Lack of VR in Nikon 300mm f4 - big deal or not?

Started Apr 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
moony16 Regular Member • Posts: 470
Re: Lack of VR in Nikon 300mm f4 - big deal or not?

familypast wrote:

Hello All,

I am new to this forum (and to photography) and am looking for a telephoto lens to use on my Nikon d90 for birding. I've been combing through this forum, which has helped me narrow down my search to either the Sigma 50-500 or the Nikon 300mm f4 (along with a 1.4 TC).  I like the idea of a prime, so am leaning toward the Nikon 300mm.  However, I want something that I can use hand-held, so am worried about the 300mm's lack of VR.  How big of a deal is this?

I rented a Sigma 150-500 this past weekend (the 50-500mm wasn't available), but even with Sigma's OS (and a monopod), I didn't get many sharp pictures from it.  If I get soft, shaky pictures WITH image stabilization, than what will happen without it?  Or is it possible that I was doing something else wrong (e.g. wrong shutter speed, etc.)???  Again, I'm a newbie, so I was probably doing multiple things wrong.

Any advice? I am going to the "Biggest Week in American Birding" the first week of May and hope to either rent or buy something in time for the trip. BTW, I am also considering renting a Canon camera, along with their IS version of the 300mm, but would much rather stick with the Nikon.



I had to make the same choice, & both of these lenses were ones I considered.  They are both nice, with different strengths.  If birding is your main concern, I'd go with the Nikkor--I've seen lots of music made with this beautiful lens.  The lens I ended up buying weighs virtually the same as the Nikkor 300 f/4, and is easy to handhold--for me.  However, a good technique is vital and lots of practice is needed.  People vary greatly in their handholding ablilities, especially with 1440 grams.  The Nikkor does very well with the 1.4 TC, but realize this adds a bit to your price situation.

Which 300 f/4 do you want?  The AFD or the newer, AFS?  The former is as good optically as the latter IMO, but the AFS can close-focus much better & has superior auto focus.  CF is not usually a concern for birders though. and the AFD model can be bought in the $400 range--tremendous value for the price IMO.  Best


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