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Nikon 300mm f/2.8 VR vs. Nikon 200-400mm f/4 VR

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by bravocharlie, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. I have a gap between my 70-200VR lens and my 500mm f/4 AF-S II lens.

    I am considering the 300mm f/2.8 VR and the 200-400 f/4 VR.

    Here is my rationale for leaning toward the 300mm lens.

    f/2.8 vs. f/4
    6.3 lbs. vs. 7.2
    with a 1.4x teleconverter, I'll have 420mm @ f/4
    the D2x crop mode will give me a little flexibility considering the 300mm is a fixed focal length vs. the 200-400 range.
    at 7.2 lbs., the 200-400 is just too much of a beast (same size as 500mm) to hand hold.

    Do I have this right? What do you think?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Sounds like you've got it just about right. Plus isn't the 300 f/2.8 VR about $500 less?
  3. No actually, they're about the same price. The price doesn't really matter, I just want to make sure I get it right.
  4. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    You left out an important equation

    the 200-400 will go from 200 to 550mm with a TC 1,4. That's what I use. Can't do that with a 300 f2.8.
  5. Re: You left out an important equation

    But I already have a 500mm that goes to 700mm with the 1.4x
  6. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Re: You left out an important equation

    BUT, your 500 or your proposed 300 won't go to 200 with a twist of the barrel! ;)  Sometimes you are just too close!
  7. Re: You left out an important equation

    Good point but I've already got 200 covered with the 70-200mm
  8. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Re: You left out an important equation

    I should have added: without changing lenses! :) 
  9. Your exactly right

    I have to agree with you that is the way to go....also I think Ron Reznick felt the same way....


    plus the money you save you can get the TC-1.7 to extend your 500mm.

    I also believe it's all about the light. I just upgraded from the 300 4 (Which is still a great lens) to the new 300VR and that extra stop sometimes makes all the difference.


    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  10. Now Geno, you're going to get me to spend money again. I've got the 300 f/4, but have been eyeing the 300 f/2.8VR. It just a bit too expensive to justify.
  11. 300/4 to VR300 2.8

    I was in the same boat.....I have been using the 300 4 for almost two years and have always wanted the 300 2.8, however I couldn't justify spending the money knowing there was a VR version on the horizon. Then the VR came out and I tried getting a used 300 2.8 at a steal on eBay, however I wasn't happy when the lens came. Finally I broke down and just went for it. Now I am trying to sell my 300 4....which for all intensive purposes is still a great lens, however I don't see myself using it that much. Now I see them going for $700 and think to myself that it is still like new. I might just keep it and through it in my PJ bag......But then again the VR300 just rocks and I constantly look for ways of using it.

    Here are two more to help hurt your wallet. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:


    Nikon D2h ,Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR
    1/4000s f/3.2 at 300.0mm iso200
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Nikon D2h ,Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR
    1/8000s f/3.2 at 300.0mm iso200
    View attachment 7921
  12. Also a little house finch for you birders taken with the TC-1.7E

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  13. Damn! That is nice.

    I love VR and miss it on the 300 f/4 (so much so that I frequently add the TC14 to the 70-200 VR). I don't really like the TC17 on the 70-200 (and only gets me to 340), but it works pretty good on the 300 f/4, but f/6.7 makes it difficult for the subject to pop. All this is leading me to the 300 f/2.8 VR. On the down side, I shoot documentary stay and carry my gear several miles in a given day and the added weight could cause me to leave it behind. Additionally, I don't super-tele photographs that often. I'm only an occasional widelife photographer (and I'm really bad at it). So, I'm still on the fence, but your excellent photographs make it really tempting.

    I think I'm going to rent one for my trip to Alaska this summer and If I fall in love with it and then make a final decision. Thanks
  14. salva

    salva Guest

    Hello! I will choose a AF 200/2 VR. With D2X an some TC you will "cover" better IMO the "gap". Without to step in your 500/4 range.

    D2X + 200mm f2
    x1.5 DX 300mm f2
    TC-1.4 E II 420mm f2.8
    TC-1.7 E II 510mm f3.4
    TC-2.0 E II 600mm f4

    D2X + 300mm f2.8
    x1.5 DX 450mm f2.8
    TC-1.7 E II 630mm f4
    TC-2.0 E II 765mm f4.8
    TC-2.0 E II 900mm f5.6

    TC-14, TC-17 even TC-20 are performing very good with the new 200/2.
  15. I was leaning towards the 200 2 also, however I really needed the extra length. Now that I have the 300VR, I really wish I also had the 200 2 at times, but then it would be silly having the over-lap of the 70-200VR. In time I may get the 200 2, but now it's time to start saving for the 500 4VR.....when ever that arrives.

  16. I guess I'm still leaning toward the 300mm lens. I've given quite a bit of thought to having the flexiblity of the zoom range from 200-400 in the field. The reality is that I usually have the 500mm on w/ a 1.4x teleconverter and never have a need for a shorter focal length.

    Having said that, the 200-400 would fill the gap perfectly. It's the size and f/4 that concerns me. Someone said its all about the light and that's true.

    Any other thoughts?
  17. I think your better off with the 300 VR. The 200-400 is the same size as the 500 and your still at f4. The 300 would give you the option of shooting in lower light and it is smaller. It's much more manageable than the 200-400. Plus if your already carrying the TC-1.4E you can be at 420 f4. I also think the 300/500 are a better duo. If you had a 600 4 then the 200-400 makes perfect sense.

    You should also read this:




    As you know I went with the 300 2.8VR and I am holding out for a 500 4VR someday in the future. Until then the 300 plus the TC-1.7 is a perfect match. I also don't really like the TC-1.7 on the 200 2, but it really isn't what the 200 2 is all about anyway. I did here the TC 1.7 does look good on the 500 also.


    PS: I just noticed your using a D2X which also lens me to go with the 300 2.8. You can easily crop the 300 if you need to get to 400 2.8.
  18. Wow...I never expected a response so quick like this. I hope your very happy.

    As far as the plate I got the ReallyRightStuff Replacement foot. It is a little larger than the original as far as length goes and makes it easier to balance on a wimberly Sidekick....plus it also feels much easier to carry.


    Actually you can put a regular plate on it, but the replacement is much lighter and makes it easier to get the lens back in the bag also.

    It is an actual must on the 200 2VR because the foot slides into the hood when the hood is replaced. The 300 the foot goes outside the hood, but still is much nicer.


    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Not the best photo but you get the idea.
  19. I ordered a replacement foot from Kirk.

    I've been thinking about this for weeks and read the two Reznick threads on DPReview you included in your prior post... thanks for that.

    I am sure I made the right decision for many of the same reasons that RR stated.

    Thanks for the help.
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