Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR (FX) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (full format)

Review by Markus Stamm, published May 2011


Ever since it was released in 2006 the Nikkor AF-S 70-300 VR has been a tremendous success for Nikon. It combines an attractive tele zoom range with Nikon's second generation image stabilization (VR II) and an affordable price.

In this review we will have a look at how the lens performs on our FX test camera, the Nikon D3x.

The build quality is in line with other Nikon consumer lens offerings. The outer construction is made of good quality plastics and a metal mount. As you can see in the product shots below the lens extends quite a bit when zooming towards the long end of the zoom range. The inner lens tubes wobbles slightly.

The focus and zoom control rings operate smoothly. The front element does not rotate during focus operations so using a polarizer remains easily possible. A petal-shaped lens hood is part of the package.

Nikon includes its latest generation optical stabilization system (VR II) with a claimed efficiency of up to 4 f-stops. In our field tests it felt more like 3 stops, though. The lens offers a switch to chose between "Normal" and "Active" VR operation.

Thanks to an AF-S drive (Silent Wave Motor) the AF operations are nearly silent and quite fast.

The Nikkor 70-300 VR is a G-type lens, so it does not offer an aperture ring.

Optical construction17 elements in 12 groups inc. 2 ED elements
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance1.5 m (max. magnification ratio 1:4)
Dimensions80 x 144 mm
Weight745 g
Filter size67 mm (non-rotating)
HoodNikon HB-36, petal shaped, bayonet mount, supplied
Other featuresLens provides distance (D) information. Silent wave drive. Vibration reduction (VR).

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