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70-300VR question

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by LindaZ, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    So...is this lens just a larger 55-200VR version?
  2. Hi Linda.

    Not at all. The lens evolves from a far different, proven 70-300 design that Nikon has evolved over the years. The VR implementation is more sophisticated in the 70-300VR as well.

    The 55-200VR is a DX lens, while the 70-300VR is a full-frame one.

    The 55-200VR is an excellent budget lens, but the 70-300VR is better. The price tag reflects that too ...

  3. They are not the same lens are all. As for the physical size of the lens, the 70x300 VR is a lot larger than the 55x200 VR. Withing holding them, I'd call the 55x200 VR just a touch larger than the 18x200. The 70x300 VR is about the same size as a 180mm F/2.8 and larger than the old version of the 70x300D
  4. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    So in overall, you would say it's a more "chunk" of a lens and build quality?
    I had the 55-200vr, didn't like it much.

    Right, I figure it is larger, but didn't know if it was just a bigger brother or if it has some other attraction as well. :smile:
  5. Yep bigger and a fine lens for the price...
  6. johnmh


    Nov 21, 2007
    Greater NYC
    Predates the 55-200 by some time as well...... the 70-300 VR is a nice lens for the money.

    Seems like Nikon came up with the 55-200 VR as a consumer mass-produced lens to compliment the 18-55
  7. Hi Linda,

    Welllll build quality is so subjective that I would urge you to go to your friendly Nikon dealer and handle both lenses yourself to tell the difference. E.g. one person's solid plastic zoom is another person's tinny plasticky zoom (especially when compared to a mostly metal, pro zoom). It's no Beast, and I understand you also had a 35-70/2.8 for a while. Obviously neither of the two zooms are going to out-slug the metal pro lenses. Whether the delta back to the 70-300VR is too large or small is very personal.

    That said, and this being totally IMHO, I think the 70-300VR is more substantial and one of the better-made consumer lenses, though the 55-200VR is decent (e.g. not "cheap"). They're both plastic, though the 70-300VR has a metal lens mount which some people think is an improvement over the 55-200VR's plastic one. The 70-300VR feels more solid, though part of it is the fact that it's more than twice as heavy. The one I used did have the tiniest wobble when the inner barrel was fully extended -- pretty common among consumer zooms that extend in this way.

    In addition to the VR being more effective on the 70-300, its AF-S is faster.

    I suspect you'll like it if a zoom in that range fits your needs. A lot of 70-200VR and 80-200 owners have a 70-300VR as a lighter, easier-to-carry-around lens. I still love what the 70-200VR does for me. But in the fifth-going-on-sixth hour of toting my kids through a parade, lunch at a festival, and then a carnival in hot weather -- I do start wondering if I should buy one to keep!
  8. Here's a picture that might help, Linda.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  9. Hi Linda,

    I own and use the 70-300mm VR. I'm very pleased with the results. AF acquisition is not the fastest but outside of that it's a great performer. It's also not the fastest glass, as it has a maximum aperture of f/5.6 at the long end (I forget at what point f/5.6 is the largest) but if you're got plenty of light and/or you are good at nailing exposure at higher ISO's, it's a gem and I'm not sure you can beat it for the money.

    It's light, build is pretty darn good, and feels very nice and balanced (subjective, I know) mounted to a D300.

    I've posted many threads with images from this lens, both outside using ambient light and using strobes for long lens portraiture
  10. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    Thanks for filling in the blanks everyone, and the picture is great help!

    btw - I don't have a friendly Nikon dealer. Not even a dealer at all.
  11. Linda,

    I see you're in PA. Are you anywhere near Allen's Camera? They are a very reputable Nikon dealer and keep most of the product line in stock as well as a very good used department.
  12. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    Robert.... I'm not near anywhere. Middle of nowhere more like it.

    However, I'll be moving in 2 weeks to North Carolina. Maybe they have a camera shop!
  13. Linda,

    That's not fair. State College is one of my favorite college towns. My guess is that you will miss it when you are gone. I know I did.

    Anyway, Best Buy and Circuit City often have the 70-300VR in store. Maybe you could try it out.

  14. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    But...it IS in the middle, what's not fair about it? I didn't place it there. LOL

    Best Buy and Circuit City..I guess I can check them out.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2008
  15. rgordin


    Jun 3, 2008
    Washington, DC
    I like the 70-300 much better than the 55-200. For my taste, the IQ was much better - both sharpness and colorization. Though it is a consumer lens, it felt more rugged. It comes with 2-way VR; the 55-200 came with one-way VR. I sold my 55-200 after using the 70-300.
  16. Linda I think most owners of this lens would tell you that if you have a use for it's range at f4 you can't go wrong. Obviously trying it out firsthand is the best option but on big ticket items between the 10% sales tax here and the always top dollar margins in my area I can't bring myself to 'borrow' their knowledge then buy online.

  17. sambru

    sambru In Memoriam 1957-2014

    I have one don't use it much...since I bought the70-200vr.
  18. LindaZ


    Jul 29, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    Thank you... well, it's a tempting range for sure. Would be handy for so many situations really.
  19. Yes, it's tempting...I just had a customer order (a late order from CA....) and have toy money now........what to buy, LOL!
  20. paulskimcb


    Feb 12, 2007
    Be careful, though. The Best Buy here in town has the 70-300 VR for $629 (!), which is just outrageous. I purchased my copy here in town, new, for more than $200 less (I paid $399). I have no idea why Best Buy charges so much; probably so they can get away with their "15% off with the purchase of a new DSLR" promotions...
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