Through the Lens: Nikon 28-300mm Lens Review
Nikon must have been thinking about coming up with a lens that would be perfect for a traveler, seamless for so many uses and really just an ideal single lens to carry around when they created this fantastic 28-300mm lens.
I shoot full frame on a Nikon D750, and most frequently carry a couple (or more) prime lenses. I love primes for all of the reasons we already know - they are fast, sharp, small, and just produce beautiful results. At times, this has left me shorthanded and wishing for a long zoom lens, but I may not always want to add a telephoto to my already full bag.
This lens came out a few years back, and not long after it was on the market, I rented one for a trip. I enjoyed the small amount of time that I got to use the lens, and it really produced some beautiful images. I just didn't want to commit to the large price tag, since I wasn’t sure it’d be that great for things other than travel. It is on the heavier side, but that is to be expected with a lens with the 28-300mm and 3.5-5.6 capabilities. It just took me awhile to really feel like I had a good use for this lens.
KEH made the decision easier, since the price tag was greatly reduced on their used equipment. I was able to get an “Excellent” quality lens for an excellent price, and the lens was nearly new looking when I received it.
The first thing I did was run to the beach to break in the lens as some big waves were rolling onto our coast. The waves and the surfers were a great opportunity to test out the speed and zoom on this lens. The shots came out sharp and beautifully well-lit.
The lens served as my only lens on a trip to Yellowstone, and covered every need that came up. The wide 28mm is great for those vast landscapes. The 300mm zoom allowed me to get great detailed, up-close photos of some of the wildlife, without violating park rules and keeping a safe distance from the animals. At the end of the day, the lens is on the heavier side, but when it’s the only lens in my bag it really isn’t that heavy.
I think I found the perfect travel lens here, and it has yet to let me down. The versatility of the zoom is so convenient to have in one lens. The speed it not what I’m used to having on my prime lenses, but those 1.8 and 2.8 lenses are not needed in every situation. The 3.5-5.6 depth of field works just fine, and the lens does have a lovely soft background in those low depth photos. The lens isn’t as sharp as the primes, but it isn’t disappointing. I’ve had very crisp and sharp results out of this lens.
One of the features is Vibration Reduction, with a switch to choose between Normal and Active. There is also an On/Off switch for VR. This feature worked well when I was attempting to shoot fast moving surfers, while some pretty good wind was blowing at my side and causing me to shake a bit. There is also a Lock switch, to lock the zoom, which is handy when the camera and lens are packed in a camera bag.
There are certainly faster, lighter, sharper lenses out there, but this lens really fits well in my kit. For a compact lens that works on my FX camera, this is a clear winner. It is an all-purpose lens that is ideal for travel and so many other situations. The lens has been pretty popular in the Nikon line, and it shouldn’t be surprising. I’m so happy to finally have one in my kit and would recommend this lens to just about anyone.
I’d especially recommend you get one from KEH, for the great prices and high quality gear they provide!