Home · Register · Software · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Nikon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
  

Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR
  
 
Two23
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


For most of this year I've been dithering about switching from the Nikon 80-400mm AFS to the Nikon 300mm f4e PF. My main motivation to switch was weight and bulk, especially on mountain hikes. The 80-400mm was sharp enough, and the zoom is a handy range. However, it was getting so heavy I just didn't want to carry it all that often. My main worry about the 300mm was the reported weird flare when bright lights shine directly into it. I photo trains a lot, and bright headlights are often a part of the deal. I finally bought one on ebay last week. (Forgot to check seller's feedback until after he accepted my lowball $1,300 and I paid. His feedback was 50% on only four sales. I was sweating it!) Anyway, I plan on adding a TC to it in the near future. I normally use a tripod and wondering if I should buy a tripod collar? That might make it more stable when using the TC-14. Lens will be general purpose and that includes being my only wildlife lens. Will use on D800E and D5300. The lens looks and performs OK but it seemed loose on my camera. I tightened the little screws on the mount (loose!) and now it seems OK.

The lens is quite sharp, and easy to handle. I shot two oncoming trains at dusk to see if I could provoke the weird flare issue. Even with three very bright headlights shining directly into it at close range there was no flare. However, the headlights did turn into bigger blobs than what I normally see with other lenses. I guess I can live with that trade off for the weight. I'll keep the 80-400mm for a little while longer before selling it, just to be sure. A couple of shots below.


Kent in SD















Nov 06, 2017 at 04:29 AM
OccAeon
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


Cool. What do the train light blobs normally look like on your 80-400?


Nov 06, 2017 at 01:54 PM
Two23
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


Normally they are considerably smaller. Here I think I used the Sigma 50mm f1.4A. Looking at a couple of online reviews that give Imatest numbers, it looks like I won't gain any more sharpness with 300 + TC over the 80-400mm. The major gain seems to be the weight and bulk savings. That's my goal though--reduce both to make a lighter bag for all day hiking.


Kent in SD







Nov 06, 2017 at 02:14 PM
90 5.0
Online
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


Tripod collar + quick release in your situation wouldnmake it much better imo

I “think” my 80-400 is sharper than my 300 4 + tc but I’ve never done example shots of exact same thing to be 100% sure and I’ve got an older 300

For the weight savings the small amount of sharpness lost will probublay be ok for you carrying on a bike

There isn’t much weight savings to me but some bulk but my 300 is all metal so.




Nov 06, 2017 at 02:49 PM
Gary Irwin
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


IMO the major reason to own the 300PF over the 80-400G is the size & weight advantage -- which is huge, depending on ones' needs. At closer ranges I don't think there's much of a difference in sharpness in @300mm but the PF definitely outperforms the 80-400G at distance.


Nov 06, 2017 at 02:58 PM
gdsf2
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


You do not need a tripod collar. Lens is light and short.


Nov 06, 2017 at 03:29 PM
tntcorp
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


kent, i didn't look at the exif data but the blob is a characteristics of the fresnel lens. curious to know if you can reduce the blob by shooting at smaller aperture.

a lens collar is useful for long exposure. i have shot with the 2x for bif and has no issues with the weight. on the flip side, tracking bif in windy condition with a lightweight combo was difficult for me due to the lightweight. my muscle memory are used to the heavier lens.. :-)



Nov 06, 2017 at 03:59 PM
Imagemaster
Online
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


It is light enough for you to mount the camera body on a tripod. Of course it is lighter than the zoom. The problem for me is always the inconvenience of being stuck with one focal-length, whereas that zoom gives you all those choices between 80mm & 400mm. Then there are those who say it is lighter than the zoom, but then they end up carrying another lens or two for those focal-lengths less than 300mm or more than 300mm, and end up carrying more total weight than the zoom.

So if you are happy being stuck with 300mm (or 420mm with the TC) that is the way to go. On the other hand, if you need those other focal-length choices, there are absolutely no size or weight advantages.

Remember Murphy's Law: When that photo opportunity presents itself, you will have the wrong focal-length lens on your camera.



Nov 06, 2017 at 03:59 PM
OccAeon
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


Hmm, I have to say, I like the regular lights a lot better. The blobs look unnatural to my eyes.


Nov 06, 2017 at 04:11 PM
Two23
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


My hiking kit did consist of 24mm PC-E, Sigma 50mm f1.4A, Nikon 105mm f2.8 Micro, Nikon 80-400mm AFS. The 300mm f4e was to simply replace that last lens. HOWEVER, after going out again yesterday and shooting some more trains head on, I just don't think this lens is going to be the do-all long lens I wanted it to be. Those head on shots are some of my favorite to do! So, reluctantly, I will sell a lens I just bought a few days ago. I was afraid of this. So, what to do now? I briefly considered buying a Nikon 300mm f4 AFS since they are so cheap right now and have one 300mm lens for trains and one for everything else. I decided that would be pretty silly. Then I realized I could buy a cheap but excellent Nikon 70-300mm AFP VR for <$200, pair that with my Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 on the D5300 for travel/hiking, and just keep the Nikon 80-400mm AFS. But wait! Now that I would have a lightweight set up for travel/hiking, there's no need to keep the 80-400mm any more. It was a compromise do-all compact lens. I could sell it and buy.......what? No longer needs to be small! I considered a $2,000 Nikon 500mm f4 AFS, but they don't have VR. Also considered Nikon 300mm f2.8 AFS VR + 2x, but those are more than I want to spend (~$2,000.) Then I remembered the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS HSM! (used, ebay.) That plus either a 1.4x or a 2x would be a very sharp heavy duty lens for wildlife specifically and trains etc. generally. So, two lenses for two different jobs. I also considered the Nikon 200-500mm, but honestly the Sigma f2.8 is more enticing at the moment!

So, any users of Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 HSM OS + TC out there want to share their thoughts?


Kent in SD



Nov 08, 2017 at 03:48 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



lbloom
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


🙂

Enjoying the trajectory of this thread.



Nov 08, 2017 at 08:36 AM
OwlsEyes
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


Two23 wrote:
...Also considered Nikon 300mm f2.8 AFS VR + 2x, but those are more than I want to spend (~$2,000.) Then I remembered the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS HSM! (used, ebay.) That plus either a 1.4x or a 2x would be a very sharp heavy duty lens for wildlife specifically and trains etc. generally. So, two lenses for two different jobs. I also considered the Nikon 200-500mm, but honestly the Sigma f2.8 is more enticing at the moment!

So, any users of Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 HSM OS + TC out there want to share their thoughts?

Kent in SD


Kent,
The "Sport" version of this lens has been on my list of potential lenses for a while, however,... neither the prior or current lens is stellar with a converter. If you want to use this lens and want the best quality you can get, plan on shooting it without a tele-converter.
I currently use a 200-400mm VR1. I have owned two of these,... the second of which was better than my first. Within 60M, the lens is cracking sharp at all focal lengths by f/4.5. When shooting landscapes, I have discovered that I need to use the lens with live view. When I move to live view focus, the lens is sharp at a distance... not as sharp as when shot within 60 m, but sharp enough to make the most of my D500 and D810. Since weight is no longer an issue, you may want to look for one of these.... Just recently, I saw a Craigslist Ad for a VR1 in the Minneapolis area (where I live) for $2100. National Camera Exchange (in town) has a VR2 for about $2700....

The Nikon 200-400VR got a bad rep because of a Thom Hogan Review and the introduction of the 200-500VR. I own the 200-500, 200-400, and 300mm PF. When shot correctly and carefully, my 200-400 is better than the other lenses.

regards,
bruce



Nov 08, 2017 at 11:33 AM
lara_ckl
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


tntcorp wrote:
kent, i didn't look at the exif data but the blob is a characteristics of the fresnel lens. curious to know if you can reduce the blob by shooting at smaller aperture.


Does anybody (Tony?) know if the Canon DO lenses have this same problem with highlights? I've always disliked the way the 300PF renders out-of-focus highlights, but this is the first time (to me) someone pointed out a problem with in-focus highlights.



Nov 08, 2017 at 12:23 PM
Gary Irwin
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


From Thom Hogan's review of the 300PF...

http://www.dslrbodies.com/lenses/nikon-lens-reviews/nikkor-prime-lens-reviews/nikon-300mm-f4e-af-s-vr.html

But let’s return to that fresnel element for a moment, as it has consequences. The problem with using such an element is that, with small bright highlights in frame you tend to get ringed flare around them due to the—you guessed it—fresnel rings themselves. Nikon has now added a fresnel flare removal tool to their software products (e.g. Capture NX-D), but it really only reduces the appearance of flare, it doesn't remove it. In other words, it treats the symptoms, doesn’t cure the disease. Such flare is very pronounced with small light, very bright light sources in frame. Photos taken at night with street lights or other point lighting sources are ones that tend to produce this flare.




Nov 08, 2017 at 01:33 PM
Chris Dees
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


The OOF lights aren't always as bad.




  NIKON Df    300.0 mm f/4.0 lens    300mm    f/4.0    1/100s    5000 ISO    0.0 EV  




Nov 08, 2017 at 01:38 PM
OccAeon
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


I haven't used the 150-300 S, but I absolutely love the 150-600 S, which ably replaced my old 300 f/4 + TC. It's a big honkin lens, but I love every picture it takes. It's great even with the 1.4x TC at 850mm (in bright light, since it's limited to f/9).





600mm f/6.3




Nov 08, 2017 at 02:13 PM
Two23
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


An update. After research online and looking over my options here's what I think I will do: (1) resell 300mm f4 PF (2) keep Nikon 80-400mm afs for now as it is a decent lens (3) buy used Nikon 300mm f2.8 VR-1 + TC-20e II later this winter when prices of used gear are generally at low ebb. This will give me a first class telephoto with 600mm f5.6 performance when needed, and is resistant to flare & ghosting. Will use a Nikon 70-300mm AFP on the D5300 for a lightweight travel/alpine hiking lens.

I looked at Nikon 200-500mm VR, Sigma 150-600mm Sport, Nikon 300mm f4 AFS, Nikon 200-400mm f4, but slowly ruled each of these out. Nikon 200-500mm: great lens but no Nano coating, reviews suggest "do not point at bright lights!" Sigma 150-600mm Sport: sharp but heavy AND not thrilled with f6.3. Nikon 300mm f4 AFS: great value but no VR. Nikon 200-400mm f4: expensive and questionable performance at distances. So, that's my current thinking. My only hesitation is I'm not sure how much I'll use a 300/600mm and it's a lot of $$ tied up. I do regularly use a telephoto though, so might as well get a good one. Unlike my hesitancy to tie a lot of money up in rapidly depreciating cameras, I am willing to put money into first class lenses.


Kent in SD



Nov 14, 2017 at 03:04 AM
Photozack81
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


This line of reasoning is how I ended up with my (very) used 400mm f/2.8VR. It was practically half what a new one cost, still a huge chunk of cash by the way. Still though, it's a fantastic lens, it is capable of better pictures than I am, and while it's heavy it is manageable.

I sometimes consider selling it to recover that cash but I really do like the shots I get from this lens when I take it out.



Nov 14, 2017 at 03:16 AM
technic
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


lara_ckl wrote:
Does anybody (Tony?) know if the Canon DO lenses have this same problem with highlights? I've always disliked the way the 300PF renders out-of-focus highlights, but this is the first time (to me) someone pointed out a problem with in-focus highlights.


I have no personal experience with the Canon DO lenses but judging from many images and online discussions they have the same problem, just much less visible in the current version (like in 4/400DO II). The first DO lenses were more vulnerable to flare and bleeding of point light sources, IQ is a compromise and one should only consider them if size/weight is by far the most important spec.

I have seen some images with specular highlights (water reflections) from the 400DO II that looked pretty good. It's difficult to judge though, because people who own these lenses will usually not post their ruined shots and likely avoid the situations that are known to cause trouble.



Nov 14, 2017 at 10:58 AM
OwlsEyes
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Switching to Nikon 300mm f4e PF VR


Two23 wrote:
An update. After research online and looking over my options here's what I think I will do:...buy used Nikon 300mm f2.8 VR-1 + TC-20e II later this winter when prices of used gear are generally at low ebb. This will give me a first class telephoto with 600mm f5.6 performance when needed....

I looked at Nikon 200-500mm VR, Sigma 150-600mm Sport, Nikon 300mm f4 AFS, Nikon 200-400mm f4, but slowly ruled each of these out.... Nikon 200-400mm f4: expensive and questionable performance at distances... My only hesitation is I'm not sure how much I'll use a 300/600mm and it's a lot
...Show more

Kent,
I think that this is a very good plan. Were it not that I shoot a lot of wildlife that is in motion, I would have kept my 300mm f/2.8 and sold the 200-400VR. I owned a 300mm f/2.8 AFSII (and VR1) for years. They are tack sharp at 300mm, near as good at 420mm, and produce acceptable images at 600mm and f/8 even when light levels diminish. Despite all of this, I opted to stick it out with my 200-400VR and replace the 300mm f/2.8 with the PF at f/4. Zooming for composition and the additional 100mm is essential for the wildlife I photograph locally. Since you have an 80-400VRII that seems to work for you, this will pair nicely w the 300mm f/2.8.

good luck,
bruce



Nov 14, 2017 at 11:37 AM
1
       2       end






FM Forums | Nikon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username     Reset password