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A Bit About The Lens
In short, this lens is my workhorse! Suffice it to so that it is on my camera about 80% of the time! You can read the full tech specs here. This lens coupled with a wider lens, say a 20mm AFD or a 16-35 AFS, is really all you need. That being said, I really could get by with just this lens.
As a portrait lens – Because the minimum aperture of 5.6 at 300mm doesn’t make it part of the classic portrait club, I would argue that it still does a pretty good job. Remember bokeh (that beautiful out of focus background you need for portraits) is a product of both aperture and focal length. At 300mm / f5.6, if you simply backup from your subject a bit, you are still going to achieve a nice portrait feel. When you are using it at 28mm, the aperture of 3.5 gets you where you want to go. You can see a few of my portraits below in the ‘In Use’ section of the review.
As a macro lens – The minimum focusing distance is 50 cm at all focal lengths. No, it’s not a true macro lens. However if want to make an image of an interesting bug or beautiful flower on your vacation, this lens has you covered.
In 2011, I was photographing the USA Pro Cycling Challenge for the Davis Phinney Foundation. You can read more about that here. Anyway, every morning at the start line I would make images that conveyed a behind the scenes perspective of what it is like at one of America’s greatest bike races. Instead of using 2 bodies, with your traditional pro focal length lenses, I opted for a very simple setup. I used the pop-up flash on my D700 and the Nikon 28-300. The fluidity of this setup was incredible. Here are a few of the images I came away with. These are pretty much the .jpgs out of my camera.
When it comes to making compelling travel images to share with your friends and family, it doesn’t get much better than this lens. When I’m traveling, I don’t want to be burdened by a huge pack of gear or stopping all the time to change lenses. I want to enjoy my time exploring! While I was visiting San Francisco I challenged myself by leaving all my gear in the hotel and taking this lens with me wherever I went. I took it along on walks, to dinner, to conferences, etc… Here are some of the images I came away with.
At 28-300mm it is a wide ranging focal length making is super versatile. That being said it is tough to imagine just how incredible that coverage is. Here is an example of what that means to you as a photographer.
Take this scene at 28mm
and turn it into this scene at 300mm
What I Like
- Versatility – Like I said, if I could only have one lens, this would be it.
- Build – It seems well built. I have used it hard for over a year and have never had a problem.
- 77 MM – All the 77mm filters I have for my other lenses work perfectly with it.
- Image Quality – It is a pretty sharp lens with good color rendition and contrast.
Things To Note
- Sharpness – This lens is sharpest at all focal lengths where you are focusing on closer objects. Like I said, it is a pretty darn sharp lens with good color rendition and contrast. However, I have noticed it is a bit softer when focusing on distant objects. Nothing that would out weigh the versatility of the lens, but if this lens had weakness, that would be it.