Farewell to best travel lens ever?

News is Nikon has recently discontinued a number of DSLR cameras as well as some DSLR lenses. One of the lenses that bid farewell is the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom lens. 

The 28-300mm zoom’s versatility makes it your ideal travel lens.

I switched to Nikon 9 months ago.

I borrowed my mate’s 28-300mm prior to a recent trip and I immediately got the same vibes the Fujifilm XF 18-55mm (28-86mm full frame equivalent) gave me when I owned a Fujifilm X-series camera: sharp and solid. The ideal travel companion.

I recently spent over two weeks in Greece and put in my bag a couple of prime lenses (28mm and 50mm) as well as the 28-300mm. However, I have actually never used the primes.

First and foremost, I did not want to keep on changing lenses even though 28mm and 50mm are the focal lengths I use the most for travel photography. The reason is obvious: I did not want to scratch or damage my D850’s sensor in a hot and – most crucially – extremely windy (and sandy!) environment.  

Additionally, there was no need to shoot at an aperture of F/1.4 or F/1.8 in sunny and bright conditions. I shot 95% of the times at F/8 and had no reason for choosing the primes over the zoom. 

Even though there are thousands of lens reviews, I will share with you some thoughts as well as some sample images from my recent trip.

1. It is the perfect travel lens. Relatively lightweight in spite of its solid barrel construction.

2. Image quality is very good.

3. The presence of image stabilisation (“Vibration Reduction – VR” in Nikon’s jargon) helps a lot, particularly when you are zooming at 300mm!

4. The only limitation I could think of is a pretty significant distortion at 28mm, something that is easily addressed in post production. 

5. Despite the limited maximum aperture of F/3.5, you can still achieve some good depth of field. After all… it is all about framing and thinking through your composition.

It is a pity Nikon is discontinuing this zoom lens but it makes sense as the Japanese manufacturer is focusing on its mirrorless line-up. Speaking of which… I do not regret making the unusual switch from mirrorless to DSLR, at least as far as travel photography is concerned. Last year, I had to recharge my Fujifilm X-T3 batteries every evening. This time, I only charged up my two Nikon D850 batteries once in 17 days.  

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