300mm f/2.8 IQ and AF (older, non-VR models)

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sts2
sts2 Regular Member • Posts: 428
300mm f/2.8 IQ and AF (older, non-VR models)

Hopefully a simple question. The 300/2.8 VR/VRII has a reputation as being one of the best, sharpest lenses Nikon builds.

What about the versions just preceding those (so the AF-S non-VR versions)? The optical formula seems identical, do these lenses basically offer the same IQ, but without VR? Is the focus speed still as good?

Reason for asking is that they do pop up from time to time at very attractive prices (while a VRII is 4k and a VRI often 3k, the AF-S non-VR models go for ~2k here). I wouldn't say no to VR, but don't really need it because of the higher shutter speeds used in sports.

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 sts2's gear list:sts2's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D800 Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +9 more
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