65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Nikon 55-300mm, you will be surprised with this lens.,
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This review is from: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens (Camera)
Let me start by saying that the delivery was fast, so kudos to that.
Now to the Lens, I wanted something light for my travels instead of taking my work camera Nikon D700 which is a pain to carry around the neck all day with all the other lenses I have when you want to relax, for travels instead I have a Nikon D90 with 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G and now this 55-300mm (it's very light) which is more than enough. After recieving this lens, I did some tests and got to say this big plasticky piece of glass is not to be underestimated and is a terrific performer.
Despite it's build quality, it provides pretty good images at mostly all apertures and focal lengths.
wide open in the center it is sharp, contrasty and soft in the corners with some vignetting and a slight loss of contrast; After f/11 it starts to get a bit soft in the center with some slight decay in contrast and in the corners vignetting is more controlled, it's a slightly softer and the loss of contrast is more noticeable. The sharpest aperture of this lens is f/8.
In terms of focal lenghts this lens is a star performer from 55-200mm with almost no chromatic aberration, very sharp and good image quality overall (contrasty images), after 200mm to 300mm image quality decays a bit in terms of sharpness and contrast but it's still good and usable, chromatic aberration is slightly more noticeable at 300mm, viewing the image at 100%.
Also tested the responsiveness of this lens and I'm impressed, Autofocus it's pretty fast in good light conditions and some dim light circumstances, although it has tendency to hunt for the subject when there is little light, when it finds it, snaps right into focus. Went on a casual Sunday to a football game to try further it's responsiveness in action photography and I'm amazed with the results, in good light conditions it snaps the subjects right into focus with AF-C (Continous Focusing) mode it almost no chance of hunting for the subject.
Only things that makes me sad about this lens is two things:
- VR Mode, I feel the absence of Normal Mode and Active Mode, it only has the switch to turn it off and on, the VR system itself is good though.
- No manual focus override system (M/A - M Switch) only M - A (Manual - Automatic) Switch.
Overall it comes down to this:
- Sharp images from f/4.5|5.6 to f/11, being f/8 it's peak.
- Crispy Images from 55-200mm with pretty good and usable images at 300mm.
- Overall good optic quality for the price.
- Almost no presence of Chromactic aberration from focal lenght 55-200mm.
- Low chromatic aberration at 300mm that doesn't become intrusive in the image quality, only noticeable if you go pixel peeping.
- VR Mode is functional and good despite not having the Normal/Active function.
- Light which makes it good for travels.
- Zoom/Focus ring feel sturdy despite being plastic.
- Autofocus is excellent and responsive in good light conditions, it snaps right into focus on your subject.
- Build quality, despite the metal mount which is ok, the plastic body may not please those who shoot under harsh conditions and look for something affordable, but then again something had to be sacrificed to be light.
- Clunky Manual/Auto Focus Switch, it is annoying especially for those who have the Manual/AF switch in the camera like me, Manual Focus Override (M/A - M Switch) would be a better addition.
- Lens Hood is so badly constructed with a thin layer of plastic that it feels it's going to get torn apart at any moment if something comes at it, it's still useful though.
- Autofocus has tendency to go hunting for the subject in dim light conditions, it can become an annoyance for some, specially if they shoot action photography, but what to expect from a f/4.5-5.6 lens, it's still usable but don't expect it to snap right into focus in dim lights.
Despite the not so good things about this lens it's still a good purchase for those who are looking for an excellent lens in terms of Price/Quality, you will not be disappointed as this lens, sure is a star performer.
Sure, the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR may offer a slight more image quality, Manual Focus Override, VR Mode with Normal/Active and slightly better AF than this lens, but unless you're planning of moving for Full-Frame later and can't afford the best performer Telezooms right away, there is no a reason for buying the more expensive 70-300mm, if you can't deal with the Cons you can spend the extra money, but if you're willing to live with the cons like I am, it's still a perfect choice for a Telephoto Lens and you won't regret it!