Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6D AF ED


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A very good telephoto zoom that I found most useful for birds at the beach and also worked quite well for portraits when used at shorter focal lengths. I'd prefer the 80-400 VR for birds but at $1,600 or so the bird lens must wait. To some extent this one is made obsolete by the 18-200 VR lens, as this one gives you 100 more millimeters and you give up VR.

This lens is very sharp as you can see by the sample photographs. It extends quite a bit during zooming.

A cheaper cousin exists that is much less durable and lacks the ED element. I have not tested it but I'll stick to metal mounts for everything.

Letter soup:

  1. AF: Auto Focus driven by mechanical link from the camera. If you want to manually focus this lens you really ought to disengage the camera's drive (switch the camera's auto focus lever to "M" and it not only turns off autofocus, it disengages the gears and makes turning the focus ring much easier). Focus was plenty fast enough to follow moving birds.
  2. ED: Extra-low dispersion element. ED lenses have less chromatic abberation.