Question 300 f/4

Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
760
Location
North Carolina
I'm about to order a macro lens -- I had decided to get the sigma 150 2.8 but after reading and viewing this site I'm wondering if I should not just get the nikon 300 f/4. I'm new to this and I'm concerned that the 300 is not a macro lens but it seems to do great with macro shots. Do you need a true macro? Please excuse my lack of knowledge but the 300 f/4 is a lot of money. I also want to do some birding shots and I already have a 1.4x TC. Can I "excuse the pun" kill 2 birds with one lens? Thanks for helping out a newbe.
 
Joined
May 17, 2005
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Location
Pleasantville Ohio
The answer to your question depends significantly on exactly what you plan to use it for -- both now and in the future. I have no experience with the Sigma 150, so I can't comment on its optical quality. That being said, the big difference between the two lenses is working distance. If your subjects are stationary, it probably doesn't matter all that much. On the other hand, if you want to do butterflies, dragonflies, etc., the extra working distance of the 300mm (with or without a TC or extension tubes) comes in handy. The 300/4 is also a good starting point for birds. These do come up for sale from time to time -- usually at ~80-85 percent of the price new. [Reason for sale is usually for upgrade to 300/2.8 VR or other high end telephoto lens -- never heard anyone say the 300/4 was not an outstanding lens.]
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
475
Location
Winnipeg, Canada
I agree with Bob, I use my 300 and 80-200 with tc and or tubes as I don't have a macro and find it fine for most things. It is not flat field and if you don't have working space it can be a problem. I do much bird and sports to I go for the longer lengths.
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
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Vienna, Virginia (Washington DC Suburbs), USA
Not knowing what else you have in your bag(s), it is hard to say. Certainly the 300/tubes gives you great working distance and super sharpness for large insects and flowers, but for small things... The 150 is a superb macro lens and is very highly regarded here and elsewhere. But it will not make a great birding lens... So perhaps there is your answer! If your focus (pun allowed!) is versatility, then the 300/4 would be your better choice.
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
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CHARLOTTE
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Randy
i have them both and was going to sell the 150 so I tried the 300/4 + TC yesterday (I used to shoot it for macros before I got the 150) and I prefer the 150's 15' min focus over the reach of the 300
But if you need a bird lens the 300/4 would save you money in the long run....if you want a specialized macro lens get the 150, it is superb and imo the best lens sigma makes
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
760
Location
North Carolina
Thanks everyone -- sounds like a true solution is to have a dedicated macro lens and the 300 f/4. I've ordered the 300 f/4 and it should be here Tuesday. I'll probably get the sigma or the nikon 105 as soon as I can afford it. Thanks.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2005
Messages
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Location
Helsinki, Finland
Thanks everyone -- sounds like a true solution is to have a dedicated macro lens and the 300 f/4. I've ordered the 300 f/4 and it should be here Tuesday. I'll probably get the sigma or the nikon 105 as soon as I can afford it. Thanks.

Hey, congrats for the 300mm. You´ll love it!

That´s sounds an excellent plan to get a dedicated macro lens later. And maybe you don´t even need one, who knows, the 300mm is that brilliant and gets close enough in most cases for me.

I have also the Sigma 150 and it´s an excellent lens too, I just don´t use it that often as I don´t really shoot 1:1 that much and I prefer the working distance of 300mm + Nikon PN-11 combo. With that combo I can get 1,8:1 mag ratio at the closest distance which is 110cm /43 in ...
 

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