Nikon 120-300mm f/2.8E AF-S FL ED SR VR review

Is the Nikon 120-300mm f/2.8E AF-S FL ED SR VR the only lens you need for sports, wildlife and portraits?

5 Star Rating
Nikon 120-300mm f/2.8E AF-S FL ED SR VR review
(Image: © James Artaius / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Nikon 120-300mm f/2.8E AF-S FL ED SR VR is a lens with no weaknesses that boasts outstandingly consistent sharpness across its focal and aperture ranges. A near perfect performer, the only question is whether sports photographers will want to add this to their trusty 70-200mm and 300mm combo. If they do, they will be wowed a midrange marvel that's perfect for sports and wildlife – and is also a dang fine portrait lens.


  • +

    Incredibly sharp

  • +

    Outstanding consistency

  • +

    No weaknesses


  • -


  • -

    Will pros adopt it?

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Let's get it out of the way: the Nikon 120-300mm f/2.8E AF-S FL ED SR VR is a lens that costs $9,499 / £9,499 / AU$15,499, and it's probably not meant for you. 

It's no coincidence that the Nikon 120-300mm f/2.8E AF-S FL ED SR VR review was released in sync with both the Nikon D6 and the Olympics. Obviously Tokyo 2020 has been postponed, but the target audience is clear from both the timing and the price: this is a professional-grade optic tailor made for pro sports photography.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.