Nikon 200-500mm AF-S F5.6 V 300mm F4/D AF-S Prime

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 17,266
Re: Nikon 200-500mm AF-S F5.6 V 300mm F4/D AF-S Prime

I have both and have used both a lot. The 300F4 usually with a TC-14E II teleconverter.

Autofocus speed: The 300f4 is leisurely, and I think the 200-500 is a bit faster. The 200-500 is a pretty average lens for autofocus speed, but the 300F4 is slower than most.

IQ: The bare 300f4 is really good, as is the central area of the 200-500. If you shoot FX and don't crop, you'll definitely see differences in sharpness between the two lenses. The 300 + 1.4TC is a bit less sharp, and it should be stopped down a stop for best results, and the 200-500 doesn't really need to be stopped down. However, both are still really good wide open.

VR: This really separates the two lenses. I've carried around both at the same time, often with one attached to a D8xx and the other attached to a V1/V2. The 300+TC really needs to be used on a good tripod since it has no VR. The 200-500 has such good VR that it can easily be shot handheld,

Size: The 200-500 seems to be on the far side of what lenses you can carry easily - carry in your hands with bent arms ready to shoot. It's heavy enough that you quickly tend to carry the lens with your arms not bent, usually carrying it from the tripod foot. The 300F4 itself, particularly with the TC attached, is a fairly long lens for the diameter, and that sometimes makes it hard to pack. The 200-500 is, of course, pretty big to pack.

I don't have a direct comparison between 200-500 and 300F4, but I did compare it with an 80-400g and I've compared the 300f4 to the 80-400g as well, so you might do an indirect comparison here:

The old 300 is a quality prime with excellent coverage across the frame.  Sharpness-wise, the zoom comes close to or matches it at 420mm (lens + TC), but only in the DX area.

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Phoenix Arizona Craig
"I miss the days when I was nostalgic."

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