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

Started Apr 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
evan47 Senior Member • Posts: 1,576
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 the same concerns about the 300 f4 and 1.4 tc but listened to other peoples opinions and went ahead and bought them......i was not disappointed with the results!

if you up your iso, or use auto iso and a sensible shutter speed you should be ok. a monopod is recommended  though i can get good results hand held, but for most people it will take a little practice.

the 300 f4 and tc 14ii is a very well rated combination capable of great results. the lack of vr is no real drawback for serious users. if you are shooting birds you will need a high shutter speed weather you have vr or not as small birds in particular are rarely still. they are always moving their heads looking for threats or feeding opportunities, the smaller the bird the quicker it moves!

re the sigma 150-500 os, in my opinion this lens can be a bit of a lottery. image quality varies widely between samples, also, it is closer to 485mm rather than the stated 500. this drops off as you get closer to minimum focusing distance too. some say it falls drastically! it is generally rather soft at 500mm.

the sigmas os is said to be good though, but it can be noisy and take a while to settle.

go for the nikon and learn long lens technique and reap the rewards.

 evan47's gear list:evan47's gear list
Sony RX10 IV Nikon D500 Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR +2 more
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