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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 755 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (511)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (209)

  • 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 755 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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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.

 
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.

 
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.

 
5.0

Ideal for my use

By Dennis

from South Florida

Verified Buyer

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

I bought this lens with my camera upgrade from D7000 to D750 (DX to FX). I had grown comfortable shooting the D7000 with my 18-200 DX, and the reviews of this lens were so good that I felt like it was a good choice, and a similar combination. I have not been disappointed.

I am a mid-level (at best) amateur with a limited budget. I have some great old manual lenses from when I shot film, but my budget for lenses is pretty lean (as is my patience for carrying a bag of lenses). This lens is my primary lens. I take it to shoot morning landscapes, wildlife, the family, and just about everything else. It is a big, heavy lens, but I've become a lot more comfortable with it. I keep a fast 50mm in my bag for low-light, certain landscapes, etc.

It focuses quickly, and is plenty sharp for my needs. The vibration reduction is almost miraculous. Yes, sometimes I wish it were faster, so I could shorten the DOF on portraits and some wildlife. And sometimes I wish it were smaller and lighter. But I haven't found any reasonable alternative that wouldn't have me carrying more lenses around, which defeats the benefit for me.

In short, a great all-around lens.

 
5.0

Great lens for the price.

By Don

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

I use this lens to shoot freighters as they pass down a river. I like the wide focal length range for this application. I wish it was faster but at the price range it is in I don't think that is feasible. I use it with a circular polarizing filter so that slows it down some too. Also use it for landscapes and it works very well for that. If you want a wide range zoom for a full frame camera this one is very good for the price.

 
5.0

Very good lens for general conditions

By Hunter

from Fremont, CA

Verified Buyer

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

Very good lens. Wide range of zoom to cover from wide angle to telephoto for general uses such as a causal trip, vacation, party that doesn't require strong special effects. Even at 300mm the image quality is still pretty good. When set with the largest aperture at telephoto for portrait, the object is clear with good color and blurry back ground to enhance the object. If you like to have a good lens to make good landscape and portrait photos but don't want to carry multiple lens, this is a really good one. Even it has Silent Wave Motor AF System but there is a small noise when adjusting focus in auto focus mode but it doesn't affect picture quality. It could be just my lens. My 28-70mm and 70-200mm lenses don't have noise when adjusting focus. It may be heavy to some people who usually use cellphones, point-N-shoot, and mirrorless cameras.

 
4.0

Foavorite lens in the bag

By Mike

from Gaithersburg, MD

Verified Buyer

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

The Nikon 28-300 is a highly versatile lens that i find convenient for so any circumstances that it has become my go to lens that is usually the default on my camera. I carry other lenses for special needs but this lens helps reduce the need to change lenses. I will say that when you want a shallow depth of field fornflowers or bugs etc its not always easy to achieve with this lens.

(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

I would buy again

By Frank

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Great Camera, exceeds my expatations

 
5.0

Great!

By Weiling

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

A versatile lens. Great for travel.

 
3.0

Decent walking around lens

By Thomas

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Very handy to have a wide range of MM in one lens, Lower mm (28 to 135) render fairly good focus, but objects very far away at 300mm are soft focus.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Fits my requirements perfectly.

By Thomas

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Great piece of glass, a bit heavy but that is what makes it good. It is a full sensor lens I use on my D750. Exceptional for travel for wide to zoom.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Tack sharp, great value, perfect service.

By Christopher

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

I shoot portrait session on the beach. This is the perfect lens for near and far reach. I couldn't believe how much sharper it was than my 24mm/120mm. Great value, fast delivery.

 
5.0

Tack sharp!

By Christopher

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

O M G! What a great value. Great lens, great price, quick delivery. I wont shop anywhere else.
I love B&H.

(14 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great lens

By James

from Undisclosed

Site Member

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

I reviewed this lens about two years ago and I need to update the review after extensive use. I continue to read how this lens is a compromise of design, maybe so! Reviewers state several reason why they feel that way so I will write why it is so good.

I use it most of the time and I own 8 Nikkor lenses and have owned a couple of dozen over the years. This one is a stand out. Here is one safety reason no one talks about that I know of.

1. When Americans travel out of the country they are a target, (period). When Senior Americans travel that target gets amplified, at 73, I have to be careful and still have fun. I have heard of several getting robbed when they change lenses because they lose concentration of their surroundings.

2.There is nothing wrong with the sharpness of this lens. I still use the D700 and do 20x30 prints at high ISO.

3.In low light it does works very well because of the outstanding VRII.

So there are my safety reasons and lens IQ reasons for using this lens. Is it perfect? No. Neither are my photos however,  I carry all I need for the camera using a BlackRapid Cargo strap and I use a Mindshift 30 bag. I need no more than that.

 
5.0

Wonderful range in a lens.

By KM6VV

from Central Coast, CA, USA

Verified Buyer

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

I bought this lens on the recommendation of fellow Nikkoneons, and a cousin. It quite comfortably replaces the kit lenses I got with my D3300. It is surprisingly compact, an a good fit in my hand, if a little heaver then my other lenses. The double telescoping the the lens is a little different, but well designed. Initial photos are quite pleasing, and it is a joy to cover so much range with one lens. My new favorite!

 
5.0

Terrific Lens!

By Larry

from Dallas

Verified Buyer

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

Bought this for my Nikon D810. The combination creates great pictures. Great as a walk-around lens.
And as always B&H service is great!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

great travel lens

By Andy

from South Florida

Verified Buyer

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

Used this lens for a trip to California and on to Hawaii... works well for landscape and portrait if you want to travel light and avoid a bag full of lenses.

(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Incredible Lens

By Richard

from Undisclosed

Site Member

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

If you're like me after you've read all the comments from the typical lens review sites and listened to the opinions of all the standard internet photography "experts"...you most likely were left in a state of confusion about this lens.  Some praised the sharpness, others found fault etc...the lens receives praise from several highly regarded professional photographers on one hand and scorn from others.

I'm not a professional, but an architect who's been shooting for my own pleasure for 30 years on and off.  Currently I use a Nikon D750 and own Nikon lenses 16-35 f/4, 35 f/1.8, 50 f/1.4, and 85 f/1.8.  All great lenses in my opinion.

After much deliberation, I decided to order the 28-300 from B&H.  I've had it for about one week and could not be happier.  I plan to use it as the lens to bring when I don't know what to bring.

As others have mentioned, it's big and heavy.

My advice, if you think may fit your needs, stop reading about it and buy it.  I wish I would have earlier.

I've attached a photo on my way to lunch the first day with the lens & the d750.

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