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Nikon makes its 70-300mm zoom a true digital lens

Create: 07/19/2017 - 17:33


  • Fits full-frame and APS-C bodies
  • Uses electronic aperture (check compatibility with your DSLR)
  • Intended buyer: Advanced amateur

Nikon has updated its popular 70-300mm zoom with some of its latest advancements.

As can be seen by its name, the AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR has quite a bit going for it and manages to do this while losing about two ounces.


The AF-P Nikkor is for full-frame FX digital bodies, but can also be used on bodies with DX APS-C sensors providing a full-frame equivalent zoom range of 105-450mm. Nikon says that this is its first full-frame AF-P lens, and it is intended for intermediate photographers.

The lens uses 18 elements in 14 groups and includes one extra-low-dispersion element. Nine blades form the aperture. The maximum aperture is f/4.5 at 70mm and f/5.6 at 300mm.

Image stabilization is included via Nikon’s Vibration Reduction system, which Nikon says has been improved and provides up to 4.5 stops of compensation. The lens has “Normal” and “Sport” modes for stabilization.

The AF-P 70-300mm focuses internally, using a stepping motor, which Nikon says provides quiet operation. That will be important for those who record video.


Like other recent Nikon lenses, this uses an electronic aperture (signified by the E" in the lens name), which allows for very accurate and consistent aperture settings during high-speed shooting. As well, an electronic aperture also creates for smooth exposure changes when shooting video.

What does this mean for the user? There is no aperture ring, and aperture settings are now controlled by the camera, which includes aperture-priority autoexposure and manual exposure.

Keep in mind that your body must support electronic aperture. Older Nikon digital SLRs probably won't able to use this lens, and this lens cannot be used on film cameras.

Nikon says the lens is “dust and drip resistant.” The lens uses 67mm filters.

The lens is 3.2 x 5.7 inches (80.5 x 146mm) and weighs 24 ounces (680 grams). The lens comes with front and rear caps, a bayonet-style lens shade and a soft case.

The shipping date hasn’t been announced. Nikon has set the price at US$749.95.

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.