Nikon 500mm PF VR vs Nikon 300mm F4D (non VR) rough comparison on D850

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Keoghan Forum Member • Posts: 59
Nikon 500mm PF VR vs Nikon 300mm F4D (non VR) rough comparison on D850

Recently i had the pleasure of playing around with my friends Nikon 500mm PF - its a lovely looking lens.

I shoot a 300f4d on the D850 and he shoots the 500 PF on the D750- one afternoon i had the 500PF so i decided to put it on my D850 and try and compare it against the much older 300 F4D.

Loose testing conditions were- shooting from the same spot focusing on the same tree which i always use to check my lenses- as there is hole in it which is hard to pick up.

The 500mm PF was shot at F9 - 1/400th - VR on (very impressive) - ISO 80.

The 300mm F4D was shot at F9 - 1/1250th - No VR - ISO 80.

Both shots handheld, no tripod as i never use a tripod with regards to wildlife.

The 500mm PF had clear filter on which i cleaned before the test, it's the Nikon one suggested to pair the PF so its a decent standard and i couldn't see much difference with it on or off even pixel peeping.

My loose test led to a loose conclusion that the 300F4D is an exceptional performer and the 500mm PF for me is probably not worth the investment based on the price ( if money was no object i would buy one).  The 500mm PF is very sharp in the right circumstances and the extra 200mm is very important to some photographers but the F5.6 for me is little bit of a push - typically i like dawn and dusk on the 300mm F4 using a Nikon D4 or the D850 in good light.

I have seen complaints that the PF doesn't isolate the subject that well, i couldn't see this and i haven't seen it in my friends images either - the phase fresnel elements to me haven't shown up any oddities  that i have read of - however i dont own it so im not with it all the time.

To conclude this is not a test that should define whether you buy one or not its just a little testing i did at home over a few hours and these were the best examples. A basic comparison at best.

Nothing serious - for those who are interested.

Nikon 500mm F5.6E PF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon D4 Nikon D850
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