First experience with a 70-300 CX, and a V2

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rob_b
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First experience with a 70-300 CX, and a V2
3 weeks ago

I managed to get an order for this lens in to Nikon UK in the fleeting stock period (about 2 days). It arrived for the weekend, but I have had just about an hour to experiment.

My initial reactions:

  • It is a chunky lens, but fits well on the V2. Balance is OK.
  • The focus ring is a little stiff, but I expect that to ease with time.
  • Holding at 300mm requires a degree of practice!
  • The sharpness and colour is very acceptable. More than acceptable. Actually rather lovely.
  • Cropping is feasible, but can also expose the still-present V2 noise above 400ISO
  • Nice out of focus softness/bokeh. Not as creamy as a faster lens, but still pretty good.

Some static images, and a first attempts at garden birds in a great hurry - these could be much better All hand held. I make no claim to these being great shots, but I am still impressed and pleased for an out of box experience. Some pp, but not with a great degree of care.

I thought I might have the option of returning this lens, but not any more! It is a keeper.

In about two weeks time, we are off to South Tanzania for a safari/birding holiday (Selouos and Ruaha). I will now be taking a primary and secondary system:

Primary: D3S and 300mm f2.8/1.4 TC, 1.7TC, 70-200 f2.8 and a 24mm f2.8

Secondary: V2 and 70-300 CX and 10mm f2.8

I have calculated the relative weight of these two: 6.1 kg versus <1kg!

I can see in future that we'll decide to go out for a 'binocular' walk, and I will still thrown the V2/70-300 over my shoulder. After carrying the weight of the 300/D3S + Gitzo around, it will be irrelevant.

I still worry about the V2 noise as I get to 400 ISO, but this might be improved in (e.g.) the V4. I can wat for that. The lens will wait. In the meantime, I have a super, good light, very portable system.

Nice OOF creaminess

Sharp in good light

A pseudo-bird test I use a lot - lots of fine detail

Lurking in the dark, but still quite acceptable as a record shot

Nice complex colours on this shaffinch

An obliging resident - 'will pose for mealworms'!

Nikon 1 V2
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