Optical Engineering Marvel

Smart Photography|August 2020

Optical Engineering Marvel
AF-S Nikkor 120-300MM f/2.8E FL ED SR VR ₹8,06,995
Rohinton Mehta

Inside the Box


Lens hood HK-41

Front lens cap LC-K103

Rear lens cap LF-4

Lens case CL-L2

The AF-S Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR lens was announced in the first week of January, 2020 along with the D6 and was aimed at the 2020 Olympics. This is a truly professional quality lens designed for those sports photographers who will not settle for anything less than the best. But that doesn’t mean that the lens is useful only to sports photographers; you can use it equally well for portraiture, table tops and nature/wildlife.

Design & Build Quality

Exquisitely good looking and built to last forever! The lens uses a magnesium alloy construction to provide great strength and at the same time, keep the weight manageable. The lens has internal focussing and hence the physical length does not change as you focus or zoom. The body is dust and moisture resistant. On either side of the lens, is a strong lug to attach a lens strap. Filter size is 112mm. The lens weighs 3250g and is made in Japan.

Key Features

Let me start by explaining the nomenclatures used on the lens. ‘E’ refers to the Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism. In conventional lenses, the operation of the diaphragm is a mechanical process that has certain limitations when it comes to accuracy (there are chances of the aperture size varying ever so slightly between exposures during a burst). Electronic diaphragm control offers greater accuracy, resulting in more accurate exposures even during burst shooting. Do keep in mind though that if you use very old Nikon bodies (12-13 years old), the Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism will not work and the lens will have to be used wide open at f/2.8.

‘FL’ is short for the ‘Fluorite’ used within the lens element. Fluorite is a monocrystal optical material with excellent optical properties. Being lightweight, it also helps to reduce the overall weight of the lens.

‘ED’ refers to Extra Low Dispersion. It is a special glass developed by Nikon to reduce chromatic aberrations.

‘SR’ refers to Short Wavelength Refractive glass elements to further mitigate chromatic aberrations. Thus, it helps to ensure more accurate colours. It also allows the manufacturer to make the lens more compact and lighter.


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August 2020