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Upgrade from D80 to D300 or New Lense

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by adol290, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. adol290


    Apr 15, 2007
    Manitoba, Canada
    I am trying to decide whether to upgrade my D80 for the D300 or buy a 300 2.8 AF.

    A used 300 2.8 AF would be about the same price. This is my price limit.

    I currently use a 70-300 VR and find the sweet spot for sharpness at 300mm about F8-F9.

    My interest is Birds, and lately have been trying BIF.

    I am having a hard time with getting a high enough shutter speed and find that i don't care for the noise above iso 400. I usually crop 50-60%. Also I could use a better focusing system.

    What can I expect from the D300. WIll this help enough or should I go for the 300 2.8 AF.

    Note I do not have any other telephoto lenses at this time, and just a cheap tripod.
  2. I use the 70-300vr all the time with the D300. You will find a world of difference in using the higher iso's to get the right shutter speed to use with the 70-300vr. Both are crops not full frame.

    f5.6, iso 800
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    f5.6, iso 640
    View attachment 234591

    Hope this helps
  3. ol geezer

    ol geezer

    Sep 29, 2007
    Plano, TX
    Ordinarily, I would say go for the glass. However, based on your interests, go for the
    D300. Much better metering and better results at higher ISO. You can go for better glass later.
  4. andrzejmakal


    Apr 30, 2008

    Also much better AF tracking.

  5. My primary interest is in bird shots - nesting/feeding and in flight. The D300 represents significant advantages as highlighted above. I have owned both the 300/4 AF-S and the 300/2.8 AF. The combination of the D300 and a 300/4 AF-S is dynamite. Light and versatile enough to hand hold (impossible with the 300/2.8) and really track in-flight action. Buy a used D300 for $1,300 and a 300/4 AF-S for $900 and you have a lower $ outlay and an ideal birding combo. Best of luck, Gordon
  6. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Judging from your interest in nesting and feeding, I think the 300mm is a little short. Have you thought about going for used 400 3.5 ED-IF AIS. Iv seen some on E-bay for $1400 lately. Thats a lot of lens for the money. It's fast for a 400mm and one of the sharpest Nikkor's ever and since you already shoot Nikkor AIS, you know about the build quality. And I know this lens mates with the T.Cs very well. which gives you some reach and speed not possible with a 300 F4.
    I do 90% of my bird photography in the prairies of alberta from my car. Im always using my Nikkor 800 5.6 ED-IF for shooting birds. Often times with the T.C 14b and TC 301. I just can't see having only a 300 mm for birds. Not in this end of the sticks anyways.

  7. adol290


    Apr 15, 2007
    Manitoba, Canada
    Thanks for all the input.

    The consensus is... go for the D300 first.

    Futureshop actually carries the D300 now. I had talked to a salesperson and managed to get them down to $1549, plus no payments for 1 year. He is holding this price for a couple of days while i decide. This was brand new, not the display. Plus 2 year Nikon warranty.

    They also have a very good 14 day return policy(not that i will want to return it after its in my hot hands). A major plus.

    There are only a couple of boutique camera stores here, which are very inflexible on their prices, and once you buy it, it's yours. I originally bought my D70 and D80 from one of these stores, and have been less than impressed with them.

    As for lenses, I have considered the 300 F/4. I just wish they would release this in a VR version. Then I would be all over it. Price may dictate going with this lens.

    As for AIS lenses, i don't think this is my cup of tea. I tested a Sigma 150mm macro, and tried to use it manually. My focus was not even close. Maybe with a katz eye screen, but i prefer AF.
  8. MMarz


    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    I'd agree with this..
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