Photos taken with a Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

A collection of photos I've taken with a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom lens to give some examples of how it performs in real-world shooting conditions.

Nikon’s 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G for FX-format cameras (ie. full-frame) is designed as a lens for all seasons. It has a broad zoom range, from 28mm to 300mm, and built-in vibration reduction. It’s also compact and easily portable. And it’s priced quite reasonably with a MSRP of $950. So it’s a very good option to have as an all-purpose, take-anywhere lens for travel photography or general-use photography.

That convenience and price point come with compromises. With a maximum aperture of f/3.5 to f/5.6, depending on how much you have it zoomed in or out, it’s not an especially fast lens. And while the optical quality is good and perfectly suitable for a great many uses, it’s not up there with higher-end (and more expensive) pro lenses.


Here’s a collection of photos I’ve taken with this lens to provide some examples of how it performs under real-world shooting conditions. These go alongside a detailed hands-on review that I’ll be posting shortly. I’ll also be posting a side-by-side comparison with the Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD zoom lens.

These have been shot on either a Nikon D800 or D810 and processed in Lightroom. Some of the ones from the Arctic have had a little more processing applied to bring out the details in the ice, particularly by boosting local contrast, but others have had minimal processing done to them.

Sample Images Taken with a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 70 mm and f/14 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 250 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D800. This is an occasion where the telephoto reach came in handy. This is our ship anchored in a small bay in Svalbard. We’d landed ashore and hiked up a hill. This shot was taken from up the hill and from quite a distance away. 

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D810.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 52 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/6.3 on a Nikon D810.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 135 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D810.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/11 on a Nikon D810. Zoom right in to 300mm it’s quite sharp, but if you’re picky you can still see room for improvement with the detail in the buildings. This was a very clear day without any issues with haze. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/11 on a Nikon D810. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/7.1 on a Nikon D800. When you look closely at this walrus’s tusks and whiskers you can see two things: 1. it’s sharp, but not as tack sharp as some lenses, and 2. there’s some chromatic aberration (purple fringing) along the high-contrast edge of the tusks. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 45 mm and f/8.0 on a Nikon D810. More curved lines pretty clearly at the top of the frame. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D800. I was sitting quietly on the ground on the top of a cliff as these two Arctic foxes played next to me. The foreground is particularly blurred in this one because I was shooting low to the ground, and the background is quite a distance behind, the face of another ridge.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/16 on a Nikon D810. The roof line shows some curving here. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 32 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 135 mm and f/10 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D800. This was shot low to the water (in another kayak) and I wanted to use a large aperture to soften the foreground.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 180 mm and f/16 on a Nikon D810. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/11 on a Nikon D810. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 170 mm and f/11 on a Nikon D800. This is the sun reflecting off some shallow wind-blown water next to the gravelly beach. The beach looks black because I deliberately underexposed to get that metallic look with the water.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/4.5 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/6.3 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/16 on a Nikon D810. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 50 mm and f/4.5 on a Nikon D810. You can see some definite curvature in the columns at left that isn’t there in real life. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 190 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/16 on a Nikon D810. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 68 mm and f/8.0 on a Nikon D800. You can see some clear curvature in the wood planks at the top and bottom from the lens distortation.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 210 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 100 mm and f/11 on a Nikon D810. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/8.0 on a Nikon D800. This was a very bright scene shooting almost directly into the light. There’s a flare spot at left, but I suspect that was a smudge on the front of the lens from some salt water that had dried.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D810. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/16 on a Nikon D810.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/4.5 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D810.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 52 mm and f/4.5 on a Nikon D810. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 55 mm and f/9.0 on a Nikon D810.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D810. It’s pretty sharp through most of the frame in this one, although it’s softer in the bottom corners. You can also see some definite curved lines. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D810. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D810.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/3.5 on a Nikon D810. You can see curved lines (that should be straight) along both sides and the top in this shot. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 40 mm and f/8.0 on a Nikon D810. High-contrast edges like this can really bring out any chromatic aberration issues, but they’re not there to any practical degree. You can click on this one to open a full-resolution version if you’d like a closer look.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/8.0 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D810.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/11 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/8.0 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/8.0 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 78 mm and f/14 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/16 on a Nikon D810.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/11 on a Nikon D800. There lens flare here, even when pointing at the sun, is visible, but it’s well within what I’d call acceptable and normal range.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 92 mm and f/5.3 on a Nikon D800. I did bump the contrast up a little in this one, which exaggerates the problem a bit, but you can clearly see the vignetting in the top corners.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 56 mm and f/4.5 on a Nikon D800.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/8.0 on a Nikon D800. The VR came in handy here because we were floating in a kayak just off the shore with small chop and trying to make sure we kept a safe distance away. It’s feeding on a whale carcass that had washed up on the shore.

Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 122 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D800.

Zoom Range of the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens

Here are some practical examples of the zoom range, from fully zoomed out at 28mm to fully zoomed in to 300mm.

[caption id="attachment_22203" align="aligncenter" width="678"] Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/3.5 on a Nikon D810. You can see curved lines (that should be straight) along both sides and the top in this shot.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_22202" align="aligncenter" width="678"] Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D810.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_22210" align="aligncenter" width="678"] Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/3.5 on a Nikon D810.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_22211" align="aligncenter" width="678"] Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/5.6 on a Nikon D810. It’s pretty sharp through most of the frame in this one, although it’s softer in the bottom corners. You can also see some definite curved lines.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_22214" align="aligncenter" width="678"] Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/11 on a Nikon D810.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_22215" align="aligncenter" width="678"] Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/11 on a Nikon D810.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_22196" align="aligncenter" width="678"] Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 28 mm and f/8.0 on a Nikon D810.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_22197" align="aligncenter" width="678"] Photo taken with a Nikon 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens at 300 mm and f/8.0 on a Nikon D810.[/caption]

Where to Buy

You can find this lens at B&H Photo, Amazon, and Adorama.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens...
  • Versatile 107x zoom lens with ED glass and VR II image stabilization
  • Optimized for edge to edge sharpness on both FX and DX-format

Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2020-11-30 at 11:49. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

View Comments

  • Awesome pictures. I have my Nikon 28-300 VR but its sitting in my bag for last 1 year, collecting dust. Your pictures convinced me to try it out. I was never happy with its pictures when I first got it a year ago. And it's my home, my daily commute route from 23rd St NW to home in Arlington. Like you, I have stopped on Memorial Bridge in the evening going back from work and took pictures of the Rosslyn skyline which is awesome in the evening light.

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