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Nikon 300mm f/2.8G IF-ED AF-S VR

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Reviews Views Date of last review
10 62150 Nov 28, 2020
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $4,120.00
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VR operation offers the equivalent of using a shutter speed 3 stops (eight times) faster
Two VR modes are available; Normal and Active
ED glass elements for a lower refractive index and reduced dispersion
Nano Crystal Coat deposited lenses ensure fine, clear images under any shooting conditions
SWM (Silent Wave Motor) for quiet high-speed autofocus
M/A mode for quick switching between autofocus and manual focus operation
Meniscus protective lens for reducing ghost reglection
Dust and Waterproof rubber sealing mount
Exceptionally high optical performance with both 35mm and digital SLR models
Lens construction: 11 elements in 8 groups (3 ED glass and 2 Nano Crystal Coat deposited lens elements), as well as 1 meniscus protective lens.


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Registered: Oct 5, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 349
Review Date: Nov 28, 2020 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Insanely sharp, good VR, beautiful rendering.
Big and Heavy [I know, but it is.]

I bought mine from my wedding shooter buddy, because he 'had' to sell it, made me an offer I couldn't refuse, and of course he still gets to borrow it back Smile

Even VR-I works pretty well.
Snappy, accurate focusing (D750 and D850) even in low stage lighting.

You know how some lenses just have the magic? This is one of those.
The images this thing turns out are simply amazing.

Nov 28, 2020
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Registered: Jul 7, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 291
Review Date: Feb 28, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Incredibly sharp with build quality, ergonomics and AF being second to none. Love the way the Nikon VR is turned on/off with short throw ring versus a slide button that on the side of the barrel for Canon.
Image stabilization that Nikon calls VRI is not as effective as Canon's 300mm f2.8 IS version.

Shot with Canon for years before coming over to Nikon and this 300mm f2.8 VR1 is as sharp as Canon's counterpart as well as the AF. Could not be happier with this incredible piece of glass. 1.4x TC II extender provides excellent 420mm f4 magnification bump with no IQ loss. I will admit the IS on the Canon 300mm is more effective at low shutter speeds. I think that was addressed though with Nikon's VII bringing it up to par. Image & build quality seem to be identical with both so no worries. The semi-soft travel case that comes with the Nikon is much better and more functional than the hard case the Canon IS version ships with.

Feb 28, 2016
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Lance B
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Registered: Apr 25, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 5390
Review Date: Nov 26, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Stunning overall IQ in all aspects. Fast and accurate AF. All the latest TC's work brilliantly with it. Easy to hanhold for a lens of this class.
Tripod foot could be better.

Stunning lens and the most versatile super tele of the bunch, IMO. Wonderful colour rendition, sharpness, contrast and superb bokeh. Used bare the IQ is nothing short of brilliant.

Add a 1.4x TCII and you have a brilliant 420mm f4 which you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between it and the 300 bare. Add either the 1.7x TCII for a 510mm f5 or the 2x TCIII for a 600mm f5.6 and the IQ is still excellent, especially at the closer focus distances. With the TC's this makes for a very convenient super tele kit when you don't want to, or can't take longer focal lengths with you. I also have the 500 f4 VR and many a time I just do not bother with the 500 f4 and kust take the 300 + TC's.

The beauty of using TC's is that you get both the benefit of focal length of the added TC, but also with the benefit of the minimum focal lenght of the 300mm f2.8 VRII at 2.2mts. Essentially, a 420mm f4 with 1.4x TCII, 510mm f5 with 1.7x TCII and 600mm f5.6 with 2x TCIII all with a minimum focus distance of 2.2mts! Brilliant.

For birds in flight or sports action, the AF speed is super fast and most importantly, accurate. VR works brilliantly allowing easy 3 stops and sometimes 4 stops of extra handholdability on low light.

It's amazing how versatile this lens is and combined with the awesome IQ and relatively easy handholdability, it makes for a great tele lens. Highly recommended!

Nov 26, 2012
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dj dunzie
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Registered: Aug 14, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 7044
Review Date: Aug 8, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ in a word... STUNNING AF performance Build Quality
Okay, it isn't cheap... is anything good?

I'll keep it simple. The image quality this lens produces is nothing short of brilliant in every respect. Images have an unbelievable level of sharpness, contrast, and color punch right from f2.8. The bokkeh this lens produces might be the highlight of its IQ, absolutely erasing background elements that would distract from your subject in some of the smoothest creamiest OOF you'd ever believe.

AF performance is lightning quick and locks on hard for tracking in a sports environment. Matched with a pro body, it really doesn't get better than this.

The lens is heavy for anyone who's never handled a serious long tele f2.8 prime, but it is hand-holdable if you have decent strength. Best results will obviously come on a mono or tri-pod. The VR system works well, although admittedly I spend most of my time with enough shutter speed to freeze action and the VR isn't a primary concern of mine.

If you have never experienced the IQ from a 200/300/400/500/600 Nikkor pro prime, you really haven't experienced the "wow" factor these lenses deliver, and I'd venture the 300 is as good as it gets.

The lens also delivers stunning f4.0 images with a Nikon TC-14E2 teleconverter, and AF performance is still blazing quick.

It isn't cheap, but if you count on your lens to get you the shot, there isn't one that delivers any better than this.

Aug 8, 2010
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Registered: Oct 26, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 878
Review Date: Nov 22, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, lighting AF, handles TC's very well.
A bit pricey in Oz. Lens foot is next to useless.

Bought this secondhand in great nick for a bargain price and couldn't be happier with my purchase.

IQ is just superb and there's really not much difference in centre sharpness between f2.8-5.6, though the corners do improve noticeably as you stop down. I use this lens with the 1.7 quite a bit and while sharpness is reduced it is still very good and easily useable wide open though I tend to use it at f5.6-6.3 (I used to own the Tamron 200-500 and the 300VR + 1.7 TC blows it out of the water @ 500mm). Oh, and the bokeh rocks on this lens as well and is great for protraits :D

AF is very quick and makes the 70-200 look slow in comparison. With the 1.7 TC it still does a stellar job (BIF's are no worries) though obviously a bit slower than the naked lens.

VR works very well and I use it a lot with the 1.7TC even at higher shutter speeds for easier framing/composition of images.

Handholding is possible but only in short bursts with VR on to steady camera shake. I use mine mostly on a tripod or monopod with a Wimberley SK and it works very well.

Also bought the Kirk lens foot for mine and is so much better than the woeful Nikon one and also provides better balance on the Wimberley SK.

I use mine on a D300 which does a good job but I still think it limits the allround capabilities of this lens, so I can only imagine how it performs on a D3s/D3x.

Conclusion - if you can afford one, get it!!! Also with the 1.7TC it becomes a very nice 500 f5


Nov 22, 2009
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Len Shepherd
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Registered: Jun 15, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 253
Review Date: Aug 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Adding to previous comments (it is an excellent lens) one improvement over shorter focal length VR lenses (except the 200 f2) is the VR on off switch is a huge twist grip ring near the back of the lens, easily switched on or off wearing thick gloves - a major improvement on the small recessed slider switch on most VR lenses. In the UK it is about 7.5% cheaper than the Canon.
The tripod foot is unsuitable for twin screw long plates.

Excellent lenses.

Aug 19, 2009
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Registered: Feb 9, 2008
Location: Finland
Posts: 233
Review Date: Apr 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very quick AF, extremely sharp, very good VR
Heavy, expensive

Got mine second hand earlier this year. I'm using this lens mostly to photograph wildlife with D300 and on monopod. The VR allows to use even 1/50 hand held with good success rate. Anyway I'm mostly using 1/100 or faster and VR on.

The lens is very, very sharp and I prefer to use it mostly without a TC. Adding TC 1,7 means slight drop in sharpness, but that can be easily handled by turning the aperature (F8-F11) and/or in Lightroom.

Highly recommended!

Here's some recent wildlife photograps taken with D300 and this lens (lens and lens+TC1,7).

Apr 25, 2009
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D.K. Owens
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Registered: May 6, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 18
Review Date: Apr 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent build, AF-Speed is blazing. Nails every shot on the D3.

A workhorse lens! I use this for NBA shooting and it nails 99% of the shots. Image quality is awesome. During a NJ Nets and LA Lakers game, mounted on the D3, I captured shots from everywhere on the court. ISO values never exceeded 1600 on the camera, although set to max out at 3200.

To my surprise, this lens shines in indoor sports arenas. Color and contrast are exceptional. At the same time the aperture can go as high as f/6.3 without any loss of speed and no visible grain (noise) shooting a pro game.

Apr 15, 2009
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Registered: Oct 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 39917
Review Date: Oct 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, fast, gorgeous bokeh
Wish I'd bought it sooner. :)

One word...Awesome. Wide open goodness, 3D on a D3. Takes the 1.4/1.7
quite well with little loss of AF speed. Consider the RRS replacement foot,
makes a great handle. Handholdable especially with BushHawk. VR is
superb, static shots at 1/60th with TC commonplace with good technique.
I come from the 300 f2.8 IS/1DmkII school of BIF...I'm blown away. The
2nd best lens I've shot since turning to the dark side. #1's the 200 f2 VR
but not by much. It's a little more than the Canon version, the 200 f2 VR was
quite a bit less. I'd never hold price over IQ and this suckers got that in spades. Smile

Oct 5, 2008
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General Tso
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Registered: Apr 30, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 87
Review Date: May 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image Quality, Sharpness at f/2.8, VR-II, programmable AF buttons and tripod autodetection
Priced higher than Canon's 300mm F2.8L, weight, size.

This is THE motorsports lens to use, hands down no debate about it. The build quality is what you would expect from a $4000 lens and optics is not compromised one bit. The lens is so tack sharp even at f/2.8 and the VR-II is very helpful considering the heavy weight of this lens.

It comes with a carbon fibre hood and overall, the lens is quite hand holdable unfortunately you will most likely need a good manfrotto pan head and tripod to get the best out of this lens.

When mounted on a D300, the viewfinder is BRIGHT and you will notice how well it performs with a D300. No doubt that this lens is probably one of Nikon's finest if not the finest 300mm lens ever produced and even surpassing the Canon's F2.8L. If you don't believe the hype, take a look at some of the sample images here:

The price is the only negative about this lens considering it is priced higher than the Canon's F2.8L. Why I do not see more Nikon in the sports field makes me believe Canon still has a "brand" loyal following - perhaps more so along the lines of sports shooter getting major incentives to shoot Canon at sporting events. I have no doubt that if you are a Canon shooter, having tried out this 300mm, you will not hesistate to come over to the "N" side.

Pictures speak for themselves, so look at the link above and judge for yourself. This lens is money but just like a ferarri, when you pay that much, you expect performance and the 300mm F2.8 VR delivers it.

May 21, 2008
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Nikon 300mm f/2.8G IF-ED AF-S VR

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
10 62150 Nov 28, 2020
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $4,120.00
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating