Testing the Nikon 70-300 mm VR at the Edmonton Valley Zoo

Title: Testing the Nikon 70-300 mm VR at the Edmonton Valley Zoo

Posting has been slow as I am studying for an acupuncture course. Today, I took a break to test out the Nikon 70-300 mm VR zoom. I was interested in getting this lens because it was reputed to be sharp, especially under 200mm. The VR technology was interesting, but I was not hoping for too much.

I visited the Edmonton Valley Zoo. The zoo is very small; it was even smaller today as many exhibits had been closed for the season. Unfortunately the zoo tends to feature exhibits with a lot for wire cages, and sometimes plexiglass in such poor condition that it makes viewing difficult(tiger, arctic fox exhibit). On the plus side, there were so few people at the zoo, that the animals were quite interactive. The Tiger would follow me around from window to window. If you held your hand out at the window, he would then come up to the window for a “rub”. The wolves would rush down to the fence and look at any new combers that would pass by. The Calgary zoo has much better exhibits;they are pleasing to the animal and the photographer. But, I have never seen the animals at the Calgary Zoo at all interested in the viewing public.

Edmonton Valley Zoo 1/5/08 11:33 PM

Unfortuneately, WordPress will not allow any Piccasa code to display a flash slideshow.

All photos in the gallery were taken with the the Nikon 70-300 mm VR, except for the Burrowing Owl which was taken with the Tamron 90mm. All shots were handheld, and used available ligh, and curve adjusted with slight unsharp mask applied(except the burrowing owl picture). The Nikon 70-300 mm VR did well. It is not as sharp as the 90 mm prime, but I did not expect it to be. The VR technology worked really well as the Kookabrough was shot at 1/6s and 70mm and the Peregrine falcon was taken at 200 mm, f5.6 and 1/13s. There is some softening of the Koobabrough picture, but given the shutter speed and the fact that it was handheld, it has acceptable sharpness.

Overall I liked how this lens performed; it focusses quickly. I am impressed with the low shutter speeds that the VR enabled me to use. I wonder how well this lens would perform with the new DR which is supposed to have excellent high ISO quality ?


One response to “Testing the Nikon 70-300 mm VR at the Edmonton Valley Zoo

  1. dlnorman January 7, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    that vr lens works great! can’t believe that falcon shot was handheld at 1/13 second at 250-300mm. that’s pretty amazing! and, of course the calgary zoo is much, much better. and the animals are too cool to notice the people gawking at them…

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