Is the 300mm F4 non APS a decent buy?

Started Jan 16, 2014 | Discussions thread
Holmes375 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,798
Re: Is the 300mm F4 non APS a decent buy?

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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