Great images, tiny size, fast and accurate focus, no VR issue

Started May 16, 2017 | User reviews
Entropius Veteran Member • Posts: 4,395
Great images, tiny size, fast and accurate focus, no VR issue
5

Reviews of good equipment are pretty short, since there are no interesting aberrations or flaws to talk about. The 300/4 is such a lens: images are sharp wide open with no visible chromatic aberration or distortion. "Fresnel flare" is a non-issue -- perhaps you can do something weird and provoke different sorts of artifacts than a purely reflective lens would give, but using it to actually take pictures of normal things, there are no issues, even with strongly backlit subjects. Contrast and color are fine. Optics are still fine with the 1.4x teleconverter.

On my D7100 focus is surefooted and fast, although maybe a bit slower than the 80-400. It's still fine for birds in flight, and it doesn't hunt.

It focuses close enough to be useful as a semimacro lens for large insects and flowers, especially with extra magnification from a 1.4x teleconverter.

The VR issues that affected some of the earlier copies are fixed on mine; VR works well, and I can take sharp shots at 1/20-1/30 second.

It's small and light, too -- remarkably small. It's pricey, but it does everything it's supposed to do well.

 Entropius's gear list:Entropius's gear list
Nikon D500 Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR
Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR
Telephoto prime lens • Nikon F (FX) • 2223
Announced: Jan 6, 2015
Entropius's score
4.5
Average community score
3.7
mgonda Contributing Member • Posts: 574
Re: Great images, tiny size, fast and accurate focus, no VR issue

I have this lens and is great.  But that said, its worth noting that I have noticed some CA and "ringed" bokeh at times.

Additionally, the VR issue was with D810 at a slow shutter speed and not with any other bodies so not showing up on D7100 is expected.  However, the newer builds (since about a year ago) have addressed this issue and is not a concern any longer.

 mgonda's gear list:mgonda's gear list
Sony a7R II Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +4 more
OP Entropius Veteran Member • Posts: 4,395
Re: Great images, tiny size, fast and accurate focus, no VR issue

I definitely had the issue on a rented 300/4 two years ago on my D7100, so it wasn't just the D800.

While you can certainly get "onion" bokeh out of it under certain circumstances, I find the bokeh overall to be quite pleasing -- better than my 80-400. Is it something that you'll sometimes notice, and will make people who know what they're looking at say "oh, that was taken with a 300/4 PF?" Sure. Does it detract from my ability to make good-looking prints? No -- it's not something like the donut bokeh from a mirror lens.

 Entropius's gear list:Entropius's gear list
Nikon D500 Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR
mgonda Contributing Member • Posts: 574
Re: Great images, tiny size, fast and accurate focus, no VR issue

Entropius wrote:

I definitely had the issue on a rented 300/4 two years ago on my D7100, so it wasn't just the D800....

That's just it, isn't it. There was a problem and fix has been done. The problem mainly existed for D800 series but perhaps for D7100 too.

Here's the latest review for this lens: http://www.photozone.de/nikon_ff/1005-nikkorafs3004pfvrff

You'll see that it was done with both early and later lens serial numbers and some issues still exist.

Again, all of that said, I think this lens is a great lens and have been a worthy addition for me.

 mgonda's gear list:mgonda's gear list
Sony a7R II Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +4 more
Baldclicks Regular Member • Posts: 467
Re: Great images, tiny size, fast and accurate focus, no VR issue

I love this lens, although, with the new 70-200mm f2.8FL tipped to be very well behaved with TC2.0 III, I am wondering if I should just keep that lens and TC1.4III and TC2.0III vs that lens and Nikon 300mm PF.  I don't have TC2.0III so sitting on the fence.

Any suggestions?

 Baldclicks's gear list:Baldclicks's gear list
Nikon D5 Nikon D6 Nikon Z6 II Nikon Z7 II DJI Pocket 2 +15 more
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