Excerpt: Hands on Nicely and conservatively finished in semimatte black, this lens is a good match with medium to heavy Nikon bodies (such as the D80), but it's very nose-heavy on lightweights like the D40. Focusing and zoom rings turn very smoothly but need more damping; the focusing ring is conveniently close to the lensmount. Focus and VR switches may be hard to operate with gloves on. No tripod collar.
Excerpt: While I hope to create a full Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G AF-S VR Lens evaluation, my first priority is to include results from this lens in the lens comparison tools. This page currently exists because it is required by the database and content management systems for the posting of those standard test results.
Summary: The Nikkor 70-300mm VR is a classy telephoto zoom for both Nikon film and digital SLRs. It offers a powerful range which perfectly complements general purpose zooms like the DX 18-70mm, the vibration reduction facilities are very effective, while both the build and optical quality are a step-up from budget models.
Pros: Great all-round telephoto zoom., Very effective VR anti-shake facilities., Fast and quiet SWM focusing., Perfectly complements DX 18-70mm lens., Works with full-frame bodies.
Cons: Bigger and heavier than DX 55-200mm VR., Zoom ring a little stiff, but at least no creep., DX 55-200mm VR a cheaper alternative.
Excerpt: The Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G AF-S VR weighs a full 320g more than the non-VR version but it does now house the VR technology, and feels and looks a good deal better than the previous model. The emphasis here is on the zoom ring - at 75mm long it takes up around half of the overall length of the lens but it's one of the few features that doesn't feel particularly great.
Conclusion: To put it in a nutshell Nikon took up to the challenge of the Canon 70-300 IS in a stylish and efficient way. Both lenses have similar properties with the similar pros and cons list and one serious slip-up – in the case of the Canon it was the autofocus, which, for an USM mechanism works badly; in the case of the Nikon it was the chromatic aberration, which level was too high.
Cons: high or very high chromatic aberration at all focal lengths,, at 300 mm image resolution could have been better.
Excerpt: The vast majority of Nikon lenses we've handled and tested over the years have felt very well made, and this 70-300mm is no exception. It's a really nice lens to hold, with a solid weight of 745g and an external finish that oozes quality. The zoom ring is quite large and this allows you to get a good grip with your hand and whizz through the full focal length range with ease.