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

Started Apr 22, 2013 | Discussions
OP familypast Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: Lack of VR in Nikon 300mm f4 - big deal or not?

Island Golfer wrote:

I would have to say that there is a bit of truth in all of these statements. The 300mm lens is difficult to use. It does require practice. VR is not useful if all you are doing is shooting at very fast shutter speeds. But, it is handy to have at your disposal. Adding a teleconverter does degrade the end result somewhat. Most of these things become readily apparent when you start using longer lenses. I have owned three versions of the Nikon 300mm lens. Two were the F/2.8 variety. My latest one is the F/4 afs version. I have used both the Nikon teleconverter and the Kenko teleconverter. This time, I chose to go without it. The main reason I have not bothered with the teleconverter this time is because of the camera I now have. With my D800, resolution is good enough to crop a distant image to a percentage that brings the target close enough that I don't feel the necessity of using a teleconverter anymore.  And, while I recognize that a lot of photographers do have the ability and steadiness to get good images when hand holding the camera and lens combination, at 69 years old, I do not. Instead, I have had to rely on a medium duty tripod, a heavy ball head, the Kirk collar, a cable release and shutter speeds above 1/1000 sec. I take a lot of images; and I throw a lot of them out. But, I like the lens and the results just fine. You just need to try the lens for yourself to see what you can do with it; and how you need to use it to achieve the results that best satisfy you. As you can no doubt glean from all of these posts, you may love it. You may hate it. You may be just "satisfied" with it. Or, you may like a different lens better that the Nikon 300mm f/4. But, let's face it, it's that way with any lens.

These are great shots! Thanks for the advice.

 familypast's gear list:familypast's gear list
Nikon D90 Nikon D7100 Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF +5 more
OP familypast Junior Member • Posts: 25
Went ahead and ordered it!

So, I went ahead and ordered the 300mm f/4 af-s.  I originally thought about renting it for a couple of weeks just to be safe, but given the high resale value, I figure I can always resell it later if things don't work out--without taking a big hit.

I also plan on purchasing a 1.4 TC in the next day or so, but I'm still trying to figure out if the Nikon TC14 is really worth its premium price over the Kenko, Sigma and other alternatives.

Thanks again for all your help!  I agree with those of you who said that technique is everything, especially for this lens, so this rookie is definitely going to need a lot of practice.

Debbie

 familypast's gear list:familypast's gear list
Nikon D90 Nikon D7100 Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF +5 more
ABA DABA Veteran Member • Posts: 3,084
Re: Went ahead and ordered it!

familypast wrote:

So, I went ahead and ordered the 300mm f/4 af-s.  I originally thought about renting it for a couple of weeks just to be safe, but given the high resale value, I figure I can always resell it later if things don't work out--without taking a big hit.

I also plan on purchasing a 1.4 TC in the next day or so, but I'm still trying to figure out if the Nikon TC14 is really worth its premium price over the Kenko, Sigma and other alternatives.

Thanks again for all your help!  I agree with those of you who said that technique is everything, especially for this lens, so this rookie is definitely going to need a lot of practice.

Technique is the dominent factor regardless of what WHAT lens is used. Wish you well with your choice.

Debbie

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ABA DABA

moony16 Regular Member • Posts: 470
Re: Lack of VR in Nikon 300mm f4 - big deal or not? Well Said!

Island Golfer wrote:

I would have to say that there is a bit of truth in all of these statements. The 300mm lens is difficult to use. It does require practice. VR is not useful if all you are doing is shooting at very fast shutter speeds. But, it is handy to have at your disposal. Adding a teleconverter does degrade the end result somewhat. Most of these things become readily apparent when you start using longer lenses. I have owned three versions of the Nikon 300mm lens. Two were the F/2.8 variety. My latest one is the F/4 afs version. I have used both the Nikon teleconverter and the Kenko teleconverter. This time, I chose to go without it. The main reason I have not bothered with the teleconverter this time is because of the camera I now have. With my D800, resolution is good enough to crop a distant image to a percentage that brings the target close enough that I don't feel the necessity of using a teleconverter anymore.  And, while I recognize that a lot of photographers do have the ability and steadiness to get good images when hand holding the camera and lens combination, at 69 years old, I do not. Instead, I have had to rely on a medium duty tripod, a heavy ball head, the Kirk collar, a cable release and shutter speeds above 1/1000 sec. I take a lot of images; and I throw a lot of them out. But, I like the lens and the results just fine. You just need to try the lens for yourself to see what you can do with it; and how you need to use it to achieve the results that best satisfy you. As you can no doubt glean from all of these posts, you may love it. You may hate it. You may be just "satisfied" with it. Or, you may like a different lens better that the Nikon 300mm f/4. But, let's face it, it's that way with any lens.

Excellent advice for the OP IMO.  Best!

JT

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moony16 Regular Member • Posts: 470
Re: Went ahead and ordered it!

familypast wrote:

So, I went ahead and ordered the 300mm f/4 af-s.  I originally thought about renting it for a couple of weeks just to be safe, but given the high resale value, I figure I can always resell it later if things don't work out--without taking a big hit.

I also plan on purchasing a 1.4 TC in the next day or so, but I'm still trying to figure out if the Nikon TC14 is really worth its premium price over the Kenko, Sigma and other alternatives.

Thanks again for all your help!  I agree with those of you who said that technique is everything, especially for this lens, so this rookie is definitely going to need a lot of practice.

Debbie

Congratulations and Best of Luck!

JT

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Who looks outside,
dreams; who looks
inside, awakens
Carl Jung (1875-1961)

hwg Contributing Member • Posts: 602
Is this not a 12 year old lens design?

Is this not a 12 year old lens design?

Wasn't the previous 300 mm lens retired at about 12 years old?

Does this suggest that  there will be a new version along soon, possibly with VR?

PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 14,088
Re: Is this not a 12 year old lens design?
1

hwg wrote:

Is this not a 12 year old lens design?

Wasn't the previous 300 mm lens retired at about 12 years old?

Does this suggest that  there will be a new version along soon, possibly with VR?

And given the price of the new 80-400, does this suggest that a 300F4 AF-S G VR Super-ED-IF N will cost ... $2500?   (And still have a crap tripod collar).

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dw1 Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: Lack of VR in Nikon 300mm f4 - big deal or not?

I've shot the 300 f/4 and really like it.  On of the sharpest lens I've shot.  With that being said, I really, really like vr.

For instance, I'm a little bored this afternoon so I decided to sit in the garage, grab a cold beer and see if any birds landed... (it's dreary and raining).

These two below would not be possible without vr.  I'm shooting my 300 2.8 with a 1.7 attached at 1/125 sec.  Not that these are great pics but without vr no way possible to get these. (I was using a monopod).  ISO's are in the 900-1000 range.

Best,

Don

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AustinTed Contributing Member • Posts: 618
Re: Went ahead and ordered it!

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?

Tyr-Sog Contributing Member • Posts: 909
Re: Is this not a 12 year old lens design?

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

hwg wrote:

Is this not a 12 year old lens design?

Wasn't the previous 300 mm lens retired at about 12 years old?

Does this suggest that  there will be a new version along soon, possibly with VR?

And given the price of the new 80-400, does this suggest that a 300F4 AF-S G VR Super-ED-IF N will cost ... $2500?   (And still have a crap tripod collar).

Exactly, once (N) and VR are added, we are looking at a $2400 minimum lens.

 Tyr-Sog's gear list:Tyr-Sog's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF
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.

AustinTed Contributing Member • Posts: 618
Re: Is this not a 12 year old lens design?

Tyr-Sog wrote:

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

hwg wrote:

Is this not a 12 year old lens design?

Wasn't the previous 300 mm lens retired at about 12 years old?

Does this suggest that  there will be a new version along soon, possibly with VR?

And given the price of the new 80-400, does this suggest that a 300F4 AF-S G VR Super-ED-IF N will cost ... $2500?   (And still have a crap tripod collar).

Exactly, once (N) and VR are added, we are looking at a $2400 minimum lens.

I'm afraid your probably right.  Given how this lens performs I'm not sure N is really necessary, but VR would sure be nice.

Makedonec New Member • Posts: 2
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?

I have used the 300 F4 Af-S with the Nikon 1.7TC EII and have not been happy with the results at all. This mind you is on a D7000 not D800. For my combo purchasing the TC was a complete waste of money. After I reviewed the TC in best possible controlled conditions and not being satisfied with it, I have packed it up and not used it since. I should sell it I guess.

Used to love the lens until a car accident resulted in some soft drink being spilled on it. Once it dried up it became sticky. Since the Nikon service it has not been the same. Nowhere near as sharp. I am gutted.

Scott A. Flaherty
Scott A. Flaherty Regular Member • Posts: 398
Re: Lack of VR in Nikon 300mm f4 - big deal or not?
1

VR would be nice on it, but not necessary. Here's a shot I took of an Anna's Hummingbird using the 300mm f/4...hand held. It's a fantastic BIF lens.

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David Nall
David Nall Forum Pro • Posts: 15,668
Re: Went ahead and ordered it!

familypast wrote:

So, I went ahead and ordered the 300mm f/4 af-s.  I originally thought about renting it for a couple of weeks just to be safe, but given the high resale value, I figure I can always resell it later if things don't work out--without taking a big hit.

I also plan on purchasing a 1.4 TC in the next day or so, but I'm still trying to figure out if the Nikon TC14 is really worth its premium price over the Kenko, Sigma and other alternatives.

Thanks again for all your help!  I agree with those of you who said that technique is everything, especially for this lens, so this rookie is definitely going to need a lot of practice.

Debbie

You will love it Debbie.  Be sure to come back and post some pics using your new lens.  I absolutely love mine, and have never missed VR while using it.  It would be nice to have for low light situations, but will just have to make do.  Dave

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OP familypast Junior Member • Posts: 25
A few of my favorites!

You will love it Debbie.  Be sure to come back and post some pics using your new lens.  I absolutely love mine, and have never missed VR while using it.  It would be nice to have for low light situations, but will just have to make do.  Dave

Here are some pics from my Nikon 300mm f4 with TC 1.4 taken at The Biggest Week in American Birding (northern Ohio).  My favorites were taken with lots of ambient light...I noticed that it was hard to get a good picture "in the canopy", so I now need to look into a flash setup.

White Crowned Sparrow (Pt. Pelee, ON)

Eastern Screech Owl (Maumee Bay State Park, Ohio)

Bald Eagle (near Magee Marsh, Ohio)

Tree Swallows (Magee Marsh, Ohio)

Bob White (Magee Marsh, Ohio)

Black Throated Green Warbler (Magee Marsh, Ohio)

 familypast's gear list:familypast's gear list
Nikon D90 Nikon D7100 Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF +5 more
OP familypast Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: Lack of VR in Nikon 300mm f4 - big deal or not?

Scott A. Flaherty wrote:

VR would be nice on it, but not necessary. Here's a shot I took of an Anna's Hummingbird using the 300mm f/4...hand held. It's a fantastic BIF lens.

Stunning! You were able to do this with a shutter speed of 800?

 familypast's gear list:familypast's gear list
Nikon D90 Nikon D7100 Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF +5 more
dw1 Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: Lack of VR in Nikon 300mm f4 - big deal or not?

Wonderful shot, but anything below 1/300 on the f/4 is very difficult and I've got or used to have pretty steady hands....

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Fujifilm X-T20 Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E II
starman1969
starman1969 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,196
Re: A few of my favorites!

Wow great shots. I love the sparrow & the eagle. I bet you are glad you chose the 300mm.

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ExposureMeter
ExposureMeter Senior Member • Posts: 1,781
Re: Lack of VR in Nikon 300mm f4 - big deal or not?

This one is at 1/80 second with the TC-20E III teleconverter, but using a monopod

Who needs VR?

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Geoff
Gold Coast, Australia

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