Another DX telephoto zoom from Nikon, only this time it bears the new AF-P title.
An update to the popular 70-300mm has been expected for some time, but rather than deliver a full-frame model, Nikon has instead introduced two nearly identical DX models carrying the new AF-P moniker.
This one is without VR, a curious choice given the new AF-P models are the first from Nikon to adopt video-centric STM focus motors. Even if video isn’t your thing, saving the few pounds difference between them is short-sighted. Unless you live somewhere with year-round sunshine, with an f6.3 maximum aperture at the long end you’ll always wish you spent the extra $50.
Nevertheless, the new STM focusing is surprisingly fast – as fast or faster even than some of Nikon’s better SWM models, and it’s practically silent. Optically, this lens is excellent – far superior to the lens it replaces.
Admittedly there’s a little lateral chromatic aberration and a touch of purple fringing wide-open at f6.3, but it’s far lower than expected. Diffraction is an issue with smaller apertures, of course, which is restricting, but at the shorter end of the zoom range this lens delivers crisp, clear pictures with plenty of detail to spare.
Although a budget offering, which you can tell from the build, perhaps the biggest limitation of this (and its sibling) is the small number of cameras it’s compatible with. If you’re not using a current model, you’re most likely out of luck.
AF-P DX Nikkor 70-300mm Sample photos: