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

1909NAS_180
Review Date: Jun 22, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Quick accurate focus, beautiful bokeh and isolation, great color and contrast, not too heavy for a 300mm, sturdy build, takes 1.4TC without loss of IQ
Cons:
None

I shoot birds in flight or perched, with and without the Kenko Pro 1.4X TC. I also use it for baseball, portraits and even a little macro (it has a nice short focusing distance). Since I mounted this on my D700 everyone has raved detail and focus, color rendition and bokeh. If the $$$ of the 300 2.8VR is a little high, you won't go wrong with this jewel.
I was considering the Sigmas 50-500, 150-500 100-300F/4 and the 120-300F/2.8. The image quality on the 500mm was not as good as the Nikon with a TC, and the 100-300F/4 lost a fair amount of quality as it approached 300mm (between 100-200mm it was stellar) and the 120-300 2.8 was more expensive and prone to QC issues.
In retrospect, I made the right decision with the Nikon.


 
Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AF-S

70-300vr
Review Date: Mar 31, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Versatile zoom range, nice and light, great resolution and short end, more than acceptable at long end.
Cons:
f/5.6 requires high iso for action shots. A little soft at 300mm

A very useful walk around lens. Lots of fun for outdoor social events, weddings etc. Close it down to f/8 or 9 and IQ is very high. Will not take TC. nice combo with D700

 
Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF

1986NAS_180
Review Date: Mar 31, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: great color, contrast, bokeh. focuses very fast on my D700 pics have that "look"
Cons:
heavy for all day use.

I use this for birding (larger birds) and sports, and with ss at 1/1600s or faster, I don't miss VR. The screw drive focus mechanism works quickly and accurately on the D700. The 2.8 aperture lets me freeze the action and the baseball. Very good resolution wide open and, stopped down to f/4, excellent!