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

Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR
Weight: 26oz
Filter Size: 67mm

    The Nikkor 70-300VR was a purchase made after too much frustration trying to track targets with manual focus telephoto lenses. The compressed field of view and shallow depth of field inherent to telephoto lenses make them tough to track something like a moving kayak, or honestly, pretty much anything without massive amounts of practice. The short is that for the price and weight, this lens is fantastic. Amazing performance from 70-200, and holds it's own better than expected at 300mm. Not perfect, but about 75% of the 300mm f/4.5 ED-IF wide open and discernible stopped down but fully functional.

Tomass Marnics, South Branch.

Nikon D700, Nikkor 70-300VR  @ 300mm 1/1250 f/8 ISO 200

100% unsharpened crop of the same.

Nikon D700, Nikkor 70-300VR  @ 300mm 1/1250 f/8 ISO 200

  These days most lenses work well on a bright sunny day, but really show their worth on a dark day. Obviously a 4.5-5.6 lens is not fast, but coupled with the D3/D700 sensor it's enough to squeak by shooting action sports in the shade or on a cloudy day.

Rok Sribar, Bald Rock Canyon of the Feather River.

Nikon D700, Nikkor 70-300VR  @ 220mm 1/1000 f/5.6 ISO 1600

100% crop with no sharpening. Not bad for wide open!

Nikon D700, Nikkor 70-300VR  @ 220mm 1/1000 f/5.6 ISO 1600

Fully extended Nikkor 70-300VR on a Nikon D200

  Build: 7/10                  - Typical modern Nikkor plastic lens, but a step above the true consumer level kit lens.
  Handling: 5/10            -  Zoom is not the smoothest, focus throw is too short for great manual focus, but instant AF override is nice.
  Performance: 7/10      -  Amazing 70-200 and passable at 300mm
  Value: 9/10                  -  Bang for the buck this this is a superb investment.
  Overall: 9/10                - Nothing is perfect, manual focus could be better, odd 67mm filter size is annoying. Amazing versatility.

Practicality for kayaking: 9/10

  Amazing versatility and performance in a $500 package. Leaps and bounds better than the old 70-300G. On a relative scale it's a small lens for what it does. The VR works well, allowing some very slow hand held shots. The largest downside to the 70-300VR is that it will serve a limited life for expedition kayaking, because the plastic build and in lens focusing motor will not hold up to multiple big hits as the camera rides around the back of a kayak. The other major downside to this lens is that it's simply dismal on a tripod. It's light and relatively large with no tripod collar. If there is any wind present there will be too make shake to make using a tripod worthwhile.

   Strictly for kayaking, you really can't go wrong with this one minus the few negative sides (durability, tripod performance).

Other links:
Thom Hogan