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

An adaptable telephoto zoom lens, the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens is designed to work exclusively with Nikon DX-format DSLR cameras. Due to the wide focal length range it provides, it is a fantastic choice for photographing distant things such as sports, wildlife, and other topics. This lens is equipped with a number of characteristics that together improve its performance. Among these are an autofocus mechanism, vibration reduction, and image stabilization.

Its remarkable picture quality captures photographs that are clear and detailed, and its impressive build quality and handling create a comfortable shooting experience. In addition to this, the lens is designed to work with teleconverters, which allows it to achieve an even greater focal length. In this post, we will analyze the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens from a variety of perspectives, including its performance, design, picture quality, and more.

Key Specs

  • Focal Length Range: 55-300mm
  • Zoom Ratio: 5.5x
  • Maximum Aperture: f/4.5-5.6
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Format: DX
  • Maximum Angle of View (DX-format): 28°50′
  • Minimum Angle of View (DX-format): 5°20′
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 0.28x
  • Lens Elements: 17
  • Lens Groups: 11
  • High Refractive Index Elements: 1
  • VR (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • ED Glass Elements: 2
  • Super Integrated Coating: Yes
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • AF-S (Silent Wave Motor): Yes
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 4.6 ft. (1.4m)
  • Focus Mode: Auto/Manual
  • Filter Size: 58mm
  • Accepts Filter Type: Screw-on
  • Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 3.0 in. (76.5 mm) x 4.8 in. (123 mm)
  • Approx. Weight: 18.7 oz. (580 g)

Performance

Solid performance is delivered by the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens over the entirety of its focal length range. Because of the speed and precision of its focusing technology, even subjects that are moving quickly may be captured with relative ease. The lens is equipped with Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM), a technology that enables the quiet and smooth functioning of the autofocus system. This is especially helpful for photographing wildlife and sports, two types of photography in which it is essential to focus without making any noise so as not to disturb the subject.

In addition, Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) technology has been included in the lens. This technology effectively reduces the effects of camera motion and enables you to take photos at slower shutter speeds without sacrificing the image’s quality. While shooting handheld in low-light settings or while utilizing the lens at its maximum telephoto focal length, having this function available is quite helpful. The lens’s VR technology enables up to four stops of stabilization, significantly boosting its performance and adaptability in a variety of situations.

Autofocus System

Because the autofocus system of the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens is both quick and precise, it ensures that you will be able to lock focus on the subject that you have chosen quickly. The lens makes use of Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology, which makes it possible for the autofocus mechanism to function nearly silently and smoothly. This is especially helpful when photographing animals or shooting in peaceful surroundings, both of which are situations in which loud focusing noises might frighten subjects or break the ambiance.

Additionally, the autofocus mechanism features exceptional tracking capabilities, which let you precisely keep your focus on moving things even as they move. It doesn’t matter if you’re taking pictures of sports, animals, or even portraits—the autofocus technology of the lens functions exceptionally well, allowing you to take photographs that are clear and well-focused.

Vibration Reduction

The Vibration Reduction (VR) technology that is included in the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens is a feature that is extremely useful for handheld photography and is one of the many reasons why this lens is so popular. Because the VR system successfully mitigates the effects of camera shaking, it enables you to take photographs that are free from blur even while shooting at slower shutter speeds or in environments with less available light.

This function is especially helpful when working with the lens at its maximum telephoto focal length because, at that focal length, even a slight shift in position might result in blurry images due to the lens’s increased magnification. You will have more mobility and independence in your photography if you turn on the VR feature since it will enable you to take steady handheld photos without the need for a tripod. The image stabilization mechanism of the lens provides up to four stops of correction, giving you a huge edge in difficult shooting conditions and allowing you to take photographs that are astonishingly crisp.

Build Quality

The Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens has a sturdy build quality, which ensures its endurance and lifespan. The lens has a maximum aperture range of 4.5 to 5.6. The lens is constructed of components made of both metal and high-quality plastic, achieving a happy medium between the lens’s robustness and its overall weight. When held in hand, the lens barrel has the sensation of being robust and well-built, instilling confidence in its capacity to survive vigorous use in various shooting environments. Additionally, the lens is weather-sealed to some degree, providing some degree of protection against dust and moisture.

This is especially helpful when shooting outside or in demanding settings, since it protects the lens from any damage and makes it easier to capture sharp images. The Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens has a high overall build quality, which adds to its durability. This makes it an appropriate choice for photographers who seek a sturdy and trustworthy telephoto zoom lens.

Handling and Ergonomics

The handling of the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens is meant to be user-friendly, and ergonomic concerns were taken into account during its development. The lens has two rings, one of which is a zoom ring, while the other is a separate ring for manual focusing. Both of these rings offer smooth and accurate functioning. Because the zoom ring has a lot of damping on it, you can zoom in and out without any jerkiness while still having full control over the focal length. When manual focusing is necessary, the ring for the manual focus provides a comfortable grip and makes it possible to make exact changes.

In addition, the lens has an on/off button for the vibration reduction feature and a focus mode control, both of which are conveniently situated on the lens barrel. These settings are conveniently located, which enables you to make speedy changes without having to remove your gaze from the viewfinder. The lens’s design is both compact and lightweight, making it simple to take around and comfortable to use for extended periods of time without generating tiredness. This further strengthens its handling capabilities. The overall handling and ergonomics of the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens are exceptional, making it possible for photographers of all expertise levels to have a pleasant time taking photographs with the lens.

Image Stabilization

Vibration Reduction (VR) is a technology developed by Nikon that helps provide image stabilization advantages to help combat the camera shake. This technology is incorporated into the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens to deliver these benefits. This lens contains a VR technology that allows for up to four stops of correction, which means that you may shoot at slower shutter speeds without having to worry about introducing blur due to handheld camera movement. This is especially helpful when working in difficult lighting settings, such as low-light locations or while shooting with a long focal length, as both of these situations require the use of longer focal lengths.

The image stabilization mechanism works to successfully decrease the appearance of camera shake, which ultimately results in photographs that are more crisp and clear. It is especially helpful for telephoto photography, in which even the slightest movement can cause blurry images due to the magnification effect. Even while shooting handheld, the image stabilization of the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens improves your ability to capture clean and detailed shots. This is true whether you are photographing sports action or animals in their natural environments.

Shooting Experience

Because of its user-friendly design and remarkable performance, the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens provides a very delightful shooting experience. This is due to the lens’s impressive range of focal lengths. Because the focusing technology of the lens is both rapid and precise, you will have no trouble capturing images of subjects that are moving quickly. The Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology enables a smooth and nearly silent autofocus operation, which makes it suited for a variety of shooting circumstances, including portraiture, sports photography, and photographing wildlife. The Vibration Reduction (VR) technology significantly decreases camera shake, which enables you to shoot at slower shutter speeds and in low-light circumstances while keeping the quality of your images.

When operating with the lens set to its longest telephoto focal length, this function is very useful because it allows for greater magnification. The lens has a high build quality, which provides it with durability and dependability. Additionally, the lens is designed to be both compact and lightweight, which increases its portability. The smooth operation of the zoom and focus rings on the lens allows for fine control over the focal length and focus adjustments that may be made. The Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens provides photographers with a fun and satisfying experience when shooting with it, enabling them to take photos that are remarkable in their scope easily.

Image Quality

Impressive picture quality may be obtained over the lens’s whole focal length range thanks to the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens. Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass components have been included in the lens, and as a result, chromatic aberrations have been significantly reduced, and the resulting images have improved color accuracy and sharpness. In addition, the lens has a Super Integrated Coating (SIC) that was developed by Nikon. This coating helps to eliminate ghosting and lens flare, giving your photographs superior contrast and clarity.

Due to the lens’s high level of edge-to-edge clarity, it is possible to capture detailed scenes even when using the aperture settings that are the most open. When shooting at longer focal lengths and larger apertures, the lens produces beautiful bokeh because the out-of-focus areas are smooth and well-rounded. This effect is most noticeable when taking portraits. Overall, the picture quality delivered by the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens is rather outstanding, making it a dependable instrument for taking images of high quality in a variety of different shooting conditions.

Teleconverter Compatibility

It is possible to extend the range and functionality of the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens by using one of Nikon’s teleconverters, which are compatible with the lens. Teleconverters are optical attachments that expand the effective focal length of a lens. This allows you to get an even larger magnification than you would have been able to achieve without the accessory. If you attach a teleconverter to the lens, you can effectively increase the focal length of the lens, transforming it into a telephoto lens with a greater focal range. This is very helpful for photographing wildlife, athletes, and other things that are located at a considerable distance from the photographer.

Because it is compatible with teleconverters, the lens’s versatility is increased, and it becomes an invaluable tool for photographers who need extended telephoto capabilities. When using a teleconverter, it is necessary to keep in mind that there may be a little reduction in image quality as well as a reduction in the maximum aperture of the lens. This is something that should be taken into consideration. The Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens, on the other hand, has the capability of having its focal length extended by means of teleconverter compatibility. This provides photographers with a greater degree of creative freedom and the possibility of photographing subjects that would otherwise be out of reach.

Comparison with Competitors

Several different considerations come into play when contrasting the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens with its rivals in this category. One of the most significant benefits of the lens is its Vibration Reduction (VR) mechanism, which may provide correction for up to four stops of shake. When shooting handheld at longer focal lengths, this gives a substantial benefit since it helps decrease the influence of camera shake and allows for crisper photographs. This is especially beneficial when shooting in low light. The lens is equipped with elements made of Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass, and it also has a Super Integrated Coating (SIC), both of which contribute to the remarkable picture quality it produces.

Because the lens generates photographs with good color accuracy, sharpness, and contrast, it is a trustworthy option for a variety of photographic subgenres. When it comes to handling and ergonomics, the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens provides a comfortable shooting experience thanks to its user-friendly design, smooth zoom and focus rings, and lightweight construction. This makes for a more enjoyable time behind the camera. In addition, the fact that the lens is compatible with teleconverters gives photographers the ability to extend their reach and obtain even higher magnification than before.

Specifications

Mount TypeNikon F-Bayonet
Focal Length Range55 – 300mm
Zoom Ratio5.5x
Maximum Aperturef/4.5-5.6
Minimum Aperturef/22
FormatDX
Maximum Angle of View (DX-format)28°50′
Minimum Angle of View (DX-format)5°20′
Maximum Reproduction Ratio0.28x
Lens Elements17
Lens Groups11
High Refractive Index Elements1
VR (Vibration Reduction) Image StabilizationYes
Diaphragm Blades9
ED Glass Elements2
Super Integrated CoatingYes
AutofocusYes
AF-S (Silent Wave Motor)Yes
Minimum Focus Distance4.6 ft. (1.4m)
Focus ModeAuto/Manual
Filter Size58mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length)3.0 in. (76.5 mm) x 4.8 in. (123 mm)
Approx. Weight18.7 oz. (580 g)

Pros and Cons

A compelling option for photographers, the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens features a number of benefits that make it an appealing purchase. The Vibration Reduction (VR) technology of this camera efficiently lessens the camera shaking, resulting in photos that are crisper when taken handed. Because of how quickly and precisely the focusing technology works, this lens is ideal for taking pictures of subjects that are moving quickly.

The construction quality is sturdy, which guarantees both longevity and dependability. Because of the lens’s small size and low weight, it has excellent portability, making it an excellent option for photographers who are always on the move. When it comes to picture quality, the lens produces exceptional results, with chromatic aberrations that are kept to a minimum and great color fidelity. Additionally, it is compatible with teleconverters, which adds to its flexibility and extends its telephoto capabilities, respectively.

Price and Availability

When compared to other products in its category, the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens has pricing that is on par with its competitors. This lens offers an optimal combination of performance and cost. It is possible for the price of any camera equipment to change, based not only on the location but also on the availability of special deals or discounts. If you want information about prices that is both reliable and up to date, it is best to receive it from reputable shops that are allowed to sell the product online or via their physical stores.

The lens may be purchased from a wide variety of vendors, both online and in traditional brick-and-mortar establishments. It is compatible with DSLR cameras that use the Nikon DX format, which ensures that a wide variety of camera bodies may be used to pair it with. When thinking about the cost of the lens as well as the fact that it is readily available, it is essential to compare it to other lenses that are comparable to it in terms of its features, performance, and overall value for the money.

Conclusion

This versatile telephoto zoom lens from Nikon, the AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens, delivers an outstanding performance as well as superior picture quality. Because its autofocus mechanism is both quick and accurate, it can achieve exact focus even on things that are moving quickly. The Vibration Reduction (VR) mechanism is able to efficiently eliminate camera shake, which enables handheld photography to produce crisper photos even when working with longer lens lengths. The lens has a solid build quality, which ensures its longevity and dependability. Additionally, the lens is designed to be both compact and lightweight, which promotes its portability.

The Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens provides photographers with a dependable instrument for shooting a broad variety of topics, from sports and animals to portraits and landscapes. The lens’ exceptional picture quality and compatibility with teleconverters make it a particularly useful piece of equipment for this purpose. Although it may have certain restrictions, such as a diminishing maximum aperture and performance issues at the extreme telephoto end, the lens’s overall performance, ease of handling, and affordable price make it a desirable option for photographers looking for a flexible telephoto zoom lens.

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

Q. Is the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens compatible with full-frame cameras?
A. No, this lens is specifically designed for Nikon DX-format cameras and is not compatible with full-frame cameras. It is important to ensure compatibility with your camera body before purchasing the lens.
Q. What is the maximum aperture of the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens?
A. The maximum aperture of this lens ranges from f/4.5 at the 55mm focal length to f/5.6 at the 300mm focal length. It is worth noting that the aperture decreases as you zoom in, which may affect low-light performance and background blur potential.
Q. Does the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens have image stabilization?
A. Yes, this lens features Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization technology. It helps to reduce camera shake and allows for sharper images, particularly when shooting handheld at longer focal lengths or in low-light conditions.
Q. Can I use filters with the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens?
A. Yes, this lens has a filter thread size of 58mm, which means it accepts screw-on filters. This provides the opportunity to enhance your creative possibilities by using filters such as polarizers or neutral density filters.
Q. What is the minimum focus distance of the Nikon AF-S 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens?
A. The minimum focus distance of this lens is 4.6 feet (1.4 meters). It allows you to get relatively close to your subjects, making it suitable for capturing details or close-up shots, though it’s important to note that it is not a dedicated macro lens.

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