DX Nikkor 55-300mm VR vs. Nikkor 70-300mm VR

Nikkor 55-300 vs, 70-300
Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX NIKKOR Lens for Nikon Digital SLR
AF-S NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED VR

I am looking for a new light weight telephoto zoom solution right now, hiking around in the jungles of South-East Asia, you don’t want to carry either too many or too heavy lenses with you. The AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR has been the accepted champion for some time, but Nikon also offers a smaller, lighter and less expensive, DX telephoto super-zoom, the AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR.

The AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR has the advantage of being designed for FX format cameras, which means it can be used on both FX and DX camera bodies and it seems to be a stronger build.

Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

The AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR is lighter, less expensive and of comparable image quality, but can only be used on DX camera bodies. On a long trek in the jungle I will probably only take lighter weight DX camera bodies anyway, so this may be a better choice.

Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR

I haven’t made up my mind yet, maybe I will end up buying both of them.

The following is a comparison chart of the two lenses.

AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR
5.5x, 55-300mm telephoto zoom (equivalent to a focal length of 82.5 to 450mm in FX/35mm format) 4.3x, 70-300mm telephoto zoom (used with a Nikon DX format camera, it is equivalent to a 105-450mm in FX/35mm format)
Vibration Reduction (VR II), SWM, A and M focusing, ED, HRI Vibration Reduction (VR II), SWM, M/A and M focusing, ED, IF
Price (US Distributor Retail) – $399.95 Price (US Distributor Retail) -$589.95
Specifications
Focal length – 55-300mm Focal length – 70-300mm
Maximum aperture – f/4.5-5.6 Maximum aperture – f/4.5-5.6
Lens construction – 17 elements in 11 groups (with two ED glass elements and one HRI lens element) Lens construction – 17 elements in 12 groups (with two ED glass elements)
Angle of view -
Nikon DX format – 28°50’ – 5°20’
Angle of view -
Nikon FX format – 34°20’ – 8°10’
Nikon DX format – 22°50’ – 5°20’
Minimum focus distance – 1.4 m / 4.59 ft. (throughout the entire zoom range) Minimum focus distance – 1.5 m / 4.9 ft. (throughout the entire zoom range)
Maximum reproduction ratio – 0.28x Maximum reproduction ratio – 0.25x
No. of diaphragm blades – 9 (rounded) No. of diaphragm blades – 9 (rounded)
Filter attachment size – 58mm Filter attachment size – 67mm
Diameter x length (extension from lens mount) -
Approximately 76.5 x 123mm / 3.0 x 4.8 in.
Diameter x length (extension from lens mount) -
Approximately 80 x 143.5mm / 3.1 x 5.6 in.
Weight – Approximately 530 g / 18.7 oz. Weight – Approximately 745 g / 26.3 oz.
Supplied accessories – 58mm Snap-on Front Lens Cap LC-58, Rear Lens Cap LF-4, Bayonet Hood HB-57, Flexible Lens Pouch CL-1020 Supplied accessories – 67mm Snap-on Front Lens Cap LC-67, Rear Lens Cap LF-1, Bayonet Hood HB-36, Flexible Lens Pouch CL-1022

AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED lens construction. ED lenses are in yellow.
Nikkor DX 55-300mm


AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR lens construction. ED lenses are in yellow.
Nikkor 70-300mm VR


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