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Nikor 70300mm f4556G



Does anyone have any experience with the subject lens? Local dealer has it on sale.. wondering if it is worth buying. I have a D100 body.

Optically, a fine lens. But I do not like the "G" feature. I owned the regular version and sold it because the aperture was to slow for my F100 and F5. I shoot a lot of sports and found the lens always hunting. I dished out the cash and purchased a 80-200 f/2.8. THe lens never hunts.

If you are not shooting moving objects or if you are using the lens in fairly bright light, you will enjoy it.
Thanks for the reply..

as a relatively new Nikon user, can you elaborate a bit more on the G lens? I am not really familiar with it vs the D lens. From what I read, it says the G lens does not have an aperature ring; although the D lens does, it is not used as far as I can tell.. it must remain locked at f22 for the camera to work!

Actually, right now I have the 28-105mm 1:3.5-4.5 D lens on my D100, and quite frankly, the lens can't focus at all in dark (and I do mean dark) situations. Can't imagine another lens being much worse.
Regarding the G lens, you are correct in that newer Nikon camera bodies require one leaves a lens that has an aperture ring set to the minimum aperture anyway to the ring seems superfluous. You have to understand, however, that there are many many Nikon owners still using bodies that are up to decades old - one of Nikon's attributes has always been the high quality and longevity of their gear. It is those folks who whine about the lack of an aperture ring - as their older cameras don't have the ability to control aperture from a "command dial".

Now, along the way, Nikon has made some G type lenses in so-called "consumer" quality as well as "pro" quality. For ex&le, the 70-300 G you mentioned is a relatively inexpensive lens (usually about US$100). Nikon has a D version 70-300 with ED glass that by all accounts is much better optically (same aperture range). So the theory goes that the G lens is cheaper to make it more affordable.

However, Nikon's 70-200 f2.8 AFS VR lens is also a G type - and it's in the US$1500+ price range, clearly aimed for pros. Optically it is apparently quite excellent, following its predecessor the 80-200 f2.8 AFS.

So, for owners of new Nikon bodies, G lenses are fine as far as usability goes. Each G type lens should be reviewed independantly, though, as some are built to a higher standard than others.

Hope this helps,


PS: Am I the only one who finds this list annoying in that one cannot see the preceding thread when reading a response?
> PS: Am I the only one who finds this list annoying > in that one cannot > see the preceding thread when reading a response?

You're not alone...

Bob Fowler

> The aperature ring on D lenses can be used on manual cameras that use AI or AIS lenses, so is quite useful in that regard. As far as using the 28 - 105 D lens in the dark, no AF lens is designed to be used in the dark. They use light contrast to perform their AF function. Placeing a Nikon dedicted flash on with "light assist" can help in "low light" situations.
Thanks for the reply Bob.

Not sure about the list annoyance.. seems to be ok with me.. all the messages are on one page that I can scroll up and down to view.

sorry to "hitch" a ride on your post Paul, but i was having a similar problem / question. is there a fundamental difference between the 70-300 f4-5.6D and G? other than the metal and plastic mounts respectively...how about optics wise? i mean, i am a new user and i can't really tell the difference...and with the ED and all that...need to know soon, as i am buying, and the seller may sell it off to someone else if i don't reply in time! :/
> [Ken Rockwell's site addresses this, for instance

where he says " The only visible differences between the G and ED are:

1.) ED lens has metal mount, G has plastic. (also a slight difference in weight) 2.) ED has aperture ring, G does not

The similarities are:

1.) Same specs for number of lens groups and elements 2.) Same size 3.) Same AF speed and gearing 4.) Same close focus distance 5.) Same nice 9-blade diaphragm 6.) Looks like the same optics inside and identical movement of the lens groups while zooming and focussing


It has thirteen elements in nine groups.

It takes 62mm filters.

It is 4.6" (117mm) long by 2.9" (74mm) around and weighs 17 oz (480g).

It focusses as close as 4.9 feet (1.5m), which is pretty good at 300mm.

It takes the HB-26 hood which seems identical to the HB-15 hood of the 70-300 ED lens.

It is also D compatible.

It has a great nine-bladed diaphragm."


" Performance

I have no idea. I will guess it's the same as the 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED AF lens. I doubt these lenses have different optics, although this G lens may have sloppier mechanics leading to poorer results.

AF speed is identical to the 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED AF, which is slow. One full turn of the AF screw brings one from infinity to 40 feet. The 70-210mm f/4-5.6D AF is much, much faster.


If you are looking for a cheap zoom for your mom or for light weight, give this a look. I can't see any reason to buy the so-called ED version over this except for the metal mount and compatibility with my manual focus cameras.

For $130 US how can you go wrong? Idiots on eBay keep bidding the prices of these up above what they could buy them for new from a legitimate dealer! Try one here and if you hate it send it back.

I doubt the glass is any different between the ED and G versions. Remember that the ED version really seems to be made by Tamron and only one small internal element claims to be ED probably for marketing and promotional reasons, not any of the important front elements. I don't really consider that the "ED" moniker means anything on the ED version.

Of course the only thing that matters is photography, and I have not shot with this lens. Try it and see.


hope it helps.