Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED DX VR AF-P Nikkor

 
Lens Reviews / Nikon Lenses i Not yet tested
70-300mm $397
average price
image of Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED DX VR AF-P Nikkor

(From Nikon lens literature) Uncover exciting new photo and video opportunities with this exceptional super-telephoto zoom lens featuring Nikon's Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization for blur-free results. Optimized for compact DX-format DSLRs, the AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR picks up where your 18-55mm lens leaves off to bring distant action within reach. Capture sports, wildlife, concerts, landmarks -- any faraway subjects -- with phenomenal clarity and precision. But this lens isn't just about getting closer. Its superb optics and telephoto field of view produce beautiful portraits with softly blurred backgrounds. Add VR image stabilization and quiet autofocus pulse motor (utilizing stepping motors), the AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR is an ideal choice for video recording and stills even when handheld.

Versatile 70-300mm focal length
The AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR is a phenomenal second lens and picks up where your 18-55mm lens leaves off. Compact and lightweight yet with a powerful zoom, it will help bring the most distant subjects into focus. Capture stunning close-ups of sports, wildlife, concerts, school events and so much more.

Outstanding Nikon image quality
Unleash the potential of your camera's high-resolution sensor. The AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR features the superb optics and advanced technology used on Nikon's high-end lenses. Your photos and videos will have rich, vibrant colors, deep contrast, minimal distortion and beautiful soft backgrounds, even in less than ideal conditions.

VR image stabilization
Nikon's Vibration Reduction* (VR) image stabilization keeps photos sharp and videos steady when shooting handheld. It also enhances your camera's low-light capabilities, allowing you to shoot at slower shutter speeds in dim lighting. Switch between Auto Focus and Manual Focus or turn VR on and off using the camera menu**. With no switches on the lens barrel, you have no chance of accidentally changing settings when you want to take the shot.

Smooth, fast autofocus
The AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR uses a pulse motor (utilizing stepping motors) that focuses extremely fast and is nearly silent. Bring subjects into focus instantly with absolute precision. When recording video, smoothly shift focus from subject to subject with practically no drive noise.

*Based on CIPA Standard. This value is achieved when DX-format compatible lenses are attached to a DX-format digital SLR camera and zoom lenses are set at the maximum telephoto position.

**The lens will default to VR on when attached to models released prior to the D3400: D3300, D3200, D3100, D5500, D5300, D5200, D7200, D7100, D7000. These cameras will also require a firmware upgrade to access the menu to turn off the VR.

Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED DX VR AF-P Nikkor User Reviews

9.0/10 average of 1 reviews Build Quality 8.0/10 Image Quality 10.0/10
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (24 reviews)
    Very sharp, instant AF, amazing VR, priced right.
    Entry level construction and handling, some flare.

    I rented this only to see if it's time to retire my good, old 70-300 VR FX. Summary: Yes, I'm switching.

    I compared the two lenses on my D7200, taking hundreds of identical pictures and then placing best-of-three in each group side by side. These shots, all hand-held at f/8, varied from 1/3 second, ISO 800 indoors to bright sun outdoors. In every case, the DX lens outshone the older one.

    For sharp images at 300mm with excellent color rendition and contrast, and great VR for relatively slow exposures in low light, there's no comparison. I no longer have an FX format camera. With VR like this, who needs it? I can shoot with this lens at relatively low ISO to eliminate any FX noise advantage.

    Because I was only seeing if I wanted to buy one of these lenses, I probably didn't take all the types of pictures I might eventually take with it, and I don't pretend to have conducted a "scientific" test. I leave the latter to the experts. But it didn't take long for me to ship my FX out for sale and buy one of these new ones. I know I didn't make a mistake, and the forthcoming reviews will confirm that.

    This lens did something that's new to me: .NEF files (which is all I ever shoot) wouldn't open in Nikon View NX2, and generated an error message in NX-i, if they originated in my D7100 with Auto Distortion Control set to ON. But the D7200, with the same firmware download, produced .NEF that were fully functional in NX-i with ADC ON. Apparently, the current D7100/7200 firmware includes ADC data for this lens, but it doesn't input such data on the D7100. The solution for images from the D7100 for NX2 or NX-i, is to set Auto Distortion Control to OFF. That makes D7100 .NEF files using this lens fully compatible with NX2 or NX-i.

    Apparently, a firmware patch or new firmware is needed for ADC data on this lens for the D7100.

    No, this lens is no substitute for my 80-400 G, which lives in my D7200 kit. But for all around longer tele use it's going to be very useful as a sidekick for my 18-140s.

    It works well with my Kenko Teleplus Pro DGX 1.4x teleconverter, on my D7100 and D7200, which focus with it behind this lens all the way down to net f/9 (f/6.3 x 1.4), which surprised me. Yes, the contrast has to be good, and in some cases where was a bit of searching. But it did focus even in low light for good 1/4 second exposures, and very easily for normal outdoor shots. I think this small aperture focus is because the lens is so sharp. The resolution with this lens and TC is as good as I've ever gotten with a teleconverter, except with the 80-400 G and Nikon TC.

    I also took about 100 shots comparing this lens with my 55-300, which I'll move to my D7200 kit for 100-210mm shots, with the new lens carried in my D7100 kit for 100-300. At 300mm, images from this lens are much sharper than the 55-300's. But up to about 200mm their image quality is pretty close.

    I don't care that I can't turn off VR, because I never use a tripod, nor do I care that there are no switches on this lens, as manual focus override is so simple.

    I don't like the "greasy" feel of the focal length and manual focus override ring turning. But most recent entry level lenses have that, and I'm getting used to the others I have. At least turning the rings is very smooth. Also the light weight of the lens, compared with the earlier FX version, takes some getting used to, especially in breezes. But I think I can handle that. It is a plasticky lens. So...I'll be careful.

    I recently noticed that if shooting with this lens toward the sun, or even with the sun alongside the subject in dusty areas, the images suffer a bit from something like flare. The "glow" is actually there if you look at the subject without the camera, but the lens doesn't seem to do anything about it. I don't know if a CPF (which I don't have for this lens diameter) or any other lens by itself would eliminate such "dust flare" entirely. Anyhow, I'm now more careful where I point the lens.

    I now have two of these lenses, one to use with my D7100 and the other to use with my D7200. They're identical optically, but zooming on the more recent one is firmer up to about 100mm and then eases up toward 300mm. No problem with that, but it again shows that these really are entry level lenses.

    The bottom line is that this certainly isn't a pro lens, and even if Nikon had added a metal mount and increased the price it still wouldn't be a pro lens. But for a guy who's been shooting Nikon SLRs for going on 50 years, it definitely confirms that Nikon is still in the front rank of lens optics technology.

    reviewed February 11th, 2017 (purchased for $219)