New gear

Here’s what’s caugh­toureyethis month… Nikon AF-P 70–300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR

NPhoto - - Contents -

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 (

First im­pres­sions_

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.


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