Wednesday 6 June 2018

Mini Review - Nikkor 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR G

Around the Corner 
D300,  Nikkor 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR G

Introduced in 2006, the 70-300VR G was Nikon's first real consumer VR telezoom (the earlier 80-400 was out of reach of most consumers). It was also a brilliant value, sharp to 250mm, acceptable at 300mm, fast AF, great stabilization.

It isn't anymore.

The short answer is this is quite a good lens on bodies up to 14MP or so, and increasingly mediocre on newer bodies. It's a little soft at 300mm, but at 250mm or below it's very good on low and mid megapixel bodies (or film for that matter, if you have one of the few film bodies that support VR, AF-S & G lenses)

Over the last couple years Nikon released 2 new AF-P 70-300's, a cheap f4.5-6.3 DX version (in VR and non-VR form) and a more expensive f4.5-5.6 FX version. In short, both are better than the VR G, and noticeably so on any body with AF-P support. Given the low cost of refurbs on the DX VR version, that's the way to go today unless you have an old body. Get the FX version if you have any FX body other than the D3/S/X or D700 (none of which support AF-P). Skip the VR G unless you shoot FX and need a telezoom on a serious budget.

That said, if you own one, I wouldn't toss it. Just don't expect it to hold up to 24MP DX or 24+MP FX.

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