what are you shooting at 300-400mm ?

Started Mar 30, 2013 | Discussions
jubilatu
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what are you shooting at 300-400mm ?
Mar 30, 2013

I am analysing the possibility of buying a 300mm f/4 for sport (not much till now), concerts (a few times per year) and portraiture (which i did at 85-105mm till now) . Wildlife, insects & stuff are not my interest for the moment.  I was looking at flickriver for lens having these focals, but your direct answers would be more helpful.

So, I am just curious what are you shooting at these focals in order to understand if i will use the lens (my first over the 105mm barier) or i just let it to cath dust.

Thanks for the help.

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wasserball
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Re: what are you shooting at 300-400mm ?
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 30, 2013

I don't know how serious you are about shooting sports, and what level sports you are shooting,  daylight or stadium light, high school poor stadium light, college games, pros?  If you are serious, then you will probably need the 300mm and/or 400mm f2.8 lens, not the 300mm f4.  Typically, I am shooting HS sports at ISO 3200 or 6400 at f2.8 or f4 during the day if I want a deeper DOF. Shutter speed should be greater than 1/1000 if you want to stop slower actions like a football runner but at least 1/2000 if you want to freeze a pitched baseball. A 70-200mm f2.8 is a lot more forgiving than the primes mentioned because it has a wider angle of view.  Position and location are very important in the ability of freezing an action shot.

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mironv
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Re: what are you shooting at 300-400mm ?
In reply to wasserball, Mar 30, 2013

I don't know where the other poster lives that he needs ISO3200-6400 during a day.

Anyway.

For me 300mm f4 never has any use. By itself its just 300mm with TC f4 and TC is limited that why I get 300mm f2.8 and set of 3 TC's use mostly at winter time for Bold Eagles but in other time of year for Jumpers Horses and few other things. My most used tele is portable Sigma AF400mm f5.6 APO Macro it is perfect for nature walks as it can get animals,landscapes,birds, and get down to closeups at 1:3 with good light it can take 1.4TC as well making 510mm lens. 300mmf4 is to short for typical american field outdoor sports 400mm will be better ( and second camera with something in 28-200 range).

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PHXAZCRAIG
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Re: what are you shooting at 300-400mm ?
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 30, 2013

My 300F4 is used pretty much exclusively for wildlife and zoo life.   Often (most often) with a 1.4TC on a DSLR, or bare on a Nikon V1.

I don't shoot much sports, though I used to do a fair amount of taekwondo indoors.   For that I used an 80-200 a lot.   300 would be too long indoors, and difficult to stabilze, and F4 too slow.   Outdoors, it's a bit slow, also not stabilized.

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cosmicnode
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In reply to jubilatu, Mar 30, 2013

I use a 200-400 f4 for motorsport. I also fit a 1.4x converter when I need extra reach, most used range is 250-450.

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jubilatu
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Re: what are you shooting at 300-400mm ?
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 30, 2013

Thanks for replying guys. Your experience isĀ  really helping me realize were i could fit a long tele in my photo-life.

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Brandon birder
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Re: what are you shooting at 300-400mm ?
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 30, 2013

300 f2.8 +/- three TC's

300 f4

70-300 f4.5-5.6VR

Adding a new 80-400 afs VR for lighter weight and VR

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Leonard Migliore
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In reply to jubilatu, Mar 30, 2013

jubilatu wrote:

I am analysing the possibility of buying a 300mm f/4 for sport (not much till now), concerts (a few times per year) and portraiture (which i did at 85-105mm till now) . Wildlife, insects & stuff are not my interest for the moment.  I was looking at flickriver for lens having these focals, but your direct answers would be more helpful.

Do you have a DX or FX camera? 300mm is quite a bit tighter on DX. I have DX.

I've done some portraits with a 300mm but that was only because I ended up on the other side of a river from my subject; it's hard to communicate at those distances.

So, I am just curious what are you shooting at these focals in order to understand if i will use the lens (my first over the 105mm barier) or i just let it to cath dust.

I use my 300 almost exclusively for birds, where it's almost long enough. I use a 70-300 for most other telephoto work because the flexibility of a zoom works better for me than the better sharpness of a prime.

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leebee
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How much are you willing to spend?
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 30, 2013

I use the 300 f4 alone and with a 1.4 TC II.  I would really like to have the f2.8 but just cannot justify the cost.  I use it primarily for birds and wildlife .  It focuses much faster than I expected and I even get some decent BIF when used alone.  It is a great bargain at about $1100  rumor has it that the new 300 f4 will have VRIII and cost about $2300.00.  I had the Sigma 150-500 but had to shoot at 300 to 400 anyway or just could not get a sharp pic.

There are definitely better lenses out there but not at this price point.

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leebee
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Re: How much are you willing to spend?
In reply to leebee, Mar 30, 2013

leebee wrote:

I use the 300 f4 alone and with a 1.4 TC II.  I would really like to have the f2.8 but just cannot justify the cost.  I use it primarily for birds and wildlife .  It focuses much faster than I expected and I even get some decent BIF when used alone.  It is a great bargain at about $1100  rumor has it that the new 300 f4 will have VRIII and cost about $2300.00.  I had the Sigma 150-500 but had to shoot at 300 to 400 anyway or just could not get a sharp pic.

There are definitely better lenses out there but not at this price point.

I forgot to say that I am using it on a D600.

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Carsten Pauer 2
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Re: what are you shooting at 300-400mm ?
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 31, 2013

So, I am just curious what are you shooting at these focals in order to understand if i will use the lens (my first over the 105mm barier) or i just let it to cath dust.

Few Examples with 360mm (180mm x2)...

Regards: Carsten

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overniteman
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Re: what are you shooting at 300-400mm ?
In reply to Carsten Pauer 2, Mar 31, 2013

I shoot trains. Pretty much my only passion, photography wise. Have an older version of the 300mm f2.8 AF-ED. The lens is absolutely stunning. Gives me reach an I like the "compressed" look it provides. Anyone thinking that you have to get the latest version of certain lenses, should look to the "oldies but goodies"

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Guidenet
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Re: what are you shooting at 300-400mm ?
In reply to jubilatu, Mar 31, 2013

jubilatu wrote:

I am analysing the possibility of buying a 300mm f/4 for sport (not much till now), concerts (a few times per year) and portraiture (which i did at 85-105mm till now) . Wildlife, insects & stuff are not my interest for the moment.  I was looking at flickriver for lens having these focals, but your direct answers would be more helpful.

So, I am just curious what are you shooting at these focals in order to understand if i will use the lens (my first over the 105mm barier) or i just let it to cath dust.

I love 300mm and long telephotos for a lot of various purposes. I'm an avid Bird shooter and use the 300 f/2.8 with or without a 1.4 or 1.7 converter. I also use a fairly old manual focus 500 f/4 for the same thing, but prefer the 300 with converter for size.

I also use either a Sigma 150 f/2.8 or that Nikon 300 f/2.8 for professional portraiture outside quite a bit. I like the flattering perspective I get and compressed OOF backgrounds. At the seashore, I even like the 500mm for certain portaits with a lot of negative space. I really like the compression they can give for certain moods.

I use the 300 f/2.8, the Sigma 150 f/2.8 and a Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 for children's Little League Baseball games. I earn a little extra cash this way and sometimes my company lends my services to the two teams we sponsor. They all come in very handy. Again, I've shot this at 500mm on occasion too, but it would be a second body on a tripod from the far side lines. I can get a unique perspective that way. Sometimes the lefthanders require it.

There are just so many uses for longer glass I can't imagine anyone not finding them pretty much required in a well rounded kit. Good ones just cost a lot. Fortunately, Nikon's 300 f/4 AFS is pretty inexpensive and has stellar quality if you do your part.

One of my granddaughters taken with 300 f/2.8 and 1.7 converter for a 500 f/4.8 and a good distance. I like this compressed look. Just my taste. Your mileage may vary.

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jubilatu
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Re: what are you shooting at 300-400mm ?
In reply to Guidenet, Mar 31, 2013

thanks for feedback - it is very encouraging to hear good things regarding the focusing speed of the 300.

do you believe that 300 f4+TC1.4 could do motorsports?

leebee wrote:

leebee wrote:

I use the 300 f4 alone and with a 1.4 TC II.  I would really like to have the f2.8 but just cannot justify the cost.  I use it primarily for birds and wildlife .  It focuses much faster than I expected and I even get some decent BIF when used alone.  It is a great bargain at about $1100  rumor has it that the new 300 f4 will have VRIII and cost about $2300.00.  I had the Sigma 150-500 but had to shoot at 300 to 400 anyway or just could not get a sharp pic.

There are definitely better lenses out there but not at this price point.

I forgot to say that I am using it on a D600.


you are killing me with this one !!! And i thank you for you valuable and pertinent opinions.

Guidenet wrote:



Every time when i thought at shooting trains it was all about wide angle, with me standing swuat near the rails. but your method seems to give beautiful results too !

overniteman wrote:

I shoot trains.


I love the moon

Carsten Pauer 2 wrote:

Few Examples with 360mm (180mm x2)...

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stevef1961
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Re: what are you shooting at 300-400mm ?
In reply to jubilatu, Apr 2, 2013

I have the 70-300vr which has done an amazing job throughout the years.  I wanted something faster so I just bought the 70-200 2.8 and a 1.7 tc.  I figure I have the best of both worlds.  With the 1.7 on I get to 340mm and the focus is still much much faster then the 70-300.  Then I have the option of taking the tc off and I have an amazingly fast 70-200 which let's me shoot regularly at 1/4000th.   It was a toss up between the 70-200 and 1.7 OR the 80-400 vrII.  It's tough to beat 2.8.

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chlamchowder
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Sports (and maybe portraits from farther away)
In reply to jubilatu, Apr 2, 2013

I am analysing the possibility of buying a 300mm f/4 for sport (not much till now), concerts (a few times per year) and portraiture (which i did at 85-105mm till now) . Wildlife, insects & stuff are not my interest for the moment.  I was looking at flickriver for lens having these focals, but your direct answers would be more helpful.

So, I am just curious what are you shooting at these focals in order to understand if i will use the lens (my first over the 105mm barier) or i just let it to cath dust.

A 300mm lens would do a good job for shooting sports, although often it's not quite long enough to cover the width of the field, and can get too tight if the action gets too close.

If you're shooting a lot at night, or want to get slightly better background blur, consider a 300mm f/2.8. A 300/2.8 is heavy, though, so a 300mm f/4 sounds like a good idea.

You can also shoot portraits with it, but you'll have to stand farther away than you're used to with the 105mm. 300mm can give some very good background blur.

300mm f/2.8 AF-I, at f/2.8, 1/350s, ISO 10159

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Island Golfer
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Re: what are you shooting at 300-400mm ?
In reply to jubilatu, Apr 3, 2013

I have owned three different versions of the Nikon 300mm lens, and used them on two different cameras. I finally settled on the f/4 version for my Nikon D800 camera. I have to say that, although the lenses are fun to use from time to time, none of them have impressed me that much. I am a believer in sharp images. And, I find it difficult to get satisfactory sharp images with the 300mm lenses, even when using a tripod and a cable release. I think that, if Nikon would add VR to this lens, it would greatly help. I have used LensAlign on the F/4 version I currently own; and I am pretty certain that it will not get any sharper than it is. In May I plan to take it to Hawaii for some surfing shots. I am anxious to see how it does. Here is one of maybe 20 attempts to take a pelican in flight. I used a tripod, a Kirk lens collar, a heavy ball head and a cable release. Perhaps I am too picky.

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ScottRH
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Re: what are you shooting at 300-400mm ?
In reply to jubilatu, Apr 3, 2013

200-400 F4 VRI.

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Raymond Bradlau
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Motorsports and Football (US)
In reply to jubilatu, Apr 3, 2013

The 400mm 2.8 is my most used lens by a huge margin, often used with 1.4x tele for motorsports I went with the 2.8 so I could easily add teles and for shooting low light field sports but with the crazy good ISO performance of todays FX cameras I feel my main advantage of having 2.8 is isolating my subjects and eliminating distracting BGs

*Thankfully newer racetracks have more runoff for safety and the 600 is slowly gaining on the 400 for most used lens

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jubilatu
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Re: what are you shooting at 300-400mm ?
In reply to stevef1961, Apr 5, 2013

stevef1961 wrote:

It's tough to beat 2.8.

Yeap. every time i shoot with a lens slower than f2 i found myself keep rotating the dial (searching for a wider aperture) thinking that is something wrong with the camera. Good things create addiction.

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