Best 70-300mm Lenses For Nikon – 2019 Ultimate Round-up

The world of photography is always evolving, but the importance of lenses remains perpetual. One thing a lot of people don’t understand is that a good camera body isn’t enough to get good-quality pictures. The lens you opt for has a major impact on your photo quality. 

Lenses are specially built to favor conditions you are filming in and enhance them to provide the best results. There are plenty of lenses on the market, and they can be hard to buy, given the technicalities involved. 

To help you out, we have the ultimate guide to buying 70-300mm lenses for your Nikon. We discuss why it is a great lens to invest in and recommend some excellent products. 

Comparison of the Best 70-300mm Lenses for Nikon

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR

  • Weighs 1.64 pounds
  • F/4.5-5.6 maximum aperture
  • The performance of this unit makes it the best overall
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Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD

  • Weighs about 0.96 lbs.
  • Comes with a 6-year warranty
  • Incredibly reliable which makes it the runner-up
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Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG

  • Weighs 1.19 lbs.
  • Features F22 minimum aperture
  • Best for the money that comes with excellent construction
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Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR

  • Weighs about 0.91 lbs.
  • Equipped with image stabilization
  • Features an aperture range of f/45-63 to F/32
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Nikon 70-300/4-5.6 G AFD

  • Weighs about 1.5 lbs.
  • Features 4.3x telephoto zoom
  • Can work for both FX and DX formats
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What Does 70-300mm Mean?

This range refers to the focal length range of the lens. The focal length is the distance between the lens and point where the light rays converge or focus. The 70-300mm is a zoom lens with a variable focal length, which allows it to zoom in distant objects as well as photograph small objects with great ease. Furthermore, it enables it to be perfect for portraits, sports, and wildlife photography, etc.

  • What is a 70-300mm Used For?

A 70-300mm is a pretty versatile lens and can be used in multiple ways. This is enabled by its excellent focal length range. Let’s look at some of its uses.

Action Photography

If your camera lens is also equipped with an auto-focus feature, it will prove to be great for sports photography. This is due to its ability to focus accurately and efficiently on moving objects at varying distances. Thus, a 70-300mm lens can be great for action photography. 

Astrophotography

A 70-300mm is also regarded as a top-notch astrophotography or telephotography lens. This is because it is able to focus well on distant objects and bring them in closer. 

Wildlife Photography

For being able to film in wildlife conditions, you need a lens that can zoom farther so you can capture and observe animals without being in their way or at a dangerous distance from them. The excellent zoom range makes it perfect for the job. 

Characteristics of Our Favorite 70-300mm Lenses

Here are some factors common in our favorite products. Let’s take a look:

Portable and Lightweight

The overall design holds great importance as it will enable you to travel with the lens easily. Furthermore, lighter units are easier to handle; therefore, you will have more control over them. This will result in sharper pictures, even when shooting handheld. 

Vibration Reduction and Image Stabilization

These features allow the lens to produce images that aren’t shaky, even with manual focusing and handheld shooting. 

Warranty

Good products have a decent warranty plan. Look for at least a year's warranty. This allows them to be reliable and highly durable. 

Quick Take - Best 70-300mm Lenses for Nikon

Before we dive into our review, here are the best 70-300mm lenses for Nikon:

  1. Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR
  2. Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD
  3. Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG

Review of the Best 70-300mm Lenses for Nikon

There are plenty of lens options available on the market, which makes it difficult for one to decide the top pick. Thus, we did the laborious work for you and found some great units. We have some of the best products available, which are highly reliable and of great quality. Let’s take a look: 

Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

PROS

  • Light and portable construction that allows it to be easy to travel with
  • Features internal focusing to minimize the size of the lens and make it portable
  • Features vibration reduction for sharp and clear images even in handheld shooting
  • Silent wave motor enables auto-focus mode, allowing it to efficiently and quietly focus
  • Comes with two extra-low dispersion ED lenses to deliver high contrast and resolution

CONS

  • On the higher end of the spectrum
  • Not the best for low-lighting conditions
  • Doesn’t offer auto-focus for some camera models

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers find the unit to work exceptionally well. It offers multiple features that ensure it produces high-quality, sharp, and clear pictures. It works under multiple conditions and offers great versatility. However, some buyers did find it a little expensive, but the performance is worth the splurge.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It caught our attention for multiple reasons. Firstly, the product works exceptionally well as it offers features such as low ED lenses, which reduce chromatic aberrations. It also enables it to produce high-quality pictures. Furthermore, the silent wave motor allows it to have efficient and quiet autofocusing.

Who Will Use This Most

This would work well for both beginners and professionals. It features a very ergonomic design plus a sturdy and strong construction. This allows it to be durable and highly reliable. However, it is a splurge and might not be suitable for those of you having a narrow budget, but it proves to be a long-term investment.

Bottom Line

We couldn’t recommend this product enough. There aren’t many units as good as this one. Its pros largely outweigh the cons and make it a great investment. It carries great features, including the two dispersion lenses, allowing it to be widely used by professionals as well. Overall, it is a beautiful lens.

Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens with Built in Motor for Nikon Digital SLR (Model A17NII)

PROS

  • Has a built-in motor to allow efficient and quiet auto-focusing
  • Comes with a 6-year warranty which makes it incredibly reliable
  • Comes with low dispersion glass to reduce chromatic aberration
  • Features a macro mode that allows it to photograph small objects with great ease
  • Featured telephoto zoom allow bringing distant objects close so they can be photographed

CONS

  • Does not have vibration reduction
  • Doesn’t work as well in low-light conditions
  • Uses a lot of power and quickly runs out of batteries

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers found this to be an exceptional unit. For some buyers, it is a little tricky to use, given that it doesn’t have vibration reduction, which makes shooting handheld difficult. However, it is lightweight and portable, causing minimal strain. Furthermore, the multiple added features make it highly ergonomic and innovative.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product caught our attention for many reasons. Firstly, it is a powerhouse of features. It is capable of reproducing the most stunning and sharp images with minimal distortion due to the high-quality optics featured. Furthermore, it has an incredibly efficient and accurate auto-focus mode, which makes it great for action photography as well.

​​Who Will Use This Most

This is one of the most versatile units out there on the market. It features a stunning macro mode that allows it to capture small objects beautifully. Furthermore, it even has a telephoto zoom that enables it to bring distinct objects closer to capture them. Thus, it can work for both types of photography.

Bottom Line

All in all, it is an exceptional unit. This product is very reliable as it gives consistent results in many situations. You know what to expect with this product. Its overall construction is stunning, and it works well for many conditions. It is an overall great investment.

Best for the Money:
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Motorized Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

PROS

  • Solid and sturdy construction allows it to be highly durable
  • Special low dispersion glass allows it to correct chromatic aberration
  • Features a super multi-layer coating which minimizes ghosting and flare
  • Flexible zoom range allows it to work for multiple settings with high image quality
  • Super effective and efficient auto-focusing allows it to be great for action photography

CONS

  • Auto-focusing makes a loud noise
  • A little heavy, making it not suitable for traveling
  • Doesn’t have a large aperture thus doesn’t work for low light conditions

What Recent Buyers Report

Many buyers find this to be one of the best lenses they have ever used. For a lot of people, it is their most-used lens. Its versatile and ergonomic design makes it easy to use and allow it to have multiple applications. This makes it a consumer favorite product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit stands out to us for multiple reasons. Firstly, the product carries multiple features that allow it to work for any level of expertise. The ergonomic and innovative design it features makes it incredibly versatile. Overall, the product is built with high-quality materials, making it a long-term investment.

Who Will Use This Most

This unit would be great for a number of people. The auto-focus is very sharp and efficient, thus allowing it to work wonderfully for action photography, like sports. Furthermore, the AF is slightly loud, but the unit allows one to switch to manual mode easily, thereby making it great for wildlife photography as well.

Bottom Line

This unit is one of the best Sigma lenses on the market. These are of high-quality and are known to be incredibly durable. This unit is a great example of such fine craftsmanship. This product provides a bang for the buck. Therefore, it proves to be a great investment.

Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Lightweight and portable construction makes it great to travel with
  • Features image stabilization, allowing it to capture sharp and smooth pictures
  • Offers both manual and automatic focusing modes and an easy switch between the two
  • Features a high-resolution sensor that allows it to capture vibrant, sharp and colorful pictures
  • Vibration reduction allows one to capture beautiful and clear pictures even while shooting handheld

CONS

  • Focusing is slightly loud
  • Plastic mounting isn’t of the best quality
  • Seems not to work the best under low-light conditions

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are very happy with this unit for a number of reasons. Firstly, it has high functionality, and it performs incredibly well. Furthermore, the unit is catered towards a wide audience of varying expertise levels, allowing it to be more accessible. Therefore, this product is a consumer favorite.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It stands out to us for multiple reasons. This product is great for capturing sharp and colorful pictures in good lighting conditions. The design is also quite innovative and ergonomic as it features VR, image stabilization, auto-focusing, etc., which makes it wonderful and more accessible. The construction is of great quality as well, allowing it to be durable.

Who Will Use This Most

This product is perfect for any expertise level. It features auto-focusing for beginners who often struggle with manual focusing. Furthermore, it is ergonomically designed to be lightweight and portable. This allows it to be easily traveled with. It even features vibration reduction, so handheld shooting is easy.

Bottom Line

Overall, this unit is a great product. It carries features like VR and AF, which makes it highly convenient for users. It is acclaimed for providing high-resolution, great quality, clear pictures, plus a durable and reliable design. Working with it is very easy, which is why it is a great investment.

PROS

  • Durable and innovative design makes it highly versatile
  • Lightweight and portable construction allows it to be great for traveling
  • Built-in auto-focus makes it incredibly easy to capture sharp and smooth photos
  • One of the most affordable options available which make it accessible to more people
  • Features a D-type design which provides precise distance information for flash and ambient light exposure

CONS

  • AF works with limited models
  • Does not have manual focusing
  • Does not feature vibration reduction

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are very happy with the construction of this unit. It seems to be of great quality and carries an innovative design. The design, along with the construction, makes it comparable to much higher-end products. Also, the affordable price tag came as a pleasant surprise to most buyers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit stood out to us for multiple reasons. Firstly, it is constructed to be solid, rugged, and of great quality, which allows it to be durable and reliable. It features telephoto capabilities and a wide focus range. Furthermore, it is highly versatile as it can be employed for sports, wildlife, and portrait photography.

Who Will Use This Most

The affordable price tag of the product makes it highly accessible to people on a budget. However, its construction caters to professional photographers more. This unit doesn’t carry vibration reduction, which means that if you have shaky hands or are still not used to using lenses, then you might get shaky pictures.

Bottom Line

Last but not least, this unit is truly a gem. Telephoto lenses are generally pretty expensive, but it is combined with great features and good price value in one. It works smoothly and has a very ergonomic design. Plus, its versatility and design make it a great investment.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a 70-300mm Lens?

There are certain aspects that need to be considered before investing in a product. These will make your experience with the unit better and allow it to be a better investment. Let’s take a look at them:

Budget

Setting yourself a budget will allow you to narrow down your options. Invest in a product that offers an overall good value and carries features that you use the most. Don’t get sucked into investing in a product with features that you probably won't ever use. 

Reliability

Buying a reliable lens is crucial as it holds such immense importance in your photography equipment, and they can be pretty expensive. 

Ease of Use

Make sure the product you decide to buy is constructed to be lightweight and portable so you can carry it around. The design should also be intuitive and easy to work with. 

Conclusion

Buying lenses can be a daunting process. One needs to worry about the build quality, focus, aperture, and a ton of confusing things. However, once you know what you are looking for, it will be a walk in the park for you. 

There are plenty of amazing lenses on the market; it’s just a matter of what you need it for. A lens might be great for wide-angle photography and not good for portraits. Thus, it’s important to establish a balance and figure out what you need it for. That being said, the 70-300mm lenses are one of the most versatile lenses one can get. It is truly a must-have for every photographer.