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.

Production details

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

Model history (5)

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

Features highlight

9 blades
Body AF
⌀62
filters

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
Lens construction:13 elements - 9 groups
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Automatic
Aperture control:None; the aperture is controlled from the camera
Number of blades:9 (nine)
Zooming
Zoom mechanism:Manual
Zoom control:Zoom ring
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 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.

35mm equivalent focal length range and speed (on APS-C cameras)

In terms of FoV & DoF
Camera series [Crop factor] Focal length SpeedMax MR Dia. angle of view
Nikon D APS-C [1.53x] 107.1mm - 459mm F/6.1 @ 70mm - F/8.6 @ 300mm1:2.52 22.8° @ 70mm - 5.4° @ 300mm

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

Class:

Slow full-frame telephoto zoom lens

Missing features (8):

Internal zooming • Faster speed • Constant speed across the focal length range • Built-in autofocus motor • Focusing distance range limiter • Vibration Reduction (VR) • Weather sealing • Fluorine coating

Genres or subjects of photography (4):

Distant subjects • Distant landscapes with perspective compression effect • Wild nature • Travel photography

Recommended slowest shutter speed when shooting static subjects handheld:

1/320th of a second @ 300mm • 1/80th of a second @ 70mm

Alternatives in the Nikon F system

///// Sorted by focal length and speed, in ascending order /////

Lenses with similar focal length range and speed

///// Sorted by manufacturer name /////

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Nikon AF Nikkor series lenses (80)
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Nikon AF Nikkor series lenses

A line of lenses designed for Nikon 35mm SLR cameras having an autofocus motor. There is no AF-drive motor built into the lens, the lens autofocus system is driven from a motor within the camera body via an AF-coupling. With this type of lens, there can be no autofocus operation unless a digital or film SLR camera with the autofocus motor built-in to the camera body is used. Selected digital SLR cameras such as the D3000 series or D5000 series do not have an autofocus motor built-in to the camera body because most lenses produced for these cameras have one in the lens.

Internally the lenses are fitted with a CPU to communicate specific lens data to the camera's autofocus drive and exposure metering systems, via a set of electrical contact pins located around the rear edge of the lens mount.

Compared to the non-AF Nikkors, the focusing helixes were replaced by a cam construction similar to that employed in zoom lenses to change the focal length. This was done for two reasons. First to reduce the load on the focusing motor, which would otherwise have had to move the traditional greased helixes, and second to increase the response time of moving the lens elements to provide a sufficiently quick AF system.

The very low resistance to the rotation of the focus ring when operating these lenses manually and their narrow focus rings did little to endear them to professionals and enthusiasts alike. Beginning in 1988 Nikon responded to the criticism from photographers concerning the design of the first generation AF Nikkors, and began to replace them with lenses that have more traditional, wider rubber coated focusing ring, and a greater focusing resistance to improve their manual focus action.

A new version of AF lenses was introduced at the same time as the F90. These have a modified CPU that provides the approximate focus distance of the lens to the camera in order this information can be incorporated with the exposure calculations performed by the camera's metering CPU. These AF-D Nikkors are a key component of the 3D Matrix-Metering system. The same technology is also included in the newer G-type lenses.

The G type marks the end of the near universal compatibility of Nikkor lenses with all camera bodies from the Nikon F SLR of 1959 onwards. The reason for this is simple: the G types have no aperture ring. They are intended for cameras that allow the aperture to be set via a control on the camera body.

Copyright © 2012-2022 Evgenii Artemov. All rights reserved. Translation and/or reproduction of website materials in any form, including the Internet, is prohibited without the express written permission of the website owner.

35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2

In-camera motor

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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.

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.

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 happens when the photographer moves the ring towards the mount or backwards.

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.

Zoom clutch

To set the manual zoom mode, pull the zoom ring towards the camera side until the words "POWER ZOOM" disappear.