Nikon is Selling a Rather Ordinary 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Lens for $1000

Nikon 1 70-300mm VR Lens

As I read Nikon’s announcement of the new Nikon 1 V3 last night, I glanced over the pricing info and caught $999.95 in there. I was digging through the specs and figured that was a body-only price of the V3 since the kit was $1200. But that assumption was wrong.

When I re-read all the info, I realized that there is not a body-only option for the V3, but the pricing was for what appears to be a standard 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens.

And, I’m still scratching my head as to how Nikon can justify that price for a plain jane 70-300mm VR lens. Sure it is has the equivalent 35mm field of view of 189-810mm, but it’s still a 70-300mm lens . . . just mounted on a camera with a much smaller sensor than its DSLR counterparts.

There is nothing special about the lens highlighted in the press release.

Nikon has also introduced a powerful new telephoto zoom lens option that takes Nikon 1 users farther than ever before. The new 1 NIKKOR VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens features a super-telephoto focal range (189-810mm equivalent) that can get the photographer up close to sports action or wildlife from a distance. The first 1 NIKKOR lens crafted with Super ED Glass, the 70-300mm lens is equipped with built-in Vibration Reduction (VR) and Nano Crystal Coating to prevent ghost and flare. -Nikon Press Release

Nikon’s work horse 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens for FX and DX cameras runs under $600 currently. The Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 model can currently be had for $514. So, I could understand a $600 price tag, or maybe even bump it to $700 since it is all shiny and new, and has one Super ED element. But a $400+ premium over the other Nikon model? I’m slightly offended.

Maybe I am missing something, but it seems like Nikon might be after the marketing “wow” factor of selling a 189-810mm equivalent zoom range with a standard 70-300mm zoom lens.

What do you think? Am I in the minority here?

Is the price worth it to mount a 70-300mm lens with a native mount on a Nikon 1 camera? Is this a great budget birder lens for the Nikon 1 shooters our there?



  1. says

    Nah… You’re not in the minority. I saw that as well and the first thing I did was re-read the paragraph. They’re nuts. Canon is nuts, too.

    Why would anyone spend that kind of coin on a standard, run-of-the-mill 70-300 f/4 – 5.6? These lenses should be priced at $400-500 MAX, even with IS (or VR). It’s like when Canon released that 35/2 IS (and the 24 and 28) at, what, $800 and $900 each? Shake reduction technology is not new. It’s pretty much standard on every camera in the world at this point. Heck… It’s available on smartphones. Jacking up prices because of these “features” is ludicrous.

  2. JR says

    I agree with Matthew…….their prices are robbery and the D600 gaff made me lose faith in the brand so I quit Nikon. Now I’m a very happy Ricoh Pentax user.

  3. Fiddlergene says

    I jumped the Nikon ship 2 years ago for Fuji, and have been smiling ever since at the folly of the DF and the whole N1 line. It’s like the story of the emperor’s new clothes. The same mentality as Leica stripping off the Bayer array and selling the camera as a monochrome for $1k MORE! The stupid suckers deserve what they get.

  4. Wally in Austin says

    I am scratching my head too. As a V1 shooter I don’t see any reason to buy this lens. In fact I am going to move towards Sony 6000 or Panny GX7. Nikon really looks like they have lost the vision that brought us the D3 and D300.

  5. Radek says

    It is way too expensive. I wouldn’t even want it for 500. This lens and camera its designed for, are for amateurs but have price tags for pros.

  6. Wayne in B C says

    Not a snowballs chance in +#^%^ that I would pay that much for that lens, who would ??? Fugi is looking good .

  7. says

    The price is really hight but it is an all new les that is smoll than ather 70-300 and has NANCRISTAL Coating. That is the difference: from old 80-400 to new 80-400 there are over 800 $ difference… ok SWN motor for really quicker AF but again there is NANOCRISTAL coating. So the value of nanocristal coating is about 300 – 500 $ then, as you can see, the lens cost really 500 / 600 $ plus the cost of NANOCRISTAL. Nanocristal make the difference (so say all that have tested the new and for me really too much expensive 80-400) but the right question, as someone said is: a len for amatours need nanocristal? probably the answare of nikon is: if you don’t need by 70-300 for DX + adapter and you will spend less….

  8. forkboy1965 says

    Ok… just to be difficult I’ll take the opposing view…


    Nope. I got nothing.

  9. RobbMann says

    Um, its about 7oz lighter than a standard 70-300 f4-5.6, for only $600 more? Yea, I got nuthin too.

  10. Todd says

    I’m a Sony guy myself and the price does seem really high here. However I am going to hold back from making further judgements until I have either had a chance to test the lens myself or find a good review of the lens. Nikon has always priced their equipment (for the most part) fairly, so it might well be that there is more than meets the eye on this one.

  11. NDG says

    I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Nikon guy and I feel embarrassed at this price, too. I have paid through the nose for my best Nikkor lenses in the past and only now are the bodies like the D7100 able to really get the best out of the glass. The price on this lens just does not make any sense at first glance unless Todd’s suspicions prove true. Wait for a price drop soon when they don’t sell unless there are some rave reviews in the coming months which I doubt. I am wondering if the half pound lighter lens incurred some manufacturing costs that Nikon has to recoup (as if they were in a tight money situation! Not…) Sony is really getting the edge in this class of camera right now.