The Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF can be a bit confusing to research online. It may seem like people can’t even agree on the specs, much less on how good it really is. That’s because Nikon unfortunately has released a version called the AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED. This is “ED” instead of “G”, and basically it costs twice as much. However, their basic performance seems to be the same, so the value for money would therefore be greater with the G version.
But how good is that G version, anyhow? For the price, it’s terrific if you’re looking for an affordable lightweight zoom with autofocus for FX or film cameras. It can be used for the DX camera, but just don’t expect to have autofocus for such models as the D60, D40x, or D40. You’ll need to get something as good as or better than the Nikon D7000 Camera.
With those limitations in mind, let’s take a closer look at Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF Nikkor SLR Camera Lens.
Features of the Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF Nikkor SLR Camera Lens
This offers several features that may suit your needs.
- The aperture range is from f/4 to f/45.
- It offers Autofocus as well as manual focus adjustment.
- The lens has Super Integrated Coating, which is meant to improve the efficiency of the light transmission. This enhancement results in more consistent colors and you get a reduction in flare issues.
- The minimum focus distance is 4.9 feet (about 58 inches). For 300mm, that’s not bad at all. It’s good, even.
- The filter diameter is 62mm.
- It measures 4.6 inches long with a diameter of 2.9 inches. The weight falls in at less than a pound.
- The optical zoom is 4.3x.
- With some DSLR cameras, the autofocus just won’t work because it relies on the built in autofocus motor in the camera. To be more specific, if you have the D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, and D5500 cameras, you only get manual focus.
Aside from the ludicrously low price, this offers other advantages as well:
- The focal distance of about 5 feet is actually great. That’s because, with some lenses of this type, you may have to back up farther to get a decent picture. With this one, you can stay fairly close to your subject.
- This is extremely lightweight for a telephoto lens. That’s because it’s mainly made of hard plastic parts. It’s probably this reason why it’s also extremely affordable. In fact, if you really want to save money, you can buy a refurbished model for really great savings.
- The autofocus works extremely well, as long as you do have a built in autofocus motor in your camera. The images are nicely bright and sharp. In some cases, you can get a nice blur to the background of your subject so that it can work as a portrait lens.
- The quality of the shots can actually compete with much more expensive lenses, especially when you stop it down a bit or you refrain from going beyond 200mm.
- The 300mm maximum focal length allows you to take pictures from really far away, and your pictures can make it seem like you got close to the subject. This is therefore great for situations, such as taking pictures of your kids playing football, or if they’re Lobster #2 in the Nativity school play. Of course, this also serves you well when you’re taking a picture of animals in the wild, as they may run away from you (or bite you) if you get too close. With this, you won’t have to.
- The quiet autofocus also helps you from scaring the animals.
- The light weight helps you when you have to use this for extended periods.
It should be obvious to anyone that with this price range you will have to accept some limitations:
- First of all, you may be limited to manual focus if you have one of the many simpler DSLR cameras from Nikon.
- At 300 mm, you may find that the autofocus isn’t always
- This doesn’t have much in the way of image stabilization. In fact, this can make the light weight a hindrance because a heavier lens may help to stabilize the picture.
Are you looking for a really cheap zoom autofocus lens for your FX (or compatible DSLR) camera? This one should qualify, and if you’re a beginner you’ll appreciate just how easy it is to use this. It doesn’t offer too many distortions, and it offers rather sharp images and a nice blur for the background.
Bring this along on your next hike, or just have this with you in the park when you’re looking for birds. This is also great for parents whose kids are stage performers and athletes. This may not be your choice if your budget only allows you a single lens, but the Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF Nikkor SLR Camera Lens does make for a nice addition to your lens collection.