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7 140997 1/15/2007
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Keywords: Nikon Nikkor Tele Zoom 35mm Tested


Registered: January 2007
Posts: 6
Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED AF Nikkor review by Masselink
Review Date: 1/15/2007 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 6 

Pros: ED elements
Cons: Slow focus speed; didn't like the quality @300mm

The main reasson i bought this lens was for budget reassons. I didn't want to spend more money, but i also didn't want the 'chaep' version.

This lens has better quaity than the Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF Nikkor (non-ED-version)
It also has an extra aperture ring.

Allthough the lens performed good in the 70-200mm range, i found it almost impossible to use the 200-300mm.

The slow focus speed and the f5.6 was to much for me. I sold this one and now i own the Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G VR AF Nikkor.

Buy it when you originally wanted the non-ED version. Don't buy it if you can manage to spend a little bit more to get a VR-ED version.

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 5
Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED AF Nikkor review by privid
Review Date: 12/16/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: build for price, satisfactory image quality, fairly fast focus, metal mount, ED
Cons: not a 'serious' lens, mainly plastic

Like a childhood sweetheart this lens was great when I was starting out in slr world but now I'm older and more mature (cough) and this just doesn't satisfy my needs. I was able to make a lot of good shots with it at day time family occasions and kids sport, but as soon as you're working an event as a payed photographer under pressure, then you need a speed, responsiveness and ruggedness this lens simply can't deliver and realistically shouldn't for the price.

Great for beginners or amatuers who use their cameras socially. The metal mount and ED element should ensure a higher resale value as well.

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 5
Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED AF Nikkor review by nullphotography
Review Date: 12/5/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $350.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: long focal length, ED glass, low weight, compact
Cons: no IF or SWM, hence noisy

Great starter telephoto lens. The long focal length is what I wanted for capturing birds and animals at a distance. At the time I really wanted IF and SWM but they were not available on a zoom of this length or price range. But now that the 70-300mm VR is out, I am upgrading.
The lens is nice and compact and light. It's ver y easy to carry this around your neck all day. The f/4-5.6 is fast enough especially considering the price jump to faster lenses. Picture quality is great, I consider it on par with my 18-70mm kit. Only problem is slight softness on the 300mm range but this could also be contributed to lens shake.
I would not recommend using a polarizing filter on this due to the fact that the barrel rotates as it focuses thus causing you to readjust the filter constantly.
I would recommend this to amateur photographers just starting out and want to try their hand with a telephoto lens.

Registered: January 2006
Posts: 3
Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED AF Nikkor review by afukuda
Review Date: 11/19/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $200.00| Rating: 5 

Pros: Focal Length, Price.
Cons: Very soft at long end, cheap plastic construction, No VR

I bought a used sample of this lens 6 months ago, I only paid $200 for the lens + hood,
The maing reason for buying this lens was to use its huge focal length, however the image quality at long end is really disappointing, too soft to be true, to my taste is only useful from 70mm to 150mm.
Autofocus is also disappointing: Slow.
Built Quality: It feels cheap plastic.
No VR.

Registered: June 2006
Posts: 5
Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED AF Nikkor review by Hokum
Review Date: 6/5/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

Pros: Light, sharp and low distortion
Cons: Some CA, great sample variation

This lens has very wide sample variation, some are rubbish end to end, some are good at the wide end some at the telephoto.

My lens was cherry picked, and 100-300mm it is very sharp, it goes off a little at the wider end. At 300mm f6.3 it is knock out, with very little CA, pin cusion, and is pretty flare resistant.

I picked up this lens as i wanted a ligher lens for travel and walking than the 300mm f2.8.

My only main nit is that the AF is a little sluggish, an AF-S version would be nice, even better would be a VR version.

Registered: January 2006
Posts: 9
Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED AF Nikkor review by freundez
Review Date: 1/28/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $185.00| Rating: 7 

Pros: Compact size, quick autofocus
Cons: Zoom ring prone to slipping, very soft images over 200mm

I bought a used copy of this lens as a companion to my 18-70mm on my D70s. This is no 80-200mm or 70-200mm VR, but for the price, I have been quite happy with the images this lens produces, and the smaller size allows me to carry it in my camera bag that I wouldn’t have been able to do with either of those pro-zooms.

Compared to the 18-70mm at 70mm, the lens is not quite as sharp and suffers a bit more from CA, but images are quite good so long as you are not stopped down past f/16 - at which point things become considerably softer. Additionally, as you've probably read elsewhere, I recommend avoiding anything much past 200mm if you care about sharpness. Bokeh is also poorer than the 18-70mm, so if you are looking for a zoom portrait lens, look elsewhere.

Build quality is decent, although my particular example has a pretty loose zoom ring which is susceptible to 'un-zooming' if I shoot at any sort of an upward angle. I did try a new example at a local camera store and the zoom mechanism was considerably stiffer, so take that for what it is worth.

As is the case with all lenses, consider what you are going to use the lens for before making a purchase. If you are just looking for a carry around zoom that will yield good photos in the 70-200mm range, I recommend this lens. If you need a faster lens or something that will be tact sharp across the entire zoom range, plan on filling your bag (and emptying your wallet) with something bigger.

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 3
Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED AF Nikkor review by neticen
Review Date: 10/21/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $299.00| Rating: 7 

Pros: Affordable with a wide zoom range
Cons: Poor handling

From an image quality standpoint, this lens is a bit better than the other consumer grade tele-zooms. Image quality is good throughout the zoom range, and improves as the lens approaches f/8. At the 200-300 end of the zoom, the lens shows an increasing drop in contrast and show more and more softness. The softness improves past f/8 to about f/11 but the overall lack of contrast and flat color does not.

Now having said all of that, it is really not a bad lens. If you don't want to carry a heavy and expensive f/2.8 with you on vacation, then this is not a bad alternative. It takes good pictures if you stop it down a bit and stay away from full zoom. It is the best sub-$1000 telephoto zoom currently available from Nikon.

I do have a couple of nagging problems with this lens.

The first is that the manual focus ring is a mess. It is too loose for my taste to begin with, but the markings are the real issue. It does not have any indicator to show the focus distance even though they are marked on the ring. To further frustrate, there are no DOF markings.

Second, my lens creeps out if it is hanging from your neck. This is very annoying to me. If you put the lens at 100mm and point the lens down, it zooms. When you are checking frames on the LCD this is quite annoying because when you bring the camera back up to your face it is at a different focal length.

Last, the included hood is a cone style that is also not marked. It is a pain to install, but it will reverse on the lens for storage.


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