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Nikon 300mm f/4 ED-IF AF-S Nikkor

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
32 127059 Oct 2, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $1,031.35
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.50
9.19
9.7
1909NAS_180

Specifications:
Super fast, super quiet lens using Nikon's Silent Wave motor technology
Compact super-telephoto lens for travel, sports, wildlife and stock photography
M/A switch for fast transitions from AF to manual focus
No power drain when manually focusing

Filter Size 77mm
f/Stop Range 4-32
Minimum Focus Distance 4.8'
Magnification 1:3.7
Zoom/Focus Control Not applicable
Angle of View 8 Degrees
Groups/Elements 6/10
Tripod Collar Yes
Length 8.8"
Maximum Diameter 3.5"
Weight 3.10 lb
Usable Nikon Teleconverter TC-14e (maintains autofocusing)
or TC-20e, TC-14b (both manual focus only) & TC-201 (manual focus only and occassional vignetting)


 


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Toon de Smit
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Registered: Dec 8, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Contrast, sharpness!, hood, minimum focussing distance
Cons:
I replaced the collar with Kirk’s

I recently started to use this lens for Macro.
In combination with the PN-11 extension tube and the D200. And with a solid tripod and use of MLU. With the lens plus tubes you can keep a safe distance which is nice while approaching dragonsflies and damselflies.

I have to say that after some practice the results are really great. It is as if you use a supertele (I own the Sigma 300-800) for macro. Pictures are intimate.


See for yourself:
http://www.pbase.com/toondesmit/image/84706591
http://www.pbase.com/toondesmit/image/84505124
http://www.pbase.com/toondesmit/image/83697534

Why use a dedicated macro??


Aug 30, 2007
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tanglefoot47
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Registered: Oct 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 14838
Review Date: Apr 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, great colors, fast enough for me, built in hood
Cons:
Like everyone else the tripod collar but no big deal I bought the Kirk collar

Lovely lens I it has become one of my favorites. I am now getting some of the best zoo shots I ever have.

Mike


Apr 7, 2007
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James Markus
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Registered: Jul 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4447
Review Date: Feb 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Incredibly sharp...even wide open. Super fast auto focus, easy to hand hold...reasonable weight.
Cons:
The Tripod mount isn't smooth in turning...it lacks the 90 degree clicks of my old 300mm AI'd nikkor, and it isn't beefy enough. However, it does work.

My rating reflects the lens and not the tripod mount. As a mount it works well, and is practical, but I would rather have a more substantial mount. This lens was a bit of an eye opener for me. I was amazed at how quickly it focused. The real shocker is the f4 wide open sharpness of the lens. It's meant to be shot wide open, and it close focuses to about 5 feet....that is almost three times closer than the 300mm AI'd lens it is replacing. I own two TC's..the Tamron SP AF 1.4x and the SP AF 2.0. Interestingly, the 2.0x maintains the sharpness, but the 1.4x does not with this lens. The exact opposite is true in all my other lenses, and I don't know what is so different in this lens, but it is a welcome finding. Perhaps if I ever stop it down the 1.4x will improve. I highly reccomend this lens for wildlife, and sports shooting.

Feb 26, 2007
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birdgal
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Registered: Jul 19, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast-focusing, usable with the latest Nikon teleconverters, and you can handhold it and still produce sharp photos
Cons:
Tripod collar (Nikon really needs to do a better job on this...this is NOT a new issue!), lack of VR

I own a previous version of this lens (Nikkor 300mm H), and I bought the 300mm AF-S when I bought my D100...what can I say, I was seduced by autofocus! On the D100, I found the AF somewhat sluggish, and sometimes it seemed to "hunt" for a place to focus. Now, with the D200, it is wonderful....much faster focusing, and it locks on very well, even with moving creatures. Even using the Nikon TC 1.4, I find the photos to be tack sharp! Although it would always be preferable to use a tripod with this lens, I often use my car as a "blind" to photograph birds, and this lens a good size and weight for handholding....and, still produces good results. I think VR would be an improvement, but the extra weight might cancel out the added benefit. Occasionally, I hear a high-pitched whine in the AF when I have not used the lens in awhile, but it goes away after a minute or so of use, and it doesn't seem to affect performance. I would recommend this lens to anyone who enjoys photographing birds and other wildlife!

Sep 23, 2006
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84FJ60
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Registered: Sep 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 307
Review Date: Sep 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very Sharp, Lightweight, Reasonable Cost
Cons:
Tripod Collar issues,

The lens is unbelievably sharp. I use it for Airshows, sports (baseball, softball, & soccer), wildlife & macros.

The lens is relatively lightweight - a little larger in barrel diameter than its non-AFS predecessor.

The only complaint that I have is the tripod mount. It is awkward to tighten due to the small screw size. This means that you cannot quickly shift from vertical to horizontal when mounted on a tripod. For a complete rundown on the tripod collar issues see the review on Bjorn's website:
www.naturfotograf.com

Bottom line - I love this lens. My overall rating would be 10 if only Nikon had given us a tripod collar like the non-AFS 300 f4 previous version came with.


Sep 12, 2006
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paparazzinick
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Registered: Jan 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 7395
Review Date: Mar 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $465.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: light, sharp, built like a tank
Cons:
f4, but I guess if I needed faster then I should have bought the 2.8

Best 300mm lens I ever used. Crushes the Canon counterpart. I use to shoot canon and this crushes it.

Mar 30, 2006
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Urullugi
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Registered: Mar 4, 2006
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp&sharp.. ..fast and quiet focusing (with the option enabled [3-OO]), work well with TC14EII AF-S.Light.Really great colors
Cons:
Tripod collar.

It's much light and color pure gray would have to strongly put it to its comfort under the sun for along time. With the TC14EII AF-S opening to F5.6 works very well.
I am much satisfying.
What it costs is a large one lens.
If u can, buy it.
So...
Buy it without any second thoughts.

Already told how is sharp?

Uru


Mar 4, 2006
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jefflee
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Registered: Feb 23, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 800
Review Date: Oct 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Weight and wide open performance
Cons:

Got it with the Tc1.4 E Ii and the TC1.7 E II. This lens is sharp, sharp, and sharp. it autofocuses very well with the 1.4 with no image loss, focuses well with the 1.7 in bright light image still sharp, but needs a tripod and the Kirk Collar.

Dollar for Dollar, one the best Nikkor bargins of all time I think.

The close focus is a big benefit (5', 1:3.8 reproduction) and it can be used with the Canon 500D for a very good Macro lens.

Love mine.


Oct 2, 2005
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butch350
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Registered: Dec 6, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 486
Review Date: Apr 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cheap price a 300 prime lens. Great Color, Bokeh, easy to hand hold.
Cons:
Complaints about the tripod collar. It's like buying a Mercedes and complaining about the hub caps.

I've used my lens with the Nikon TC-17eII converter with excellent results. I use the lens mainly to photograph birds around the feeders in my yard. Great Bokeh, color and contrast with this lens. The auto focus hunts a little at times, with the subject in front of a busy backround, but this is easy to work around. It does a great job with macro photos of flowers, etc. I love this lens.
Oh, did I mention the great price for such a quality lens.


Apr 16, 2005
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G-Force
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Registered: Mar 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 635
Review Date: Apr 2, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,000.00

 
Pros: Sharp, fast focusing, close minimum focusing distance, lightweight compared to the f2.8 version, works great with the TC-14EII
Cons:
Abominable tripod collar; get the Kirk replacement collar! No Vibration Reduction

I would recommend this lens, but if you do get one, plan on spending another $150 for the Kirk replacement collar. I know it's ridiculous to have to spend more money on an expensive lens just to get decent support but at least you're aware of it before you buy. The Kirk collar is vastly superior to Nikon's collar in every way. Other than the collar, the lens has all the qualities of a superior optic: sharp, fast focusing, and a close minimum focusing distance. With a minimum focusing distance of only 4.8 ft, this lens could easily double as a macro lens especially if you add a Canon 500D into the equation. Did I mention how sharp it is? Smile

Apr 2, 2005
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G-Force
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Registered: Mar 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 635
Review Date: Apr 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast focusing, close minimum focusing distance, lightweight compared to the f2.8 version, works great with the TC-14EII
Cons:
Abominable tripod collar; get the kirk replacement collar! No Vibration Reduction

I would highly recommend this lens, but if you purchase one, plan on spending another $150 on the Kirk replacement tripod collar. I know it's ridiculous to have to spend more money on an expensive lens just to get decent support but such is life. The Kirk collar is vastly superior to the one Nikon supplies in everyway. With the replacement collar, I would easily give this lens a 10 rating. Other than the tripod collar, this lens has all the qualities of a stellar optic: sharp, fast focusing, and close minimum focusing distance. With it's minimum focusing distance of only 4.8ft, this lens could easily double as a macro lens, especially if you add a Canon 500D into the equation. Did I mention it was sharp? Smile

Apr 2, 2005
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manitou
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Registered: Aug 24, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 205
Review Date: Jun 26, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Bokeh is beautiful, reasonable price, great colors, light weight
Cons:
a bit slow for fast action sports

The reviews from this forum helped me in choosing this lens. I wanted to use it mainly for shooting soccer and it has been a great lens for that purpose. It allows me to cover about half the field. I do intend to purchase the Nikon TC-14E 1.4x II Teleconverter soon to help out with extending the reach.

Jun 26, 2004
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ereza
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Registered: Oct 17, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 423
Review Date: Feb 27, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, great colors, excelent boka
Cons:
loves the tripod

not the fastest zoom i saw but fast enough, has excelent boka and colores and i can even hend hold it if i have aniugh light.for better pics i have to use tripod with it and it's a pain in the A**
i use it for macro shots since it can focus from 1.5 meter
i'm very happy with this lens on nikon D100


Feb 27, 2004
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auroraproject
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Registered: Jul 26, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 121
Review Date: Aug 14, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Color rendition, bokeh. Fast, quiet autofocus. Price, size and weight. Good quality results when used with TC14EII.
Cons:
Tripod collar.

This is an excellent lens for those looking to go long for cheap. The focus is fast and quiet. Only downside is the tripod collar, it's flimsy and prone to shake. Kirk makes a replacement tripod collar for this lens, go get it! With the Kirk tripod collar it's an excellent lens.

Aug 14, 2003
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Stripper
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Registered: Dec 11, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 6244
Review Date: May 26, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light, great color, contrast and bokeh, fairly fast and very silent focus.
Cons:
Tripod mount is not so great (jam a cork between the lens barrel and the mount and it works fine.).

Just to add to what Justin has already said: The thing I first noticed about this lens was its color rendition, contrast, and the soft wonderful quality of the defocused background you get. I think this lens gives you better bokeh than its more expensive f2.8 big brother, and it will focus close enough to be a good macro lens for flowers and bugs (much closer than the 2.8). It is AFS, but it is not nearly as quick or positive in focusing as the new 2.8 AFS-II. It is a great art lens, portrait lens, but not as good a sports lens as its big brother.

At less than 1/3 the price though it has to be one of the best bargins in the stable of Nikkor lenses. Buy it without any second thoughts.


May 26, 2003
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dobrodude
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Registered: Aug 26, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 256
Review Date: May 25, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, sharp and quick focusing, mostly, reasonably priced used
Cons:
not a 2.8

It's not a 2.8, so those early morning/dusk shots of the flocking geese are out, kind of. It's as sharp as it's very expensive bigger brother....
But, it's so light, my girlfriend doesn't even complain about carrying it up a hill in her backpack!!! The much larger and much, much heavier 300 f2.8 would mean I would have to carry something, and as it is, I'm pretty busy looking around. I'd hate for her to get so tired of carrying camera equipment that she couldn't cook and set up camp, right???
So, do it for her, guys...
Get the smaller. lighter, cheaper 300 f4
It's a great lens


May 25, 2003
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Nikon 300mm f/4 ED-IF AF-S Nikkor

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
32 127059 Oct 2, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $1,031.35
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.50
9.19
9.7
1909NAS_180


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