Nikon tele zoom lens test review database

Index

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Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR

Image quality rating: 100,00%

Overall rating: 90,00%

Main points:
  • First lens with version 3 of VR technology


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Nikon USA
'Compact high-performance 2.9x FX-format telephoto zoom lens with an f/4 fixed aperture and Nikon's third-generation Vibration Reduction (VR). Capture high performance stills and HD videos with a classic 70-200mm angle of view (105-300mm on DX-format cameras). An essential lens for low light or fast action sequences'
Photography Life
'Just like I thought, the Nikon 70-200mm f/4G is going to be one hell of a lens, outperforming the 70-200mm f/2.8G wide open. Now I am sure the 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II will do quite well when stopped down to f/4, because it is an insanely sharp lens when stopped down a little. But at almost twice the weight and cost, the 70-200mm f/4G is showing unbelievable value. Obviously, this is mostly speculation right now based on what Nikon provided to us.'
Ken Rockwell
'If you want a Nikon tele zoom for FX, this is the lens. If you worry about defocus blur, there is very little difference between f/4 and f/2.8; try it on your f/2.8 tele and you'll see. If you really want great background blur, skip zooms and go straight to the 135mm f/2 DC or 200mm f/2 or 300mm f/2.8, as pro portraitists use. 70-200mm zooms are for news, sports and landscapes, not static portraiture.'
Pixiq
'All in all the lens seems very impressive, and while I have yet to complete my testing I am confident it will prove to be a highly popular addition to the range of Nikkor lenses.'D800E
Camera Labs
'That's it for now based on the tests that I have performed to date. So far the new Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f4.0G VR looks promising. But sorry, there's no Nikon 70-200mm f/4.0G VR verdict yet. I first have to conclude all my tests. So stay tuned...'D800
Moose Peterson
'his lens does a number of things the f/2.8 does not do: focuses much closer, closes down to f/32, weighs nearly 2lbs less and costs less (but comes without tripod collar).'
Lensrental
'The Nikon does very well on our standard D3x test camera. 'D3X
ePhotozine
5/5
4.5/5
'Those looking for similar optical performance to Nikon's top of the range 70-200mm, but without quite as much weight, or expense will love this new f/4 variant. It delivers sharp, contrasty images, focuses fast and isn't so heavy that you'd regret packing it in your camera bag.'D700
Moose Peterson
'When the 70-200f4 VR3 was announced, I was excited to read the specs. While I have the 70-200f/2.8 VR2, its MFD and f/22 max aperture were two aspects of the lens the new 70-200VR3 improves on. I wanted the 2′ MFD of the 70-200VR3 for photographing nesting birds. I wanted the f/32 for my air to air work. '
Photography Life
'Is the new Nikon 70-200mm f/4G VR perfect? No, of course not. It has its share of problems with heavier vignetting, more distortion (especially at 200mm), twice more chromatic aberration than the 70-200mm f/2.8, etc. But considering its weight, price and sharpness performance, it sure looks like another winner.'
SLRGear
'There is a lot to like about the Nikon 70-200mm ƒ/4G ED VR AF-S, not the least of which is its small profile and light weight. Nikon users have long looked at Canon with longing for a smaller version of the 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 workhorse. That time has now arrived, but now it leaves Nikon shooters with an interesting decision to make. Up until now, if you wanted to get into the 70-200mm range, you didn't have a decision. Now you can save $1,000 and get the smaller, lighter lens - except it isn't quite as good as the 70-200mm ƒ/2.8. In a way, Nikon has created a good enough lens that those who don't demand the quality will be quite happy with the savings, but those who do, will likely pay the premium price.'


Nikon 200-400mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S VR Nikkor

Image quality rating: 90,75%

Overall rating: 95,00%

Main points:
  • Very sharp lens
  • Great range
  • Heavy


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
byThom
4/5
4/5
'Note that despite my misgivings about very long distance use and teleconverters, I still use this lens a lot. It's what's known as a "trade-off lens."'
ePhotozine
'This lens is heavy and expensive! Having said that, it is superbly engineered, both mechanically and optically and puts most primes in its focal range in the shade. The autofocus is so quick (on the right camera) that it will not only track, but catch up with things like fast birds flying directly towards you. If you can warrant the outlay, you will not be disappointed, whoever you are.'D70
Imagepower
'I will also keep it as quality is still outstanding'
SLR Gear
9.8/10
10/10
'This is a great lens - meets or exceeds expectations. '
Richard Peters
'Is the 1.4 in the 200-400 perfect? No. Would I recommend buying it for the times you need the extra reach? Absolutely yes! As I’ve said, the reach does come at a slight price, with softer images and a slightly reduced focus speed (which will show at varying amounts depending on your camera body). However given the flexibility it allows you I think those issues are not worth worrying about too much.'D300
Richard Peters
'Please remember this was a worst case scenario, overcast and the lens not supported very well. If you already own this lens and don’t have any longer glass then I ‘think’ with more favourable conditions (proper sunlight, lower ISO, decent support) it would pass in an emergency…its certainly made me less reluctant to reach for a TC in times of need.'D3
Ken Rockwell
4.5/5
5/5
'The 200-400mm f/4 VR AF-S is a huge, expensive lens for people with special needs. I would much rather get closer to my subjects than have to stand back and shoot with this beast.'
Fredmiranda.com
9.5/10
'I have used it with the 1.4 and 1.7 TC (on a D300), still sharp wide open with the 1.4, and pretty good with the 1.7 even wide open. AF is fine with both TC's, although a bit slower with the 1.7'
Bjorn Rorslett
4.75/5
'This might well be the finest long zoom lens I've ever tested. The image quality delivered by the 200-400 is absolutely marvellous and should put the legendary predecessor MF 200-400 f/4 Nikkor to a deserved rest'


Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED

Image quality rating: 90,27%

Overall rating: 87,30%

Main points:
  • Soft in corners on FX format
  • Very sharp on DX format
  • Can be used with teleconverters
  • If on FX format serious consider version 2


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
byThom
5/5
4/5
'One of Nikon's sharpest lenses ever. Sharp at every aperture. Sharp with teleconverters. And the VR helps you achieve that sharpness.'
Photozone
4.5/5
4.5/5
'Performance-wise the results are excellent and slightly superior to the old AF 80-200mm f/2.8ED. Vignetting, distortions as well as CAs are well controlled and not really field relevant. The mechanical quality of the lens is exceptionally high and it's a joy to use this lens.'D200
Photozone
3.5/5
3.5/5
'However, in summary the Nikkor 70-200 VR still is an impressive lens, which for many becomes even more attractive now that the prices for used lenses come down after the introduction of the version II model.'D3X
ePhotozine
'In the competitive arena of mid-range zooms, this is the Michael Schumacher. Others come close in some areas, but this is the complete package, coming out top in the fields of optical quality, handling and stabilisation. If you have a camera that this lens will fit, this is the lens to have.'D70
Imagepower
'After such a budle of pros I have difficulty in finding a real drawback of this lens'D1X
SLR Gear
9.69/10
9.8/10
'For Nikon shooters, the 70-200mm lens has been the de factopro lens, and until the version 2 of the lens came along, it was the optical king of the hill. There was always the lingering question of corner performance, and while in our review lens there are some soft corners, it's not the worst we've seen. 'D200, D700
Lens tip
'Although the Nikkor 70-200 VR is a very well-made lens and you really can’t be displeased with it, we still feel a bit unsatisfied. If you buy a professional lens for as much as 1700 $ you should expect perfect results in all categories. A bit better achievements for the combination of 130 mm focal length and f/2.8, a slightly lower vignetting at 200 mm and we would deal here with a perfect instrument.'D200
DPReview
8.5/10
7.25/10
'The Nikon AF-S VR 70-200mm F2.8G is a lens which would, were it designated 'DX', be fully deserving of the highest accolades. On the smaller sensor format, results are nothing short of spectacular - resolution is excellent even wide open, chromatic aberration and geometric distortion are low, and falloff negligible. Combine this with the impeccable build quality, excellent autofocus, and effective image stabilization, and this lens is getting close to flawless; only the occasional, but severe flare problems really count against it. And let's face it, this verdict applies for the overwhelming majority of current Nikon users, who will only be delighted with the performance of this lens on their DX crop cameras.The problem is that, with the introduction of the D3, DX is no longer the pre-eminent format in Nikon's DSLR line, and 35mm full-frame has re-arisen from the ashes in the guise of FX. This of course places different demands on lenses, which now need to cover properly an image circle 43mm in diameter, as opposed to the 28mm of DX. And the D3 is a top-end camera, so it seems reasonable to assume that Nikon's workhorse professional lenses should give excellent results on it; sadly, the 70-200mm F2.8 VR doesn't quite manage this, with significant vignetting at wide apertures throughout the zoom range, and distinctly soft corners at longer focal lengths. The big problem here is that many D3 owners will likely need to use a fast telezoom on a daily basis, and for some, the 70-200mm VR's performance will simply not be up to scratch.'D300, D3
Pop photo
'Its highly useful focal length range, speed, and image stabilization combine to make this Nikkor a must for portraitists, sports shooters, and (despite its weight) wedding, travel, and location specialists, too. '
Ken Rockwell
5/5
5/5
'If you want to afford it by all means go get one. You'll love it. Everyone else I've met ho owns one loves it to death'
Fredmiranda.com
9.6/10
'I have used the VR1 version for a year (professionally at weddings) before moving on to the VR2 recently. Both lenses are awesome on my FX bodies.'
Bjorn Rorslett
4.5/5
'The 70-200 VR excels in producing some of the most pleasing and beautiful bokeh I've ever seen with a Nikkor lens. Thus, the out-of-focus areas are depicted as ‘silky smooth’, and without any trace of harshness. Test shooting indicates that the VR setting may influence bokeh so to achieve the very best results, be sure to turn VR off.'
Dxomark


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II

Image quality rating: 90,00%

Overall rating: 90,00%

Main points:
  • Very sharp lens
  • Great range
  • Heavy


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Dxomark
ePhotozine
4.5/5
4.5/5
'It comes as no surprise to me that this lens is a superb performer, as was its predecessor. It is capable of producing images with superb resolution and contrast and built to cope with the daily rigours of professional working life.'D700
ePhotozine
'It is early days, but there is no doubt in my mind that the latest version of the 200-400mm f/4 is a very capable optic - but so too was the old version.'
SLR Gear
Ken Rockwell
'If you can get the original version on close-out, you just got yourself a bargain, because this new lens is the same thing.'


Nikkor AF-S 80-200mm f/2.8D ED

Image quality rating: 86,67%

Overall rating: 100,00%

Main points:
  • Better optics than the 80-200
  • Corners and borders has a little less sharpness


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Momentcorporation
5/5
5/5
'I really like this lens, it outperforms the Nikon AF 80-200mm f/2.8D in everything, except price maybe. Not much more to say about this lens, performance is outstanding.'
Photozone
3.5/5
'The Nikon AF-S 80-200mm f/2.8 IF-ED delivers very good to excellent resolution in the image center. The borders and corners perform on a slightly lower level, but still show good to very good sharpness.'D3X
Imagepower
'Optical performance is very good acroos the lens range'
Ken Rockwell
'This is an outstanding, advanced, complex, heavy and expensive lens, flawed by spotty manufacturing and a fuzzy ghost image shooting into the sun. Even with these flaws it's a very, very sharp lens with relatively low distortion. Heck, it's one of the sharpest lenses I've ever used, bar none.'
Bjorn Rorslett
4.5/5
'Some vignetting darkens the corners at f/2.8 and this needs stopping a bit to improve, f/5.6 settles the score in this respect. Corner fall-off is most evident at the short focal setting, but some vestiges still occur at 200 mm. Geometric distortion is as expected a mild barrel type at 80 mm going to slight pincushion at the other end. Avoid the very extremes of the zoom range if architecture is your preferred line of work, otherwise distortion shouldn't be an issue at all.'
photo.Bun-Hay.net
'If you can live with the added weight, this is certainly the lens to carry around. Yes, it is heavy and bulky, but it also rewards you with quality photos and slides. AFS function is a real bonus especially for shooting children, wedding, etc. The downside of it is the heavy battery drain on the camera.'


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

Image quality rating: 85,50%

Overall rating: 81,21%

Main points:
  • Better lens in version 1
  • Very fast autofocus
  • Great bokeh


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photography Life
'The new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II is clearly a better lens than its predecessor. As can be seen from the image examples in this review, the performance of this lens is outstanding at maximum apertures throughout the focal lengths and the new VR II system clearly helps in getting shake-free images at low shutter speeds of 1/50 and below. Nikon did an outstanding job in addressing the problems with vignetting on FX bodies and the Nano Coating should help to minimize ghosting and flare issues the older lens suffered from. The only two drawbacks that I can think of are price and decreased magnification.'
byThom
4/5
4/5
'DX users can pretty much use either. From a true performance standpoint, the gains from the new version are not dramatic when used on DX. I'd say that a DX user is best off with whatever close focus focal length performance they want. If you want to retain focal length up close, stay with the old version, but if you'd like a little loosening of the frame up close, the new version is better (especially considering it really goes to 70mm). Yes, if I'm picking nits, the new version is still sharper than the old version on DX. But frankly, I don't see enough difference to get excited about.FX users have sort of the opposite initial take: if corner sharpness and brightness is at all important to you, the new lens is much, much better than the old one. This becomes even more apparent on the D3x. Personally, for sports, I don't mind a drop in the corners of the old lens, but some people get upset about that. They won't with this lens. If you can ignore the corners, it's that focal length breathing that's going to dictate which lens you prefer: tight and consistent=I, loose and looser=II'D3X
Terry White
'Yes, I would love to have a lens update that resolved the three things above, but not enough to hurry up and upgrade. I was very happy with the shots I was getting with my current 70-200mm lens.'D700
Photozone
4/5
3.5/5
'For many the main question of course is: have the issues of the previous model, especially high vignetting and lack of border sharpness, been adressed. Well, yes, the vignetting is visibly lower at f/2.8 and the resolution figures in the image corners are also better compared to the mk I lens. However, in direct comparison these improvements come at the price of slightly reduced corner sharpness at f/2.8 at focal lengths below 200mm.'D3X
William Beem
'The Nikon 70-200mm lens has amazing sharpness and optical quality. It’s a “must have” lens for portraits, action and travel.'
ePhotozine
4.5/5
4.5/5
'Being one of Nikon's top lenses, anything short of excellent would be disappointing. Luckily, this lens does not disappoint in terms of build, image quality or any other aspect of its performance. '
Ishootshows.com
'There’s a lot to like about the new Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II, and the VR II offers some genuine improvements over its predecessor, a lens that I’ve used for years. With the recent introductions of the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 and Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, and now more recently this upgraded telephoto, I don’t think there’s been a better time to be a Nikon shooter.'D3
CameraStuffReview
7.7/10
'The Nikon 70-200 mm 2.8 VRII is big, heavy and rather pricy. However, for that high purchase price, you get much in return. The resolution is high at many diaphragm - zoom distance combinations, and the sensitivity to side images at backlight is low. The display of blurred parts, the so-called bokeh, is very charming.'D700
SLR Gear
9.67/10
9.67/10
'There's little doubt that the lens represents some of the best optical engineering to date, and that the purchase of the lens represents an investment that's not likely to lose its value. For Nikon shooters, the 70-200mm lens has been the de facto pro lens, and Nikon has come through with excellent improvements. Whether they're worth the price premium is going to depend solely on the intended usage of the lens, though there's little doubt that working photographers will, if they haven't already, find much that justifies the upgrade.'D200, D700
Lenstip
'The previous version of the Nikkor 70-200 mm f/2.8 VR was praised by us. It would be difficult not to praise the new version, especially that in practically every category it gets better results than its predecessor. The differences are perhaps not huge but at this level it would be difficult to obtain such. In optics, if something is very good and you want to improve it further you need considerable financial outlays'D3X
DPReview
12.5/14
10/14
'Nikon's long-awaited successor to its 70-200mm F2.8 VR was always going to be held up to very close scrutiny when it finally saw the light of day. Because while the original was a superb lens on DX cameras, it suffered from some well-publicised optical defects on full-frame cameras which became all-too-clear on the release of the the D3. And the good news is that the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8G VR II puts those complaints well and truly to bed - gone are the smeared, dark corners towards the long end, replaced by a 200mm performance that can really only be described as superb.'D300, D3X
The photographer
'Overall, the 70-200mm F2.8 ED VR II is highly recommended and I hope that all of my Nikon readers go buy one and comment here on just how excellent a lens it is.'
Pop photo
'Our bench tests found Excellent-range sharpness at all focal lengths. Compared with the VR I, it produced significantly better SQF numbers at large magnifications and wider focal lengths.'
Ken Rockwell
'If you're a pro or serious amateur, this is your new tele lens. While the many incremental improvements are nice, the close-focus ability makes it a must-have for full-time pros.'
DxoMark


Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED

Image quality rating: 84,68%

Overall rating: 91,70%

Main points:
  • Very good optics
  • A good alternative instead of the 70-200 if you don't have the money
  • A little soft at 200mm wide open


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
byThom
4/5
4/5
'Overall, for half the price you get much of the optical goodness of the 70-200mm lenses, but lose the best possible focus performance, a number of features, and some loss of contrast wide open. It's clear to me why Nikon has kept this in production for so long: it's just a darned good lens for its price.'
Momentcorporation
4.5/5
5/5
'Despite the Nikon AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED is a bit old, this is a great lens both mechanically as well as optically. It also has a nice price tag on it compared to the newer breed of Nikkor Pro tele zooms. Pro quality lenses don't need to cost $ 1900 + after all. Peak performance is f/4-f/11, with very usable performance on f/2.8.'
Photozone
3.5/5
4/5
'Despite its age the Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED is a great lens both mechanically as well as optically (assuming you can get a good sample). The resolution is on a very high level throughout the zoom range and neither distortions nor vignetting are big issues (on an APS-C DSLR).'D200
SLR Gear
9.31/10
9.28/10
'We were a little surprised to see the 80-200mm to be as soft as it was wide open at 200mm (a characteristic it shares with the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR optic), but at shorter focal lengths is quite sharp, and gets extremely sharp when you stop it down to f/4. 'D200
Lenstip
'We praised the Sigma 70-200 mm f/2.8 so we should certainly praise the Nikkor 80-200 mm, which, in our opinion, received somewhat better results. Its picture resolution is a bit better, especially at the edges of the frame; it corrects the coma much better and has smaller vignetting. The Sigma is, however, better at astigmatism correction, has a longer guarantee period and, of course, a lower price.'
Ken Rockwell
4.5/5
5/5
'The Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-D (new) is still one of Nikon's most popular professional lenses in 2010, 13 years after its introduction. It remains popular because it offers fast autofocus and great performance, both mechanically and optically, for half the price of Nikon's other professional f/2.8 tele zoom, the 70-200/2.8 VR II.'
Fredmiranda.com
9.4/10
'I use this lens a lot for weddings, even some portrait work. I have a really sharp copy, even beat it around a bit as I use it professionally. This lens is an excellent substitute for the 70-200 at it's price point. '
Bjorn Rorslett
4.25/5
'All models achieve very good or excellent image quality, share some vignetting and corner light fall-off at large apertures, and exhibit some pincushion distortion at the long end of the zooming range. At f/5.6-f/8 you are assured of getting excellent imagery.'


Nikkor AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED

Image quality rating: 74,40%

Overall rating: 85,11%

Main points:
  • God value for the money
  • But some issues beyound 200mm
  • God for travel


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
byThom
4/5
4/5
'In almost every performance category, the new version is better than the ED version. The ED version was a decent performer; the new VR version is an excellent performer.'
Nikon Glass
'This is the only way, as of this writing, to get to a portable and affordable Nikkor telephoto zoom lens in the 70-200mm range that can perform so well for so little. People shouldn’t buy this lens if they only need a 300mm tele. In such a case, a straight 300mm prime lens would be a better choice. This zoom excellent between 70-220mm and pretty good at 300mm. One big plus for this lens is its portability. It will fit easily into a vest pocket so for hikers, trekkers and travel photography, this is a great neat little package that offers VR technology.'D300
Momentcorporation
4.25/5
5/5
'The 70-300mm VR is without a doubt a great upgrade over the Nikon AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED The new VR version outperforms the older one without a problem. It's sharper, has better contrast, has VR, and the rubber seal around the mount of the lens. As far as CA is concerned the lens controls this very well. You might see some on the long end of the zoom in high contrast situations'
Photozone
2.5/5
4/5
'The Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR delivers very good to excellent sharpness in the image center combined with good to very good resolution at the borders and corners. Vignetting is well controlled, but CAs are quite high (though easy to remove in post processing) and distortion is above average for this lens class. We did not formally test it, but noticed in our field tests that the quality of the bokeh can be rough in critical situations specifically regarding the highlight rendering. This may be somewhat unfortunate but the truth is that this aspect is generally a problem in this lens class.'D3X
Photography Life
'Despite being a consumer zoom level, the Nikon 70-300mm proved to be an excellent lens when it comes to performance, value and weight. Although it does have a few drawbacks such as focus speed and focus accuracy in low-light, inferior overall performance on full-frame bodies, visible distortion and reduced performance as you get closer to 300mm, it is still a great lens that can be used for sports, nature, portrait and wildlife photographers that have a tight budget or want to be able to travel light.'
Photozone
3/5
3.5/5
'The Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR may not be the Über-lens everybody was hoping for (nor was that realistic) but it is still a very good lens. At 70mm the results are nothing short of stellar and still easily on a very good level at 200mm. At 300mm there´s a performance penalty specifically at the image borders @ f/5.6. Stopping down to f/8 helps to overcome most of the problems but unfortunately there´s also a quite pronounced but still correctable degree of yellow/blue (lateral) CA. Distortions and vignetting are basically non-issues throughout the range. 'D200
ePhotozine
4/5
4/5
'This lens performs well throughout the zoom range, especially at shorter focal lengths in the centre of the frame. At 300mm stopping down the lens a little will produce the best results. '
SLR Gear
8.58/10
8.9/10
'This lens really surprised us. At a street price of ~$500 for a 70-300mm with VR built in, we figured Nikon would have had to cut corners someplace to hit the price point. Other than the slight softness and rather high CA from 200-300mm though, the performance of the 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor (yeesh, that's a mouthful) was really excellent.'D200
Lenstip
'To put it in a nutshell Nikon took up to the challenge of the Canon 70-300 IS in a stylish and efficient way. Both lenses have similar properties with the similar pros and cons list and one serious slip-up – in the case of the Canon it was the autofocus, which, for an USM mechanism works badly; in the case of the Nikon it was the chromatic aberration, which level was too high.'
Camera Labs
'In our outdoor test results the 70-300mm VR exhibited higher contrast and sharpness throughout its focal range when compared against entry-level lenses like the DX 55-200mm VR – it can be subtle at times, but it’s certainly visible. Being corrected for full-frame use also means DX-format bodies like the D80 use the best parts of the lens, which results in superior edge and corner performance.'D80
Pop photo
'Very impressive optical performance for a moderately priced VR lens. Particularly effective VR at 300mm (450mm equivalent on Nikon DSLRs) would make this a fine lens for nature and sports shooting.'
Ken Rockwell
'The Nikon 70-300mm VR offers the best compromise of size, weight, price and image quality among all Nikon's tele zooms. It covers FX, 35mm film and DX.'
Fredmiranda.com
8.9/10
'I owned this lens for about a year before switching to Canon gear. During that time, I probably shot 8k images with this lens. It was a great lens to carry in the car and always have available. I paired this with a 35mm 1.8 on my D90 and was set for just about everything I came across. This lens worked great for wildlife shots, action, motorsports, airshows, even did a fantastic job with some portraits. '
Bjorn Rorslett
4/5
'Otherwise, the lens handles quite nicely even on the D3, and the dedicated long lens hood reduced flare too. Set the lens to f/5.6-f/8 at the short end and around f/8-f/11 at the long end to extract maximum image quality from it.'
Dxomark
Light harvesting
'For a start, it is less than 1/3 of the price. It is light, yet solid. Having used this lens since 2009 in the Himalaya, the wild coasts of Spain, Thailand and Indonesia, I can truly say it has never let me down. It can be incredibly sharp, with some minor vignetting at f4.5 which is easily removed in Lightroom or similar.'D700


Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED AF Nikkor 

Image quality rating: 68,85%

Overall rating: 71,50%

Main points:
  • Cheap
  • Lightweight
  • Need to stop a lot to get god results


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
SLR Gear
7.27/10
7.15/10
'a decent performer in IQ department. Use it properly, and it will deliver sharp results. It has a sweet spot somewhere between f/8-f/11, therefore you'll be needing.. a lot of light. I think the lens is best suited to be used outdoors, in broad daylight.'
Ken Rockwell
'If you are looking for a cheap, lightweight zoom for film or FX this is excellent for the price. I can't see any reason to buy the so-called ED version over this except for the metal mount and compatibility with my manual focus cameras.'
Bjorn Rorslett
3.25/5
'Optically speaking, the 70-300 isn't really that bad and given you avoid shooting distant subjects with the lens set to the longer focal lengths, quite decent image quality can be obtained. You need to stop down a bit, to f/8 or so, to get the best quality.'


Nikkor AF 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 D ED VR

Image quality rating: 64,65%

Overall rating: 70,58%

Main points:
  • Slow autofocus
  • Great range
  • Sharp until 300mm


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
byThom
3/5
3/5
'Let me report the good news first. From 80 to 300mm, this lens is very sharp. You'll see a bit of softness in the corners on 35mm bodies at larger apertures starting around 300mm, but other than that, there's not much to complain about. '
Nikon Glass
'So the AF 80-400mm VR is not the sports action lens nor the super sharp tele you were hoping it to be, but a very good travel or nature treking lens. Well for that kind of money, whet did you expect. Unfortunately, 400mm doesn't come cheap, at least from Nikon. But for the money you get a chance at some excellent images under certain conditions as already described.'D200
Photozone
3/5
3/5
'The Nikkor AF 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR is a decent performer but it also comes with a few glitches. Optically the lens shows a very good but not exceptional resolution characteristic except at 400mm at wide-open aperture where the borders could be a little better.'D200
Photozone
2/5
2/5
'Optically, the lens delivers very good to excellent resolution at its short end, however at its longest focal length (which is probably what you're more interested in when purchasing a tele zoom) the sharpness drops to somewhat disappointing levels. In addition, pincushion distortion is rather high here and CAs are quite high thoughout most of the focal range. Vignetting is well controlled though.'D3X
ePhotozine
3/5
3.5/5
'Nikon appear to be in the middle of revamping their line of professional quality lenses at present, and I would imagine this focal range will be high on their list.'D700
ePhotozine
'For the price, Nikon should do better and this lens is probably due for an upgrade. The performance at the long end is disappointing to say the least and the vibration reduction has long since been superseded. Despite this, the lens is a capable performer at shorter focal lengths and the VR does work well with static subjects.'D50
Imagepower
'With some regret I have to conclude that Nikon did not succeed in coming up to Canon's competence'
SLR Gear
8.79/10
8.63/10
'We were a little surprised that this lens wasn't sharper at 400mm than it was, but it does a great job of reaching way out there, amounting to a 160-600mm equivalent zoom on a DX-sensor DSLR. Combined with an effective VR system, this would make a great "walking around" lens for the nature photographer. 'D200
Ken Rockwell
'I love this lens. It is almost always in my bag for film and digital shooting. All you need are this lens and a wide zoom.'
FredMiranda.com
8.1/10
'This lens is in dire need of an update. The range makes it a good compliment to the 16-85 but this lens will disappoint. Focusing speed is slow - lack of an internal focusing motor makes focus speed dependent on the body you are using. It's OK for slow or fixed subjects - but forget birds in flight.'
Bjorn Rorslett
4/5
'The 80-400 VR delivered crisp and sharp images with high contrast over the entire zoom range. There is slight barrel distortion at the short end, accompanied with the inevitable pincushion distortion at the long end, but distortion levels were all over surprisingly low.'
bun-hay.net
'The combination of 400mm at F5.6 plus VR opens new photographic opportunities. The focusing speed of the lens is adequate, especially if pre-focusing is used. The slides turned out sharp and with good contrast, typical of Nikon glass. I am glad to report that Nikon again comes up with a winner.'


Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED AF Nikkor 

Image quality rating: 56,20%

Overall rating: 70,70%

Main points:
  • Cheap
  • Lightweight
  • Need to stop a lot to get god results


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
byThom
'First, the good news: in terms of Nikon's consumer offerings, this lens is at the top of the heap. I'd call it a distinct improvement on the 75-300mm it replaced. From its widest setting to about midrange, it performs well even at f/5.6, with results at f/8 and f/11 virtually indistinguishable from the considerably more expensive 80-200 f/2.8, except, perhaps, at the very corners. On a D1 I wouldn't have any qualms at using this lens wide open at any zoom setting between 70-200mm. Distortion was visible at the telephoto end, but not enough for me to worry about in the types of photography I do; if you're into using telephotos for architectural work, well, you're going to see enough pinbarrel at the 300mm end to keep you from smiling.'
Momentcorporation
3/5
5/5
'This lens is definitely worth its money, its 5 times cheaper then the current pro grade equivalent, the 70-200mm f/2.8 AF-S(the 70-200 is way sharper btw). The size and weight of this lens makes it great for backpackers and light travelers. This is a very good entry level lens for starting photographers.'
Photozone
2/5
2/5
'The Nikkor AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 D ED is a very affordable tele zoom lens with a quite ambitious 300mm setting. It is capable to deliver very good results between 70mm and 200mm but the results are quite soft at 300mm. Lateral CAs are on the high side but distortions and vignetting are very well controlled.'D200
SLR Gear
6.86/10
7.14/10
'It's reasonably priced and reasonably well-constructed lens, but the Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6D really doesn't make the grade optically, at least not at its longest focal lengths. It's OK at shorter focal lengths, but if you don't need a 300mm zoom, you'd probably be better served by looking at 70-200mm models in the first place. If you do want the full 70-300mm range, you can get (slightly) better performance from the Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD for less money, or dramatically better optical performance from the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 ED-IF AF-S VR for about half again the cost, and with the added benefit of Vibration Reduction built in.'D200
Lens tip
'It is understandable for us to compare the Nikkor to the previously tested Sigma 70-300 mm DG APO MACRO. They both have the same parameters and similar prices, and are thus evenly matched competitors. As far as the similarities are concerned, the two lenses perfectly correct chromatic aberration, distortion and vignetting. In these three categories the differences are minuscule. As far as the picture resolution is concerned, they both have better results at the 70-200 mm focal length range then at 200 mm and above. The Sigma, however, achieves better results at maximum aperture.'
Ken Rockwell
'I strongly recommend the fantastic and recently discontinued 70-210mm f/4-5.6D AF lens instead. I've seen these selling for $200 on close out mail order. The only thing the 70-210 doesn't do is zoom out quite as far, but it does everything else far better for less money in a better-built lens that is true Nikon.'
bun-hay.net
'The light-weight 70-300mm F4-5.6D ED lens is a decent travelling lens. If you pair it with the 24-50mm lens, travelling becomes much less of a burden with some compromises on quality. The focusing speed of the lens is adequate, especially if pre-focusing is used. Most slides turned out sharp in the center, especially when stopped down and with good contrast. There are rumours on the net that the lens is made by a 3rd party Tamron but with a Nikon name on it. I have not been able to verify this.'


NikkorZoom-NIKKOR 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6

Image quality rating: 52,50%

Overall rating: 0,00%

Main points:
  • A good performer for the price
  • But only until 200mm


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photozone
2/5
'The Nikkor AF 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 exhibited a very good performance in the lab EXCEPT at the long end of the zoom range. At 75mm and 200mm the resolution figures are very good but beyond there's a rapid decline in quality. At 300mm f/5.6 the results are downright soft and it takes f/11 to recover the quality to very decent levels across the frame.'D200
Ken Rockwell
'By all means find one of these over the new 70-300. Personally I use the smaller and faster focusing70-210 or much more expensive 80-400 because I actually own them'
Bjorn Rorslett
3.25/5
'As a traveller's lens, the 75-300 can be pressed into service with passable results, but I for one would rather have a better lens or even carry two additional lenses to cover this focal range.'


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