N1 70-300 or AF-S 80-400?

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Jan 17, 2010
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Have just taken delivery of a N1/V3 kit (camera, 10-30VR, Grip + 'free' 10/2.8)

Spent yesterday afternoon familiarising myself with it, and testing my trusted AF-S 80-400.

Leaving aside for a moment the difference in focal length, is the newish (currently unobtainable in the UK) 70-300 likely to handle better than the 80-400 on the 1/V3, and/or yield even better images?

Your thoughts on this would be appreciated. Many thanks.

Peter
 
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I've not yet handled the new 1Nikkor 70-300 but I have the AF-S 80-400VR and tried it once on my V1. I didn't like it as the range was too great to get some decent shots while shooting handheld as I have a slight to sometimes serious tremble in my hands. I've had much better luck with the AF-S 70-200VR/2.8 together with the V1 mainly because of the lesser range. Putting a TC on the lens didn't really help the stability in my hands. However, on a decent tripod I can recommend either lens of the big zoom lenses. Even the AF-S 70-300VR works like a charm.

Back to the 1Nikkor 70-300: I guess that the weight distribution will be a better fit for handheld use of the lens. But, although very tempting, I will probably not put any money into my Nikon 1 system for the near future. I now have the V1, 10-30 and 18.5 and they make up a nice and compact set. Maybe I will get the 30-110 for some more reach but that is a cheap lens compared to the new 70-300.
 
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Have just taken delivery of a N1/V3 kit (camera, 10-30VR, Grip + 'free' 10/2.8
Leaving aside for a moment the difference in focal length, is the newish (currently unobtainable in the UK) 70-300 likely to handle better than the 80-400 on the 1/V3, and/or yield even better images?
Your thoughts on this would be appreciated. Many thanks.
Peter
Peter, I have both lenses, the new 80-400 version, and the Nikon 1 70-300. The 80-400 is exceptional on my D800E. I don't have the adapter yet, as it's backordered, so I can't try standard lenses on the V3. The 70-300 is very good. I only wish it had a tripod collar & mount. It has a single mount (backordered), but it won't rotate. At the equilavent of 810mm at 300mm, it's seriously asking a lot of VR to handhold it. That said, I've had some good luck shooting close subjects at 300mm, but distant subjects aren't so good. If I mounted the camera on a tripod, I'm sure it would be sharp, but I don't like hanging that much weight of a lens (even though it isn't that much) off a lens mount of a camera.
 
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The Nikon 1 V3 on the Nikon 1 70-300mm lens is a much lighter package and wonderful to hand hold. I also use it and the Nikon 80-400 VR on a tripod. I Stacked up some parts and made a tripod Acra-Swiss type lens mount for the Nikon 1 70-300mm lens. The Nikon F-mount 70-300mm VR also works well with the FT1 adapter.

Nikon 1 70-300mm lens.
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Nikon 80-400mm VR lens
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Nikon 1 V3 with Nikon 1 70-300 mm lens on a tripod.

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Most interesting (and helpful) replies - thanks guys.

Been following your innovative means of mounting the 70-300, Jerry, and was about to launch into doing similar when my dealer (here in the UK) advised me that the Nikon device is available, so I grabbed one whilst they were available, in readiness of taking delivery of the said lens - "about two weeks" [sic] if you can believe what dealers tell you, but for sure I'm having one from the next consignment.

More and more I am liking this 1/V3...
 
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I just picked up a 70-300, and forgot to ask about the tripod mound. In my case I can "cheat" and instead of using this on my Jobu Jr., I could use the Acratech GV-2 instead. The beauty of this ball head is that when you go vertical, the ball rests at an exact 90 degrees, so it can function as gimbal. Just for grins I mounted my 400 f2.8, can't remember which body, on this as a test. Too much weight for real use of course, but with the light weight of the V3/70-300 combo, this may be my solution. I have also sent an email to Kirk Enterprises to see if they have any plans to make a rotating collar. I have the one they make for the new 80-400, it actually helps.
 
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I e-mailed Kirk and Really Right Stuff, neither said they had plans to make a rotating collar.
 
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CHARLOTTE
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Randy
from the images i have seen the native 70-300 blows away the adaptered 80-400
in fact i have yet to see any great images from the Nikon 1 using dslr lenses which is why i am staying clear for now, i don't want to duplicate glass
 
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from the images i have seen the native 70-300 blows away the adaptered 80-400
in fact i have yet to see any great images from the Nikon 1 using dslr lenses which is why i am staying clear for now, i don't want to duplicate glass
Randy, I felt the same way, but the 70-300 is much smaller and lighter than any other of my FX lenses. My FT-1, which was part of the deal when I bought the V3, has now come into the dealer, but said dealer is 190 miles away, so until I need to go to town for other reasons, it will be waiting there for me. The 70-300 is a very good lens; I've been impressed with mine.
 
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CHARLOTTE
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Randy, I felt the same way, but the 70-300 is much smaller and lighter than any other of my FX lenses. My FT-1, which was part of the deal when I bought the V3, has now come into the dealer, but said dealer is 190 miles away, so until I need to go to town for other reasons, it will be waiting there for me. The 70-300 is a very good lens; I've been impressed with mine.

i have seen some impressive images from the Nikon 1 70-300, IMO better than the 70-300vr (but I don't use my 70-300vr anyway since the 80-400 blows it away) so this is, for me anyway, a size thing......
My original plan was to get a Nikon 1 and use it almost like a TC going from 1.5x to 2.6?
Anyway I'll wait until I'm too hold to carry the heavy guns and until the Nikon 1 or whatever small body/lens can do sports, wildlife and DOF.....
 
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Actually the crop rate is 2.7 X what would be in a FX lens. Yes, the new 80-400 is excellent! I bought one to reduce my weight for a trip to Antarctica (othewise I'd have taken my 200-400 f4) I bought the V3 on a whim, also thinking of the Antarctic trip. I'll be on the staff of a small cruise ship, and my job is to help people with their photography on the trip (there are 4 photographers on staff, the other 3 use Canon's, and have PC's while I use Nikons and Mac's, which is one of the reasons why they chose me).

The V3 has impressive AF, and with a frame rate of 20fps it will do things a DSLR can't . My 16 bit tiffs from this little camera come out at 108MB +- depending on subjects.
 
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My wife took my V3 onto our front porch with the 70-300 yesterday. There were some goldeneye ducklings on the lake in front of our house. The light was bad (it was raining). She zoomed to 300mm (810mm effective) and simply pointed and shot. Here's a very small crop from one of her pictures.
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"..from the images i have seen the native 70-300 blows away the adaptered 80-400
..................."
Randy, in as many words, though not verbatim, that is what Nikon UK (Technical) told me.
 

JPS

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I had bought the FX 70-300 VR purposely to use on my Nikon V1, and in fact, have seldom used it, mostly because of it's size, slowish AF, and, frankly, a bit of lack of sharpness....

As soon as the 70-300 CX has been svailable, I got one and now I'm really blown away by it's sharpness wide open, at all F-lengths !

....and the way this lens balances on the little Nikon 1 is just perfect IMO ! Just imagine shooting HANDHELD at 810mm with an FX combo !?!

Nikon 1 V1 + Nikkor 1 VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 - Handheld (Exif datas embedded)
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;)
J-P.
 
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I just received my 70-300 but have not had a chance to use it much yet. The one "drawback" is that you really need to fill that focus reticle to make your life easier. Trying to keep flying birds in focus, that are relatively small, at 150 yards is difficult at best. Using the Ft-1, 400 f2.8 and TC-17 or TC-14, this is much easier. Then again, the subject is "larger" at the longer range, no surprise there. I took a few quick shots of a moving train at a about the same distance, HUGE difference when you can lock that puppy on with a decent size subject. Simply amazing to me what you can do handheld at that focal length. So I think that both have their place, certainly for me.

As to the rotating collar, I have gotten the same response. I wonder if this is because there is no "vertical" grip? The way I plan to solve this for my V3 use, is not to use it on "true" gimbal, such as my Jobu Jr., but to use my Acratech GV2, which also works much like a gimbal when "flopped". It is the only ball head I know that does a true 90 degree flop.
 
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I had bought the FX 70-300 VR purposely to use on my Nikon V1, and in fact, have seldom used it, mostly because of it's size, slowish AF, and, frankly, a bit of lack of sharpness....

As soon as the 70-300 CX has been svailable, I got one and now I'm really blown away by it's sharpness wide open, at all F-lengths !

....and the way this lens balances on the little Nikon 1 is just perfect IMO ! Just imagine shooting HANDHELD at 810mm with an FX combo !?!
These are impressive.
 
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