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Nikon 300mm f/2.8D ED-IF II AF-S

2125NAS_180
Review Date: Jun 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: excelent quality, both image quality & built. very solid, handling.
Cons:
keep in mind that size and weight is significant compared to "standard" lenses.

I use this lens for yeards now and it simply is the best quality Nikkor lens I have ever owned in the last 20 years. The image quality is extremely high, brilliant and tack sharp. The amount of detail I can get for this lens is supassing all other 300 mm lenses I owned (I had three, sold them all). If you look at Nikon's homepage you will find that this lens has the best MTF chart of all lenses.

The AF speed is lightning fast. It litterally jumps into focus, not only with a pro camera, but I also tried it with a D70. The fast AF is one of the key things for lenses in that range. There is no use in a 300 mm lens if you miss the action because the AF can't keep up. It is amazing to shoot action with this lens at 8 frames per second and find every shot is in focus.

Of course I got both the TC 14 and TC 20 with this lens. Both TCs work very well with it. With the TC14 I couldn't see any difference in quality/sharpness. I'm sure there is one and in lab condition tests you would be able to measure it, but in every day shooting it just doesn't show. The AF is almost as fast, I could hardly feel any difference.
With the TC20 the image is a little softer compared to shots without any TC but it is still very good. The only way to get better quality at 600 mm would be the 600/4 Nikkor or a 400/2.8 with a TC14. Both are much more expensive alterrnatives.

Despite all the technica things the lens also handles very nice. I use it handheld a lot and found it very useable that way. It sure it heavy and there is no way you can use it in a way you handle a 70-300 lens, but considering the weight it is quite useable handheld.

Beside the wildlife thing I use it a lot for portrait.

Beautiful lens that is very much worth it's money. I don't miss the VR as I never use it in conditions where I need long shutter times.