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Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm F/4-5.6G

Telephoto zoom lens • Film era • Discontinued

Abbreviations

AF Autofocus lens with mechanical coupling with camera.
G The lens does not have an aperture control ring and is intended for use on Nikon digital SLR cameras that allow the lens aperture to be adjusted via the camera's command dial. Relays subject-to-camera distance information to the camera, like a D-type lens.

Model history

Nikon AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6E ED VRA18 - 141.2m⌀67 2017 
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VRA17 - 121.5m⌀67 2006 
Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm F/4-5.6GA13 - 91.5m⌀62 2000 
Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm F/4-5.6D EDA13 - 91.5m⌀62 1998 
Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm F/4-5.6DA13 - 91.5m⌀62

Production details

Announced:August 2000
Production status: Discontinued
Production type:Mass production
Original name:Nikon AF NIKKOR 70-300mm 1:4-5.6G
System: Nikon F (1959)

Features highlight

9 blades
Body AF

Specification

Optical design
Focal length range:70mm - 300mm [4.3X zoom ratio]
Speed range:F/4 @ 70mm - F/5.6 @ 300mm
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Nikon F [46.5mm]
Diagonal angle of view:34.3° @ 70mm - 8.2° @ 300mm (35mm full frame)
22.8° @ 70mm - 5.4° @ 300mm (Nikon F APS-C)
Lens construction:13 elements - 9 groups
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Automatic
Diaphragm control system:Mechanical
Aperture control:None; the aperture is controlled from the camera
Number of blades:9
Zooming
Zoom type:Rotary
Zooming method:Extends while zooming
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:1.5m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:3.85 @ 300mm at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:<No data>
Focusing modes:Autofocus, manual focus
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Autofocus motor:In-camera motor
Focus mode selector:None; focusing mode is set from the camera
Manual focus override in autofocus mode:-
Vibration Reduction (VR)
Built-in VR:-
Physical characteristics
Weight:425g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀74×116.5mm
Weather sealing:-
Fluorine coating:-
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 62mm
Lens hood:Bayonet-type HB-26 (round)
Teleconverters:Not compatible

*) Source of data: Manufacturer's technical data.

Compatibility

  • The autofocus will not be available with Nikon D40, D40X, D60, D3000-D3500, D5000-D5600 digital SLR cameras.

Manufacturer description #1

The AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6G is a portable telephoto zoom lens with Nikon quality optics, high-performance Nikon Super Integrated Coating and a 9-blade rounded diaphragm opening, which makes out-of-focus elements appear more natural. It is also a "G-type" Nikon lens, meaning there are no aperture rings (the aperture is selected on the camera body). The result is a more compact lens with mistake free operation since the aperture does not need to be set to minimum. Filter size is 62mm

Manufacturer description #2

Don’t let its price tag fool you—this easy-to-handle telephoto zoom lens delivers excellent images, especially when used with a tripod. Covering a versatile 70-300mm focal length range (105-450mm equivalent on DX-format cameras), it’s an excellent choice for most daylight telephoto subjects, from portraiture to wildlife, on Nikon DSLRs that have a built-in focusing motor. Bring the action closer with vivid, lifelike detail.

The AF Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4-5.6G is a lightweight and versatile option for those seeking affordable telephoto zoom capability. With a 300mm maximum focal length (450mm equivalent on DX-format cameras) it brings even the most distant action closer. It’s an ideal lens for candids, travel and sports photography.

The AF Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4-5.6G’s D-type design provides precise distance and metering information to DSLRs that are fully compatible with the D-type design (see your camera’s specifications if you’re unsure). For DSLRs that are not fully compatible with the D-type design, some autofocus and metering functions may not be available.

From the editor

A lens aimed very much at the beginner with an entry-level camera. Nikon had made extensive use of polycarbonate in the construction of this lens including the lens mount itself, to reduce its weight. The original concept behind the G-type was to simplify the lens making them easier to use, and eliminating the risk of mistakes because the aperture does not need to be set to its minimum value. The lens was also available in a silver finish as well as black to compliment the silver-colored F65 and F80 cameras.

Typical application

distant subjects, distant landscapes with perspective compression effect, wild nature, travel

Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm F/4-5.6D

No photo available

  • Advantages: 0
  • Disadvantages: 1

Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm F/4-5.6D ED

Alternatives in the Nikon F system

Sorted by focal length and speed, in ascending order

Cosina AF 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6 MC (Phoenix, Soligor, Vivitar Series 1, Voigtlander Skopar)

Cosina AF 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6 MC (Phoenix, Soligor, Vivitar Series 1, Voigtlander Skopar)
  • Advantages: 0
  • Disadvantages: 0

Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 APO DG Macro

Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 DG Macro

Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 DG OS

Sigma 75-300mm F/4.5-5.6

Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 LD Macro 572D, 772D

Tokina AF 75-300mm F/4.5-5.6

No photo available

  • Advantages: 0
  • Disadvantages: 2

Tokina AF 75-300mm F/4.5-5.6 II

Lenses with similar focal length range and speed

Sorted by manufacturer name

4.5 Cosina AF 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6 MC (Phoenix, Soligor, Vivitar Series 1, Voigtlander Skopar) ⌀62 Compare00
4.5 Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 70-300mm F/4.5-6.3G ED ⌀58APS-C 2016 Compare60
4.5 Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 70-300mm F/4.5-6.3G ED VR ⌀58APS-C 2016 Compare70
4.0 Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 APO DG Macro ⌀58 2005 Compare31
4.0 Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 APO DG Macro ⌀58 2008 Compare41
4.0 Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 APO Macro II ⌀58 2003 Compare21
4.0 Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 APO Macro ZEN ⌀58 1994 Compare21
4.0 Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 DG Macro ⌀58 2005 Compare31
4.0 Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 DG Macro ⌀58 2008 Compare41
4.0 Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 DG OS ⌀62 2009 Compare31
4.0 Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 DL Macro II ⌀58 2003 Compare21
4.0 Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 DL Macro ZEN ⌀58 1996 Compare21
4.0 Sigma 75-300mm F/4-5.6 APO UC ZEN ⌀55Push/pull 1993 Compare12
4.0 Sigma 75-300mm F/4-5.6 DL ZEN ⌀55Push/pull 1992 Compare12
4.5 Sigma 75-300mm F/4.5-5.6 ⌀55Push/pull 1987 Compare11
4.5 Sigma 75-300mm F/4.5-5.6 APO DL ZEN ⌀55Push/pull 1988 Compare13
4.0 Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 172D ⌀58 1993 Compare11
4.0 Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro A17 ⌀62 2006 Compare30
4.0 Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro A17N II ⌀62 2008 Compare40
4.0 Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 LD 372D ⌀58 1996 Compare11
4.0 Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 LD 472D ⌀58 1999 Compare11
4.0 Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 LD Macro 572D, 772D ⌀62 2000 Compare10
4.0 Tamron AF 75-300mm F/4-5.6 LD Macro 672D, 872D ⌀62 2000 Compare01
4.0 Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD A030 ⌀62 2017 Compare52
4.0 Tamron SP AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di [VC] USD A005 ⌀62 2010 Compare42
4.5 Tokina AF 75-300mm F/4.5-5.6 ⌀62 1990 Compare02
4.5 Tokina AF 75-300mm F/4.5-5.6 II ⌀62 1996 Compare02

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

In-camera motor

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/4 on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Teleconverters

Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.

Rotary zoom

The change of focal length is achieved by turning the zoom ring and the manual focusing - by turning the separate focusing ring.

Push/pull zooming allows for faster change of focal length, however conventional method based on the rotation of the zoom ring provides more accurate and smooth zooming.

Push/pull zoom

The change of focal length and the manual focusing is achieved by one and the same ring. The change of focal length happens when the photographer moves the ring towards the mount or backwards and the rotation of the ring leads to change of focus.

Push/pull zooming allows for faster change of focal length, however conventional method based on the rotation of the zoom ring provides more accurate and smooth zooming.

Zoom lock

The lens features a zoom lock to keep the zoom ring fixed. This function is convenient for carrying a camera with the lens on a strap because it prevents the lens from extending.

Power Zoom

The lens features electronically driven zoom mechanism. It provides smoother, more natural zoom movements than you could accomplish by hand.

The Holy Trinity of lenses

The Holy Trinity of lenses refers to a three-lens set that covers a focal length range from the ultra-wide focal length of 14-16mm all the way long to the telephoto focal length of 200mm. The set typically consists of a 16-35mm ultra-wide angle zoom lens, a 24-70mm standard zoom lens and a 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens and usually represents the best constant-aperture zoom lenses in a manufacturer's lineup. The set is designed to cover almost every genre of photography, be it landscapes, architecture, portraits, weddings, sports, travel or even wildlife (with teleconverter). However, it is also expensive, large and heavy.