Nikon DX VR AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm 1:4.5-6.3 G ED Lens (f/4.5-6.3)

Review of the Nikon DX VR AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm 1:4.5-6.3 G ED Lens (f/4.5-6.3).

Overall Rating:


This lens is 7 years old. It is for the DX/APS-C sensor, but will work on FX camera bodies. It has no aspherical elements (why would a telephoto lens have these?) and features only one ED element whereas the optically-better Nikkor AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G ED VR features two plus an HRI element. At its debut, it sold for $400 USD.

This version of the lens, with VR, was usually sold as a kit lens (along with the AF-P DX 18-55mm VR lens) with Nikon's better DX cameras such as the Nikon D7500. There was a non-VR kit version of this lens sold with Nikon's lower-tier DX cameras such as the D3500 and D5600.

sunflower at 300mm (detail)


This is not the first AF-P Nikkor lens. "P" stands for Pulse. From Nikon's website: Nikon's new "P" series of lenses uses a pulse motor (utilizing stepping motors) for ultra-fast, near silent autofocus.

The autofocus performance is blisteringly fast and most certainly is an improvement over the Nikkor AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G ED VR. It allows for quick manual focus override by simply turning the focus collar.

There is no color fringing at 70mm but at 300mm there is very pronounced color fringing. Nikon must not expect the typical buyer of this lens to shoot RAW because the photographer will have to remember to remove the color fringing. This is not a bad sample as others have reported the same results. There is not much in the way of vignetting to be found on this DX lens. Distortion is moderate at worst with both barrel on the short end (0.5%) and pincushion on the long end (0.75%).

Sharpness is high! This little kit lens has some real resolving power for a DX lens. Focus breathing is unexpectedly low making using a depth of field calculator a good idea, when it's needed.

The VR performs very well and makes this a great handheld lens, very useful for snapshots of quick-moving rug rats and the sort.

Diffraction has begun by f/8.

no color fringing at 70mm (detail)
crop of above

Even on the non-cropped image, it is hard to miss the color fringing.

pronounced color fringing at 300mm (detail)
crop of above

If shooting JPEG then the color fringing will automatically be removed. If shooting RAW then the color fringing will have to be removed in post. This lens lacks enough ED glass to correct the color fringing.

Color fringing detail at 3-to-1:

center at f=70mm/6.3
corner at f=70mm/6.3
center at f=135mm/6.3
corner at f=135mm/6.3
center at f=300mm/6.3
corner at f=300mm/6.3

UPDATE: another copy of this lens came in. It has a serial number of 206400xx. The color fringing has not really changed with this new copy.

again, at 300mm (detail)
crop of above

UPDATE: yet another copy of this lens came in. It has a serial number of 209175xx! The color fringing is consistently high with every copy. It is safe to say this is a design flaw and not due to manufacturing defects.

Ghosting & Flaring

Flaring is not a huge problem but ghosting is a problem. This negatively affects the flaring rating of this lens. Also, this lens is not good at producing sun stars.

at f=70mm/22 (no sun-star)
at f=300mm/32 (no sun-star)


The bokeh is neutral to good. There is some LoCA.

bokeh at f=70mm/4.5
bokeh at f=70mm/5.6
bokeh at f=130mm/4.8
bokeh at f=130mm/6.3
bokeh at f=300mm/6.3
bokeh at f=300mm/8


Because this is a "G" lens, it is compatible with all Nikon DSLR's. As stated above, this will work on FX cameras with an approximately 1.5× crop. Try the megapixel crop calculator.

The autofocus works only with newer bodies, such as the D3300, D5200, D7100, D500 and newer. See this link for more information: Nikon Support

In a nutshell, the AF of this lens is compatible with 2013 and newer cameras, like the Nikon D3300, D3400, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7100, D7200, D7500, D500 cameras. On the D7100 and D7200 cameras, the VR cannot be disabled.


This is a sturdy feeling, all-plastic lens. The manual focusing feels good and there is no slop in the focus and zoom collars. This lens has a plastic lens mount as it really does not need a metal one because it is so light.

The AF-P stepping motor makes manual focus more pleasurable and satisfying. The focus collar is larger and therefore easier to use than that of the AF-P DX 18-55mm VR lens.

This lens has no focus scale and therefore no depth of field scale.

The 58mm filter threads do not rotate.




Focal length 70-300 mm
Maximum aperture f/4.5-6.3
Minimum aperture f/22-32
Lens construction 14 elements in 10 groups (including one ED glass element)
Angle of view 22°50'-5°20'
Minimum focus distance 1.1m/3.7ft. from focal plane
Maximum reproduction ratio 1:4.5 (0.22×)
No. of diaphragm blades 7 (rounded)
Filter-attachment size ø58 mm (P = 0.75 mm)
Dimensions Approximately 72 mm maximum diameter × 125 mm (distance from camera lens mount flange)
Weight Approximately 415 g/14.7 oz
Price $400 USD (2016)


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