AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED
FIVE STARS IN ITS' OWN RIGHT -- TRUST ME
I owned an earlier version of the venerable Nikon 300mm f2.8 and I am here to tell you that as poets strive to define 'love' -- and in all fairness to the enormity of their task, if this lens isn't mentioned, then simply put; they've will have failed in their attempt. Yet as beautiful as it is, the 300 2.8 is also -- very HEAVY. And I am here to tell you that while Love 'may be' blind, heavy can definitely become painful. Enter the acclaimed Nikon 300mm f4d af s. Same reach, BEAUTIFUL bokeh, sharp images, a macro capability that will wow you and half the weight at a fraction of the cost. Granted, it's slower than the 2.8 and it can't compete with the 'big dog' in low light. But in unchallenging light conditions, this lens ROCKS! And, should you catch a cramp or need some water, you've got money left over to handle that. :)
February 24, 2012
In the early 90's I considered the prior version of this lens for film. For what-ever reason it was never purchased. I found this fall that my 80-200 2.8 was insufficient for football games on Friday night. Although I considered the 70-210 & 1.4tc-e, I opted for this lens instead. It is very sharp and has the reach I need to isolate subjects on the football field w/o the price of the faster 300 2.8. With the 1.4 mounted I can see no difference optical clarity. The combination is quite useful for other images, as well. Attached is a photo made from my back window. The buck and doe were 200+/- yards away. The image was made with the 300 f4 and 1.4 tc, and has not be retouched.
December 13, 2011
Practice with this lens, learning curve!
Warning: This is a Pro lens, you need to practice
before you go out on a job.
This lens is better suited with a tripod unless you
May 13, 2011
Great Lense for Wildlife
I bought this lense because I found myself using only the max of 300mm on my 70-300 lense. I wanted a lense that had fast AF and took the best pictures at 300mm or better. The 70-300 was ok, but at 300mm the photos were soft. I also wanted a lense that I could fit a teleconverter to. The 70-300 has NO recommened teleconverter. The Nikkor 300mm f4 fit the bill. So far I have used it over 3 months and have take several thousand photos . I have found it a fast AF lense even with the Tc14e teleconverter added to it. The photos are sharp. If you are looking for a wildlife lense that won't break the bank this is the one for you.
April 15, 2011
this lens is quite, fast, and sharp as can be , though not quite long enough for further off subjects it's very close focus for a 300mm can turn out some very nice photo's of the birds I am lucky enough to get close to , and the quiet AFS focus does not frighten them off. I am very fond of the lenses sharpness and the nice blurring of out of focus elements.
April 14, 2011
Gives up nothing to the 2.8 300 outdoors
This lens has been my warhorse for hundreds of soccer matches and other sports events. Obviously, the 300 2.8 is the standard for professional sports work, but for those of us who can't pass along the expense to an employer, this gives up nothing to the 2.8 for daytime sports and at less than 1/3 the cost. Naturally, for indoor and nighttime events, the extra stop of the 2.8 may be critical, but for soccer, softball and anything else in natural light one never misses the extra stop. The sharpness of this lens is phenomenal and the focus speed is equally outstanding. I do not see any real world (up to 11 x 14) difference in tack-sharp resolution compared to the pro 2.8.
April 14, 2011
Great lens, sharp results
I got this for outdoor sports, racing and general recreation. An added plus is the close-focus mode. Not light, not cheap, probably not cutting edge technology, but I get great results.
April 14, 2011
A superb lens
I just purchased this lens a few weeks ago and have nothing but high praise for Nikon one. I have read many complaints of the collar and have to say not so with mine. It is rock solid all the way around. Used with the TC-20E iii it takes phenomenal pictures!! I would highly recommend this lens!! I don't miss the VR as the tripod/window mount certainly makes up for it with the wildlife photography.
March 12, 2011
I bought this lens for two reasons. Birds and macro.
I'm a big fan of Nikon's macro lenses and use three (60G, 105 and 200) frequently but sometimes want more working distance and more foreshortening. Coupled with TCs this lens is a great addition to a macro shooters arsenal.
I don't want the size of Nikon's larger super telephotos and this lens works perfectly for me. I use tripods and monopods (replaced collar with Kirk's), so lack of VR isn't an issue. I also don't need a faster lens since I usually stop down for depth of field anyway.
The IQ is wonderful, it focuses quickly at 300mm and adequately at 420mm (with TC 1.4), the ergonomics are excellent for a large lens and it's built for long term use (which is good since I plan on keeping it as long as I shoot).
If I shot sports, I might opt for the much larger and much more expensive 300/2.8. But I don't.
December 3, 2010
Stunningly sharp, contrasty, and colorful
I was surprised at the resolution of this lens. THIS is the reason you buy Nikkor lenses and not an off brand. Could use a little faster focusing, but it is a great birding and sports lens. It is a total joy to use, and extremely rugged and well built.
November 10, 2010
Excellent optics. Very sharp on DX. I have not tried on FX, so I cannot comment on that.
Tripod collar should definitely have been better.
The AF-S motor is very fast and works very well with the 51pt AF system of the D300.
I never missed VR in this lens but it would be nice to have. Just abt the right weight for hand-held shooting.
300/F4 has very short minimal focusing distance, which makes it extremely suited for flowers and butterflies/dragonflies.
Good weather sealing on the body. I live in a very damp place and have never had a problem with fungus or moisture in the past 3 years.
September 23, 2010
I recently purchased the 300mm F4 Nikkor lens and used at an airshow. My prime lens of choice for airshows was the 80-400mm VR NIkkor but I wanted to go back to a fixed length lens to try another approach. I was not disappointed. This is a great lens. The weight is almost identical to the 80-400. The images even without VR are second to none. I have been using Nikkor lens for 44 years and this is one of the best I have ever used.
Even with the 1.4 teleconverter, the images are striking.
August 10, 2010
Cut yourself sharp!
I own several pro lenses and this one is among the sharpest even at f/4 and almost no loss of PQ with TC 1.4 . The lens collar could be improved on but it is adequate. Very well built,one of my favorites.
August 7, 2010
Perfect lens for football games
I use this lens primarily for football games. It works perfect with the 2X multiplier at f8. Many of my shots were so good that most of my friends plan to add this lens to their collections as well. I use a mono pod for stability to equal the results of my other VR Lenses. The 600mm lens is more than my budget allows for. DOF is excellent to outstanding. Color quality is the absolute best! The only draw back would be the cost for filters for those who use them. I only use three filters ND 3, UV and Polarizer on rare occasions that require them, like boat racing and hang gliders. I have used this lens for bird watching and African safaris as well. Focus is fast on my F5 and D200, the cool part is on manual focus there no battery drain.
August 1, 2010
This is a very flexible lens for all kinds of uses. It is extremely sharp and contrasty, lightweight and compact. I frequently use this lens for macro work with an extension tube to make use of the nice bokeh and shallow depth of field.
July 30, 2010
Great lens for wild life or sports!
This is a great lens, powerful but not as big and pricy as the f2.8. Now with the digital cameras, you can just bump up the ISO to make up for the one stop difference!
A friend of mine has borrowed this lens to photograph the space shuttle take off and got some great images!!
It's a great lens for portraits as well!
July 30, 2010
My favorite lens
Primary use for this lens was capturing birds in flight, but I soon discovered that it also does an excellent job as a macro lens. It's fast focus and tack sharp results are just what I needed for my style of photography.
I can shoot a bird flying by and then capture an insect a few seconds later. It allows me to shoot from a distance that does not spook my macro subjects.
This lens is easy to carry for hours at a time on my D300, which is important, since I never use a tripod. All around, this is my favorite lens and it remains on my camera 95% of the time.
For the price, it is amazing that I can have such a fantastic lens that will do so many things, so well. Thank you Nikon!
July 30, 2010
stunning crystal clear images from 300mmf4
Outstanding, 'pin sharp' images from edge to edge, extremely high precision lens optics and lens construction. The 300mmf4 IF-ED produce results that are simply amazing, together with the 9 blade shutter to give outstanding Bokeh - this is a lens that I would highly recommend for sport, commercial, fashion and wildlife photography. (Cameras used Nikon D3's)
July 20, 2010
Excelente objetiva para fotos de aves na natureza, tanto em super closes quanto em distâncias maiores, com ISO baixo ou alto. Rendimento de cores, resolução, brilho, contraste e rapidez no auto foco são incrivelmente fantásticos! É ótima também para fotos de pequenos animais (como insetos), pois o foco mínimo proporciona grande relação de reprodução. Combinada com o TC 14E II não perde as suas principais qualidades, ampliando ainda mais as possibilidades de uso.
June 20, 2012
Great Lens, So-So Collar...
Well, I've been meaning tobuy a"pro" lens for a while, and finally pulled the trigger on the Nikkor 300mm f/4 lens.
Now, this is not to say I haven't been getting tremendous results from my Dx lenses (not to mention my older,smaller primes); I've been selling images world-wide for years using them...BUT, I wanted one of those "fast", high-magnification primes anyway...and this one is frighteningly good...sharp, faster than my Dx's, good colors,contrast, and that bokeh...wowser...
Now, I didn't even give the stock lens collar a chance; I just ordered the aftermarket one that everybody recommends right along with the lens.
This lens also seems to allow me to shoot with higher ISOs without too much image quality degradation; 400 and 640 produce exceptionally sharp, noise-free images, even on a heavily-overcast October day. Now, at ISO 800 and up, the colors are a little off at f/4 (wide open), but just one click to f/4.5 seems to clear most of that up, and by the time f/5 rolls around, all is well again. I'll attach a couple of images I just made...extremely heavy overcast, f/400 and 640 range ISOs
October 3, 2011
Great lens for landscape and close up work
Very sharp at all distances, from F4 on, up to F22. Works very well on D3x level sensors. I use it to shoot landscapes from half a mile as well as small wildflowers. Has a very good close focusing distance for the later purposes. Color rendition and contrast seem excellent as well. Focuses very quickly on a D3 level body. Great bokeh. My only gripe is that it doesn't have VR. Nikon, just put VR on this lens and don't change anything else, and you'll have a superstar.
June 23, 2011
Lovely Piece of Glass
I own a D700, a 14--24mm lens, a 24-70mm lens and a 80-200mm lens. I have been eyeballing this lens for quite a while. I wanted more than a 200mm reach with pro quality glass which can get quite expensive with a Nikon FX sensor.
I read all the 300mm f4 reviews on the web and I was quite impressed with the lens ratings and I was more impressed with this lens' performance with a TC-14II teleconverter which would take me out to 420mm. I was especially impressed with the conclusion from Photozone (reviews that I think are very thorough and balanced) that began "The Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED is one of the few near-flawless lenses tested so far."
First the cons that seem to be common negatives throughout all the reviews. The auto focus speed isn't terribly slow but it isn't terribly fast either. Lack of vibration reduction on a 3 pound lens is something I miss. The tripod mounting foot is usable and not as bad as some reviews would lead you to believe but Kirk makes a better one that I bought (probably more of a psychological need than a practical one).
Now for the pros; image quality, image quality, image quality. This is a sharp, sharp lens. Distortion and aberrations are very well controlled and it is everything that I would expect from pro glass and from a Nikkor in particular.
Convention tells you that with a TC-14II teleconverter there has to be some degradation of image quality but I can't find it. This was a common claim in all the reviews that I read and it is a very accurate claim. I did have my doubts to put it mildly but I was pleasantly surprised; actually pretty amazed.
I rated the lens a 4. Faster auto focus and vibration reduction would make it a 5. However, I do rate the image quality a solid 5 and I rate the overall dollar value of the lens a solid 10 considering the price of it's f2.8 big brother.
I am very happy with this lens. I did buy the TC-14II teleconverter. I now have a 300mm and 420mm reach.
Interestingly enough, one very nebulous upside to this lens, something that is difficult to describe, is it's feel. It's a solid, massive hunk of precision. Anyone who owns a Nikkor 80-200mm lens (another older design but outstanding lens and great value) will understand what I mean. It's a joy to use.
May 12, 2011
Outstanding lens but needs VR
I shot primarily in the digital arena with some film. I purchased this lens to supplement my other telephoto (zoom) lenses. The lens is fast at F4. Image sharpness is excellent. This is a moderately heavy lens. The majority of my work is aerial photography and air shows. The images are extremely sharp. It is manageable even for a six or seven hour assignment. It is sharper and faster at 300mm than my 80-400mm, F4.5-5.6. The only drawback is not having VR capability on this lens. This feature is available on the Nikon 300mm, F2.8 lens . This feature needs to be made available on the Nikon 300mm, F4.
April 24, 2011
I am new to the world of photography and starting out with the Nikon D3000 and this lens is a perfect combination. There isn't much one can't do with this lens, but just need to make sure you have plenty of room to shoot with when using it.
April 17, 2011
very good macro qualities
I had no idea this lens could take the quality macro shots it does from 6' away, with a 1.4 TC attached. I too found the tripod collar insufficient, so I replaced it. I always use a tripod or monopod with this lens attached to my D300. Very, very pleased with the macro results.
September 22, 2010
Amazing optics, but no VR and terrible lens collar
I have used this lens for almost 2 years for non-professional bird and animal photography and it's simply amazing for the price. It's sharp and contrasty, light compared to other long zooms. Results in good light are on par with much more expensive lenses.
Lack of VR makes this lens less useful in lower light. Putting this lens on a tripod doesn't help either because of a terrible lens collar design.
None the less, the optics performance far outweighs the cons.
September 15, 2010
As some of the others, my comments are positive, but having VR would make a huge difference to me. I use a monopod and do mostly birds. Sometimes I wait a long time focused on a bird waiting for the right shot and VR would definitely help stabilize. I use a D300 as a DSLR.
I have a 70-300mm VR, so I know how good it can be.
August 18, 2010
Quality lens at a great price
The Nikon 300mm f4 AF-S is my longest high-quality telephoto to date and I'm enjoying it very much so far. It's extremely sharp, focuses quickly (in adequate light), works well using a 1.4x Nikon teleconverter, and is lightweight. As well, I enjoy macro and close up work, so the close focusing capability of this lens is a huge plus. Downsides that everyone talks about are valid - including flimsy tripod collar, flimsy lens hood, and no VR, but these can be overlooked or overcome with workarounds and good technique. Bottom line is that this is a great lens - now I wish Nikon would come out with an intermediate 400mm to match that amateurs like me can afford!
July 31, 2010
My favorite lens
Small enough to pack easily, not too heavy to lug around, close focus, extremely sharp, and works great with a TC-14e. This is the lens that was my standard wildlife lens for a long time and that I still go back to regularly for that and a variety of other subjects. For those starting out in wildlife photography, this is a great first long lens and a versatile tool that will stay with you for a long time. I'd give it five stars if not for the weak, though easily replace-able, tripod collar.
July 30, 2010
Good but needs an update soon
The images produced by this lens are extremely sharp. Even with a 1.7x TC you can get very nice results.
The lens has a few flaws, though. There is no rear lens, so dust and debris can fall straight to the aperture blades and inside the lens.
Another flaw is that this is a D-series lens (AF is slow compared to 70-300 VR, which is a pity)
And the trird flaw is the lack of VR
June 14, 2012