New Nikon AF-S 28-300mm VR FX Superzoom Lens

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Nikon AF-S 28-300mm VR FX Superzoom LensLadies and gentlemen, please welcome the new Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom lens. That’s right folks – a 10x superzoom Nikkor lens for your full-frame Nikon digital SLR! Now Nikon FX DSLR and 35mm SLR owners have their own version of the popular, one-size-fits-all, Nikkor 18-200mm VR zoom lens. Travel photographers, event photographers and photojournalists rejoice!

Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 VR 10x superzoom lens

Update: Earlier this year, Nikon sent me a D4 and 28-300mm VR zoom for review. Since the 28-300mm was all I had, I used it for everything. And I loved it. It’s reasonably light and compact (for a pro-quality 28-300mm zoom lens) and the image quality and auto focus performance are excellent! The only time I wanted a different lens was when I wanted a larger aperture for more light or for better depth-of-field control. I’m not going to try to insert a whole lens review here, though. I’ll just let you look at the photos I took with the D4 and 18-300mm VR zoom and you can judge for yourself:

Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens Gallery >>

I know some of you will put your noses in the air and pretend this new lens isn’t important. But I urge you to give it a chance. True, there’s no chance it will be able to compete with the AF-S 70-200 f/2.8 VR II lens on the image quality and auto focus fronts. But it’s not supposed to. The AF-S 28-300mm VR zoom is the lens that can do it all when you have to travel light. Image quality is important but it’s not always the most important. Changing lenses can slow you down and carrying multiple lenses isn’t always possible. I’ve used and own all kinds of awesome glass but you know what my most-used lens is? It’s an 18-200mm image-stabilized lens (on an APS-C sensor DSLR). That’s because it can do almost anything I need and it’s easy for me to carry in the backcountry on my mountain bike or skis.

The new Nikkor is only a little bigger than the 18-200mm VR II DX lens and considerably smaller than the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II zoom – very impressive for an FX lens. It’s especially impressive if you compare it to the Canon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS zoom lens. Both lenses have comparable specs but at 4.5 inches long and 3.75 inches across, the Nikon lens is about 2/3 the length – and nearly half the weight of the massive 3.7-pound Canon lens. While I think the Canon 28-300mm IS lens is wonderful, there’s no way I’m taking it on my mountain bike. But there’s definitely a place in my pack for the light, compact Nikon 28-300.

A superzoom isn’t always the right lens for the job. But if you’re a travel photographer, a photojournalist or an event photographer, a 10x wide-to-telephoto is a wonderful thing to have. And I’m really pleased to see Nikon come out with one for the FX-bodied big boys. In fact, I think every serious photographer should have one in their bag.

The new Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom lens will be available in September at a suggested retail price of US $1299.95.

Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Photo Gallery >>
Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens Gallery >>

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Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 VR 10x zoom lens

About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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  • Robert Gillies says:

    I agree with you about this lens. I had all my camera equipment stolen recently and I was thinking of buying a new DX camera and the 18-200mm lens. However I think I am going to try swing a d700 and this lens. The d700 has a higher ISO and in combination with this lens should be equivalent to a DX camera with a much faster (and heavier) and more expensive lens. Also since it focuses to 18 inches, perhaps I can use it to photograph flowers and insects instead of buying a macro lens.

  • Roger Olson says:

    The combination of this lens and a D700 is a great combination. I have shot 26K frames with this combo and am still quite happy. I played a bit with the AF fine tuning in the D700 and found settings to sharpen it up at the extremes.

  • Photo-John says:

    Roger – you’re saying you’ve already shot 26,000 frames with a lens that isn’t available yet?

  • Desmerf says:

    I will have one soon. After having bought Nikon 16-35 f4 VR and 85 f1.4, I am torn between this one or Nikon 105mm f2 DC to pair up my D700. In Japan this lens is already on sale long before Sept. 2. at Yodobashi stores. I will probably get one at Amazon and ship it here to Dubai.

  • Photo-John says:

    Desmerf – this is a very different lens from the 105mm f/2. What kind of stuff do you shoot? I think this is primarily a travel, event and photojournalism lens. The 105mm prime is good for portraits, low light and maybe sports. But it’s not a very flexible lens.

  • Muhammad Ali Musa says:

    I had planed a foreign trip so I was confused about my kit or gear and this lens solved much of my weight during my travel, now I need a wide lens that I have one 18~35mm so these two can help me much. Nikon thank you.

  • says:

    I have one – and it is fantastic. I use the 28-300 with my D90 – and even the videofunction works superb. The VRII is a lot better than the old (sold my 18-55 and 55-200 both VR). I would recommend this piece of equipment to anyone that needs an allround high performance lens. Have shoot around 300 pics so far, and used the “deletefunction” a lot less than before. Go for it – all of you!

  • Photo-John says:

    Thanks for the comment, krister. Please use the orange \Read Reviews\ or green \Write a Review\ buttons above to visit our user reviews section and write a real review for your lens. User reviews are the foundation of and I believe we only have one review for the new Nikkor 28-300mm lens so far. I think this lens is a really big deal and I’d like to have more reviews for people who are researching it.


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