70-200 2.8 VR II vs 300 AFS F4

Started Sep 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
Michel F Senior Member • Posts: 2,003
Re: 70-200 2.8 VR II vs 300 AFS F4

I have both (bought the 300mm f/4 AF-S years before the 70-200 VRII) and I much prefer the IQ i get from the 70-200 VR II on either my D300 or D5100. Of course my 300mm has more reach and that's very important if one would want to use it as a birding lens but apart from that, to me it's not even in the same league. The 300mm as good as it is is due for an upgrade with new coatings, VR and perhaps a new optical formula. Apparently Nikon is already working on an upgrade.

bryand7k wrote:

Ok .. I've had the 300 AFS F4 for a year now and just love it "but" I just wish it had VR, focused faster and was 2.8. I call it my cameo lens.

I am not about to swap it for the $5400 and 2x heavier one.
No .. I am thinking go with the 70-200 2.8 VR II and at least the TC 1.4.

I have the D7000 by the way.

So aside from the 'reach' issues of this lens and I know it won't be as sharp as the prime

  • how is it for BIF shots and birding in general?

  • this is a heavy breather and so at the long end is this going to make it just much worse on the reach side of things?

  • its only about 150g heavier than the 300 and with VR should be able to shoot at lower shutter speeds.

  • I find the 300 does a very creditable macro shot, what about the 70-200 in comparison?

The 300mm can't really do macro. It does closeups OK. If you want more out of it, you need extension tubes. I've tried it with the PN-11 with good results but it's such a hassle to use in the field that it takes the fun out of macro shooting altogether.

If I go this route then I'd be selling my one other lens, Sig 50-150 2.8(not the new OS one), and getting something like a 17-50 type lens. And If I win the lottery then the 300 2.8 is in the cards!

I am going to be borrowing one .. not sure if its VR1 or VR 2 but will be able to answer these questions for myself but would appreciate any thoughts ... like ur crazy to give up the 300 ...

To me the 70-200mm VR II is a more practical lens and the IQ in general is better . If you need the reach of the 300mm though I'm not sure the 70-200 VR II and 1.4 TC is a good alternative. I personally prefer not using any TC's even though I have the 1.4.

If you want to use the lens mainly for birding, I'd hold on to the 300mm just for the reach until I could afford the 300mm f/2.8, the 400mm or the 500mm

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