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Archive 2013 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?
  
 
Frogfish
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p.1 #1 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


Currently my birding set up is D800 & D600 with Sigma 120-300/2.8 (plus TC14E and x2 Sigma TC - both worth great) and a Sigma 500/4.5. I recently found that when birding in wooded / shaded conditions the f2.8 on the 120-300 was invaluable (and that is one seriously sharp lens) and have been flipping the idea of selling the 500 and buying the Nikon 300 and using the TCs (most of my birding is either walkabout or from a car - almost never a hide) as a Nikon 500/600 is not going to perform best in walkabout conditions (on a monopod) and will be a serious strain on me physically with the added weight of the monopod and gimbal.

Does anyone have an opinion on this idea ?
Does anyone have experience of switching out the VRI to a VRII and did you notice a performance difference ?

Nikon themselves say the optics and coating are the same so I'm wondering if I need to spend the extra $ for the VRII.

FYI. Locally (Shanghai) the guarantees that you can get in the USA (Nikon 4 yrs) or the Sigma guarantees or any of the extensions, e.g. Mack, are not offered or available. I can buy the lenses for these prices :

Nikon 300/2.8 VR1 (used) - ca. US$2,200 (3 month shop guarantee).
Nikon 300/2.8 VRII (used) - ca. US$4,500 (3 month shop guarantee). This is the grey colour version, not black.
Nikon 300/2.8 VRII (new) - ca. US$5,500 (12 month shop guarantee). This is a grey import.
Nikon 300/2.8 VRII (new) - ca. US$6,000 (12 month China guarantee from Nikon). This is a legal Nikon import.

Note that I have bought lots of cameras/lenses from the 6 storey, 3 building, dedicated photography mall where I buy my gear, and getting repairs etc. done by the retailers has always been brilliant (even once helping me get a manufacturers repair, for free, when the guarantee had expired 2 months earlier).

Any opinions (esp. from those that have used both VR1 and VRII) very welcome.

Thanks !
Kevin



Apr 14, 2013 at 03:15 AM
cebseb
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p.1 #2 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


I have used both and can say that I could not visibly discern any difference between the images produced by both versions. I had them both attached to a D4 then a D7100. I'm still quite new to this so all I did was just compare 100% crops on my monitor. Nothing too in depth.

I still went for the vr2 version though because the price I found my lens was far too close to the price being asked for the VR1 versions at that time. This is the US market I'm in though.

If the prices you posted are accurate, I would buy 5 of the used VR1s, post it on the B&S boards here then use the profit to fund a 400mm 2.8 VR.

:o)

Sebastian



Apr 14, 2013 at 03:36 AM
SoundHound
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p.1 #3 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


I had a similiar choice when I bought the 200mm F2.0 except that the VRII was so new there were no used lenses. I went with a used VR I (the paperwork left in the box indicated the new purchaser thought the lens was too heavy). I couldn't see paying $2000 for 4 instead of 3 stops of VR. I would make the same choice again.


Apr 14, 2013 at 02:19 PM
cebseb
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p.1 #4 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


SoundHound wrote:
I had a similiar choice when I bought the 200mm F2.0 except that the VRII was so new there were no used lenses. I went with a used VR I (the paperwork left in the box indicated the new purchaser thought the lens was too heavy). I couldn't see paying $2000 for 4 instead of 3 stops of VR. I would make the same choice again.


Same issue I had when I purchased my 200mm f2. I went with the VR1 since even the used VR2s I saw around were floating around 1.5 to 2k more than a used VR1 which I though was unjustified. The price difference between the used 300mm versions is a little easier to swallow though.



Apr 14, 2013 at 03:34 PM
leonkoum
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p.1 #5 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


Almost the same, only difference is in vr


Apr 14, 2013 at 03:47 PM
aztwang1
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p.1 #6 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


2200.00 for a VR 1...jump on it!


Apr 14, 2013 at 04:41 PM
megancanada
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p.1 #7 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


For $2,200 it must be the non vr version.


Apr 14, 2013 at 05:09 PM
VinnieJ
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p.1 #8 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


A grey colored VR II? I thought they stopped doing that with the VR I.

A $2200 VR I would be a no-brainer IMO.




Apr 14, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Chris Dees
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p.1 #9 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


If you're after small birds you won't be satisfied with a 300/2.8 + TC's. I started birding with such a combo and was always needing more length. The weight differences between a 300/2.8 + TC's and the 500VR is negligible.
I then got myself a 600VR which is a great lens but very heavy and bulky.This winter I traded my 600VR in for a 500VR. The 500VR is the best trade off between weight and focal length an is very good manageable on a monopod . Although the 300VRII with 2x TCIII gives very nice images I find the 500/600VR better. And I already said that with small birds you need all the length you can get, the 500/600VR both take TC's very well.



Apr 14, 2013 at 05:59 PM
DGC1
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p.1 #10 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


aztwang1 wrote:
2200.00 for a VR 1...jump on it!


+1



Apr 14, 2013 at 10:21 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



DGC1
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p.1 #11 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


Chris Dees wrote:
If you're after small birds you won't be satisfied with a 300/2.8 + TC's. I started birding with such a combo and was always needing more length. The weight differences between a 300/2.8 + TC's and the 500VR is negligible.
I then got myself a 600VR which is a great lens but very heavy and bulky.This winter I traded my 600VR in for a 500VR. The 500VR is the best trade off between weight and focal length an is very good manageable on a monopod . Although the 300VRII with 2x TCIII gives very nice images I find the
...Show more

Another+1



Apr 14, 2013 at 10:22 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #12 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


Gotta call BS on a 300 f2.8 VR for $2200....$3200 MAYBE No offense, Kevin...just sayin'


Apr 14, 2013 at 10:33 PM
nwadventurer7
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p.1 #13 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


+1 trenchmonkey more like $4000 for a good used vr1


Apr 14, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Frogfish
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p.1 #14 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


trenchmonkey wrote:
Gotta call BS on a 300 f2.8 VR for $2200....$3200 MAYBE No offense, Kevin...just sayin'


Thanks for sowing the seeds of doubt there Tim

I haven't been back to the mall yet but checking online I found :

VRI Used : $2,130 to $2,900 (4 or 5 models running the spread).
VRI New : $4,500 (Going rate with little price variation, and this time I found it with a 3 yr guarantee, 1 yr Nikon and 2 yrs retailer).

I think this is more than likely because Chinese don't really like to buy used (e.g. cars, expensive lenses or any consumer disposable with a substantial investment) and the guys with the money to be at this end of the market are loaded anyway and won't be buying 300mm and TCs.

Saturday at one of my usual haunts there was a Siberian Rubythroat - and 9 togs all with a D4 or 1DMkIV and a 500-800mm lens atop a high end tripod and all pointed at this small robin sitting on a rock 10m away - very typical ! I can just dream of those combos I'm afraid (or make divorce a reality) !

Whew ! You gave me palpitations there for a moment or two



Apr 15, 2013 at 02:43 AM
zesto
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p.1 #15 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


Frogfish wrote:
Saturday at one of my usual haunts there was a Siberian Rubythroat - and 9 togs all with a D4 or 1DMkIV and a 500-800mm lens atop a high end tripod and all pointed at this small robin sitting on a rock 10m away - very typical.



The world must be more populated than I realized. If I want to photograph a native bird in my neck of the woods then I'll probably have 10 to choose from and the nearest bird photographer would be 10 kilometres, if not miles, away. Even so, I wouldn't mind a 500mm lens myself. My 200 f/2 doesn't really cut it for birding.

These were all cropped 100% and a little more for the last image.
D800E and 200 f/2 VR II.













Apr 15, 2013 at 08:40 AM
Hardcore
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p.1 #16 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


I just purchased a 300mm VRII and am quite happy with the 2xIII on it. I will likely add a 1.4x in the future as well. Still cheaper than a 500mm VR and at closer distances that you would be shooting small birds at, the results are very good imo.

I'm new at this though and also contemplated the VR1. Ended up with the VR2 mostly because I plan on shooting handheld 90% of the time.



Apr 15, 2013 at 01:27 PM
rick_reno
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p.1 #17 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


Given I think you'll be moving past the 300mm quickly, I'd get the VR2 version only because it might be easier to sell.


Apr 15, 2013 at 01:33 PM
Frogfish
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p.1 #18 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


Love the 'Tui' Zesto - gorgeous bird with a voice to match.

Rick - I'm not sure I'll be moving past the 300 + TCs for a number of reasons. a) cost b) the f2.8 is just so useful at dawn/dusk c) I have a 500 (Sigma) now and the MFD is an issue when in the bush with small birds, I've missed some great shots because they were well within the MFD of any 500 !

What I'm looking for is faster, and more importantly more accurate, AF than I have now (though the 120-300 is fast and very sharp), plus especially more accurate and faster AF lock on, shots with a TC installed .... and did I mention more accurate AF



Apr 15, 2013 at 02:34 PM
James R
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p.1 #19 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


Bought a used 300 VRII (non-US version) or 4.2K a few years ago. The focus seemed snapper, but that might have been the "new lens" placebo effect. It does have the nano-crystal coating and the VRII functions better than VRI.

I have a hard time turning down the purchase of a great lens at a great price. BTW, back then I sold my VRI version for 3K. It was grabbed the first day posted, which means I probably didn't price it right.



Apr 15, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Hardcore
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p.1 #20 · Nikon 300/2.8 VRI or Nikon 300/2.8 VRII for Birding ?


Here is a series of eagle shots that I got. The focus on this lens even with the 2x is very very good. These are all cropped about 50%... maybe more. Taken at 600mm F6.3. It just snaps to focus and locks on with amazing tracking. Using a d800.

http://coreyhardcastle.smugmug.com/Other/300mm-F28-VR2/28891956_j8KDjV#!i=2458657484&k=tsVLGcD



Apr 15, 2013 at 04:28 PM
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