Nikon AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 ED VR lens to be announced in the next 24-48 hours


A quick update - the new Nikon AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 ED VR lens will be announced today or tomorrow. Stay tuned for detailed coverage.

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  • Eric Calabros

    Ok stop whining, it has AF button.

    • But no focus distance scale ๐Ÿ™

      • nwcs

        That’s where things have been going. I think this lens isn’t really for people who will trap focus or pre-focus at a particular distance so it makes sense not to have a distance scale. It will probably fade off like the IR dot and DOF markings at different apertures. What would be cool is if they did it like the mirrorless players do and have the scale and DOF marked in the viewfinder.

        • Agree with having that information even it isn’t on the lens.

      • Aldo

        That’s why I carry laser distance meter.

    • sandy

      That’s the old lens pictured. We have no idea what the new lens looks like or features.

      • ZoetMB

        Look further down and you’ll see the new lens.

        • sandy

          Thanks! At least it has a metal mount.

      • I updated the post with the new pictures.

        • manattan

          It looks like the old one. I was hoping for something special like a PF element or redesign into IF. The 70-200 f4 is still probably going to be the better buy for most folks unless they need the AF-P for video. May be interesting if they make it parafocal and trump up video features, but somehow I doubt it.

  • eric

    Cool. Ive been thinking about getting a longer lens recently for my d810. This looks promising.

    • The resolving power will not be good for 36Mp considering the low cost of the lens, I prefer the 80-400, , but personally for a grab and go I like the 28-300

      • eric

        That really depends on post processing and printing desires. I don’t believe the cost of the lens is a factor. You’re mostly paying more to shoot down a few f-stops which i dont really need.

        • totally wrong, when I shoot a sports event for a magazine and use a 70-200 Nikkor I rely on the tack sharp image when a ยฃ200 lens would give crap results by comparison

          • eric

            Lol, tack sharp…you must be one of those gear heads. Have fun with that.

            • “READ” what I say……………………….. when I shoot a sports event for a magazine

              I shoot for a rather large magazine, I use gear as my TOOL’s of the TRADE.

            • eric

              Never heard of you. Who do you shoot for? Sports Illustrated? ESPN?

            • Hahaha you are funny, I’m in the UK and I don’t care if you have or have not heard of me

  • nwcs

    And you still can’t see the VR switch yet. Hope it’s there.

    • Gerard Roulssen

      Of course it’s there … that’s a given.

      • nwcs

        Not for the other AF-P lenses.

        • sandy

          This one is $800 and FF. I would think the main FP features are not what have been stripped out for DX entry level AF-P.

          • nwcs

            As I said, I hope it’s true ๐Ÿ™‚

      • ZoetMB

        Not necessarily. In the product page for the AF-P 10-20mm, Nikon provides this absurd statement: “To eliminate unintentional changes to the VR ON/OFF and AF/MF settings, those controls have been moved to the camera menu, and their status can be easily verified in your cameraโ€™s information display.”

        Really, people had a problem unintentionally resetting those nice click switches? I don’t think so.

        • dabug91

          Actually, when carrying my D500 and 70-200 f/4 at an event last month, I discovered that those switches on the lens we’re often getting flipped as the lens would move against my body. I was using it with a Black Rapid sports strap.
          I still prefer to have the VR switch on the lens, but you can easily adapt yourself to finding its location in the Shooting Menu to turn it off or on very quickly.

          • nwcs

            However, for max IQ, you want VR off unless you have a real reason to use it.

            • dabug91

              If you were to shoot the 10-20mm lens at say 1/100th, there isn’t going to be any noticeable difference in image quality whether VR is turned on or not. Human hands will never be 100% still because even pressing the shutter button creates enough movement for the VR to compensate for.
              There is really no reason to turn VR off unless shooting on a tripod/monopod/beanbag.

            • Or if one is shooting beyond 1/1000th.

            • dabug91

              I’ll go do some test shots at 1/1000s or greater with VR both off and on and pixel peep to see if it makes a difference. ;]

            • Aldo

              You don’t know this? Why do you think there is an off option if there is NO difference?

            • dabug91

              Because the off option is for when using on a tripod. Duh. VR being enabled will not have an adverse effect on image quality when the shutter speed is far beyond the reciprocal of the focal length.

            • Aldo

              I think you just contradicted yourself… “reciprocal of FL” stop watching youtube videos and get out and shoot so that you realize what experienced people here are trying to tell you.

            • nwcs

              Leaving VR on all the time also encourages the system to compensate for movement that isn’t there.

            • El Aura

              One would think that VR could be made smart enough to automatically shutting off when the shutter speed reaches 1/1000 s or more.

            • nwcs

              They’d have done that already. I believe 1/500 IDs the current threshold based on what Thom has found. But there is no transparency or guidance in this from the camera makers.

            • Scott M.

              I have always heard 1/500 and above is not only unneccessary but may cause blur.

            • Aldo

              I guess some don’t know the basics… thanks for bringing this up =]

          • David Peterson

            Just have a locking mechanism for the switch, too easy to solve, and more practical than hiding it away in a camera menu.

        • It has happened with me a few times with 70-200 VR2 while shooting weddings. It would help if the switches could be recessed a bit.

          • Scott M.

            Gaffer’s tape always works for this.

      • Jeremy Van Pelt

        Can’t be 100% certain but it looks like in the photo that the raised area for the switch ends right after the Focus selector. They need to go ahead and update the firmware on the partially compatible cameras to add the menu based VR switch.

  • Uh… No distance scale for focus…This doesn’t seem to be a budget lens for use (mainly) in budget bodies, so I think this is an important minus.

    • Eric Calabros

      Considering most of new lenses priced above $2k these days, its certainly a budget lens.

  • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

    Looking like a good move by Nikon and interesting lens.

  • Ashok Vashisht

    Was waiting for the revised 70-300 since a few months. Hope this is sharp in 200-300 range. The old 70-300 was supposed to be soft in the 200+ range.

  • drororomon

    This makes it lens no.4 (after the 28 f1.4, 10-20 DX, 8-15 FX) out of the 5 meant for this year? Wonder what the last one will be.

    • nwcs

      Probably the rumored 200-400 f4 E type.

    • jake337

      They really need an updated 180.m f2.8

  • Eric

    So? Is this the “new” Nikon?

    • Gerard Roulssen

      No, this is the new NIKKOR.

      • Eric

        Ha.

  • DaveyJ

    Wonder what the price will be. As I own seven 70-300 Nikkors, every single rendition since they started making them with exception of the non-VR AF-P recent lens, the recent VR is pretty good and FINALLY they have the lens hood for it…….months without that hood! Hopefully Nikon really sharpened it beyond 250mm!

    • Captain Megaton

      Performance of all 70-300mm lenses seem to tail off quickly above 200mm. I think of them as 70-200mm with 300mm as an “emergency use only” feature.

  • HD10

    Interesting. It is AF-P so will lily focus well on live view.

    • MB

      Seems to me firmware update will not help … older cameras are missing required circuitry for AF-P to work …

      • Sawyerspadre

        What circuitry do you need?

      • HD10

        I fear the same as the stepper motors in AF-P lenses function quite differently from the silent wave motors used in AF-S lenses.

        It is possible that Nikon accepted this len’s incompatibility with older cameras in exchange for full compatibility with the newer bodies, specially the upcoming mirrorless F-mount FX camera that this lens suggest is coming.

        • MB

          I checked and actually situation is much better than I previously thought it would be …
          http://disq.us/p/1kez35e

          • HD10

            The swm in the AF-S lenses will move the focus to a specific point and it stays there even when the camera goes into standby mode or is powered off. The stepper motor in the AF-P however requires power to stay in the same focused position and it is possible that the older camera bodies do not have what is needed either to keep the AF-P powered on or to quickly return to the focused point once power is restored. It is thus possible that the focus position of the AF-P lens may reset to default once the camera is shut off and will not return to the previous focused position even after being powered on.

            • MB

              Actually i was thinking about circuitry necessary to provide impulses for driving step motor …
              While it is true that step motor will not hold its position by itself without a power it should not be a problem because the lenses are designed with some resistance in gears and lubricants so it should stay in focus at least in more or less horizontal orientation …

  • My first reaction was to check the date of the post. I thought it might have been several years old.

    • T.I.M

      What’s on your icon, the 500mm f/4 AF-i ?

      • That’s a Sigma 300-800 F5.6 on D300. I bought the lens in early 2003 and it now works fantastic on my D500. Bought it for $4200 and they sell for $7900 today. One of my best photography investments in photography.

        • T.I.M

          Yes, I bet the clean high ISO you get on your D500 give to that slow lens a second life.
          What is the weight ?

          • The weight is about 13 lbs but add gimbal head and reasonable tripod and you’re closing in on 25 lbs. It has a lot very big elements. While I like the reach of D500, this lens excels on the D810. I’m surprised I don’t see more of them at surfing contests.

            • T.I.M

              Surfing contests or other “close to the sea” events may nor require a powerful telephoto lens.
              Because the air moisture and heat waves at sea level make very long telephoto useless.
              Here in Florida I don’t use my 400mm f/2.8 in summer just because of that issue.
              So the only way to get clear pictures is to get closer to the subject.
              If the air is not “clean” I use more the 300mm f/4E PF

            • At the Huntington Beach Pier, if you shoot from the pier, 80-400 works really well. From the sand shooting the surfers against the pier, 1,200 can be excellent on a clear day. We often get an off shore breeze and the the air can be crystal clear. However, a marine layer is known to come in about 2 hours after sunrise, and shooting close at 300 is preferable. On Wednesday, we are expecting 11’+ waves at the Wedge in Newport Beach (shore break) and you can shoot with your iPhone. 70-200 F2.8 preferable.

            • Scott M.

              If I can find a place to park, I might just check out the wedge! Thanks for the heads up.

  • Vince Vinnyp

    I find the current 70-300 as well as a great bargain is also really good for it’s weight especially out to 200mm but it’s still usable all the way out. If this doesn’t add too much weight, and can improve the long end a touch it will be an easy buy. If only for the latest VR.

    • HD10

      I will consider this if its optical performance is significantly improved at 300mm while retaining or improving performance in the 70-200mm range.

      • JXVo

        Fit the 70-200 f4 on a DX…… razor sharp, highly portable 105-300 f4 equivalent and it rocks!

        • ckuklbac

          Exactly!

        • Vince Vinnyp

          Alternatively switch the full frame to DX mode or crop later same effect.

        • HD10

          I already did that and the 70-200mm f4 is my 2nd most used lens on the D500. But a good 100-300mm f4E PF would also be very nice I think with a D500 if it can be made somewhere within or near the 1kg weight range.

          • JXVo

            That 70-200 f4 is the best zoom lens I’ve ever used on either DX or FX. I also regularly use the old AF-S 300 f4D which is also razor sharp…. It would be way more useful as a 100-300 f4 zoom if it retained the IQ and build quality but I doubt they could do it under 1kg without using PF construction and that’s not so easy in a zoom design.

  • Jirka

    $800 and no distance scale? what the F is happening with Nikon…

    • Captain Megaton

      In all honesty I never use the distance scale on AF lenses anyway. The focus throw is too short to make having an indicator useful.

  • Delmar Mineard Jr

    With this bump in price, I expected the older model used prices on eBay to increase. That will make a lot of sellers happy (grin).

  • MB

    The older 70-300 VR was a lousy lens on FX … it was only adequate on DX and that only up to 200 … this new one would be much better, I am sure of it …
    It seems to have usable switch for AF (with M/a and M options!), and I sincerely hope it will have VR switch too …
    Distance scale missing is a minus but for intended audience it really does not matter ๐Ÿ™‚ … Also it will not support tripod collar …
    And it seems to be using 72mm filters, making it perfect pair for 24-85 VR, especially when Nikon introduces the AF-P version next year ๐Ÿ™‚
    All in all it may seem a bit overpriced but nice new product … the only problem in my view is that it will be competing against very similar but a bit longer Sigma 100-400 …

    • Vince Vinnyp

      The Sigma was a consideration for me or the 70-200 F4 But I decided to stick with the “lousy” 70-300 for when the 2.8 was not needed or too much weight. he sigma and F4 are still bigger and heavier.

  • T.I.M

    70-300mm f/4.5-f/5.6
    I doubt any serious photographer will ever buy that lens (beside Ken.R)

    • nwcs

      Why? Plenty of serious ones bought the current one. Galen Rowell used a 80-200 f4.5-5.6. Was he not serious?

      • T.I.M

        I have only one zoom lens, 24-120mm f/4 that use only when I’m too lazy to carry my primes.
        Even if the 24-120mm f/4 is excellent, I only use the primes for serious work.

        • nwcs

          OK, that’s all fine for you but it has no relevance to whether a serious photographer would buy this lens or not.

          • T.I.M

            That Nikon AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 ED VR is a fantastic lens, I’m selling all I have right now and will buy a whole case of that 70-300mm!

            • T.I.M

              Actually, If I sell all my prime lenses I can buy a whole truck of that great 70-300mm.
              Maybe Nikon will give me an extra 5% discount.

            • nwcs

              It’s a tool. If you can’t get a good picture with it then you can’t get a good picture with any other lens most likely.

        • BG

          Can we view that work somewhere?

    • MB

      He already has a review ready he made without touching the lens … just waiting for the announcement …

    • Vince Vinnyp

      Brilliant! I can’t be a serous photographer then. Because with the old version I have easily made enough to buy a bag of primes (If I didn’t already have them) and cover the cost of the lens many times over. You need to look at how many none serious photographers there must be if you think they only shoot primes.

    • Ric of The LBC

      it will have a special firmware that will only allow Jpegs.

    • PhilK

      I believe this will be one of the lenses tailor-made for the new mirrorless camera. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      SWM doesn’t mate well with mirrorless focusing tech.

  • BVS

    Yes!!! Been waiting for this!

  • Ill stay with my 28-300, it is far from the most expensive Nikkor I have but great walkabout

  • rlongwell

    I’ve had the current 70-300 since 2007 when I switched to digital. It’s been a great lens. Not as fast as I’d like, but a relatively small, relatively lightweight go-anywhere lens, and I’ve used the crap out of it to great effect. That said, since I switched to the D7200, it’s really showing its limitation. I’ve decided to replace it. I might replace it with this new model, or I might spring for the 80-400. Or maybe even get a 70-200 AND 200-500 if I really want to blow the bank account. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • SeaTech

    If you haven’t tried Nikon’s AF-P lenses – be ready for a surprise! VERY FAST AF and QUIET.

    • dabug91

      So quiet you think they’re not even working! I’ve had to check multiple times when playing around with my 18-55 and 10-20 AF-P lenses that autofocus is turned on. It’s so quiet it makes my brain question whether or not the red light flashing and yellow dot in the viewfinder is enough to actually confirm to me the camera focused, lmao.

  • Mike

    Meh.

    • br0xibear

      Yeah.
      From a marketing pov, a few weeks from your 100th birthday…since this isn’t exactly an exciting lens, why not leave it a few weeks until after the birthday celebrations?
      What’s the point of publications like Amateur Photographer and N-Photo dedicating their entire magazines to Nikon’s 100th, creating a buzz, only for Nikon markting to announce a lens like this ?
      At least they didn’t paint it grey and slap on a “100th Anniversary” sticker and charge three times the normal price.

  • im more concerned about the price. this better be below 500$ like tamrons 3.5-5.6 or this lense is a waste of production.

    • Bob Thane

      It won’t be below $500. It will likely blow the Tamron out of the water though – the current Nikon’s pretty meh, and the Tamron’s a tiny bit better but barely.

      If this is anything like the 70-300 AF-P DX, it’ll be vastly sharper. It probably won’t be of the same build quality and AF as the $1350 Canon 70-300 L (though it might beat it optically), but it’ll probably be better and more expensive than the $650 Canon 70-300 non-L.

      • bobgrant

        Total nonsense. I own the Tamron 70-300 VC. It’s an excellent lens. Mine is tack sharp at 300mm with good bokeh. My Nikon 70-300 was awful, nearly useless at the long end. I’ve got 300mm prime and the new 200-500 in my kit, so I know when a lens is soft. Nikon needs to pull even or ahead of the Tamron, but for some reason, the 70-300 has always been a weak lens for them. Hopefully this changes that. But since my Tamron is so good, it’s unlikely that I’d bother with this.

        • Bob Thane

          Interesting, kudos on getting such a good copy then. The two I tried were a hair better than the Nikon at 300mm, and nowhere near the 200-500.

          • bobgrant

            Yup. The quality of the Tamron and Nikon 70-300 lenses varied a LOT. I had a friend at B&H who let me hand pick my 70-200vrII and Tamron 70-300. I did see a weak copy of the tamron. The new Nikon needs to be equal or better and it must have better contrast. That’s the only weakness in the Tamron for me…doesn’t really pop like more expensive glass. But the darn thing is so sharp that I often used it instead of the 70-200, mainly because of that latter lenses breathing issues, which have been fixed on the new model.

            • PhilK

              My experience with Tamron in general is that the contrast/color saturation is almost always weak and makes pics look muddy.

  • Ric of The LBC

    This lens will take the fantastic photos you tell it to.

  • Coolhand

    Perhaps somebody can explain the rationale of the lens design.
    It would seem a perfect part of a two lens kit for the D600 or D610-user, who bought the camera along with the AF-S 24-85 VR.
    Except the lens is not compatible with the D600 or D610.
    It won’t autofocus, it won’t manually focus, it won’t do anything.

    Do you believe this can be fixed in firmware?

    Google the “Which Nikkor Chart”
    The only compatible FF-cameras are D5, D810, D750 and Df.

    • Captain Megaton

      I’d bet that there are more D750 sold now than D600/610 combined.

      You are right that the variable aperture 70-300 FX niche is not huge, and an AF-P lens appeals to an even smaller part of the niche, but Nikon is clearly very interested in moving lenses to AF-P as fast as possible and the 70-300 must have been an easy design to port over.

  • T.I.M

    Is that an other DX crap ?

    • Bob Thane

      Nope, this is the FX one.

  • Captain Megaton

    What’s up with the M .. A/M .. M/A three position focus switch on the side of the lens?

    • RC Jenkins

      That’s a really good observation. I see:

      A/M; M/A; and M

      Maybe this is:
      -M/A = Automatic, with instant manual override
      -A/M = Manual, using the stepping motor (electronic linkage)
      -M = Manual, using mechanical linkage to the focusing ring

      That way, this lens can at least be used manually on unsupported bodies. (or A/M and M/A could be switched; but this would go against Nikon’s existing conventions).

      I don’t know. Seems to be a bit of a mess. This is the cost of trying to build something for the past, present, and future all in one.

      If this is the case, it seems that Nikon hasn’t really been learning much from their experience and approach over the past few decades…

      • Antonio

        You got it wrong both on what the several positions do and calling it “a bit of a mess”.
        This is exactly the same as used for 70-200 VR II and both A/M and M/A positions do exactly the same, the only difference being that the far left A/M requires a bit more of effort rotating the focus ring to pass from AF to manual focus. So it is a preventive measure for the ones that have problems with the more sensitive M/A position that can switch off AF by accidental movement of the ring.

        • Scott M.

          Good to know-thanks

    • paige4o4

      Itโ€™s a system they copied from the 70-200 VR II.

  • ncegy

    hmm,
    This one or 100-400mm sigma?

  • sickheadache

    I can see Nikon doing this lens over and over again…ie 18-55. Soft as marshmallows.

  • bobgrant

    I have the Nikon 200-500 VR and also the Tamron 70-300 VC. The Tamron is VERY sharp at 300mm and it’s much better than the Nikon version I used to own, which was just a sad optic above 260mm. The Nikon 200-500 is tack sharp everywhere. So this new 70-300 really better be good or at least as good as the Tamron.

    • Brent Rawlings

      I have both the 70-300 VR and the 200-500 VR. What a great pair. If I wanted a third good VR lens on the wider to normal end, what does the group recommend? Perhaps the 16-80 VR?

      • bobgrant

        For a normal zoom on FX, the rather small 24-85vr is an amazing lens. It’s so good that I sold my nice 24-70 2.8 and then added a couple primes. Now get this, in absolute terms I generally found the 24-85 BETTER than my “pro” 24-70. The smaller lens was a LOT easier to handle and carry, very sharp, longer at 85mm and has excellent VR. Spend a small amount of cash on a 50mm 1.8 and the 24mm 2.8 AFD and you have a much more versatile kit with higher quality potential in many cases. You can pick up a used 24-85vr for 300 bucks. Also: f3.5 to 4.5 isn’t all that slow for a lens like this. I picked this over the 24-120 F4, which was always soft for me on the long end. I found the 24-85 to be superior for half the price and faster on the wide end too!

        • Brent Rawlings

          Thanks for your comments and observations. I failed to mention that I shoot with the D500, a DX body. I have the old faithful Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 but it’s not VR. While VR isn’t needed at wide angles in most situations it can be handy, especially at the 50-70 range. I also have the Nikkor 35mm DX 1.8, Nikkor 50 mm 1.8D FX and the Nikkor 85 mm 1.8 G FX lenses.

  • Ben

    I just received the new Audubon magazine with the 2017 Photography award winners. Grand Prize photo was taken with a D90 and the old version of the 70-300mm. Take that photo gear snobs. Looks like there will be a ton of D5’s, D500’s and some good bargains on superior telephotos on eBay.

    • Bob Thane

      Also if you want to annoy Canon users, you can point out that all the winners used Nikon and Canon users only got honourable mentions. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Ben

        Lots of “goose eggs” on the Canon Front. Ha Ha.

    • Brent Rawlings

      Yup. I still use mine. It’s sharp up to 225mm or so.

  • Neil

    Many of you have no experience whatsoever with this lens but make a whole variety of comments about it being inferior to other lenses. In reality, there is no such thing as a perfect lens. Each is made for a specific use case in mind. The question is… does this fit your need? The 70-300 is a good option for those in need of a lightweight lens with some reach shooting with plenty of light. It is far sharper than the 28-300 and far cheaper/lighter than the 70-200 f4/f2.8 varieties. I used to shoot landscapes professionally, shot sports at the college level and my wife does portraiture professionally. I own a lot of “pro” equipment, but will shoot with this lens from time to time to keep the weight down. This really helps keep photography fun in times where I might be holding a camera all day. I get beautiful images with it.

    • The best lens is the one you have with you.

  • PhilK

    Adding to the collection of matching lenses for the forthcoming mirrorless camera. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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