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Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR review

A big 5.5x zoom lens range extends your reach

Build quality and handling

Nikon nikkor af s dx 55 300mm f 4 5 5 6g ed vr review

Weighing 530g, the Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR is noticeably heavier than the 335g Nikon 55-200mm VR, and it's 23mm longer, at 77 x 123mm. This extends to maximum length of 225mm with the hood fitted, at the longest zoom and closest focus settings.

Unlike the Nikon 55-200mm VR and 70-300mm VR, this lens doesn't have internal focusing, so the front element both extends and rotates during focusing. It's a bit of a pain when you're using filters such as a circular polariser, where rotation of the filter is critical.

Despite being longer than the Nikon 55-200mm VR, the zoom ring on the 55-300mm is actually a little shorter but still very comfortable in use. The action is smooth and there's no zoom creep even when using the lens vertically.

The manual focus ring is perched on the front of the lens, so doesn't get fouled by your fingers during autofocus. It's slightly larger than the focus ring on the 55-200mm VR and a little easier to use, but still doesn't have a focus distance scale.

Performance

Nikon nikkor af s dx 55 300mm f 4 5 5 6g ed vr review

Autofocus is as quick and quiet on the Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR as with the Nikon 55-200mm VR throughout most of the zoom range, although it slows a bit at the maximum focal length of 300mm. Vibration Reduction gives rather more consistent results and lives up to its 4-stop claims.

Optically, the Nikon 55-300mm VR is impressively sharp throughout its entire zoom range, from the largest available apertures of f/4.5-5.6 down to f/16.

There's plenty of contrast too, and vignetting is well controlled, especially considering the big zoom range. Distortion is fairly minimal throughout the zoom range, and only really noticeable at around 135mm, where there's a little pincushion distortion.

Sample image:

Nikon nikkor af s dx 55 300mm f 4 5 5 6g ed vr review

Taken at 300mm, f/5.6

See full-res image

Tech Specs

Product TypeLens
Maximum Focal Length300 mm
Minimum Focal Length55 mm
Lens Mount TypeNikon F
Maximum Aperture Wide4.5
Maximum Aperture Tele5.6
Optical Zoom5.4x
Brand NameNikon
Filter Attachment Diameter58 mm
Lens TypeTelephoto Zoom
Application/UsageCamera
Minimum Focus Distance1.40 m
Minimum Aperture29
Diameter76.5 mm
Depth123 mm
Compatibility

Nikon DSLR Cameras

Magnification0.28x
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelJAA814DA
Product NameNikkor JAA814DA Lens
Product LineNikkor
Manufacturer Part NumberJAA814DA
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.nikon.co.uk
Marketing Information

High-powered zoom lens with super-telephoto reach for use with Nikon's DX-format SLRs. Designed to make it easy to shoot stunning close-ups, it offers a 5.5x zoom and versatile 55-300 mm focal range. Nikon's second-generation Vibration Reduction system delivers sharp results, even for hand-held telephoto shots. Great value for money, this lens is ideal for entry-level SLR users as well as for more experienced photographers who want a second lens to increase their zoom range.

Package Contents
  • Nikkor JAA814DA Lens
  • Lens Case CL-1020
  • Lens Hood HB-57
  • Lens Cap LC-58
  • Lens Cap LF-1
Weight (Approximate)530 g