70-300VR - How is it?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by goatee, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. If I make the Canon - Nikon jump, I'm unsure how to replace my 70-200 f/4. The 70-300 VR looks like a reasonable lens, and I'm not expecting quite the IQ I'm used to with my 70-200 (especially over 200mm), but firstly it's a more convenient size, and secondly, will I actually notice the difference on prints of 12"x8" or smaller?
     
  2. weiran

    weiran

    966
    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    Hard to say whether you'll notice the difference, but the 70-300VR (at least the one I had) was a little soft at 300mm, no matter what aperture I tried. It's fine over the 70-200 range though, but with the much cheaper and smaller 55-200VR having the same quality as the 70-300VR over it's range, I eventually got that instead.

    Unfortunately Nikon don't have a direct competitor for the 70-200 f/4 (they have no pro level f/4 constant zooms apart from the 200-400VR).
     
  3. Throughout the overlapping70-200 range, the 70-300 VR might well run the 70-200 f/4 close (although you do lose a stop of light (f/5.3 vs f/4 at 200mm)

    I find the lens very very good from 70-200 - as Weiran says the lens loses definition as you go towards 300mm, but if you only care about 70-200 and treat the extra 100mm as a bonus, I think you'll be happy enough.
     
  4. I'm not that concerned with 200mm-300mm range - I kind of treat it as an added bonus of the lens. I'm impressed that the 55-200 has equivalent IQ over its range. If that's the case, I'll try and find some 18-200 / 55-200 comparisons. One lens, with some fast primes would be a sweet setup :D.
     
  5. lol - I was writing my response as you posted this - yes, the 200-300 is just an added bonus.
     
  6. wow, at 200mm, the 18-200 really trails.
     
  7. acolo63

    acolo63

    25
    Aug 11, 2008
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Has anyone been able to compare the Nikon 70-300VR to the Tamron 28-300VC?
     
  8. There are at least two threads devoted to this lens in this forum that will show you tons of examples of it's image quality
     
  9. I was a Canon shooter and owned the 70-200mm f/4 L (non-IS) lens. There was something quite magical about that lens that I haven't seen in the Nikon 70-300mm VR, and I'm not talking about the 1 stop difference or the constant f/4. Image quality and rendering was uniquely different. Every time I looked at images that came out of my Canon 30D shot with that lens I was always amazed. It is the only thing I miss about Canon but in time I'll have Nikon glass to rival the 70-200mm.

    In the Canon forums that was one of those lenses that never got a bad review and every owner went on and on about loving the lens and the IQ. I was one of them. Never a bad word, high keeper rate, great color, etc..

    Ok, I'm not endorsing Canon or a switch back to Canon but to my eyes I don't get that same feeling with the 70-300mm, and as many of you know, I love my 70-300mm and have produced some wonderful images, but I don't feel it's quite the same. Let's not forget that there is also a small jump in price and the Canon lens is an L and considered to be 'pro glass' (whatever that really means..lolol). No matter how much we/I praise the 70-300mm it is not considered pro glass.

    My 2 cents on the matter.
     
  10. I thought that avatar looked familiar :D. I see your point - it would be analogous to getting the Canon 70-300 IS, as opposed to the f/4 L.
     
  11. Hey fellow POTN'er. I've noticed a lot of people that are either on both forums or have made the jump from one to the other.

    I'm still extremely active in the POTN lighting forum as you probably know. :biggrin:
     
  12. To be honest, I haven't been in the lighting forum all that much recently - it shames me how little use I've gotten out of my studio lights. Though, I have recently bought my best bang for buck lighting accessory - a reflector(!)
     
  13. I agree having owned both ..,. and the 70-200mm 4.0 IS L is probably one of the very best zoom lenses ever made IMO. As Ed says, the VR is more akin to the Canon 70-300mm IS. I also owned that and IQ was excellent, but I feel overall build, performance over 200mm (at f8.0), feel, non rotating barrel do put the VR ahead of the game. Very good lens. Just not 70-200mm class. But reduced down for web or standard print who would really notice?
     
  14. That's my point - I have never printed above 12x8, and if I ever have occasion, I'll rent or buy quality glass, and / or have some nice primes
     
  15. weiran

    weiran

    966
    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    If Nikon, Sigma, or Tamron made a 70-200 f/4 with comparable IQ to the Canon, it would be the ideal lens in that range for me. The f/2.8 zooms are too big and I don't necessarily need f/2.8.
     
  16. Every so often I convince myself I want a f/2.8 70-200, but I really don't - the 70-300 (or 55-200) will be quite adequate for my needs. I actually think I'll get the 70-300 as it's a FF lens, so will limit me less should I decide to sell it, or upgrade to a D700 in a year or two.
     
  17. Honestly, I don't think people (clients) would notice or care but as photographers we care and good gear just 'feels' great. The way an image pops right out of camera is noticeable and gives us cause to stop and say "Holy Crap". :biggrin:
     
  18. Yup - agreed!
     
  19. Pesto126

    Pesto126

    566
    Apr 13, 2006
    Northeast USA
    I"m in the same boat.. I have (and love/adove) by 70-200 VR - it is simple a wonderful piece of machinery.. but not something I take with me often because of its size and weight.

    The 70-300 VR or 18-200 appeals because of the range and the size.. but there is the trade-off of IQ in certain situations... My main lens that I keep on the camera all the time is the 17-55 - another beauty - so, I really must decide what to do.

    I'd pay a premium to have an 18-200 or 70-300 lens that is pro level.. but still decent is weight and size.. can't wait until technology can get to that point in time - for now, I'm still stuck on which to get. I'm probably leaning towards the 18-200 for family vacations in places like WDW or a cruise... but the 70-300Vr is getting some great reviews and the extra reach is kinda nice.

    Arggh! Lens lust indeed!