Lences reviews

Nikkor 55-300mm VR, DX lens review


Naturally, I would like to talk with you about this tasty desert, how softly it melts in the mouth, but, unfortunately, this article will tell you about Nikon 55-300mmVR.

I have known this excellent telephoto 55-200mmVR
many years, I recommended it to everyone, and I recommend and will recommend it as one of the best telephotos for DX-cameras of Nikon. So, 55-300mmVR is like 55-200mmVR, but it is better. Due to the presence of an AF-S lens the autofocus will work on all digital SLR cameras from Nikon including low-cost D40/D40x/D60/D3000/D3100/D5000/D5100/D3200/D5200/D3300/D5300/D5500.

If you like to take photos from a distance and underhand, the telephoto is what you really need.

According to my experience the passion for a telephoto appears when a young but solicitous and full of drive to the creativity photographer realizes that it is not enough for him to have just a kit-lens. I can not say if that is good or bad, I think that everyone should have gone by this path.

55-300mmVR, in comparison with its younger brother 55-200mmVR, has a number of advantages and a couple of disadvantages. I will start from the latter.


55-300mm turns out to be a little bigger and heavier. It does not mean that it is too heavy to lift but if you take it in your hands it is felt nearly twice as heavy – 335 g against 530 g of 55-300mm. The price for 55-300mmVR is also heavier, it is higher for approximately 150$.


There are much more there, I will tell you about them in detail. Firstly, there is a difference in focal 100mm, some people may think that to be a trifle, the other – not. It is up to you to decide if there is any use in overpaying for that.

It is difficult to see the difference in a focal distance on active photos from life but everything fits together when you look at the photo of the moon taken on 300 mm and 200 mm:

(Nikon 55-300VR, 300mm)

(Nikon 55-200VR, 200mm)

The moon taken on 300 mm is bigger by half than the one taken on 200 mm.

The second advantage of 55-300mmVR is that it focuses faster. Naturally, it can not catch up with 70-300mmVR
but it can easily compete with 18-200mmVR.  Fast autofocus will help you not to let the important moment or some fast-moving object slip through the fingers.

The photos taken on 55-300mmVR turn out to be sharper (how to make a photo sharp):

than on 55-200mmVR:

I advise you to cover the aperture for a couple of stops as the lens blur a little bit, in fact, all telephoto lens are characterized by that and that is quite normal.

55-300 does not suit much for FX-cameras, you will have dark edges at focal distances from 55 mm up to 200 mm. Any filter will increase this effect.

The filter for the lens should be standard and not expensive – 58 mm. I advise you to buy a security filter after you buy your lens not to leave scratches on them.

For those who like bokeh:

Conclusion and recommendations.

Generally, I would make the following conclusion. If you need a good telephoto – if I were you, I would buy 55-200mmVR, and а high-aperture prime lens paying the rest of the money for it. If you need the best telephoto for DX-cameras, you’d better spend 350$ and buy a wonderful 55-300mmVR. Believe me, you will certainly not regret about buying it.

If you need a telephoto for an FX-camera, 70-300mmVR is worth buying. And if you are looking for versatility and want one lens to substitute the whole bag including a telephoto, I recommend you to take 18-200mmVR
for DX, and 28-300mm
– for FX.


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