Is the 300mm F4 non APS a decent buy?

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
rwingsfan
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Is the 300mm F4 non APS a decent buy?
6 months ago

I posted this over on another forum trying to gather a consensus. I cannot afford the APS version of this lens, but might be able to find the screw drive earlier model for a price I can handle. Question being is it better than the 70-300mm VC Tamron that I have now? I like being able to use a TC with the prime. I am getting better at BIF shots, but really think the 300 f4 would help take me up a notch. What say ye?

herbymel
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Re: Is the 300mm F4 non APS a decent buy?
In reply to rwingsfan, 6 months ago

it's a little slow for BIF, but optically it's a great lens, but you can still find used versions of the AF-S lens for decent price if you're willing to look and wait.

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rwingsfan
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Re: Is the 300mm F4 non APS a decent buy?
In reply to herbymel, 6 months ago

Yeah I meant AFS, but I have not seen any under $850

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Holmes375
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Re: Is the 300mm F4 non APS a decent buy?
In reply to rwingsfan, 6 months ago

rwingsfan wrote:

I posted this over on another forum trying to gather a consensus. I cannot afford the APS version of this lens, but might be able to find the screw drive earlier model for a price I can handle. Question being is it better than the 70-300mm VC Tamron that I have now? I like being able to use a TC with the prime. I am getting better at BIF shots, but really think the 300 f4 would help take me up a notch. What say ye?

The good ol' original AF 300/4 is a super lens at an affordable price point.  Consumer zooms simply cannot compete.  Sharper and nicer subject isolation.  You'll have to use a third party TC though, the Kenko 1.4 works nicely.  I'd shoot it for a while without a TC though just to get your hand holding technique up to snuff with a non-stabilized lens.  Practice on the easy stuff like gulls and pelicans if available in your area.

Learn what shutter speeds you need to achieve sharp results.  I'm an old fart and need 1/800s minimum for tracking moving subjects and usually shoot faster than that.  For static subjects I can get down to 1/320s if I'm in a good solid position.  These values are different for each photographer.

The older lens does exhibit a bit of color fringing in some high contrast scenes but this isn't often an issue for its most usual applications.  AF speed is acceptable and the camera body being used will have an effect, the larger bodies will spin it faster.  Learn to use the focus limiter switches to tailor the lens to the scene - this will help things noticeably.

The old 300 is a very good lens even today and is a great way to enter high performance prime optics.  You'll always be able to sell it at a reasonable price to help finance the upgrade path.

I like both the Nikon and Tamron 70-300 zoomers but the f4 300mm primes are just a different world altogether.

Best of luck to you.

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Nikon D300S Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF
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unknown member
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Re: Is the 300mm F4 non APS a decent buy?
In reply to rwingsfan, 6 months ago

rwingsfan wrote:

I posted this over on another forum trying to gather a consensus. I cannot afford the APS version of this lens, but might be able to find the screw drive earlier model for a price I can handle. Question being is it better than the 70-300mm VC Tamron that I have now? I like being able to use a TC with the prime. I am getting better at BIF shots, but really think the 300 f4 would help take me up a notch. What say ye?

The problem is that the non-AFS version cannot use the newer TCII teleconverters, unless you physically alter the TC, which can lead to problems. The AFS teleconverters are optically better than the older TCs, so there is real incentive to go with the AFS version.

The price of the AFS version 300mm has come down considerably over the past couple of years, and the used price is really low. I just don't see enough difference in price to justify the older non-AFS 300mm f4.

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herbymel
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Re: Is the 300mm F4 non APS a decent buy?
In reply to rwingsfan, 6 months ago

rwingsfan wrote:

Yeah I meant AFS, but I have not seen any under $850

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1265272/0?keyword=Nikon,300,F4#12049942

$880 but comes with the RRS foot which is a big step up from the one that come with it...usually the ED_IF version is around $500

If I didn't already have one I'd probably by it.

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rwingsfan
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Re: Is the 300mm F4 non APS a decent buy?
In reply to Still Image, 6 months ago

Still Image wrote:

rwingsfan wrote:

I posted this over on another forum trying to gather a consensus. I cannot afford the APS version of this lens, but might be able to find the screw drive earlier model for a price I can handle. Question being is it better than the 70-300mm VC Tamron that I have now? I like being able to use a TC with the prime. I am getting better at BIF shots, but really think the 300 f4 would help take me up a notch. What say ye?

The problem is that the non-AFS version cannot use the newer TCII teleconverters, unless you physically alter the TC, which can lead to problems. The AFS teleconverters are optically better than the older TCs, so there is real incentive to go with the AFS version.

The price of the AFS version 300mm has come down considerably over the past couple of years, and the used price is really low. I just don't see enough difference in price to justify the older non-AFS 300mm f4.

Well from what I see on the used market the AFS is $850-900 and the AF ED is $400-450 that's about twice as much. Granted newer is usually better but given the price difference and my level of expertise I am thinking the older one is a better value. Along with the fact the Kenko 1.4 can be had for half of the Nikon version. Now if I could get a AFS version for $500 that would be cool, but.....

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