REVIEW: Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G

Nikon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6G lens

In the days of my glorious Nikon D70s, traveling was easy. I would take my body and one lens, the 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G and that was it! I traveled light.

But a couple of years ago, I upgraded from DX (crop sensor) to FX (full frame) and traveling light became a faint memory. On our trip to Iceland this past August, my camera bag was 20 kilos (!!!) which was heavier than my backpack!

Needless to say I was thrilled when, a few months ago, Nikon introduced the full frame version of there very popular 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G lens, the 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G. As I received a very generous gift certificate from my father-in-law-to-be last Christmas, I decided I would treat myself to this new lens.

So, after using it for a bit, I thought I would share my impressions about it. But before I go any further, please note I am not a professional equipment reviewer. I am not going to go in the technical details of the lens. I am, however, going to tell you how I like it and why. Keep in mind that every photographer needs to choose the right tool for their own personal style and needs.

I know, it is not the best lens produced by Nikon but for my traveling and scouting needs, it's perfect. It's an all-in-one solution with a very wide range of focal ranges which means no more lens swapping! Although not very bright (f/3.5-5.6) most of my shooting when traveling is during the day and with today's camera ISO capabilities I'm not worried for lower light situations. And I can still carry a small and light 50mm f/1.4 for those specific needs. If you've read other reviews of this lens on the internet, you probably read about its distortion issues. Sure you get a little distortion when at the widest focal lengths but it's nothing a little Photoshop can't fix very easily.

So, basically, the points that made me go for this lens are:

  • It's full frame (D700, D3 series),
  • The range of this lens from 28-300mm is awesome,
  • This should do everything and more that 3 to 4 of the lenses I traveled with could do,
  • Perfect for location scouting,
  • This saves me space in my bag and is easy on my shoulders.

To summarize, this is a great walk around, “do-it-all" lens for FX photographers who want to travel light or go for a walk without lugging a mess of lenses. Personally, I had been missing that huge zoom range and now I have it again. I would definitely recommend this lens but once again, that's just me.

Talk to you later!