Nikon has a range of good lenses for its mirrorless and DSLR cameras. These lenses are renowned for having great quality, usability, and a decent array of features. In this guide, we look specifically at Nikon super-telephoto lenses under $1000.
Super-telephoto is defined as a focal distance of 300mm or greater. In most instances, this is the top focal distance for these affordable zoom lens.
When choosing a high-end Nikon lens, be sure to check the lens categorization. AF-P is a Pulse lens that uses a stepping autofocus motor. Alternatively, AF-S uses Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor technology for autofocusing.
Other small nuances include G-type lenses that do not have an aperture control ring and DX lenses which are suitable for APS-C crop sensor cameras. Be sure to have a clear understanding of these terms so you know which lens under $1000 is suitable for your camera.
1. Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR (Overall Winner)
Our top choice Nikon super-telephoto lens is the Nikon AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6E ED VR.
This budget lens benefits from Vibration Reduction technology which minimizes camera shake and allows you to use the lens handheld. It has two extra-low dispersion glass elements that provide great contrast and consistent image performance.
For autofocusing, this lens has the Silent Wave Motor (SWM) which provides quick autofocusing on moving objects. You can also quickly switch between manual and autofocus via a simple switch.
The maximum aperture of f/4.5-5.6 is complemented by the rounded blade construction of the aperture diaphragm. Interestingly, this lens has a decent close focusing distance of 4.9ft throughout the entire zoom range.
If you want a versatile lens with telephoto performance, the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR is a good option. This is one of the best value multi-purpose lenses and has a decent set of features too.
These features include a Silent Wave Motor for effective autofocusing and Vibration Reduction to reduce camera shake when using the lens handheld. As a DX lens, it is suitable for APS-C sensor cameras. It also has a minimum focusing distance of 1.48ft at the 300mm zoom range.
For consistent image quality, this lens has a lens construction made of 19 elements in 14 groups. This includes three aspherical elements and three extra-low dispersion elements. This advanced lens construction means that image quality remains consistent throughout the focal distances. Also, it means that you will notice minimal distortions.
Similar to the above lens, we have the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR. This is another versatile multi-purpose zoom lens but it doesn’t offer the same wide-angle options. Nonetheless, it has a good zoom range and provides excellent super-telephoto capabilities.
This multi-zoom lens is available for both FX and DX-format cameras and has a decent minimum focusing distance of 1.6ft for the whole focal range. It weighs 798g which makes it an average size and bulk.
The lens construction has an advanced array of elements including three aspherical and two extra-low dispersion elements. The aspherical elements eliminate chromatic aberrations, whilst the ED elements improve sharpness, contrast, and color correction. Moreover, the external elements feature Nikon’s Super Integrated Coating which improves light transmissions and reduces flare.
This Nikon zoom lens is incredibly similar to the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR in the second place on our list, but it features a slightly worse aperture range and is a little cheaper too.
As a multi-purpose zoom lens, the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR is a versatile model with a good selection of features. It has vibration reduction which is vital when using the lens handheld. Also, it has Nikon’s SWM autofocusing system which helps you focus quickly and silently when zoomed-in at the 300mm super-telephoto distance.
Due to the lens construction, it also provides consistent image quality. You will notice virtually no distortion, and the image quality remains sharp and clear even at the edges of photos. Although it has a slightly worse maximum aperture of f/6.3 at 300mm, it is still a good quality lens and a great super-telephoto option.
5. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR (Budget Winner)
Our best value lens is the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR. You can actually purchase this lens as used or renewed for under $500, however, we advise purchasing it new to ensure the best quality and performance.
This versatile zoom lens is a DX model and suitable for APS-C sensor cameras. It has Vibration Reduction and Nikon’s SWM autofocusing motor. These make the lens easy to use at the maximum 300mm focal distance.
It also provides consistent image quality via the lens construction. You will notice minimal distortions and great colors throughout. The maximum aperture range of f/4.5-5.6 offers good control over the depth of field.
Nikon Super-Telephoto Lenses Under $1000 Offer Excellent Detail
We hope you have found this buying guide useful. As you can see, there is a good choice of quality Nikon super-telephoto lenses for under $1000.
When buying a super-telephoto lens, always look for built-in image stabilization and an autofocus system. These are important features that will help improve the usability of the lens.