Nikon 1 Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens announced

Nikon announced a new 1 Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens. The price is $996.95. The first sample images can be found here and here.

Additional coverage:

MTF charts

Nikon 1 Nikkor 70-300mm f:4.5-5.6 VR lens MTF chart Nikon 1 Nikkor 70-300mm f:4.5-5.6 VR lens MTF chart 2

Lens design

Nikon 1 Nikkor 70-300mm f:4.5-5.6 VR lens design

Product description

Super telephoto zoom for your Nikon 1

Now you can bring super telephoto capabilities to your Nikon 1 system with the compact, lightweight 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 lens. Open an exciting new world of shooting opportunities—nature and wildlife, professional sports, concerts, performances and much more. With a zoom range equivalent of 189mm–810mm (35mm format) and advanced Nikon lens technologies like Super ED glass and Nano Crystal Coat, the 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 packs the zoom power and outstanding performance of a massive D-SLR lens into a compact, lightweight 1 NIKKOR package.

Super telephoto zoom power makes nearly any shot possible

With the super telephoto power of the 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 lens, exciting new shooting opportunities are around every corner. Shoot detailed close-ups of wildlife, concert performers, athletes, fast action and more. At its widest setting (70mm in CX-format, equivalent to 189mm in 35mm format), the 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 is great for portraits, outdoor events, family fun—anything that requires a bit of zoom. Zoomed all the way in (810mm equivalent in 35mm format) it delivers the power.

Compact and lightweight enough to take everywhere

The 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 lens packs as much zoom power as the massive lenses you may see professionals hauling around at sporting events, yet it's compact and lightweight enough to comfortably carry all day. Like all 1 NIKKOR lenses, it's a well-balanced match to your Nikon 1 camera, making handheld shooting a breeze.

Nikon lens technology for consistently brilliant performance

For over 80 years, NIKKOR has been a leader and innovator in optical technologies, and the 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 lens incorporates some of NIKKOR's most exciting advancements. Its the first lens in the 1 NIKKOR lineup to use Super Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass, which provides stunning sharpness, contrast and color rendering. It also features Nano Crystal Coating (N), which nearly eliminates lens flare and ghosting for clearer, sharper images.

Supplied Accessories

  • LF-N1000 Rear Lens Cap
  • HB-N110 Lens Hood
  • LC-N62 Front Lens Cap

Pre-order links can be found here.

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  • C

    The FX 70-300VR just sold for $5XX something… Although not fully compatible, would it be too over-priced for a smaller image circle 70-300?

    • ageha


    • Zograf

      It is a smaller image circle but it has to be better at image quality for this tiny sensor, look at the MTF 20 & 60 lpm not 10 & 30 as is for FX. So at the end it levels up.

      • KnightPhoto

        Can you expand on that, I didn’t notice 20/60 and am not familiar with the implications as compared to the usual 10/30 lpm?

        • Sebastian

          The resolution necessary to achieve the same “sharpness” from a given sensor scales inversely with the sensor size. MTF is given as a funtion of “lines per millimeter”, which is basically “features per millimeter”. So to match a sensor with twice the linear pixel density (twice the “pixels per millimeter”), you need twice the resolution. That’s why just slapping the FX 70-300 lens in front of the 1″ 18 MP N1 sensor won’t give very sharp images. If it would, it would go counter the “no free lunch theorem”, too.

          A 70-300 mm lens for N1 not only is equivalent to a 189-810 mm FX lens in terms of field of view, but to achieve the same visual accuity, it also needs to be designed with the same complexity as that latter one.

          And that is expensive.The smaller image circle makes the required lens elements smaller, which is some savings in material, but that’s it.

    • UnknownTransit

      Remember that this is the CX sensor, not DX nor FX. If this lens is that good on the V3, It has a 35mm equivalent of 189-810mm. it might as well be the portable bird shooting lens. If it’s image quality is almost as good as the 500mm f/4, I’m fine with $1k.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t shoot birds but this seems to be a HORRIBLE lens for birding. At 185mm (500mm equiv), and the widest aperture of f/5, the depth of field from this is the same as the depth of field from the 500 when shooting around f/13 to f/14. You get no subject isolation whatsoever.

        • Rivo Ramamonjy

          I’ve never shot birds in my life, but you may possibly make your own opinion here:

        • HotDuckZ

          Subject isolation for what? More DOF is more information.

        • groucher

          I’ve shot birds with the 300mm f4 on the V1 and there is no problem at all with subject isolation. In fact the level of isolation at f5.6 – f8 is just about right as I can keep most of the subject in reasonable focus. The V1 shows up the weaknesses of the 300mm though – at f4, the lens is not great.

          If the quality of the 30-110 mm is any indication, 70-300 mm will be brilliant.

    • Adrian Gopal

      Also consider that the 70-300 AF-S VR has a plastic body, and if this is anything like the 10-100 1 lens, it has a metal body, it has Super ED and Nano Coating, so just based on materials alone, it would be more expensive. Now add the mechanics for refining the optics for use on a 1″ sensor.. I think the price is not out of this world.. now it it was 2K.. I wouldnt know what to say.. Also if the image IQ is anywhere better the Tamron 150-600mm with 1.4x extender.. Now you have an 810mm lens + 1 series cam that weighs 880gms (70-300+1V3) which is equivalent to the AF-S 70-300 + FT1 without body alone. You have a lighter package, and I think you have a better experience shooting..

      I am really looking forward to getting the lens.. but as usual Nikon Singapore will bring it in like 3 months after the US.. and they will bring in only like 1 unit for each retailer.. sigh..

    • Rivo Ramamonjy

      No, in term of quality, I think you should place this lens between the 70-300 and the 70-200 F4, if not on the same level as the second one.

  • Sandy Bartlett

    ED glass with Nano coating. Lets see what the build is like, this might be a pretty nice lens.

    • Global

      Just buy the Fx 70-300/Vr for half as much. What a waste of lens production.

      • Pat Mann

        + adapter, remember. And there’s no comparison by the MTF graphs on the 1 series – the 70-300 FX lens will be mud by comparison, particularly at the long end, + much bulkier to carry.

    • KnightPhoto

      Super ED Glass ala 200 f/2 and 80-400 VR2. I’m gonna call this interesting so far. Not a totally convincing MTF chart at the 300mm end, but need to compare that to the FX 70-300. I do use the 70-300 FX with FT-1 currently and we’ll all need to see how it compares head to head.

      As I’ve said many times, this has to be interesting to the birding and safari set. It definitely gives us another option and hey, if I’m going to spend 8 grand on a safari, a $996 lens in the bag isn’t going to be a major problem. Same on the birding side, compared to the big stuff we already have to use, this price is not a problem if it performs reasonably.

      • Global

        $1000 should be a problem, when 8 of those could buy you another safari. If you already have a 70-300 FX, youre basically wasting your safari money. Nikon should have made this f/3.5 fixed aperture throughout the range at least!

        • csmith

          1) the 70-300 fx wouldn’t mount on the camera so you would need an adapter. 2) the 70-300 fx is utterly useless at this pixel density (i’ve tried it) 3) you lose functionality when using the aftermarket adapter.

          • KnightPhoto

            Plus I can sell my 70-300 for $350 so that gets me down to $650. Thinking… I basically don’t use my 70-300 very much other than on my V1. I have used it somewhat extensively as an FX video lens though and in theory it is a travel lens but I don’t seem to carry it much and it stays in the hotel…

            • Captain Megaton

              I think you (Nikon 1 + birding/safari) are the only market this lens has, but for that market this is going to be an exceptional – dare I say necessary – investment.

        • UnknownTransit

          The 70-300 VR FX is only good enough for FX cameras. It’s tele-end quality is rather poor on a DX camera. Nevermind CX format.

  • I just don’t see why, with the small image circle it needs to produce, this lens couldn’t be an f/3.5 on the short end, maybe even f/2.8. I understand it’s physics, I just can’t believe it would be that much bigger or heavier. This system continues to perplex me (other than the AW1).

    • Captain Megaton

      I’m going to hazard a guess that the slower the lens, the easier it is to control distortion and maximize sharpness. At Nikon 1 pixel densities, sharpness is probably the operating driving force…

      • Yeah, I kinda get that. Then there’s price. This lens is also almost 2X the price of the same range and speed they make for an FX sensor. And the FX model has one more element over this lens. Just sayin’, I’m sure it’s a nice lens, but I think Nikon 1 users could expect a little more for their money.

  • Nikon User

    1000 USD, sad to see Nikon is doing this.

    • RC

      Exactly. What people buying the 1 system will pay this kind of price for a lens? The 70-200 F4 is only a few hundred more!

  • d7k2v2

    It looks to be of the same build quality as the 10-100 f4-5.6, which is all metal except for the lens hood mount. The size also looks like it would fit in the palm of a big hand. If the IQ is anything like the 10-100 on the long end this will be a sharp and contrasty lens.

  • Global

    Id rather use the 70-300/vr FX lens than spend a penny on this total ripoff at $1,000. This lens is toooo speciality. Why didnt they just come out with a 6-10mm (16-27mm)/f2 so we can have a decent wide angle. Maybe a 50-150mm (135-400mm)/VR. The 800mm thing is just a gimmick. We can easily use the Nikon 70-300/vr FX for half as much.. but what i need is a good wide angle!

    • csmith

      then don’t buy it and stop complaining.

      • Morris

        if you own a 70-300 and an original converter you dont need to buy this new one.

        • Chris Weller

          I disagree. I’ve used the 70-300 with the ft1. It’s not a good combo. Focus with one point. The lens is 3x larger than it needs to be. This lens is a perfect match for the nikon one system. The camera with lens is under 2 lbs wow!

          I think people are going to be surprised how nice the output of this combo is 18 mp no aa – fastest, widest autofocus in the world and 20 fps. Are you kidding. I think this is the type of system that people who need it, recognize it’s value immediately. if it’s not your market, then not so much.

    • preston

      What’s wrong with the 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR? I’ll never looking for subject isolation in my wide angle shots so I’d rather have a slow aperture + VR than a fast aperture + twice the size.

    • there is the 6.7-13mm f3.5-5.6, which is an amazingly sharp lens, why does it need to be f2?

  • Chris Weller

    I think this lens is awesome. It’s exactly what I was hoping for from the Nikon 1 system. This lens on any of the V series camera’s is perfect to bring anywhere. zoo’s, sporting events, kids games. I can take it on trips out of town if I think I might be able to shoot some birds. Just fits in my small bag.

    I am really glad they made it high quality super ed glass and nano coating. 🙂 I haven’t been too happy with Nikon decisions lately, but to me this is a homerun.

    • KnightPhoto

      Good point. For all the soccer Dad’s (that is a big playing surface after all) this is a great option – 20 fps and 189-810mm 😉

      Here’s hoping we get a proper Auto-ISO mode this time.

      • Captain Megaton

        Well, just as long as it isn’t a night game.

        • KnightPhoto

          True enough.

    • jr456

      Myself, I’m not interested in this camera, but yeah, you’re the exact kind of user that Nikon wants to sell this camera to and frankly I think it’s a good match.

      If didn’t need the features of a DSLR and I was only shooting stuff like that…then yes, this camera would be pretty darn cool to me if the image quality holds up.

      Nikon has to pay the bills and I can’t blame them for making a camera in the hopes it will be popular in this market.

  • d7k2v2

    for everybody saying to use the fx70-300 and ft1, you do realize that setup is twice the size of this?

    • preston

      I was thinking the same thing. This lens looks tiny compared to the fx 70-300! And higher build quality as well. This lens is good for the system but I still contend that there were many lenses that should have come first for this system!

    • KnightPhoto

      Good point – would like to see the two side by side (70-300 FX with FT-1 mounted)

    • Also the optical formula for this lens is more optimal for the sensor. The 70-300 for FX isn’t that great of a lens to begin with. Odds are this will outperform it on these cameras. Plus AF across the frame not just the center!

    • keepitsimple

      Everyone seems to ignore the speed of N1 lenses when making strange statements like this. The focus speed of this lens compared to the 70-300 will be incredible. I have a V1 and have put the 70-300 on it, and it sucks. The 70-300 is slow to focus, and 200-300mm performance is sad. You are much better off using the 10-100, about 1/3 the size, better quality for everything, and 27-270mm coverage.

  • Captain Megaton

    This lens is going to make some people poorer but happy.

  • Depending on how this and the V3 perform, I may make space alongside my Fuji X-T1 for this lens and the V3 to deal with long lens situations. Right tool for the job and all that.

    It looks promising so far.

  • manhattanboy

    This lens looks awesome! Then I saw the price 🙁
    The N1 series is impossible to shoot action on where this lens would be amazing.

    • UnknownTransit

      Then I remember that it has a reach of 810mm with 35mm equivalent. The question is, is it good enough?

  • Sonikon

    One has to consider that this lens is built to handle full time autofocus for 20FPS burst.

    Plus add on a small premium for size factor.

  • Espen4u

    This is the reason, to buy into nikon 1. Pricey but the alternatives are worse. Now if I only had a safari to go on.

    • RC

      What are these worse alternatives?

    • RC

      What are these worse alternatives?

  • Adrian Gopal

    Lovely.. Cant seem to find any information about this.. Does anyone know if the barrel extends during zooming?.. or is this the form factor even at 300mm.. I understand that it will extend a little when not in L position though.. Anyone?.. THank you..

  • Anonymus

    I see that there are advantages of using a special 1 Nikkor. But for the price I can buy a very good Tamron SP 70-300mm VC USD (with ff-ability!) and the FT-1. Almost two of each!
    I already have one oft each and that’s where I will stay, for now.

    • Nikon User

      Tamron 70-300mm VC A005 couldn’t be used via FT1.

      Nikon firmware broke it long time ago, now we know why!

    • Adrian Gopal

      I had the same thoughts several months back in 2013.. I tested the 70-300 Tamron with the FT1 and it didnt detect the lens. However Sigma’s 70-300 seemed to work.

      • Tonio

        That’s probably why Sigma got sued…

  • neonspark

    ED glass, nano coated lens = 🙂
    Nikon one lens = 🙁
    sorry Nikon. cut the crap with this CX mirrorless game and deliver what we want: DX and FX mirrorless bodies.

    • g16

      Low cost but high price = expensive. And the is the Nikon’s new strategy (they said that themself). I m not kidding.

  • oeriies

    The advantage of this lens over a fast F mount lens with the FT1 adapter is that it will use the full continuous autofocus capabilities of the camera — the FT1 only gives you center point, which creates quite a challenge for bird photography. But the images Nikon has posted from the lens look soft to me.

  • Kynikos

    Who needs AF on a 5.6 lens for a 1″ sensor?

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think most people here realize how absurdly huge the depth of field will be with this combo.

      • PhotoAl

        Are you serious? Have you looked at the sample images on the Nikon Japan website? The sensor doesn’t have anything to do with DoF it’s the lens, and at 200-300mm the background will blown out even at small apertures.

        • g16

          Yep, if and only if the background is really far apart from the subject.

          • PhotoAl

            Depends on your definition of “really far apart.” If you are shooting a bird 100 feet away at 300mm using f/5.6, the DoF will extend 2 feet behind the subject. I’m okay with that, maybe you aren’t.

        • Tonio

          DoF scales inversely with sensor size, so it has a a lot to do with sensor size. But 300/18.5 is roughly 16, whereas 5.6/1.8 is roughly 3, so circle of confusion (i.e. bokeh) with this lens will be roughly 5x that of a standard prime at a given distance (of course, you tend to shoot things further away with a longer lens).

          • PhotoAl

            Sensor size has an indirect relationship with DoF only because smaller sensors typically need shorter focal lengths for the same field of view on larger formats. It still comes down to the lens. Take the FT-1 and throw on a full frame lens and you’ll still get the same DoF that you’d get with the D800, but your FoV will be significantly different. The sensor isn’t changing anything.

      • Adrian Gopal

        Actually it makes no difference, most of the time, the background is far enough behind the subject to be ‘bokeh-ed’ enough..

  • decisivemoment

    About the price I expected. My biggest question is when we’ll see a comparable overhaul of the existing 70-300 VR for the F mount. This looks like a fine product that will help convince that Nikon 1 means higher end stuff, but the regular 70-300, while extremely good at distance, really needs help at closer distances and there are plenty of people who would pay $1000 for such a lens — more than would pay that price for what is on offer here.

    • RC

      I think the pricing is ridiculous. I wouldn’t even pay half that for this lens. The 70-200mm F4 is less than $1400. I’d much rather have that lens than a 70-300 F4.5-5.6

      • MyrddinWilt

        I have the f4 it is a lot bigger than this lens for a start. And it does not reach the same focal length either.

        This is designed for CX so it is actually a 180-780 zoom which is pretty much unprecedented for autofocus f-mount. They did a couple of ultra zooms back in the day but they are massive.

        It is a totally different optical formula as well. According to the chart, virtually no chromatic aberration at the wide end though the long end probably has some.

        This lens is designed for handheld and monopod wildlife photography. There is nothing equivalent in the F-mount world that could be used without a massive tripod.

  • RC

    Why would you pay this much for a lens for the 1 system? This is one of those lenses that you’re going to always wish it could zoom out more, but you can’t, so you’re stuck with this super telephoto monster. I’m sure there are people that love it, but I just don’t see the point.

    • Tonio

      This must be why no-one uses/covets the 200-400mm lens Nikon sells for thousands of dollars.

      • Chris Weller

        Agreed. I’ve shot with all the exotics and own a few along with DX an FX bodies, yet this lens with the V3 excites me the most for my wildlife work. I think it might come close the output I get from the 200-400 on a D7000. This lens is serious super ed glass and nano coating. very good looking mtf. Optimized lens for the 1 inch sensor.

        I’m tired of lugging around 8-15 lbs. This combo is under 2lbs! It can go everywhere and makes shooting fun! That’s why I shoot.

  • bison

    Another lens that makes me wonder why Nikon can’t get around to producing a 16mm F2.8 DX at a reasonable price, as a companion to the 35mm F1.8 DX.

    • NAq

      There are a lot of important lenses not being made yet by Nikon. For example: 23mm f/1.4 DX, 20mm f/1.8 FX, 13mm f/2.0 DX for fast wides, 135mm f/2.0 FX for quality mid-far portrait, and, to be honest: most of the Nikkor users would be happier with an FX solution for 70-300 (f/4-5.6) that could be also used in higher density DX sensors as well. And not to forget the 55-200 compact telephoto released in 2005. It would also need a refresh.

    • stoooopid

      Yes, Nikon has really neglected their DX glass. It is the main reason I will probably switch to another system in a few years. m4/3, heck, even Sony has supported their DX sensors with more glass. Sony has a sweet 16mm f/2.8 pancake that makes their e-mount bodies really nice and compact. Nikon? – crickets.

  • YY

    I laugh so hard seeing so many people trying to justify the pricing for Nikon.

  • fiziks

    Gotta wonder who they are trying to kid with this. It’s almost twice as expensive as the FX lens.

  • Martin

    well, i’m happy for nikon. but really, sony is just offering the best in mirrorless with their full frame a-7. actually i’m even tempted to give up nikon, cause i wanna go full-frame and the d800 is quite heavy and has too many pixels, while the d600 has a too small AF area….

  • Fred Flintstone

    If it’s not a personal question, how big is it extended?

    • Adrian Gopal

      Looks like 2x longer when extended without the hood.. guessing from the picture on Nikon-Asia website..

  • Andy

    Hmm. Sony RX10 with 24-200 F2.8 superzoom Zeiss lens, US$1300 (albeit lens is non-interchangeable). Nikon 1 V3 + 70-300 F4.5-5.6 Nikkor, US$2000 or so. Both with 1″ sensor. Hmm. Hmmm….

  • lovelovelovenikonphoto

    Please check dounloadable original image jpeg EXIF:It is 10-100/4-5.6 photo?

    • Adrian Gopal

      shame on you Nikon.. I just checked and you are right..

  • preston

    These new 1 system lenses are beautiful! Too bad the dslr look clunky and boring compared to these. I think Nikon should do what Sigma did and switch to this new aesthetic for ALL their new lenses. Just like they did from the “D” lenses to the “G” ones (even though I think the D ones looked better)

  • cannot wait for the lens, was even contimplating getting an ft-1 + FX 70-300mm but guess i dont need to any more

  • df

    I have a Nikon1 V2. Am interested in this new Nikon1 Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 vr lens. Am an amateur photographer. Have had zip success with bird clarity at a distance with my Nikkor 10-100mm lens. Do you think my V2 is too outdated to handle this new 70-300 lens? Will I get the tack-sharp clarity I’m seeking when doing bird photography? THANK YOU!

    • KnightPhoto

      The 70-300 looks promising, so that is in your favour. Your 10-100 is only 270MM field of view, so that would be a problem right there. The thing about the 70-300 is the field of view of 810mm equivalent, three times your current reach, so that’s half the battle. Almost certainly your V2 is just fine for this lens.

      I’m going to try and shoot my N1 70-300 on my V1 for its first month, I want to get to know the answer to your question, “can the lens deliver the goods”. Then a month later when I fold in the V3, I’ll be able to tell what the V3 is also adding to the mix.

    • Wally in Austin

      The other option is the FT1 adapter which allows for any nikon mount to be used though you only have a central focus point. Nikon is creating system lenses for the 1 system though they have misstepped with their marketing and are getting premium prices for the Nikon 1 system.

    • KnightPhoto

      I suspect the V2 would be fine.

      As a bird guy myself, the key to a good bird photo is using good fieldcraft to get yourself close and give yourself an advantage. Take a few shots, creep diagonally closer, take a few more shots, etc. etc. Don’t look at the bird as you walk, look off to the side.

  • Douglas Green

    I’m curious to see what Olympus sells their recently leaked 300mm f4 pro-level Micro 4/3 lens for. As I have one foot in each of these systems, That’s a possible alternative for me. While that’s only effective 600mm, the larger sensor allows a larger crop, so that’s basically equivalent. But I basically bought into Nikon 1 strictly for the fast AF and for this lens as a birds and wildlife specialized kit. Although I do also have the 10mm and the 30-110, they don’t give me anything I don’t also have just as well in Micro 4/3. If this particular lens is not first rate (and I don’t have any reason to doubt that it is) then frankly, Nikon 1 has no reason to exist for serious photographers.

  • Wally in Austin

    I read the specs and it looks like it allows full autofocus rather than the central focus of the FT1. Is this the case? Specs look good though nikon is charging a premium price for a BIF Birds in Flight wicked pisser fast autofocus lens.

    • KnightPhoto

      Yes Wally,

      All AF points in play. So that is the advantage over the FT-1 (which I find limiting as I like to use off-centre points). As mentioned here by others the FT-1 and 70-300 FX AF can hunt on you, especially in close. We’ll soon see if the 70-300 CX is better behaved.

  • bgbs

    Is Nikon OK? Who’s going to fall for these inhumane price scams for a Nikon 1 lens?

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