Can't decide between these lenses

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I'm wanting to get a long lens and can't decide which one to get, a 300 f2.8 or a 200-400 vr f4.
I want to use it for sports like off shore power boats, sailing, motor sports, some ball sports like the grandson playing soccer, etc.
 
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Get the 400 2.8, best lens on earth! That's the one I am saving for... Oh yeah, that not one of the choices lol

Yeah thought about that one but can't justify the price for the amount of times i would use it.
We are lucky here at the moment with the Aust Dollar at $1.05 to the US Dollar so it makes buying things like this much cheaper
 
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Carstairs, Canada
Seems that your subjects will mostly be in bright light - sunny sports. So I'd go for the 200-400 F4. The zoom will come in handy, and the 1 stop difference won't matter too much. Or dial up the ISO 1 notch. The 300 may need some getting close, or moving farther away. As far as the 400 goes - that's the one I am missing, so please stay away from the one I am looking for............. (big smiley face !@!!)
 
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i actually dislike 300/2.8 glass. i find that for sport where the 300 is good, the 400/2.8 is substantially better. if you can spring for a new 300/2.8, then save up a little more and go the 400 is my advice.

i don't know how well the 200-400/4 copes with teleconverters, but i use them with abandon on my 400/2.8 AF-SII (not a VR job).

get the zoom if, and only if, you know you won't be NEEDING that f2.8,
 
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Centerville, Ohio
With production of the highend exotic lenses possibly delayed by a year or more due to the disaster in Japan you might have to choose whatever is still available and sooner the better. A lot of the bigger lenses are not in stock right now - 400, 500, & 600 - but the 300 F2.8 and the 200-400 do seem to be in stock right now, or at least the last time I looked. However, the teleconverters seem to be out of stock now.
 
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Have been very happy with the 200-400 VR for shooting soccer. The 1.4 TC is fine though you may have issues in fading late day light. Have used it quite a bit for wildlife as well.

I like having the zoom compared to a fixed length - more flexibilty IMO though that's often a personal preference.

Good long glass is not always easy to get. Got my 200-400 used at B&H - it literally walked in the door earlier that day. Had been looking for a new one for a month and a half. Waited a long time to get a 500 VR new.

With the problems in Japan, the supply of new high end lenses may be tight and getting tighter.
 
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Mar 1, 2009
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Nutley, New Jersey
Had the 300 and LOVED it but as one poster said the 400 is most likely better (given you have proper support)

The 300 is can be handheld for short periods of time - the 400 cannot.

When I owned the 300VR I used the 1.4TC 90% of the time wishing I had the 400 2.8

Now with that said - before anyone goes crazy - I find the 300VR to be a better outdoor portrait lens than the 200 f/2 - yea I said it - the bgs are creamier and more of the face is in focus (given you have the working distance). I just prefer the rendering the of the 300VR more...

SO back to the OP's intended uses...It sounds like the 300VR is a good choice. I know most people take theirs on their boats/kayaks/and can handhold them. Or if on the shore a simple monopod suits them well. The 400 is a job to lug around and mount and etc...

I would go with the 400 because if you are shooting from the shore line you can never get close enough add a 1.4/1.7 TC and on the D3s you can shoot in any light

I still would go with the 400 if I was yo
 
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Los Angeles, USA
Have you considered the 300 f/4 AFS? I'd give that lens a try before dumping several grand in a big lens. Try renting one. First you can see if you like the 300 focal length. Second you can see if f/4 is fast enough for you. If the 300 is too short or the f/4 doesn't give you enough light, you can then decide whether the 300 VR or 200-400 VR is the lens for you. If the 300 f/4 is perfect, I just saved you about 3-4 grand in cash!
 
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2nd on the 300 f/4 AF-s

If you are itching to fork up the money for the 300 f/2.8 or the 200-400, then I'd take the 200-400 for its versatility, otherwise the 300 f/4 AF-s is an amazing lens for the dough. It takes a TC 1.4 really well also, don't have the TC 1.7, so I can't comment on that combo. The only downside to the 300 f/4 plus a TC is with field sports, the backgrounds don't blur much when starting at f/5.6. But... otherwise it is a very nice lens, and very portable

Have you considered the 300 f/4 AFS? I'd give that lens a try before dumping several grand in a big lens. Try renting one. First you can see if you like the 300 focal length. Second you can see if f/4 is fast enough for you. If the 300 is too short or the f/4 doesn't give you enough light, you can then decide whether the 300 VR or 200-400 VR is the lens for you. If the 300 f/4 is perfect, I just saved you about 3-4 grand in cash!
 
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i used a 300/4 for a fair while back when i worked for a newspaper group.

nice lens. about the same heft as an 80-200/2.8.

i think i'd take a 300/4 over a 300/2.8. but again, i already have my long, fast glass sorted out.
 
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The 400 f2.8 is not an option and i haven't looked at the 300 f4, last year i shot the off shore power boats with my mates 400 f2.8 with a 2x tc (old version) on the d300 so effectively it was at 1200 on a mono pod and the images were less than flattering but the class 1 boats i could fill the frame at that distance, so i am thinking the 200-400 on the d300 for the reach and maybe a 1.4 tc.
The only problem is getting either of the lenses before July.

Johnathon renting a lens here in Nth Queensland is a problem maybe down in Sydney or Melbourne
 
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Alan, if mainly shooting during the day at objects in the distance I'd go with 200-400 F/4, you can always bolt a 2x tc on it and still not be too fussed about DOF issues.
 
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Johnathon renting a lens here in Nth Queensland is a problem maybe down in Sydney or Melbourne

are you an NPS member? (looking at your gear, you should meet the gear requirements)

NPS might be able to loan you a 600/4 for a weekend if you book it in (and pay for the shipping and take full financial responsibility if it gets trashed).
 
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well, i'll PM you another option for a company i know that does rentals.

i doubt it's gonna be cheap though.
 
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i'm so glad i first joined NPS as a cadet many moons ago.

at the time, i actually "applied" while sinking copious amounts of beer at the annual Nikon Awards and chatting with then NPS rep Jan Hott (RIP).

never had any kind of issue with them since...... they've just taken fabulous care of me when i've needed it.

i wouldn't think it'd be THAT hard to blag membership if you hit the gear requirements. you'd need an ABN or something though and just call yourself a freelancer just starting out.
 
Joined
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Bummer now that i have decided i want a 200-400 Roberts have a 300 f2.8 available but don't know when they will be able to get a 200-400, i really don't know what to do.
 

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