The 3 300's

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by airbiscuit, May 3, 2007.

  1. Hello guys and gals!

    At the moment I'm doing some "research" on the 3 300s' prime.

    1. The 300 F4
    2. The 300 F2.8
    3. The 300 F2.8 VR

    I'v been using the 70-200 VR for my main lens when it comes to outdoor, sports and action shooting. Almost all of the time I shoot on my monopod. And at all of the time I'm at the very end of the lens i.e. 200mm. And the 200mm is surely not enough for me right now (just an excuse to get a new lens)

    So I'v been thinking of getting a TC and the contenders are the 1.4 and 1.7. Then again after looking of what primes can do, it kind of makes me think again. Honestly only the 1st and 2nd lens is within my reach right now. The VR is way out!

    So can any give me some infos and such on how all these 3 lenses perform.
    I mean like in term of focusing speed when compared with the 70-200 VR, how fast can you lock on your subject in action and sports shooting, is the 300 VR performance is better than the 300 2.8, is the VR really worth the extra money etc etc.

    The main reason I asked is just I wanted to make sure on which is which when I really do make my move soon since you guys here got lots of experience working on all of the 3 lenses mentioned.

    Thanks guys.
  2. Greg V

    Greg V

    Feb 19, 2007
    SE Michigan
    I have had in the past the 300 f/4 and then sold it to get the 300 f/2.8 AF-S I. In terms of focus speed, nothing beats the AF-S. Both lens were/are tack sharp if proper techniques are used. I have not used the 300 f/4 AF-S. With the f/2.8, you have the ability to use all three Nikon teleconverters and still have acceptable image quality.

    I hope this was helpful. Good luck with your decision.
  3. ipsofacto

    ipsofacto Guest

    I have both the 70-200 VR and the 300 VR, and the 300 makes the zoom look sluggish in comparison. One of the best sports shooters on here, Alex(Acena I think his tag is) touts that he never uses his 70-200 because the focus is too slow. That shows you what the 200, 300, and 400 AF-S primes have to offer in the focusing department. On top of that the 300 VR has improved color renditiong and bokeh over the earlier 300's.

    Quick version: If you have the money, buy the VR, if you need the speed at a cheaper price, get the 300 2.8 AF-S I, if you dont need the speed, get the 300/4 AF-S
  4. You mentioned the AF-S I, is the AF-S II any better?
  5. Ray C.

    Ray C.

    Nov 7, 2005
    AB, if I were in your shoes, I would first buy the TC-14 and use that with your 70-200 for a bit. No, it's not a blazingly fast combo, but it's no slouch either. The 1.7 is just too soft and it's taking another 1/2 stop as well.

    If you find that you still want more reach, speed, etc. any of the AF-S 300 2.8's are the way to go. Plus, you'll already have the TC-14, which will give you a 420mm f/4.

    I think you'll find the AF-S 300mm f/4 is too slow for action, sports, etc. and you'd most likely end up with a 2.8 anyway, so...

    As ipsofacto mentioned above, if you've got the dough, get the VR and never look back. I have the AF-S I and it's an amazing performer at about half the price (or less) of the VR. If you've got 2 bodies, slap the 300 2.8 on one and the 70-200 on the other and you'll be a happy camper...guaranteed.
  6. Chris_B


    Mar 12, 2006
    Arlington, VA
    I use the 70-200 and 1.4 TC for little kids sports (think short field) and it does a good job and would probably hold you over for a little while. I just sold the 300 f/4 AF-S. It is a little too slow for field sports & nature action. I would echo the recommendations above for the 300 2.8 AF-S I if money is tight or the 300 VR if you can swing it.

    FWIW, I sold the 300 f4 and am saving for the 300VR.
  7. ipsofacto

    ipsofacto Guest

    The AF-S II is just as nice as the previous version but with a few cosmetic upgrades, if you're trying to budget I wouldn't worry about the differences and stick with the earlier version for monetary reasons.
  8. I have the first version of the AF 300 2.8. There are a few people here who I know have had this lens, but not a bunch (GBRandy’s…now mine, Eng45ine had one, Andreasb…went to GBRandy, and Bourbon Cowboy has one right now). Bang-for-the-buck, for me anyway, this has been a great lens. I have played with a couple of 300 VRs and I can tell you that their focus is superb. As for autofocus, my 300 2.8 ED AF focuses a bit faster on my D2H than on the D200. On the D2H the focus speed is on par with the 70-200. If I wasn’t swapping back and forth between the bodies I don’t know that I would notice the difference. The couple of times I have used it for wildlife it has hunted on me, and it hunts pretty slow, but I’m not complaining. Optically, I could not ask for more given the price.

    The Nikon 1.4 & 1.7 AFS TCs will not autofocus with this older lens, but I do have a Tamron/Kenko 1.4 that works just fine.

    Here is one from the Nikon Café get-together shot with the Tamron/Kenko 1.4 TC. I had just swapped bodies as the birds came in, and I was not in continuous autofocus mode. As the bird came in I was hitting the AF button the entire time to refocus, so I was VERY happy with the results.

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