Nikon 300/2.8 AF-S II or Nikon 70-200/2.8 VR1 + 300/4 AF-S?

Joined
Mar 17, 2007
Messages
343
Location
Cupertino, California
I currently own a Nikon 70-200/2.8 VRI and its a great lens but recently I have been looking for something longer. I also picked up a Nikon 1.4E TC but I think its having a connection problem with the 70-200 because the autofocus keeps clicking and trying to adjust over and over again. I mainly shoot Motorsports specifically track days and Auto-X but I am hoping to attend an F1 event in November and I am wondering if the 300/4 AF-S will be fast enough. I would also like to shoot some indoor sports as well as outdoor sports so the 2.8 might be more beneficial. So the question is, keep the 70-200/2.8 VR1 and pick up a 300/4 AF-S or sell the 70-200/2.8 VR1 and pick up a 300/2.8 AF-S II (can't afford the VR versions). I really only have the funds for either of the situations but if I were to sell the 70-200/2.8 VR1 I would most likely pick up the VR2 version down the line to make up for it. Thanks for any help :biggrin:
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
2,476
Location
Lompoc, CA
I'm pretty sure the 300 f/4 will be fast enough. You'd have to be pretty sold on the 300mm focal length to dump the 70-200 for the a 300mm prime. But honestly I think your best be is figuring out what's wrong the the TC-14 (or getting one that works) because the 70-200 + TC-14 is a sweet combo on DX.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2008
Messages
2,847
Location
Middletown, NY
I love my II. Shoot thoroughbreds. Some on sports forum also shoot with the II. Absolutely gorgeous wide open. Careful, I put an AF-S motor in mine.

Mike
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
3,126
Location
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.
The 300 f/4 should be a great addition to your kit if you need to keep the 70-200 for f/2.8 indoors. I think going for broke with the 300/2.8 would be too restrictive since you have to give up all the other focal lengths! It's a great lens, though :smile:

Have you considered trading your 70-200 for the new 80-400? Probably too slow for indoor use, though.

Cheers

Mike
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
3,126
Location
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.
The 80-400 AF speed is extremely fast. At least as fast as the naked 300 f/4, and faster than the 300 f/4 + TC-14, I'd say... I can't detect much of a difference to my 70-200 VR II, either!

Here's a shot I captured the other day with the 80-400 wide open - the night heron was coming right at me, I had to react fast!

Cheers

Mike

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
2,967
Location
Sydney Australia
Interesting. The reason I ask is that I was thinking of getting the 300 2.8 but the more I think about it the more trouble I have dropping 7K on a lens that wont make money. So I was thinking of the F4 to be used with my 1.7 TC for a little extra reach but if I got the 80-400 I would loose 1/2 a stop (I think) wide open but gain some extra naked reach as well as zoom flexabily.

Both are much more affordable so Im not sure which way to swing.
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
3,126
Location
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.
Interesting. The reason I ask is that I was thinking of getting the 300 2.8 but the more I think about it the more trouble I have dropping 7K on a lens that wont make money. So I was thinking of the F4 to be used with my 1.7 TC for a little extra reach but if I got the 80-400 I would loose 1/2 a stop (I think) wide open but gain some extra naked reach as well as zoom flexabily.

Both are much more affordable so Im not sure which way to swing.
Well, the 300/2.8 still has the best IQ out of these, and gives you the most reach - you can use the TC-17e II for an excellent 500mm f/4.8, and even the TC-20e III works with it and still gets you good IQ at 600mm stopped down to f/8... But yeah, it's the most expensive and heaviest by far!

The 300 f/4 + TC-14 is your best budget option. The naked 300 f/4 is a bit better than the new 80-400 at 300mm... At 400mm, IQ is about the same as the new 80-400 and you get a bit more reach - but no zoom and no VR... That means you need a tripod for slower shutter speeds. The TC-17 works ok with the 300 f/4 but AF is a lot slower and not as accurate, and you need to stop down to f/8 because it's a bit soft at f/6.7.

The 80-400 VR AF-S is the best compromise right now, I believe. You can shoot handheld at slower speeds, you can zoom back if the action gets closer, and you can even use the TC-14 in very good light (but IQ will be worse than the 300 f/4 + TC-17 and needs to be stopped down to f/11).

If you don't mind a tripod in low light or switching lenses for shorter focal lengths, I'd say get the 300 f/4... Otherwise, the 80-400 would be my choice. I'm certainly thrilled with mine :smile:

Cheers

Mike
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
43,430
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
Interesting. The reason I ask is that I was thinking of getting the 300 2.8 but the more I think about it the more trouble I have dropping 7K on a lens that wont make money. So I was thinking of the F4 to be used with my 1.7 TC for a little extra reach but if I got the 80-400 I would loose 1/2 a stop (I think) wide open but gain some extra naked reach as well as zoom flexabily.

Both are much more affordable so Im not sure which way to swing.
forget about making money shooting sports w/ the 80-400 IMO
don't forget the BG-s, you gotta have at least 2.8, maybe f/4 on FX will do
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
43,430
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
Agreed I don't make money from this which is why the 2.8 is hard to justify
there is some money to be made shooting high school and club soccer, enough to pay for your gear anyway

every piece of gear I own was paid for by my company and I enjoy shooting sports so much I would have and used to, shoot it for free
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2007
Messages
343
Location
Cupertino, California
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
Thanks for all the replies. The new 80-400 is definitely something to think about but it is also twice the price of the 300/4. The 80-400 would give me VR, are the af-s speeds the same on both?
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
2,967
Location
Sydney Australia
there is some money to be made shooting high school and club soccer, enough to pay for your gear anyway
Im not so sure thats the case here in Australia but it could be worth looking into. Perhaps if I end up shelling out for the 2.8 I might just explore it.
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
43,430
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
Thanks for all the replies. The new 80-400 is definitely something to think about but it is also twice the price of the 300/4. The 80-400 would give me VR, are the af-s speeds the same on both?
at least as fast and probably faster, the 80-400 is a freak zoom for the price,
by that I mean it AF-s FAST like an exotic prime (300,400,500) and frankly it's IQ is better than it needed to be for 2700.....it may be as fast as the 70-200 v2. I was able to nail a tern in flight and everything other bird I have tried so far

everyone thinks 2700 is a lot of money and it is but with lenses everything is relative.......considering it compares well to the $6K 300vr (it's certainly not better but then the 300vr is not 2x better either) 2700 is a fair price, IMO and then there's the zoom part and the noticeably BEST VR from Nikon yet, also IMO
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2007
Messages
343
Location
Cupertino, California
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17
at least as fast and probably faster, the 80-400 is a freak zoom for the price,
by that I mean it AF-s FAST like an exotic prime (300,400,500) and frankly it's IQ is better than it needed to be for 2700.....it may be as fast as the 70-200 v2. I was able to nail a tern in flight and everything other bird I have tried so far

everyone thinks 2700 is a lot of money and it is but with lenses everything is relative.......considering it compares well to the $6K 300vr (it's certainly not better but then the 300vr is not 2x better either) 2700 is a fair price, IMO and then there's the zoom part and the noticeably BEST VR from Nikon yet, also IMO
Thanks Randy for all the imput. For the shooting that I do, I may just sell the 70-200 to afford the 80-400.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
97
Location
Romania
@naknak:

I have the 300 f4 and had the chance to spend an afternoon with the new 80-400VR.

My impression is that, at 2500-2700 it seems to go around, the 80-400 AF-S is great value for money.

The 80-400 AF-S matches and perhaps exceedes the 300f4 when it comes to image quality wide open at both the 300 and 400mm focal lengths.

The AF-S is on par with the 300 f4 in good light and seems to be less twitchy when the light goes down.

The VR actually allows me to be more sloppy with the 80-400 than the 300f4 (to get maximum sharpness from the 300 I need at least 1/800 s and more often 1/1000s, while the VR seems to work down to about 1/320).

Where the 300 f4 gets an upper hand over the 80-400VR is bokeh quality. I found that the 80-400 has a more nervous bokeh, with an obvious pattern. But this is an issue if you shoot birds on branches, I doubt it will be an issue if you shoot players in the field.

If you shoot sports in good light, then the zoom will also come in handy (last sport I shot was a rugby match from the sidelines using only an 180 f2.8...not the best choice for a lens...missed a lot of very close and very far action. A 300 f4/f2.8 would have limited me to mid-filed and far end shots)
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2007
Messages
343
Location
Cupertino, California
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
@naknak:

I have the 300 f4 and had the chance to spend an afternoon with the new 80-400VR.

My impression is that, at 2500-2700 it seems to go around, the 80-400 AF-S is great value for money.

The 80-400 AF-S matches and perhaps exceedes the 300f4 when it comes to image quality wide open at both the 300 and 400mm focal lengths.

The AF-S is on par with the 300 f4 in good light and seems to be less twitchy when the light goes down.

The VR actually allows me to be more sloppy with the 80-400 than the 300f4 (to get maximum sharpness from the 300 I need at least 1/800 s and more often 1/1000s, while the VR seems to work down to about 1/320).

Where the 300 f4 gets an upper hand over the 80-400VR is bokeh quality. I found that the 80-400 has a more nervous bokeh, with an obvious pattern. But this is an issue if you shoot birds on branches, I doubt it will be an issue if you shoot players in the field.

If you shoot sports in good light, then the zoom will also come in handy (last sport I shot was a rugby match from the sidelines using only an 180 f2.8...not the best choice for a lens...missed a lot of very close and very far action. A 300 f4/f2.8 would have limited me to mid-filed and far end shots)
Thank you for the feeback. Definitely something to consider :biggrin:
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom