9 out of 10 points and recommendedHigh IQ for such a broad zoom range; VF very effective; silky zoom action, with nolens creep issue (when pointed down); light compared to PRO zooms; nicely finished, including weather sealsPoor lenshood design (often falls off or twists out of alignment); my polarizer lens foils the auto focus
After buying a D700, I first relied mainly on my old AF lenses from the film days (20-35, 35-70, 80-200) plus some primes, while hoping Nikon would soon come out with serious f4 zooms like Canon users enjoy. I'm just not a fan of the massive and pricey PRO f2.8 zooms, even though they're exceptional glass. So, when the 24-120 f/4 went up for pre-sale, I put my order in, thinking this would be the super IQ, reasonably priced and compact FX lens I had longed for. However, the 24-120 shipments were delayed, while the 28-300 began hitting the streets. After hearing some really positive first impressions from early buyers, I canceled my 24-120 order, and picked up the 28-300 instead. Having had a 18-200mm (and not a particularly sharp copy), my expectations were not too high. Also, I was very concerned by the poor MTF curves for the 28-300. Alas, maybe I just got a great copy, but I'm sure getting very sharp, contrasty images. I can't explain why the MTF curves looked bad, and why some lens tests look poor, but in real world use it does amazingly well. [Just take a look at the test photos that SLRGEAR posts for each tested lens, and compare the 28-300mm to other zooms, even the PRO glass, and see what I mean..] I was so puzzled why even the edges of my images were better than some of my film-era glass that I made direct comparison with my 20-35, 35-70, and 80-200, as well as with my modern 50 1.8 and 60 2.8 micro. While you can see that the center image is subtly better with my primes if you have the two side-by-side, and even then you must look very very closely.. It certainly isn't a dramatic difference. But how nice it is to have such a huge range available without changing lenses all the time.reviewed October 6th, 2011
Bottom line, if you're looking for something that lets you grab fast candids, where having the ability to go from wide to long and back in a flash is important, or you just want a one-lens solution for vacation travel without compromising on image quality, GET THIS LENS!! In fact, this might be the only zoom you need to own if you carry a couple primes for low light and/or for micro applications.. (I have a 24, 50, and micro I additionally carry.)
9 out of 10 points and recommendedExceptional VR performance, fast & accurate focusing, and even sharpness through zoom range.Distortion typical for the genre. Price a bit high.
This is a great all-rounder for a D7000 or D7100. I have the 16-85mm, but sometimes I was needing more reach. This provides a very useful zoom range while staying light and compact. Surprisingly, the VR performance is exceptional (a solid 4+ stops), plus autofocus is quite fast, silent, and accurate. It also is evenly sharp at all focal lengths -- even when fully zoomed out. Also, central sharpness is very good wide open; corners need 1-2 stops for improvement. This was all a pleasant surprise, as you usually have to turn to Nikon's pro lenses (which are big in cost and bulk) to achieve performance that stays even at all apertures and focal lengths. Probably a benefit of the use of ED glass and aspherical elements, coupled with good design. I haven't sold my 16-85mm, which is still my standard zoom, but this is a great choice for family and vacation shots when the longer zoom range is useful.reviewed March 10th, 2015 (purchased for $300)