Rodney Campbell's Blog

New Lens – Nikon AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED…

by on Aug.25, 2010, under Life, Photography

A happy man today – this morning I succumbed to GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) and purchased and picked up a new photographic toy (in North Sydney) – the Nikon AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED lens.

I had borrowed and used (thanks again to my trusty neighbour) Nikons extremely uber pro lens – the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR I – during a recent school athletics carnival and again to do some portrait work at a school night-time fundraising event. This fast (constant f/2.8) lens is a staple of the pro photographer and I have to say was an absolute joy to use and produced fantastically sharp and smooth images. It is however very large (over 20cm long and almost 9cm in diameter) and very heavy (over 1.5kg) and very expensive (over AUD$3,000) and totally dwarf’d my tiny D90 and I did notice the weight when shooting for long periods hand-held.

The 70-300 that I bought I guess is not quite the poor mans equivalent (Nikon did have a very cheap 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED that cost a few hundred dollars) but I’d say it’s the middle mans equivalent of the pro 70-200mm – it’s zooms further (out to 300mm – however it is sharper between 70 and 200mm), it is slower (f4.5-5.6) and is much smaller and half the weight. Apparently however by most accounts between 70 and 200mm it is nearly as sharp as the pro 70-200. On my 1.5x crop sensor Nikon D90 body this lens gives an equivalent field of view of a 105 to 450mm focal length.

The Nikon AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED has the new technology goodies like Vibration Reduction (VR) and Silent Wave Motor – SWM which enables fast and quiet autofocusing, and constant instant switching between autofocus and manual operation (AF-S) and is very solidly built. It normally retails here in Australia for around AUD$1000 however I picked up mine for AUD$649.

This lens is not a DX (crop sensor) specific lens and does support FX (full frame) use which means if I ever do really succumb and upgrade to a full frame sensor camera (like the D700 or above) then I can continue using this lens to it’s full potential – I am now considering sticking with FX only lenses from now on…

I now have three lenses which work fine on FX bodies (this Nikon AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED, my Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro and the Nikon AF 50mm f1.8D) and two DX specific lenses (the Nikon AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF ED VR II which I purchased with my D90 and my Ultra Wide Angle Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM).

I am however already thinking about a 50mm replacement – the Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM for some smooth and creamy low DoF work… mmmmm….

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