D800E and AF-S NIKKOR VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G

A very long name for what is a relatively cheap (but FX or full frame) zoom in the Nikon lens line up. The only FX lens I have which was cheaper is my 50mm F1.4.

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According to the reports I read buying it is is great until 200mm then it falls off a lot. Nonetheless, I don’t shoot telephoto a lot, so this seemed like a sensible purchase at the price.

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I’m not quite sure if it’s just this example or if I’m just not as discerning these days, but I thought the performance of the lens was great at all focal lengths I tried. I’ve spent more on certain (in some cases frankly average) micro four thirds lenses.

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The build quality was very good indeed – high quality (solid feeling) plastics and a metal mount. The hood feels a little cheap but that isn’t the end of the world.

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The VR system is noisy in use but very good – I can’t say that any of these are typical stabilised images saved by the VR, but I saw enough to know it would give you at least a couple of stops.

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I took the D800E for a walk down through the City to St Paul’s. I had intended to use other lenses but I had so much fun with the 70-300mm that I left it on the camera. I would observe that the autofocus speed is very good for a lens of this type. That means it isn’t instantaneous but its still fast enough.

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The downsides? It is a little bit softer at 300mm and there is a little distortion and CA. It really isn’t bad though (the CA and distortion are easily correctable) and the D800E sensor picks up just phenomenal amounts of detail.

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