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Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Carole, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Carole


    Jun 15, 2008
    Bellingham, WA
    What is the difference betweeen a Nikon Zoom Telephoto AF VR Zoom Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S Autofocus Lens and a Nikon AF 70-300mm ED f/4-5.6D lens? I have the latter and am happy with it. Will I be any happier with the VR? Consider that I can take almost any shot I want hand held as I have been blessed with steady hands (even my photography teacher can't believe the shots I get without a tripod). Since the VR is slower (4.5 as opposed to 4), am I better off with what I have? Is the glass any sharper?

  2. Carole

    I think it really depends. If you are happy with the 70-300 ED, than I recommend you stay happy :smile: I had the 'G' version and I think Nikon improved upon the sharpness, contrast, bokeh and the CA when they introduced the 70-300 VR. It's a good lens with very little to fault. The VR works well and is quite useful in low light/indoor situations and also helps keep acuity high. The AF-S focusing is pretty impressive and it good light the lens works well for sports and things of that nature. I can't really answer whether you need one, I always recommend people borrow or rent when possible, I have been tempted by many lenses presented on this forum and once rented I sometimes find that the lens isn't always what you think...
  3. Carole


    Jun 15, 2008
    Bellingham, WA
    Thanks, Daniel. I saw the VR version being sold as used, and was wondering if I'd like it any better. I wish we had a place around here to rent lenses from. By the time I pay shipping, I'd rather put those $$ towards a new lens :)  I got this one with the 70-300 that I have now, and I can't see that it could get any better :) 


  4. well

    the 70-300 ED was always known as a great lens and if the end result is great why change ? On a couple occassions I have bought glass costing several times more only to find the differences marginal at best. I think the 70-300 VR represents a good step forward in the line-up and i have been quite pleased with mine, but not being able to compare it side-by-side with the ED, i can't honestly state how much better it is, maybe someone else can clarify.

    This forum tempts us, that is for sure, i am always changing my mind on what i want next....
  5. Carole


    Jun 15, 2008
    Bellingham, WA
    Yea, I'm saving money for more equipment, but I can't decide what I want first, so I guess I'll just continue to save and when the time is right, I'll pounce. I do find that I use my 70-300 more than any other lens in my bag. I love my shots of Mt Baker to really show off her majesty and the wide angle lenses just don't do that the way the 70-300 does.

  6. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005

    Do you have access to a local dealer who would allow you to test and compare the VR version in the store vs. your 70-300?

    If you compare and decide to replace your lens, the Cafe is probably the best place to list your lens for sale.

    Good luck!
  7. I've owned both, and they're very different lenses. In fact, about the only thing they have in common is their range of 70-300mm.

    The 70-300ED has 13 optical elements orgainized into 9 groups.
    The 70-300VR has 17 optical elements organized into 12 groups.

    The 70-300ED is 116mm long and weighs 505g.
    The 70-300VR is 144mm long and weighs 745g.

    The 70-300ED takes 62mm filters.
    The 70-300VR takes 67mm filters.

    And aside from a much sturdier build quality, the 70-300VR has the advantage of AF-S and image stabilization.

    If you're happy with the results you're getting from the 70-300ED, stick with it, but imho the 70-300VR is in a different league.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2008
  8. This is the one image that I got, I am sure, because of the VR. I had no time to set up. I saw this eagle coming out of the water and jumped out of the car as it flew closely overhead. I had no time to change my settings, which were iso 200 and 1/640, f5.6

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    So, yes, I think the VR version is worth every penny. This is one of my best selling images.

  9. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Im not a big zoom guy, in fact I only own one, and its a old nikkor 80-200 2.8 AIS . But I bought a used 70-300 ED from keh for my 12 year old for his birthday, and to get him to get him to give back "my" Nikkor 300 4.5 ED-IF AIS. And I got to play with "his" 70-300 ED for a couple of hours , just to make sure it was working right:biggrin:. And I must say Im impressed. It's a really fun lens to use and the result where decent if not impresive. The capture I made at F8 where really nice. If the the VR is better than the old one, and from the example shown it looks like it is , than I think its a no brainer to up grade. I still got no AF in my bag but the 70-300 VR is one lens I would like to mount to my D3 for a couple of hours.

    Not to hijack the thread but I wish Nikkor made a new version of the 50-300 ED 4.5 AIS. It would seem to me a good candidate for AF-VR. It wouldnt be light or cheap but it would be sweet.

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