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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
NikonAF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens
 
4.6

(based on 770 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (521)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (214)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (23)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (470)
  • Strong construction (364)
  • Consistent output (349)
  • Durable (303)
  • Easily interchangeable (280)

Cons

  • Heavy (251)
  • Poor in low light (97)
  • Slow focus (31)
  • Lens creep (30)
  • Blurry focus (12)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (503)
  • Wildlife photos (364)
  • Sports/action (287)
  • Weddings (201)
  • Low light (98)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (332), Semi-pro photographer (225), Pro photographer (87), Casual photographer (37), Photography student (14)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (656), Yes (32)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

An Excellent Lens For What It Is

I purchased this lens used from B&H in perfect optical condition with minor cosmetic damage. I shoot it on a D750.

There's a lot of reasons zoom lenses are inferior...Read complete review

I purchased this lens used from B&H in perfect optical condition with minor cosmetic damage. I shoot it on a D750.

There's a lot of reasons zoom lenses are inferior to prime lenses and the wider the zoom range, the more these shortfalls tend to be exacerbated. The Nikkor 28-300 VR has most of the typical shortfalls of the superzoom class: huge amounts of distortion (especially at the edges of the zoom range), slow apertures, poor corner sharpness, some vignetting, some chromatic aberration, all in a very heavy and relatively expensive package for the image quality.

But I do like this lens a lot and find it's relatively easy to minimize its weaknesses and exploit its strengths. It's quite a surprisingly sharp lens especially when you're not shooting it wide open. Sharpness maximizes around f/9 through the zoom range so the small wide-open apertures don't make much difference to me. Think about it, you're likely investigating this lens as a travel or outdoor hiking sort of lens, where you don't want to be carrying more than one or two lenses but want to be able to shoot a landscape and then an animal without swapping. So you've hopefully already got the light to work with since you're outside. Additionally, the VR system seems to work pretty well and you should be able to cheat a slower shutter speed out of your camera to further reduce the liability of a tight aperture. Not to mention, if you're pairing it with a body like the D750, you're going to get great high ISO performance out of the sensor and that's another place to recover some of that exposure. Thanks to Lightroom (or even the lens corrections on board the D750) issues like distortion, CA, and vignetting are one-click fixes and aren't worth worrying about.

If you look below I have a particularly bizarre picture shot at 300mm, 1/200 (slower than the recommended 1/focal length), ISO 12800, and f/9. I'm trying to demonstrate center sharpness at the worst possible focal length for it along with the performance of the VR system as well as the ISO handling of the D750. Typically superzooms are very weak at the longest end so this is an extreme test case to help you folks decide on the lens.

Autofocus is fast and accurate, no problem there. This lens will creep greatly and the 28mm locking mechanism is handy, though you cannot lock it at any other focal length; just use the lock for packing and travelling with the lens (you'll need it). Bokeh is good. Zoom ring is pretty smooth and you can zoom from 28-300 with one easy turn. Close focus is GREAT! Obviously this is not a true macro lens but with the good reproduction ratio and center sharpness you can get away with using it as a pinch macro lens. See candy picture below.

If you're shooting indoors you'll probably want to use flash and if that's the case you'll need a better solution than you camera's naked onboard flash because the lens is huge and will likely cast a shadow, especially if the hood is on. This lens has a huge profile. Consider a speedlight.

In conclusion, given its versatility and relatively strong optics for its class, this is basically the ideal walkaround and backup lens. Stick it in a wedding kit in case something disastrous happens to your workhorse 24-70/2.8 or 70-200/2.8. Don't overestimate it and use your appropriate primes for serious work. If you know its limitations and how best to utilize it, it's an excellent buy.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

All-in-one bliss, but with compromises

Title says it all. If you are looking for one lens to cover just about the full gamut of common focal lengths, this is the lens. Sounds great right? Read on. Read complete review

Title says it all. If you are looking for one lens to cover just about the full gamut of common focal lengths, this is the lens. Sounds great right? Read on.

First off, the lens is built like a tank. It is on par with the construction quality of Nikon pro glass, not sure about the seals, but you could defend yourself with this lens if you needed to! As a consequence of the build quality is the added weight. This is a heavy sucker and when you use 200-300mm it gets LONG and throws off the balance of your camera. Not a deal breaker, but also consider you will get funny looks with the obscene appearance of the lens when at 300mm!

This lens is slow, but in theory this is compensated for by the VR. If low light is your thing, you may want to look somewhere else. Additionally, you will not get those creamy soft out of focus areas like faster primes. Don't forget that the widest aperture is variable too depending on focal length. Image sharpness is pretty good, but not on par with pro level zooms or even a less costly set of primes. Comparing this lens to the fantastic 70-200mm F2.8 VRII is an eye opener. If sports is your thing, save your money and get the latter lens it is that much better. Autofocus while good, may not be fast enough for some sports. I shot soccer at it was good, but not as fast as the 70-200.

Here is the big downside, distortion. Gobs of it. If you use it creatively you might get results you want, but be mindful how you use the lens especially at the wide end or you may be rather dissappointed.

Overall, the lens is best for someone who wants only ONE lens and isn't too overly concerned about IQ, distortion etc. This is not a pro level lens nor one I'd use for critical shoots, but to travel with this may be ideal, but again, don't forget how heavy this sucker is!

Reviewed by 770 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Great all around "walk-around" lens

By chrisg-optical

from Brooklyn, NY

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

I bought this lens as a general purpose all around, walk around lens for my newly purchased D7200, I did not want to constantly switch between two zooms or primes. I have taken over 200 images both at the wide, mid and telephoto ranges, Edge to edge sharpness and detail is amazing for a super-zoom lens. Contrast and color rendition is great. No noticeable distortion. I also wanted a lens that I could use on FX bodies that I plan to purchase (perhaps the new D850) as this is a FX lens. It's a beefy lens but I don't mind the weight - the results are worth it for me.On a DX DSLR at 300mm it provides angle of view comparable to a 450 mm lens on an FX body, so it's great for nature, sports, wildlife or BIF genres.

 
4.0

Takes decent shots over a wide range of focal lengths

By Peter

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

I recently got this after reading some very positive reviews. I haven't used it much yet, but so far I'm impressed at the ability to take decent shots over a wide range of focal lengths.

To illustrate the range, see a pair of shots below of the same subject at 28mm and 300mm. (I would have included shots at 68mm and 145mm, but there's a limit of 2.)

After starting out with kit lenses that had variable aperture (i.e., slower max aperture at longer focal lengths), I was determined to stick with constant-aperture for any new lenses I bought. But my purpose in buying this lens was to have a smaller kit when travelling. Given the versatility of focal length, I was willing to tradeoff constant, faster aperture for that. I've got a couple of trips coming up, so will see how it works out.

(Re smaller kit, I'm thinking it would still be nice to have something faster, and that maybe a 35mm f/1.8 might make a good travelling companion.)

Some physical characteristics:

The lens lengthens as you zoom, starting right away from 28mm. At 300mm, it is about double the 28mm length.

It's a bit heavier than I expected, but not too bad: 800g. For a couple of comparisons, the 24-120 f/4 is 710g, and the 24-70 f/2.8 ED VR (2016 model) is 1080g. If I weren't travelling with this lens, I might be carrying the 70-200mm f/2.8 ED VR II, at 1540g -- nearly double.

The zoom action is fairly stiff when zooming in from 28mm to 105mm; it loosens up some going from 105mm to 200mm, and is much more free going from 200mm to 300mm. Zooming in the opposite direction, from tele to wide, it has modest resistance, similar to that going from 200mm to 300mm; and it stays pretty constant all the way back to 28mm. I don't think I'd want to zoom in while shooting video starting at anything wider than 105mm. I'm not sure why it's stiff zooming in from the widest ranges, and why it's much less stiff over the same wide end of the range when zooming out. Here's a guess: the lens has a lock at 28mm, and the manual says to lock it when carrying the camera "to prevent the lens from extending due to its own weight". Perhaps the drag is another mitigation against the lens extending while carrying it.

The lens comes with the HB-50 hood, which protrudes about 60mm top and bottom but only about 28mm on the sides. The sides were short enough that I was able to rotate my Nikon CP-15 polarizing filter, though it's not the most convenient. In the 28mm shot below, there's some noticeable vignetting in the upper right corner. (I haven't checked if that was from the filters or the hood.)

As I said, I haven't shot a lot with it yet. In the sequence of four shots I took at the beach (two of them below -- taken on a D750), they came out with a bit too much contrast. The late-afternoon sunlight was fairly harsh, though. Some other shots taken in softer light with the sun behind a cloud bank on the horizon didn't have the same issue.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

My go to lens!

By Michael

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

I have had all sorts of lenses over the years--primes, telephotos, wides, etc. This lens is the one most on my camera. I have pared down to now just 3 lenses, the Nikon 14mm (which is unmatched) this one and the Sigma 150-600. People talk about sharpness, but I don't see any difference between this lens and the primes when post processed properly. I highly recommend!!!

 
4.0

Looks good - haven't used enough yet to form final opinion

By Lew

from Florida

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

The lens arrived in good condition and adapts well to my Nikon d750. Zoom and focus actions are smooth. My only other comment would be in a way of a suggestion to B&H. When the box arrived, both the 28-300 lens and filter (ordered separately) were freely moving and shifting inside the shipping box. The only padding was a single sheet of bubble wrap loosely laid inside the box and provided zero protection of the contents. The excellent condition of the lens and filter is a tribute to the manufacturers' packaging rather than packaging at the B&H warehouse - maybe a little more attention to packaging valuable and fragile items would be in order.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Lens

By Kinch

from Warren, Michigan

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

As a Pro , this is one of my go to lens for most of my of my party work.
I can cover a lot of floor just from one spot in the room.
i do have to use flash most of the time but I can cover all kinds of shots with this lens.
I love that I don't have to carry two camera's all the time now.
28- 300 works great.

 
5.0

Versatil lens

By Clay

from Undisclosed

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

I dont have to change lens so much when shooting an event. It is great.

(1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The only lens I'm taking to Europe

By Vinman

from Undisclosed

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

Great replacement for my four lenses. The one I'll take to Europe later this year.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Impressive for such a long range zoom ...

By Dave

from USA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

Overall have been very impressed with both the picture sharpness and color quality, especially given the long range of the zoom. I'm using it on a Nikon D750. At the long end (anything greater than 200mm), the sharpness starts to drop a little (especially at ISO > 800), but well within the tolerance range for such a zoom lens. It is a little bit on the heavy side, but this is the lens that spends the most time on my camera if I'm just out shooting for fun (family, etc.) for the day. Build quality feels very good, with smooth rotation and it's very comfortable to hold. I've tried all the different VR modes, but apart from VR On vs. VR Off, I don't notice a real difference between the different VR On modes.

(0 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A new lens for me

By WML

from Phoenix, AZ

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

I just received the lens 2 days ago, and have not had a chance to play with it yet. I put it in my brand new camera and am just starting to learn how to use both the camera and the lens. Both camera and lens are Nikon products, with the usual high quality touch to them. They are built rock solid, but do feel a bit heavy to me. I sure hope I can get used to the weight.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Excellent all purpose lens.

By Dennis from Fresno

from Fresno, CA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

I purchased a Nikon D610 but did not have a full frame lens to take advantage of the full frame features of the camera. The 28-300mm lens is heavy, no doubt about it, but weigh that against having to take two or three lens. I took the 28-300 lens on a trip to San Francisco - we walked from downtown to Fisherman's Wharf through Chinatown. The lens provided a multitude of options for captures and performed well with available light and focus features. The camera was not a problem to carry or to set up in a hurry for a shot. This lens is a perfect match for the Nikon D610.

(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

I would always purchase my photo gear from B & H!!!

By PG

from Mountain Brook, Alabama

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

The lens is awesome and perfect for my trios, as I only need this lens for all situations! Your company is by far, head and shoulders above everyone else! Your helpfulness and expeditious shipping is superior. I can't recommend you any higher! You are simply put, the absolute best! Thank you so very much!

Kindest regards,
Preston Goldfarb

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Does EVERYTHING Well!

By Robert

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

I am an industrial photo pro with all Nikon cameras/lenses. I have had the best of the best. This lens is not the classic 24-70mm 2.8 in sharpness but it IS sharp, very tough, and as versatile as it gets. I personally don't have thousands of dollars for the Nikon trinity set but this lens is well engineered and priced for my D610 at home. I think you will keep it on your camera almost all the time.

(10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

What more, really, could you ask for???

By Scott

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

Most anyone getting this lens is, I suspect, a former DX shooter, who became addicted to the 18-200. And after switching to FX, I suspect many resisted getting this because 'if you're going to switch to FX, you should only be using primes or 2.8 zooms otherwise why did you even bother???'...or so photo snobbery would have us believe. And like many, I suspect that over time you became frustrated at not having the reach or instant ability to get the shot at the focal length you wanted that the 18-200 on a DX body afforded you. Well, let me add to the chorus that says.....screw those snobby snobbersons who look down on variable aperture superzooms. This lens has brought back  my love of shooting and completely reinvigorated me! Most of what I photograph are my kids and things in life that don't stop while I change lenses....or make calls to the chiropractor because my camera bag full of lenses is killing me slowly. And so here is why this lens is so great on an FX body. The low noise performance of a camera like the D750 combined with the focal length flexibility of this lens is phenomenal. You can get a full resolution framing of the shot you want, knowing that even at high ISOs, you will get an acceptable picture, and in most cases, a fantastic one. And for what it's worth, I am coming from the 24-120 f4 and maybe I had a so so sample of it, but this lens blows it out of the water in every single aspect of performance. My highest recommendation.

 
5.0

Love this Lens

By Mike

from Big Pine, CA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

Using on a D810 pictures are very sharp.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

I would recommend this lens to anyone that travels!

By Raymond

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

This is a great travel lens for those who need full zoom range and don't want to change lens in the field.
Sure it has distortion issues, most super zooms do, but it takes sharp pictures. I paired it up with a D750 and have been satisfied with the results. I have the 24-120 zoom and it is great for low-light close up portraits and action shots.

 
5.0

Most definitely I would purchase this lens again.

By Ronald

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

This is my go to lens when I travel.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Nikon Af-S Nikkor 28-300mm F/3.5-5.6g Ed Vr Lens

By Donald

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

My Nikon Af-S Nikkor 28-300mm F/3.5-5.6g Ed Vr Lens is a great lens - well built and excellent picture quality. This one lens will be all you need carry - highly recommended!

 
5.0

I would recomend this to anyone.

By Rick

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

Great all around travel lens.
We now have two of these and is fairly fast and creates sharp photos.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

This product has outstanding quality and resolution.

By Bill, the pilot

from Fort Myers, FL

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

Outstanding sharpness at both 28 mm and 300 mm. At 28 mm it is very fast at f 3.5 and compares in resolution with a friends prime 28 mm wide angle lens. Sharpness is maintained throughout its lens length and at its max 300 mm is still very fast at f 5.6. My recent shots of a Snowy Egret at 300 mm produced outstanding resolution throughout the photo.

 
5.0

nice product

By Peter

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

It is sharp and focus moving smoothly.

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