Nikon Nikkor 70-200mm f4G ED VR Lens Review

Preface: This will not be a technical review, such as the ones Ken Rockwell writes, but simply my experience using this excellent lens. If needed, there are ample tech specs at NikonUSA.com.

Nikkor 70-200 f4 Nikon D7000
Nikkor 70-200 f4 with Nikon D7000 DSLR

This lens is fantastic!  I had been debating between this and Nikon’s f/2.8 version and opted to purchase the f4 primarily due to price, but also the very good reviews and recommendations/suggestions from others.  Aside from saving $1,000 over the f/2.8, I have not yet found that I have lost anything in the bargain.  Yes, I realize there may be times when I wish I had the f/2.8 but being able to adjust the ISO on my D7000 that time has not yet come.

Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f4G ED VR
Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f4G ED VR

Images are razor sharp with very little vignetting or distortion and the colors are vibrant.  Yes, vibrant.  When you add that to the weight being about half of the f/2.8, due to no tripod collar and less glass, this lens is one that will be staying with me for a long time to come.  Speaking of the tri-pod collar – the balance without it is such that when I use my Manfrotto 3221W tri-pod with the 804RC2 pan/tilt head it is really a non-issue.  And, as Nikon continues to improve on their already great VR (Vibration Reduction) technology, this f4, with the latest generation VR, really does not need a tri-pod in the vast majority of shots I have taken, or will be taking.  For those times when it is quite dark, yes, I would need the tri-pod, as well as for some video shoots.  But, when you want, or need, to walk around shooting with this lens that reduction in weight (the lens as well as the tri-pod) is totally priceless.

The f/2.8 will produce slightly better bokeh (background blur) in almost all cases but that also depends on circumstances. I have been quite pleased with the results I have achieved thus far.  The construction of the lens seems very good.  Yes, it is mostly plastic, but isn’t almost everything nowadays.  If you don’t accidentally drop it you should be fine.

Close-Up Portrait of a Bridesmaid
Close-Up Portrait of a Bridesmaid

Focusing the f/4 is quite smooth, and fast, and the lens hunts very very little.  That it is only a 67mm lens (as opposed to 77mm size of the f/2.8) will save a little cash on No Density (ND), Ultra Violet (UV) and/or Circular Polarizer (CPL) filters.  I happen to use Hoya filters and they screw on and off effortlessly.  And, like all Nikon lenses, this 70-200mm f/4 attaches to the body in a snap.  For many people, like me, this is an absolutely incredible lens, especially for the price (and weight) difference.  It is highly recommended.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens Review

As is the norm here at Main Street One, tech specs are not really discussed when products are reviewed. The thought process is that a prospective buyer is more than likely knowledgeable, to some degree, with all or most of the specs. These reviews deal with experience in working with a product, how it performs in the real world and are compared, at times, to similar products from the same or another manufacturer.

The piece of camera gear reviewed here is the Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18–300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens. Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300mmNikon USA refers to this glass as, the “most powerful all-in-one zoom lens ever.” There is absolutely no argument here, only supporting evidence.

This lens was purchased to take the place of having to carry both a Nikon AF-S 18-200mm lens and a Nikon AF-S 55-300mm lens and then needing (or having) to switch them out in order to capture certain shots (and oft-times missing the shot due to the time it takes to change them). Another reason is that each time a lens is removed from the camera body that action opens up the possibility of contaminants infiltrating gear during the change-out. What a dream! With this lens neither of the two mentioned issues is a even a remote concern.

True, the 18-300mm is not classed (nor priced) as a pro level lens and it will not outperform a prime lens but it certainly is great glass.

The 18-300mm focuses faster than either the 18-200mm or the 55-300mm. There have been zero issues with the lens hunting for a focal point in low lighting situations (unless there is absolutely no contrast, but that happens with virtually every lens manufactured).

The sharpness at all focal settings, between 18mm and 300mm, is very good. The color and clarity of images are both quite good. Well, no, they are better than quite good. Nikon has done a very admirable job in bringing consumers an excellent all-in-one carry-about lens.

Nikon D5100 with Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300mm lens
Nikon D5100 with Nikkor AF-S DX 18-300mm lens

The 18-300mm performs at least as well, if not better, at 300mm than the 55-300mm lens, and at the lower end of the spectrum, in the 18-24mm range, it has out-shined the 18-200mm. That is exceptional, to say the least.

The AF (autofocus) works superbly and coupled with Nikon’s Vibration Reduction II (VR) technology makes for perfect everyday shooting. However, this lens can also be used for close-up nature shots producing excellent clarity and bokeh (background blur). 

The 18-300mm has been used on both a Nikon D90 and a Nikon D5100 and it performs great on both bodies.

The lens lock comes in handy to avoid the dreaded lens creep.

The glass is definitely heavier than the 18-200mm, but that is to be expected with the added focal length. The build quality seems quite good. There is no cheap plastic feeling that one sometimes experiences with certain lenses. The reversible lens hood is engineered well with the camera’s IF (Internal Focus) and, when reversed, does not interfere when focusing, as it does on the 18-200mm.

Overall, this is a very impressive lens. The Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18–300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR is definitely recommended as a one-lens solution for those photographers wanting (desiring) glass such as this, especially when travelling and for day shooting when taking a few pieces of glass is either not wanted or not an option.

Over For Now.

Main Street One