AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED
Excellent Portable Telephoto Lens
This Nikon 300mm f/4 lens is well suited for travel when you need a moderate "reach" with an Nikon FX camera body, or a "longer reach" with a Nikon DX camera body, while trying to keep the size and weight of your equipment at a minimum. The maximum f/4 aperture is more than adequate for outdoor lighting given the acceptable ISOs available in todays camera bodies. The attached photo was taken hand held at 1/125 of a second, an aperture of f/4, and an ISO value of 1000.
October 11, 2014
My GoTo Long lens for DX, FX, CX formats
I have owned this lens for almost 5 years and have taken thousands of pictures with it. I also have several long AIS Primes, AF70-300mm f/4-5.6 and the AFS 70-200 F/2.8 VR. I use all my these long lenses with a TC17EII or TC-201 for the AIS lenses. Without question the 300mm f/4 is the sharpest in my stable of long lenses. It is awesome on the D300, D600, D700 and the 1V1 where it gives an incredible 1377mm reach with the TC-17. Focus is a bit touchy, but hey it doesn't cost over $10,000us.
All this said, I prefer the 70-200 for sports and portraits.
June 5, 2014
I own the 18-300 Nikon lens, which is a great all-purpose carry-around lens, but wanted something sharper at the longer focal length. I recently bought this lens, and I am amazed at its sharpness. I prefer to shoot wildlife and birds, and this lens takes awesome sharp images. The autofocus is quick and accurate, and the bokeh is very nice. I attach it to a monopod that I use to handle the lens/camera combination. It gives me stability in lower light situations and supports the lens. I highly recommend this lens. My next purchase will be a Nikon 1.4 teleconverter to extend the lens even further, and I plan to use this lens as the go-to lens for wildlife photos
January 5, 2014
Incredibly Sharp Lens!
I am currently using this lens with a Nikon D800. I read a lot of online reviews before making the purchase. And I'm glad I didn't wait any longer to purchase this lens. I have captured some incredible wildlife shots of deer with this lens!
I always keep a Nikon TC 1.4x attached. The rear lens element is "exposed," even when mounted to the camera. And it seems likely dirt/dust could enter into the rear element. In addition, I don't feel that sharpness, autofocus or Depth of Field suffers with the Teleconverter attached. And 120mm extra reach certainly helps on an FX body (focal length = 420mm). I am personally blown away by the depth of field on this lens. I shot 3 deer standing in a row from about 50-60ft away, and one head was in clear focus, while the other two were gradually blurred [settings = 420mm , f/5.6]. I was shocked to realize I needed to step down in order to bring all deer into focus. This can really enhance wildlife/nature shots with regards to how you want to portray the background behind the animals!
This lens is not "lightweight" as the product description states. It is definitely lighter than the 300mm f/2.8 (which I personally have not used). But it will take some practice to hand hold and capture steady shots. I have not shot below 1/400sec yet to put my technique to the test. But why would you when shooting wildlife?! I bought the Kirk collar to replace the Nikon collar (again, a recommendation from online research).
In addition, this lens can comfortably be used in extreme temperatures. My first "shoot" was a hike looking for deer in -12C (around 10F) temperatures. And there were no issues with lens fogging (I keep a 77mm B+W clear MRC filter attached at all times). I have not tried the lens in rain. I have shot several times since in below freezing temperatures without any issues. Again, great for nature photography!
In conclusion, I am personally blown away by the sharpness of this lens. It can be hand held for an "extended" shoot, but will require some patience and practice in hand holding technique. The autofocus is very quick in my opinion. And I've shot on gloomy winter days in the woods while the sun is setting. I experience minimal hunting with wide open aperature (f/5.6 - because of TeleConverter), but this could be attributed to animals walking behind trees/shrubs). A little extra ISO in gloomy conditions delivers stunning colours! If you are looking for a telephoto lens: Don't look much further unless you have a spare $6,000 for the f/2.8. I have not shot with the 300mm f/2.8 so I can not give a valid comparison, but this lens blows me away! I don't think someone could persuade me a lens of the same focal length could be worth 4x as much!
February 12, 2013
not light, but lighter than comparable products, allowed me to hike w lens and tripod to observation point. achieved photo of crusader fort/monastery in Israel in deep canyon i had not previously been able to get with other lenses.
January 23, 2013