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

Started Apr 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
AustinTed Contributing Member • Posts: 618
Re: Went ahead and ordered it!

AustinTed wrote:

Congrats.  Let us know your experience.  I currently have one to evaluate.  I'm having some mixed feelings so maybe everyone can provide some feedback.

I'm trying the 300mm f4 with a 1.7x TC as a low cost way to get to 500mm.  On a D700 the results are quite good and it's hand holdable and fun.  On D800 I find it much more frustrating, challenging, and difficult.  I find myself needing 2x the shutter speed to get crisp results at 100% and of course the flaws with the TC start become visible so cropability is limited.  Given the need for a higher shutter speed on the D800, one can run out of ISO headroom pretty quickly too. Again... attempting to hand hold.

So now I'm torn.  The 300mm f4 has great reach with wonderful color rendering.  Things would be just about perfect if it had VR so I could recover some light.

The new 80-400mm is quite attractive aside from price due to the VR, but 400mm seems barely enough and with the 80-400mm rounded up interpretation of 400mm perhaps very questionable.  A 1.4x TC can be added to the 80-400mm, but somehow I'm not sure if this is viable.

Has anyone been satisfied with the 300mm + 1.7x tc on a d800?

Reviewing more of my test shots.  Despite the additional stress on technique that the D800 causes I am absolutely impressed at the quality of the 300mm f4 + 1.7x.  It makes you work, but it can deliver some decent results.  Just don't expect D800 100% crops to be perfections.  I was generally shooting at 1/500 at f8 at ISOs between 500 and 9000 (shade).  I know it's not the same as f2.8 glass, but considering where I was coming from this is pretty good.

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