Nikon 200-400mm f/4 or 300mm f/2.8

Started Aug 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
Keith Aitken
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,564
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Re: Nikon 200-400mm f/4 or 300mm f/2.8
In reply to JimPearce, Aug 13, 2013

Both lenses are amazing.

The 200-400 is a very good compromise, enabling a one-lens telephoto solution.

The conventional wisdom re the slight softness at max range is, I think, overblown. The lens performs to a very high standard and also has useful tricks up its sleeve, for instance the MFD is much shorter than one would expect, a little over 6 feet. That MFD is also magnified with a 1.4 TC. The bokeh is appealing, and the lens is sharp at f/4. I love it for its range and versatility. The ability to zoom with a high quality lens like this is quite valuable.

However, it is considerably longer and heavier than the 300 f/2.8. It is a bit of a monster to handle in the field, if that is a consideration. I sometimes wonder if the 400mm softness legend has its roots in the fact that a 14/15 inch lens is going to have some shake unless you have rock-solid tripod support.

It is handholdable, but not for long periods.

Because you already have the 70-200 which would cover you ( with TC ) to 280mm, the 300 f/2.8 seems like a better choice, but will not be long enough on FF for lacrosse, ( even with a 1.4TC ). I would explore getting Nikon's 2x TC for big-field sports. The 300 f/2.8 takes it with ease

Just to make things worse for your decision :

the 200-400 f/4 is the ideal big-field sports lens, on DX or FX

Good luck

Keith

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