from 1.5m to 1.2m, for frame-filling telephoto-macro photography. The downside? The lens’s AF-P autofocus unit and electromagnetic diaphragm limit compatibility to newer Nikon DSLRs, from the D3300 and D5300 upwards. Be sure to check Nikon’s product webpage for a complete list (http://bit.ly/AF-P70-300VR).
With its much-improved VR rating and revamped autofocus module and diaphragm, this lens looks set to be a worthy successor to the venerable AF-S 70-300mm.