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Nikon 28-300 Review

Jared Polin September 5, 2010 14

Allen at Allen’s Camera (215.547.2841) gave me a call to let me know that the NEW Nikon 28-300 was in stock and he wanted me to do a sniff test.

I know I may be a little harsh on what I consider to be non pro lenses but I know if you are looking to do this as a profession you will not be happy with the results of a mega zoom like the Nikon 28-300. It is built very well, it has its purpose for non pros who would like one lens to take away with them so they do not have to change lenses.

Look at this sample image zoomed out at 170mm look how the lines are not straight up top or on the left hand side. This is something that happens when you have huge zoom ranges, lines tend to be off.


Take a look at the unboxing as well as full res samples below


  1. Anthony September 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm -

    Actually, not a lens on my list, and definitely not for that kind of money. You’re right, it is a lens for someone in mind. At that price I would definitely get the other two lenses. Quality always trumps everything else. Great review. Not one of Nikon’s stellar days with these two reviews you posted. Thanks!

  2. absuelto September 6, 2010 at 12:19 pm -

    Great review!! what do you think about 70-300VR compared whith this lens? do you think this lens is better because of the focal range or you think than instead of that it´s worst because of the quality…
    I´m asking you this because I already have the 70-300VR and I´m thinking in put it for sale to buy the new 28-300….will I loose to much quality?
    Thank you and congratulatios…I follow your blog from spain!!

    • Jared Polin September 6, 2010 at 2:03 pm -

      I would not get rid of that for the 28-300, the 70-300 is going to be much better!!!

  3. Bob Siegel September 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm -

    Get real. Here are my comments on your so-called “review”:

    1. Others have posted more detailed and more pleasing 28-300 photos.
    2. I assume PS5 & LR3 will soon incorporate automated adjustments for this otherwise impressive lenses distortions. The highly touted Nikon 16-35 has severe WA edge distortion but it totally disappears in PS5.
    3. Few of us print larger than 11 x 14 and even fewer print for publication.

  4. M Ali Musa September 19, 2010 at 2:35 am -

    But I’m not in favour of changing lens, in many places just need a wide or next the demand of zoom so I prefer this as if I use this from 28~250 that is good and I have observed that many of this kind lenses creat blur of unsharp at its miximum zoom. When I’m moving in bazaar and have to shoot quick then this lens helps me, just check that I’m standing on the top here http://www.treklens.com/members/page1.htm?sort_by=pc
    Thank you for the tips about this lens.

  5. Neil September 28, 2010 at 4:06 pm -

    I think this lens is the sort of thing you would take on holiday with you for convenience. Great for general personal stuff. 99% of such photographs are only ever viewed on a monitor anyway and never printed so why bother with anything else. If you are a serious photographer that wants technical excellence then choose some Nikon primes or better still use film and a medium format camera. This type of lens is brilliantly convenient for what many of us view mostly when we go back over photos years later – family, loved ones, friends and social occasions. They are the ones that make you smile and you wont be looking at the distortion at the long end, the fall off at the corners or the lack of biting sharpness towards the edges. Well done Nikon – my back also thanks you as it will have less to lump around!

  6. Tristan October 22, 2010 at 9:29 pm -

    Why do you only recommend the 70-200 F2.8VR nikon or the sigma alternative?

    What about the 80-200 F2.8 ED AF nikkor – it is still available new, and it’s a thousand dollars less than the VR model. And, you seem down on VR. So – what gives?

  7. Gal October 23, 2010 at 9:57 am -

    So is it a pro lens?

    • Jared Polin October 23, 2010 at 10:14 am -

      @gal no it is not a pro lens

  8. Brian November 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm -

    Think the review is a little bit hard on the lens (actually purchased the lens after seeing the video!).

    The important thing to remember its not whether the lens is good or bad in absolute terms, it’s what you are using it for that counts. There are lots of times that any half usable shot is better than none, especially in a fast paced, competitive anything can happen (and will!) world, or where lens changes are not a good idea.

    For activity based photographic work a slight trade off in quality is well worth it for the flexibility – and to be honest unless you are an anorak lab technician type you are going to be hard pressed to see its flaws.

    Yes the max aperture is limited,but with the low light performance of the D700 plus VRII the main advantage of a larger aperture lens is a smaller depth of field, and that’s not always an advantage!

    How does it compare to the Nikon 70-300 VR, pretty well so far I would say, slightly heavier – but surprisingly slightly shorter! Quality wise the images seem as good if not better.

    The 70-300 has been perhaps my most used lens (read most practical),think the 28-300 is going to be even more so – just love the flow of not having to change lens!

    The nice thing is I can drop a lens from the average kit I carry, just the 28-300 and a wide angle – although more visits to the gym will now be required!

  9. Rosh December 22, 2010 at 5:13 am -

    hi jared… love all the reviews…. i have the 70-300 vr and i thought buying this lens would avoid me having to back off a lot to take nearby pictures…. but after the review i dont think i will buy it… but i really really want to get the 70-200 2.8 but i am just worried that i will end up not using the 70-300 anymore coz the 70-200 seems to be really awesome.. so should i keep it or sell it?…..also would i feel a big difference in the loss of 100mm of zoom capacity from 300 to 200?

  10. Lou January 1, 2011 at 1:52 am -

    This lens is to photography what the pick-up truck is to transportation: Versatile, all-in-one utility, which can handle a multitude of chores, though it may not impress like a Porsche.

    Nikon has made for FX what sold so well for DX – the 10X 18-200 zoom. Canon has taken a different approach. Yes, LR 3.3 now includes an “automated” distortion macro for virtually all Nikkors, including the 28-300. The 18-200 is not tops at distance, but it’s great for what it’s cracked-up to be.

    Ken Rockwell offers an in-depth, common-sense review for this lens. I own all 2.8’s, too – including the amazing 400 VRII; I’m, no doubt, part of a dying breed. Even so, I’m ordering the “slacker” 28-300 next week because: 1. I can think of far more occasions I will use it/take it out than not; 2. It will still be the cheapest lens I own – by far; 3. If it’s good enough, I may be selling my 2.8’s – sooner than later!

    Thanks Fro.

  11. Tom January 8, 2011 at 5:37 pm -

    I have the 80-200mm 2.8 Nikon AF-D lens. Love it. I agree that these lenses are for a different audience but it seems that your previews are quite redundant if it happens to be about any mega zoom that goes to 5.6 or worse yet 6.3.

  12. Chris Chadwick January 18, 2011 at 6:41 pm -

    Over the years, I have wasted so much money buying lenses that I hoped would do the job. I do a lot of wildlife photography and bought the 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 lens. I was soooooo disappointed in the results at the time. Maybe I was asking too much. Dont get excited by the range of focal length of these lenses. Its the f stop that really counts every time for sharper images. Think about what type of photography you want to do and buy the very best you can afford. If you cant a raise the cash to by a fast lens made by Nikon or Canon then go for the Sigmas etc. If you cant afford new, then buy second-hand quality glass with an f2.8 stop. There are plenty places online where you can buy or look on ebay. To get started you only need a good wide angle and and a good zoom. A friend of mine bought a 500mm lens f6.3 zoomed in and was hoping to get the better results that I got using a Nikon 70-200 f2.8 just because he had a longer lens. The photos he took were unusable and blur. Dont think if you have VR on a lens your pictures will be great. If your buying a heavy lens, you will need a tripod and will turn VR off. Think before you buy. DO IT RIGHT, AND DONT BUY SHITE.