AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR
Above average lens in its price range
This is a surprisingly good zoom lens. The VR works quite well, autofocus is decently quick and accurate, and while it's not lightweight per se, it's light enough for most people to handhold and carry around all day.
It's not very sharp beyond about 200mm, but at or below that it's quite nice. There's obviously a significant difference once you step up to the pro lenses (e.g. the 70-200), but amongst other lenses [vaguely] in its price range - e.g. the 55-200, the 70-300, or the superzooms the 18-300 and 24-300 - it's exceedingly competitive; cheaper and in my experience as good if not better.
There's little distortion in practice. Noticeable barrel distortion at the tele end, but not significant enough that it necessitates correction more than occasionally. I've taken about ten thousand photos with this lens, and had a problem with chromatic aberration (colour bleed) exactly once, when working on a HDR composite that included some very over-exposed shots.
This lens is often included in bundles or promotions associated with the entry-level bodies (e.g. D3200, D5200, D7100), in which it's a steal. If you're anywhere near the fence about it, go for it. It opens up a lot of possibilities.
March 26, 2013
Very good lens (provided you shoot NEF!)
Much more than my expectations, had several shots in NEF format then post processing on Camera Raw, to control the sharpness, distortions, aberrations and vignetting, honestly I was surprised by the pro results.
- Use ISO 400 minimum to compensate the slow maximum aperture
- The VRII works prefect
- The perfect lens for tight budget
November 15, 2012
Light alternative to pro zooms
I chose this over the 70-200 because i just didn't want to schelpp a huge lens like that around. I already carry the 12-24 and the 24-70, so a third pro zoom would have been just too much. This lens is best in its middle range so it's a great 70-200mm zoom for handheld outdoor work or on a tripod indoors and in low light. I find it to be a great portrait lens at around 150 to 200 and it's also wonderful for tabletop photography. At 300 it's good for action shots of kids playing soccer and the like.
VR works pretty well, but as megapixel counts go up, even the tiniest amount of camera shake shows up in photos; luckily the price of this lens is so low that so even if you buy the most expensive carbon fiber monopod, you're still going to spend much less than the 70-200 f/2.8.
May 1, 2012
good for some stuff
I got this lens in a pack with the D3100 really good zoom gets me to where i would like the subject to be in the frame so over all its a pretty good lens still gonna get a lens thats 700mm just for fun :D
March 26, 2012
Good lens ...but
The lens is very sharp, but autofocus isn't fast. If you need quick autofocus, this not the lens for you. For everyone else, I highly recommend it due to it's low price, light weight, small size, and outstanding image quality
January 21, 2012
Great Lens for the price!
For the money, it's very sharp. Has good contrast and better bokeh than a lot of higher priced lenses. Not great, but not bad! Sure there is a lot of plastic in the housing and it feels a little fragile.. but maybe that's just a perception based on others' comments? I wouldn't expect it to stand up to the abuse a pro lens can handle, but what do you expect for $400?
Focus is a little slow, but reasonable if it doesn't have to hunt. The VR works great hand-held and it is nice to be able to shoot 300mm without a tripod! It makes my 300mm prime seem like a behemoth, and nicely fills the gap between 200 and 300mm as well as making a nice walking-around lens.
January 13, 2012
Great lens. Can produce very clear shots from far away. Captures a lot of detail. Very good fro spots, animals, aircraft and much more. Great for the price.
November 29, 2011
Good lens for the price.
This lens is great for the money and is really great for long distance photos like at airshows. The AF has some issues at 300mm meaning if your subject is out of focus, but you still manage to track the subject it auto focus. That is the only reason why this didn't receive a 5 from me. Overall, a great lens that is always in my kit bag.
September 22, 2011
cost vs performance
For the money, one of the best zoom lenses on the market for this category. For outdoor use or indoor with a flash, this lens simply works very well. Build quality could be better, but for what you're getting, this lens is good value.
September 12, 2011
Great Second Lens!
I bought this lens as my second to accompany my 18-55 kit lens. It gives me a great amount of zoom. It's great for skittish animals, like birds or deer. It is also great for photographing my sister playing lacrosse from the bleachers. It also produces great portraits and keep you from freaking someone out by getting so close. The versatility and zoom of this lens makes it a great secondary lens to go with your kit lens. It is kind of cheaply made, basically all plastic, but that doesn't stop it's performance. This lens is a great compliment to any kit lens and has a good zoom for a first time telephoto.
August 23, 2011
the lens is a little heavy but the pictures are sharp
the only thing i have a problem with is the time it takes to focus
if you use the 11 point focus and sports setting you can get a faster focus for action shots and leave the iso speed to auto
August 1, 2011
This lens makes everything come to life. Amazing! Whether your are in the car, on an airplane or just in the window of your apartment. That moment; it will always be a Nikon moment.
July 5, 2011
Great for the price
This lens is quite amazing in its clarity and ease of use. Its limitations are due to its affordability, such as rotating front element during focus... a minor drawback if using a CPF... and small maximum f-stop (5.6 at 300mm). But for the price it really can't be beat!
July 4, 2011
Product is very lightweight.
I only received the lens a few weeks ago, but on my first shooting with it the photos came out very nice. The length of the lens is a bit of a hassle when on a camera and trying to put in a case or bag. I would like to have seen a metal ring on the lens, but it is backed by Nikon and should a problem arise, they will take care of it. All in all a very nice lens for the money.
June 30, 2011
This lens is a great value and the performance is very good at all settings. The VRII works really well and the pictures are sharp. The only drawback is I have to set the white balance manually to keep the colors in balance(too much blue in sunny conditions)
June 4, 2011
This product does have good features BUT....
I wouldnt recommend mainly because of the lens hood 4 it, there's only 1 that will fit it right now and it easily can fall apart without warning at anytime with even the slightist bump when you set it down, i havent even had mine 30 days yet when the back casing on it fell apart!!! and it's not easily available or cheap 2 replace!
May 10, 2011
well above average
Slow on the AF, hard to work with when the camera is in manual mode, But worth the money.
April 18, 2011
some good, some not so good
I have found this lens to provide very good distance magnification as well as object clarity. The VR assistance with natural motion of hands helps to produce photos which are crisp and without blurring, if light is sufficient. The not so good about this lens is the seriously restricted range of nighttime photography, preventing the camera's (in this case my D60) auto-operation of flash outside a tight area, based upon the ability of the camera's illumination being able to 'paint' an object. If outside this range, any motion of the target is hopelessly blurring, ruining its desired normal quality within limits.
April 16, 2011
DX answer to 70-300
Overall I like the lens. It is sharp, good color and contrast, metal lens mount, inexpensive and good valve. Zoom is sticky at longer end, not as smooth as the 70-300. Manuel focus is tricky. Would liked to see the same focus and smooth zoom of the 70-300 even at a little more expense. It fills the niche between the 55-200 and 70-300.
April 15, 2011
This lens is great for shooting outdoors - don't have to stand physically close to the subject to get a good shot (birds, animals, etc.)
I've only had it a short time, so am not yet fully accustomed to all I can do with it, but am very happy with it so far.
April 14, 2011
Great Lightweight Telephoto
I have a number of lenses including the earlier 70-300AF, the 80-400VR, and the 18-200VR. This lens makes life simple for nature and travel photography. It is easy to use, inexpensive and lightweight for going up to 450mm. It is sharp, has great VR and about as small as the 18-200 lens. The only downside I noticed is that it can sometimes get confused while low light focusing.
April 14, 2011
This is a great lens for when you can't get close.
I purchase this lens to better allow me to capture close-up images when I simply can't get near enough to the subject. I have been pleasantly surprised at the ability to take full zoom pictures of distant objects without the need for a tripod. Pictures are clear and sharp with great color resolution. I highly recommend this lens.
April 14, 2011
Good outdoors lens
Recently I bought a Nikkor 55-300VRII lens to use for my sons track meets and baseball games and also for some wild life shots. I tried it out on 3 different occasions and have come to these conclusions.
1. It is lighter then I had expected which is a plus in my book. I tried the 70-300VR and it felt much heavier.
2. This lens is very sharp, especially at the short to mid range. At 300mm it is quite sharp also.
3. The VRII works great. This is my first lens with VR and what a difference it makes. I shot at 300mm at 1/80 of a second and the pictures were tack sharp.
4. The price you pay for what you get, it is a steal. IMO
Now for the only negitive. It's not the fastest focusing lens around but it's still not too not bad. It will do for what I need it for and that's why you buy a certain lens in the first place.
PS had it been faster focusing I would have given it 5 stars. But as it is I'd give it 4 1/2 stars if I could.
April 14, 2011
Can't beat it for the price.
I wanted to be able to reach out further than my 18-200 and do it at a reasonable price. I selected the 55-300 and am very satisfied with the lens. I wouldn't call it tack sharp at 300mm but for the price I think the images are acceptable. Back off from 300 and the sharpness improves. It has expanded my opportunities for shots. You can't go wrong for the price.
April 14, 2011
good for the money
not the best- but vr 2 works fine. lens motor is less noisy fast and fine.
April 3, 2011
I love how it works outdoors! Gets a little jittery at 300mm but great for the money.
February 24, 2011
NICE LENS WITH A GREAT FEATURES
THIS IS A FINE LENS FOR THE INITIATORS.AT 300 MM VR WORKS GREAT.WITH THE VR HAND-HELD PICTURES SEEMS SHARP.
IN A BRIGHT LIGHT CONDITION IT WORKS FABULOUS BUT THIS LENS IS NOT A SUITABLE TOOL FOR THE LOW LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY.
AUTO-FOCUS IS EXCELLENT AND FIRST IN BRIGHTLY LIT CONDITION AND FOCUSING IS PINPOINTED AND PERFECT.
IN HIGHLY BACKGROUND LIT CONDITION SOME CHROMATIC ABERRATION MAY OCCUR. USING THIS LENS AT F/11-F/15, YOU MAY OVERCOME THIS PROBLEM.I HIGHLY PREFER AND RECOMMEND THIS LENS.
January 27, 2011
its a great lens. i wish it had a f/2 or lower for indoor sports.
January 19, 2011
VR II or Not
I am trying to get an answer as to if I bought the VR II, there is not indciaiton on the lens or the box that it is the VR II version.
January 11, 2011
Good lens but blurry at maximum focal length.
It`s definitely a very good lens for the price. build quality is fine. motor is really silent and color aberration is minimal.
Though, it has some issues:
Jitter when moving aperture ring near 270mm.
Cannot be hand held in bad lighting and moving subjects, actually most of shooting requires mono or tripod.
When shooting at 250-300mm you get soft results. [you can`t always trust MTF`s]
But generally i`d recommend it, specially for beginners.
November 11, 2010