Review Nikon DX AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6G ED VR SWM HRI

For the opportunity Nikon DX AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm 1 Lens: 4.5-5.6G ED VR SWM HRI many thanks to Alexander, as well as many thanks to the store (where in 2018 I took the lens again to make sure some of its nuances).

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

In short

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR - Telephoto Lens with Image Stabilizer for Nikon DX cameras. First of all, the Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR is interesting for 5.5x zoom and the ability to use 300mm focal length. Considering crop factor Nikon DX cameras for which this lens was designed, its EGF will be as much as 450 mm. This lens makes it easy to 'reach' distant objects. With Nikon 55-300mm F/4.5-5.6 VR you can shoot people from afar, wildlife, use as a portrait lens. Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR has a small aperture F / 4.5-5.6, but avoid grease when handheld photography stabilization system helps Nikon VR second generation. I achieved what I could take off without grease, using 300 mm focal length and shutter speed of the order of 1/80 second. I was satisfied with the work of VR.

Unfortunately, the focusing speed of the Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR is at a very low level, and the lens also has a very inconvenient manual focus.

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Main technical characteristics of Nikon DX AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6G ED VR SWM HRI:

Review Instance Name Nikon DX AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6G ED VR SWM HRI 3172853
Basic properties
  • DX (for Nikon DX) - Lens designed for Nikon DX APS-C cameras
  • AF S (built in Auto Focus motor) - the lens uses a built-in focus motor
  • G (Gelded) - means no aperture control ring and transfer of focusing distance to the camera
  • ED (Extra low dispersion) - the use of special low-dispersion elements in the optical scheme
  • H.R.I. (high refractive index) - the use of special elements with a high refractive index
  • SWM (Silent wave motor) - silent wave focusing motor compact type
  • SIC (Nikon Super Integrated Coating) - Special Integrated Super Enlightenment Optics
  • AM (AM switch) - normal focus switch.
  • VR (Vibration reduction ) - built-in image stabilizer of the second generation, compensates up to 3 steps.
  • RD (Rounded diaphragm) - rounded petals aperture
  • metal mount
Front Filter Diameter 58 mm, plastic thread for filters
Focal length 55-300 mm EGF for Nikon DX cameras is 82.5-450 mm
Zoom ratio 5.45 x
Designed by for digital cameras Nikon DX
Number of aperture blades 9 rounded petals
Tags focal lengths for 55, 70, 85, 105, 135, 200, 300 mm, bayonet mount mark and hood mounts
  • 55 mm: F / 4.5-F / 22
  • 70 mm: F / 4.5-F / 22
  • 100 mm: F / 4.8-F / 25
  • 135 mm: F / 4.8-F / 25
  • 200 mm: F / 5.3-F / 29
  • 300 mm: F / 5.6-F / 29

The lens is deprived of the aperture control ring, control is via the camera menu (G - lens type)

MDF (Minimum Focus Distance) 1.4 m over the entire range of focal lengths, maximum magnification ratio 1: 3.6
Stabilizer features Up to 3 steps excerpts 300 mm focal length by CIPE standards (indicated on the official website), up to 4 steps by Nikon standards (indicated in the instructions)
The weight 530 g
Optical design 17 elements in 11 groups, including 2 low dispersion element (shown in yellow on the optical diagram). The presence of such elements is indicated on the body by the abbreviation 'ED'. As well as one HRI element (high refractive index), an element with a high refractive index (location on the optical scheme is not indicated)

Optical design Nikon DX AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6G ED VR SWM HRI

Image of optical circuit clickable

Lens hood Nikon HB-57, bayonet type, plastic, comes standard.
Transportation With a soft cover CL-1020
Manufacturer country China (PRC), inscription on the lens: “MADE IN CHINA”
Period From August 2010 to the present. In 2016 augmented by a lens Nikon DX AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4.5-6.3G ED VR
Instructions View–>
3D view View–>
Current prices in modern online stores

The set includes a plastic hood HB-57. The hood is attached to the lens with two clips. The hood can be worn backwards and carried with you at all times, while access to the zoom ring is partially blocked. The diameter of the front filter, as for a telephoto, is small - 58 mm. The diaphragm has 9 rounded blades.

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

It is assembled well, with a metal bayonet mount, the Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR weighs a little more than 500 grams. When zooming, the rear lens of the lens moves, driving air through the insides of the camera.

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR


Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR focuses thanks to 'SWM'-motor (Silent Wbird Motor - quiet wave motor) and refers to the lens'AF S'type (with built-in motor focusing). Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR uses compact 'swm' motor.

Important: this lens will automatically focus on all Nikon DSLR cameras.

Despite claims that the focus motor is silent, noise is present during actual operation. This noise will affect the sound quality during movie shooting using the microphone built into the camera. During automatic focusing, you can sometimes hear and feel how unpleasantly the focusing mechanisms rub (including the focus ring).

Auto focus speed is highly dependent on the selected focal length. Focusing speed at 55 mm focal length slow, with an increase in focal length, the focusing speed decreases significantly. At 300 mm focal length, the lens spends a lot of time focusing, and the focusing speed at this focal length value can be considered very very low. Focus speed is independent of camera orientation. Most likely this lens is the slowest in the entire line of Nikon DX lenses.

On the lens housing you can find focus switch 'A - M'. In position 'A', auto focus works, and in position 'M' - manual focus. During auto focus, the focus ring rotates and cannot be touched. To perform manual focusing, the lens must be switched to 'M' mode. The lens does not have a constantly manual focus control mode M / A or A / m.

During focusing, the front lens rotates, and the front of the body frame (trunk) moves forward.

The focus ring rotates approximately 75 degrees. When the end positions are reached, the focusing ring stops. The ring is narrow, but rubberized. Manual focusing with this lens is hell. With manual focus focus ring jerks. You can forget about smooth focusing - in order to manually shift the focus ring, you have to exert considerable effort, after which the ring starts to move and flies over the desired value.

When used on a camera Nikon D90 (with unpretentious Multi-CAM 1000 focusing system) the lens behaves well, rarely focuses incorrectly. I had no problems with focus accuracy and focus. On camera Nikon D90 I checked the presence of the back and focus front at different focusing distances and different values ​​of the focal length (infinity and MDF as well). Pictures taken using the Live View mode (which does not suffer from back / front focus) were used as a measure. Focusing accuracy using the central cross-shaped phase sensor completely coincided with the Live View mode.

The minimum focusing distance is 140 cm (the distance from the camera’s matrix / focal plane to the subject). With such an MDF, the maximum magnification factor is achieved by 300 mm of the focal length and is 1: 3.6 (you can shoot a weak macro).

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Other focusing features:

  1. There is no depth of field scale, focusing distance and mark for working in the infrared spectrum. There is nothing at all, except for the focal length marks.
  2. During tests focus shift (shift-focus) was not noticed.
  3. Present very strong 'Focus Breathing' effect (changes in viewing angle during focusing).
  4. Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR has no special focus problems in Live View (tested on Nikon D90).
  5. When changing the focal length, focusing is almost not lost.
  6. The lens does not have a hard stop (hard infinity mechanical stop) which allows you to accurately and quickly focus the lens to infinity under any external temperature conditions.
  7. Unknown compatibility with teleconverters.
  8. During shooting at a low temperature, about -5C, the auto focus with this lens began to fail.
Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Sample Photos

Photos from Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR turn out good, though the lens is a bit soft on a range of 200-300mm on open apertures, there is light vignetting on open apertures. Distortion is almost invisible. Sample photos taken on Nikon D80, on-camera JPEG without processing.

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Personal impressions

The Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR is an ambiguous lens. On the one hand, it shows good image quality, and on the other hand, it shows a horribly implemented focusing system. If you have money to spare, I recommend a good and proven full frame lens. Nikon 70-300 mm f / 4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR Nikkor. If there are no funds, then you can safely do with a simpler model Nikon 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VRII.

I recommend this Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR only if working in the 200-300mm range really matters. Based on my experience, I want to add that the difference between 200 and 300 mm focal length is not very noticeable in photographs, and 200 mm is quite enough for many photo tasks. Especially EGF for a 200 it will be 300 mm.

All in all, I consider the Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR an unsuccessful lens.

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Lens prices in popular stores can look at this link, or in the price block below:

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Video review

Video review you can take a look on my Youtube channel or lower:

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

All original Nikon DX telephoto lenses

  1. Nikon DX AF S Nikkor 55-200mm 1:4-5.6G ED SWMarel 2005
  2. Nikon DX AF S Nikkor 55-200mm 1:4-5.6G ED VR IF SWMMarch 2007
  3. Nikon DX AF S Nikkor 55-200mm 1:4-5.6GII ED VRIIJanuary 2015
  4. Nikon DX AF S Nikkor 55-300mm 1:4.5-5.6G ED VR SWM HRIAugust 2010
  5. Nikon DX AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4.5-6.3G EDAugust 2016
  6. Nikon DX AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4.5-6.3G ED VRAugust 2016

A list of absolutely all lenses of the Nikon DX series, as well as a lot of useful information on lenses and cameras Nikon will find here.

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

All 70-300 Class Full Frame Lenses with Stabilizer



Canon (EF, EF-S)

Nikon (F, FX)

Sony (E, FE)

The names of the lenses are indicated according to the inscription on their body.

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

Nikon 55-300mm F / 4.5-5.6 VR

An accurate list of all Nikon DX Nikkor lenses

  1. 10.5 mm/ 2.8G AF Fisheye [gold ring]
  2. 35 mm/1.8G AF-S
  3. 40 mm/2.8G AF-S Microphone
  4. 85 mm/3.5G AF-S VR Microphone
  5. 10-20 mm/4.5-5.6G AF-P VR
  6. 10-24 mm/3.5-4.5G AF-S
  7. 12-24 mm/4G AF-S [gold ring]
  8. 16-80 mm/ 2.8-4IN AF S VR [gold ring]
  9. 16-85 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR
  10. 17-55 mm/2.8G AF-S [gold ring]
  11. 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S [black / silver]
  12. 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6GII AF-S [black / silver]
  13. 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR
  14. 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6GII AF-S VR
  15. 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-P
  16. 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-P VR
  17. 18-70 mm/3.5-4.5G AF-S
  18. 18-105 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR [Thailand / China]
  19. 18-135 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S
  20. 18-140 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR [Thailand / China]
  21. 18-200 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR [Japan / China]
  22. 18-200 mm/3.5-5.6GII AF-S VR
  23. 18-300 mm/3.5-5.6G VR
  24. 18-300 mm/3.5-6.3G VR
  25. 55-200 mm/4-5.6G AF-S [black / silver, Japan / China]
  26. 55-200 mm/4-5.6G AF-S VR
  27. 55-200 mm/4-5.6GII ED VR
  28. 55-300 mm/4.5-5.6G AF-S VR
  29. 70-300 mm/4.5-6.3G AF-P
  30. 70-300 mm/4.5-6.3G AF-P VR


Nikon DX AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6G ED VR SWM HRI is an ambiguous lens, a more advanced alternative for Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1: 4-5.6G ED VR IF SWM.


  1. built-in image stabilizer, stabilizer works well
  2. special optical elements in the optical circuit (ED, HRI)
  3. relatively light weight, small diameter of the front filter
  4. rear mount lens hood
  5. lack of self-extension of the trunk under its own weight (perhaps this begins only with time)
  6. metal mount, rubberized focus and zoom rings
  7. protective O-ring near the mount for base dust and moisture protection
  8. good maximum magnification ratio for macro shooting, which is 1: 3.6
  9. ultrasonic built-in focus motor
  10. 9 petals aperture, the lens creates fairly smooth blur discs
  11. lack of focus-shift during iris
  12. smooth and proportional aperture drop from 55 to 300 mm focal length
  13. good price / quality ratio, especially when this lens comes in a double-kit
  14. good optical performance (low or moderate distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberrationgood sharpness)

The main disadvantages

  1. during focusing, the front lens and the thread under the filters rotate
  2. very low auto focus speed (this is the slowest lens in the entire line Nikon DX)
  3. used for focusing compact 'swm' motor, instead of the powerful and fast ring 'SWM' motor
  4. small stroke of the focus ring, very inconvenient manual focus (the most inconvenient in the entire line Nikon DX)
  5. rotation of the focus ring during autofocus and, as a result, lack of the function of constant manual focus control
  6. problems focusing in the cold (maybe not all copies)
  7. while zooming and / or focusing, the trunk moves forward
  8. focusing falters while changing the focal length
  9. no focus distance scale, depth of field and tags for working in the infrared spectrum
  10. the lack of a switch for selecting stabilizer operating modes, which, for example, is Nikon DX AF-S 18-200mm 1: 3.5-5.6GII VR
  11. rear lens movement while changing the focal length, small effect of a vacuum cleaner / air pump
  12. very strong 'Focus Breathing' effect. During focusing towards MDF, the viewing angle decreases
  13. resolution drop in the range of 200-300 mm

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

Add a comment:



Comments: 203, on the topic: Review Nikon DX AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6G ED VR SWM HRI

  • therein

    On my D5200, I shoot birds, I had a Nikkor Lens AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f / 4,5 - 5,6 G IF-ED for five years, worked well and accurately, now it began to shake when focusing, while will not calm down, nothing can be removed, the birds fly away. When we took it, we thought it would be eternal) I wanted to buy the AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f / 4.5-5.6G ED VR, because is it on sale, is it the same as described here or something else? It's just that the letters / numbers don't exactly match. And to buy the same one as we had, there is no opportunity due to the lack of them in stores, I don't see it anywhere. There was also Tamron 18-200mm f / 3.5-6.3 in parallel, fell into the sand and ordered to live a long time, although I did not like it at all.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      There are no others. The marking is the same everywhere.

    • Valery A.

      It is strange that you do not see anywhere on sale 70-300VR, they are sold both in stores (including the Internet) and on hand, as well as 55-300. Maybe it will be easier to give available to the service?

    • Denis

      they are sold. bad looking :)
      there is still 70-300 AF-P VR DX, it costs 13 ty, you can save
      it is sharper than 55-300, but it chromatites strongly and colors are worse (18-55 AF-P has the same feature with color)

      • Paul

        in your best take
        70-300 AF-P VR DX?
        I have 55-300, slow autofocus suits me, I take off seagulls only on the go, but sharpness on a long focus upsets. Advise the Budget telephoto with the same focal ones.

  • Victor

    An excellent lens for little money can be bought for 9tyr. The colors are rich and voluminous. More often it is necessary to glance at the exposure compensation. From 300m on modern DSLRs you can shoot almost portraits. I did not reveal any obvious slowness of focusing. The stab works well ...

  • Trueash

    Hello Arkady,

    Did I understand correctly that inexpensive lenses cannot be expected to have good optical properties in the 200-300mm range? I had a Nikon ED AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6G VR IF SWM, but it left very mixed impressions. At 70 mm - just a dermatologist's tool; after 220-230 mm, it was possible to shoot only in bright light. Slightly dim light - everything, plasticine. No detail, no contrast. We managed to squeeze something out, but 2/3 of the pictures were full of slag. My old Tamron 70-300, which is A17, behaved no worse on the long end, for much less money. (By the way, does anyone need it? Sony a / Minolta bayonet).

    Actually, the question. Are there inexpensive lenses with acceptable quality at the long end in nature? Not necessarily from 70 to 300, but something like that (100-300, say - sometimes I shoot birds and other animals). Or do you need to tighten your belt and work at something much more expensive? I’m not a pro, but I don’t want to give it out frankly (it is already above the roof).

    I would be grateful for the advice

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes, they exist. For example, the new AF-P 70-300

      • Trueash

        Thanks. As far as I remember, he is not very friendly with the d7100, but it seems to be being treated with a new firmware (1.04).

        • Denis

          70-300 VR (FX) is much better than AF-P version

      • Dmitriy

        it is 6,3 per 300, and it costs 1,5 times cheaper than 70-300

  • Alksay

    It focuses quite quickly on me. Series 2661861
    Yuzayu on D90
    Most of all I like to slap portraits at 100-135mm.
    In the afternoon on the street well, very happy. For everything else, it needs 50mm 1.8 :)

  • Lev

    The author constantly confuses the concepts of “full-frame” and “full-frame”. But you can transfer this, of course. I advise the author to read about crop, small format, full format, medium format.

  • Anatoly

    who used Nikon 18-300mm f / 3.5-6.3G share your impressions, took recently, expected more, maybe only I have it so complicated

    • anonym

      Plain soap shit. What did you expect from him? Like all sweeping dark-zoos.

  • Anatoly

    skahite, but should I change it to 55-200? Just when I took it I thought that for $ 800 the picture quality will be better.

    • Michael

      Maybe it will be better, but not really. In addition to the price, there is still an unwritten rule that good optical properties of the lens will be with a zoom ratio of less than 3

    • Denis

      55-300 is bad at the short end, but as a telephoto it's better than 55-200

  • Nicholas

    Hello! Tell me, is 55-300 compatible with Nikon D80? Somewhere infa flashed that the lens is only compatible with modern cameras?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Compatible, this new 70-300 af-p is not compatible

      • Svyatoslav

        .. as an example - on the d7200 it is impossible to disable either the autofocus or the stabilizer for the 70-300 af-p.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          legendary Nikon compatibility

  • Waldemar

    I got one through Avito, practically new (noticeable by the clean, not dirty marks of the A / M and VR switches and the absence of dirt on the elastic bands). The disadvantages that Arkady spoke about are that focusing is long, not always correct. But the stub works out on the long end by five, in comparison with the Tamron 70-300, the one without a stabilizer - heaven and earth. The focusing ring of my copy rotates smoothly, efforts and jerks are not obtained. Overall, I am very satisfied. 300 mm was decisive, therefore I chose only 55-300.
    For example - a photo taken today, a sparrow was three meters from the camera. Processing - exposure and WB correction in Lightroom. On-camera JPEG. F 7.1, ISO 400, 1 \ 80 sec. Mainly cloudy.

    • Michael

      Hello, what was the diaphragm?

      • Michael

        And, I didn’t notice, I apologize

    • Denis

      BB is terrible. it would be better if they left the car)

      • Waldemar

        Auto and put lightroom). There is also my cant, when exporting, there was minimal sharpness for the screen (the settings from the previous photo remained).

        • Denis

          in an auto-BB camera, it’s usually accurate. but at Lightroom, this thing can only ruin everything. as we see in the photo) perhaps the camera has some other sensors for white balance

    • Denis

      and this is “Processing - exposure correction and WB in Lightroom. On-camera JPEG "
      how can it be? JPEG first, then lightroom? :) can he do that? and most importantly - what's the point, if you need to process NEF

      • Michael

        Of course he can

    • Alexey

      You are good, you made a sparrow, but the miracle did not happen. Photography, alas, is dependent on hardware.

      • Denis

        I wonder what the flaws 55-300 got out here in the photo

  • Waldemar

    Photo sparrow caused some criticism about the processing, corrected. No processing, on-camera jpeg, resize up to 1200 via Fastone Img. Viewer
    The first photo is F 7,1 ISO 400 shutter speed 1 \ 250sec. (aperture priority in D5100 camera settings)
    Distance 108 meters, according to 2gis. Single point focus on the bank emblem.

    The second photo is F 8 ISO 320 shutter speed 1 \ 1000sec. aperture priority, the focus has already forgotten what, like a tap. The horizon is littered, I know))
    Distance 1.4 km. 2gis each

  • Waldemar

    sorry, the first photo is -

  • Alexander

    Will the Nikon D3100 fit?

    • BB

      Yes. Second paragraph.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes, 100% will do

  • Azake

    Please tell me an inexpensive telephoto with good picture quality for Nikon DX. speed and image quality at the long end are important. something like the Canon75-300 70-300mm.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      under crop Nikon DX AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4.5-6.3G VR ED, but Nikon AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6E VR ED is also suitable
      But there are no direct inexpensive and direct high-quality 70-300.

      • Azake

        i have a nikon d80. only Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4.5-5.6E VR ED is suitable. at quantaray 70-300 how about autofocus? not too slow on nikon d80?

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