Nikkor AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 D ED - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published March 2007

Lens kindly provided by Erik Heyer!


The Nikkor AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 D ED is one of the cheaper tele zoom options in the Nikon lens line-up. When used on today´s APS-C DSLRs the full frame lens has a field of view is equivalent to 105-450mm on classic SLRs. It seems as if the Nikkor is on the verge of being discontinued and replaced by the new AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR and the brand new AF-S 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR which both feature a Vibration Reduction mechanism as well as a silent-wave AF drive (AF-S).

The Nikkor AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 D ED is a lens with a little bit of a story. Its principal optical design is identical to the Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD. The licensing background is unknown here. However, the lenses are probably not identical - it is quite safe to assume the Nikkor it still features the native Nikon lens coating as well as a true Nikon ED element. Looking at the lens schemas the Nikkor AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6G is also virtually identical except for the ED element and outer cosmetics.

The build quality of the lens is Ok with an outer barrel made of medium quality plastics. The Nikkor extends when zooming towards the long end of the zoom range (see below) and when focusing towards closer distances. The broad, rubberized zoom ring as well as the small focus ring operate relatively smooth and even without being damped. The Nikkor does not feature an internal focus design so the front element rotates (as does the focus ring). The 70-300mm D ED has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera. As a result the AF generates a moderate degree of noise but the AF speed is actually quite fine - at least on the Nikon D200.

Equiv. focal length105-450 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/6-f/8.4 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction13 elements in 9 groups inc. 1 ED elements
Number of aperture blades9
min. focus distance1.5 m (max. magnification ratio 1:3.9)
Dimensions74 x 116 mm
Weight505 g
Filter size62 mm (non-rotating)
HoodNikon HB-15, snap-on type, barrel-shaped
Other features-

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