With internal focusing and a consistent set of MTF curves, this stabilised 70-300mm optic has a lot going for it for Nikon users

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF VR

Overall score:89%
Image Quality:85%


  • Internal focusing


  • Not much at all


Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF VR Review


Price as reviewed:

Most lenses of this type offer a maximum aperture of f/4 but Nikon’s lens is limited to f/4.5. Despite this, it requires a 67mm lens cap even though its faster f/4 competitors are able to make do with either 58mm or 62mm.

The lens has internal focusing and an impressive AF action thanks to Nikon’s SWM technology. These advantages immediately put the Nikkor in a different class and should render it quiet enough to leave both nervous wildlife and temperamental golfers unperturbed.

The zoom ring dominates the lens barrel, with a narrow manual focus ring located to the rear. Manual focusing can be applied in AF mode. Beneath the AF mode selector is the second-generation Vibration Reduction switch and below that, slightly recessed to prevent accidental adjustment, is the VR mode slider. All of these, plus a focused-distance window, are located closest to the camera body. Overall balance, even with the lens fully extended, is excellent thanks to the size and position of the zoom ring.

Technical testing revealed good consistency but no particular sweet-spot. As is normal for zooms of this type, the 300mm setting produced the weakest MTF results and was also associated with slight colour fringing in high-contrast test-target images (but not in real-life pictures). Sadly, in Nikon’s case the 300mm setting narrowly failed to reach the critical 0.25 cycles-per-pixel level that was the norm for other focal-lengths down to f/16.

Nikon 70-30mm MTF graph


  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. sample images
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