Travel Gear That Works – NIKON 28-300mm Lens
I acquired a new Nikon 28-300mm lens last year for my Nikon D800 planning to use it as an all-purpose walk around lens for travel. I previously wrote about this purchase in an earlier article ( New Photo Gear ) After extensive use in Spain, Morocco, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam I wanted to give some further feedback. In doing so, I’m not going to try and go into all the statistics and “numbers” related to the technical aspects of this lens. That’s not my strength. If you are interested in that type of data I’m sure you can find it with a good internet search. Instead, I want to simply share with you my subjective impressions having used this lens now for some extended shooting.
Call me a happy camper. From my experience I can happily report that this lens will work very well for travel photographers. Combined with the D800 it produced outstanding images throughout it’s 28 – 300mm range. At 3.5 to 5.6 it is reasonably fast considering it’s zoom range. And with the low light capability of the D800 it worked very nicely at very high ISOs. Image quality is further enhanced by the VR system (vibration reduction). The lens is small, compact and light (again considering it’s range). It has a great build, feeling solid in hand and working very well for hand held images.
The lens functioned well in a wide range of environments including high temperatures and humidities. I encountered no mechanical issues or problems. I rarely encountered any “lens creep” and the barrel lock precludes this when used appropriately.
As far as image quality is concerned, they are great and clearly good enough for my needs which range from Facebook to major enlargements and include image and file sales via stock companies including Getty. Now is image quality the same as a top of the line prime lens? Of course not. But with this lens I don’t have to carry around a bag of four or five prime lenses and to constantly swap these out either. So you can choose your poison. I go with a great lightweight zoom and this one worked well for me.
You can pick up one of these fine lenses at Amazon.
Now let me add my one complaint. And in all honesty it is not a negative about the lens itself. As with many of Nikon’s top lenses, the Nikon 28-300mm comes with a lens hood. It can be used with the blades pointed outward to help prevent lens flare. For easy camera storage the hood can also be reversed with the blades point reward over the lens barrel. The hood twists onto the threaded front of the lens and “locks” into place with a slight “pressure” lock type system. I have personally had poor experiences with this type of lens hood in the past. Several times they have fallen or been knock off. A number of times I’ve heard the drop to the ground or someone has been nice enough to notice and call it to my attention. Most recently while traveling in Thailand the hood became disengaged / unlocked and dropped off without my being aware. Only later did I notice and by then the hood was long gone. I completed my SE Asia journey sans lens hood.
Yes, I can get a Nikon replacement. But they aren’t exactly cheap.
Just out of curiosity I explored further on Amazon, finding several 3rd party replacements at a much more reasonable cost. I might add that after reading the reviews I found first of all that I’m not the only one irritated about the poor fit of the Nikon hood. Beyond that I found a replacement that sounds good. Time will tell.
I would really like Nikon to come up with a better system to keep the lens hood in place. The current system is marginal. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if the hood has been mounted correctly to the point that the “lock” is engaged. With experience I learned that it is necessary to be very careful in mounting the hood and then checking to be sure it is on correctly. Even so I have managed to loose two of these hoods now. I admit, I do press the limits of the hood a bit. I leave it on in the blades forward position while I am out and about shooting. It provides a bit of extra protection to the lens as I move about. In this manner it is more likely to get bumped around a bit. But it still shouldn’t fall off that easily. If it falls off without the photographer noticing, well it apparently didn’t get bumped too hard. And that’s the end of the negatives…………….
Great Travel Lens ………………..Enjoy the Adventure!
********* Last Minute Update **************************************
Just received my replacement lens hood for this lens. Ordered the third party hood mentioned above. Looks good to me. Good fit and good quality. It uses the same type of twist on locking systems as the Nikon hood so I will still have to be careful and aware. But if it falls off and I loose it – well, I can buy three of these for the price of one from Nikon.
ForTravel Photography Images including some using the 28-300mm visit
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