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Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 300MM f/4E PF ED Vibration Reduction Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
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- Perfect for fashion, portraits, nature, wildlife, sports, and more.Vibration Reduction Fixed Zoom Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras
- Phase Fresnel lens provides superior chromatic aberration compensation performance
- Nano Crystal Coat reduces lens flare and ghosting
- Silent Wave Motor (SWM) provides quiet, fast autofocusing with seamless manual override
- Vibration Reduction improves image stability by automatically compensating for camera shake for up to 4.5 shutter speed stops
|Lens Compatibility Information: FX and DX lenses can be mounted on all Nikon DSLR cameras. However, using a DX lens on an FX camera or an FX lens on a DX camera will result in a 1.5x crop factor.
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Nikon 300mm f/4E PF VR AF-S ED-IF Telephoto Nikkor Lens
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|Sold By||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Samy's Camera, Inc.||Cameta Camera|
|Compatible Camera Mount||Nikon F (FX)||Nikon F (FX)||Nikon F (FX)||Nikon F (FX)||Nikon F (FX)||—|
|Focus Type||Ultrasonic||Ultrasonic||Ultrasonic||Ultrasonic||Ring-type ultrasonic||auto-focus|
|Item Dimensions||3.5 x 5.83 x 3.5 in||3.54 x 8.78 x 3.54 in||4.88 x 10.55 x 4.88 in||3.78 x 7.99 x 3.78 in||6.3 x 14.09 x 6.3 in||5.2 x 8.46 x 5.12 in|
|Item Weight||1.66 lbs||3.17 lbs||6.39 lbs||3.46 lbs||8.38 lbs||1.66 lbs|
|Lens Type||Prime lens||Prime lens||Prime lens||Zoom lens||Prime lens||telephoto|
|Maximum Focal Length||300 millimeters||300 millimeters||300 millimeters||400 millimeters||400 millimeters||300 millimeters|
|Minimum Focal Length||300 millimeters||300 millimeters||300 millimeters||80 millimeters||400 millimeters||300 millimeters|
|Photo Filter Thread Size||77 millimeters||77 millimeters||52 millimeters||77 millimeters||41 millimeters||77 millimeters|
The Nikon 300mm f/4 prime lens is capable of changing the way pro and serious enthusiasts shoot. At just 147.5mm long and 755g-over 30% shorter and 1.5lbs lighter than its predecessor-the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR is the world's lightest 300mm full-frame AF lens. (As of January 5, 2015. Statement based on Nikon research.) The secret to its remarkable size? A Nikon-designed Phase Fresnel (PF) lens element, a first for the NIKKOR DSLR lens lineup. But handling isn't the only advantage; the PF element also performs brilliantly-achieve new levels of sharpness and clarity with virtually no chromatic aberration or ghosting. Whether you shoot fashion, portraits, nature, wildlife, sports, action or today's big stories, the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR will help you capture stunning views of the decisive moment.FEATURES: Thrilling new optical performance - The AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR is a cutting-edge lens engineered to draw peak performance from high-resolution full-frame cameras. The Phase Fresnel element nearly eliminates chromatic aberration on its own. When combined with an Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass element and Nano Crystal Coat (N), it delivers strikingly clear, accurate images. Nikon's Silent Wave Motor (SWM) provides ultra-quiet, ultra-fast autofocusing with seamless manual override (just spin the focusing ring), and a Fluorine coating on the front lens element effectively repels dust, water, grease or dirt, ensuring easy cleaning.Speed, precision and versatility - The AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR is a quintessential prime lens that belongs in the serious photographer's bag. Its fast f/4 maximum aperture and rounded nine-blade diaphragm produce beautiful bokeh. A highly accurate electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism ensures consistent exposures, especially when shooting at high frame rates. And for greater reach, the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR is compatible with most Nikon Teleconverters. Work in nearly any light, at any
From the Manufacturer
The power of a Phase Fresnel lens in a revolutionary 300mm.
Introducing a thrilling new 300mm f/4 prime lens capable of changing the way pro and serious enthusiasts shoot. At just 147.5mm long and 755g over 30% shorter and 1.5lbs lighter than its predecessor the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR is the world's lightest 300mm full-frame AF lens. (As of January 5, 2015. Statement based on Nikon research.) The secret to its remarkable size? A Nikon-designed Phase Fresnel (PF) lens element, a first for the NIKKOR DSLR lens lineup. But handling isn't the only advantage; the PF element also performs brilliantly achieve new levels of sharpness and clarity with virtually no chromatic aberration or ghosting. Whether you shoot fashion, portraits, nature, wildlife, sports, action or today's big stories, the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR will help you capture stunning views of the decisive moment.
Pushing the lens technology envelope
Thrilling new optical performance
The AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR is a cutting-edge lens engineered to draw peak performance from high-resolution full-frame cameras. The Phase Fresnel element nearly eliminates chromatic aberration on its own. When combined with an Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass element and Nano Crystal Coat (N), it delivers strikingly clear, accurate images. Nikon's Silent Wave Motor (SWM) provides ultra-quiet, ultra-fast autofocusing with seamless manual override (just spin the focusing ring), and a Fluorine coating on the front lens element effectively repels dust, water, grease or dirt, ensuring easy cleaning.
A prime example of excellence
Speed, precision and versatility
The AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR is a quintessential prime lens that belongs in the serious photographer's bag. Its fast f/4 maximum aperture and rounded nine-blade diaphragm produce beautiful bokeh. A highly accurate electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism ensures consistent exposures, especially when shooting at high frame rates. And for greater reach, the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR is compatible with most Nikon Teleconverters. Work in nearly any light, at any distance, with outstanding sharpness and contrast.
New levels of sharpness and clarity
4.5 stops* of Vibration Reduction
The AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR's Vibration Reduction (VR) feature provides an image stabilizing effect equivalent to a shutter speed increase of 4.5 stops* (in NORMAL mode; based on CIPA Standard). Capture sharp, clear handheld images in low light, of fast action and more. VR modes specifically designed for Sports & Action and Tripod Shooting deliver specialized image stabilization to match your situation.
*Based on CIPA Standard. This value is achieved when: FX-format compatible lenses are attached to an FX-format digital SLR camera.
- AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR
- LC-77 Snap-On Front Lens Cap 77mm
- LF-4 Rear Lens Cap
- HB-73 Bayonet Lens Hood
- CL-M3 Semi-soft Lens Case
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Update: As has been widely reported, this lens has a significant VR problem. The VR actually induces image blur between about 1/100-1/200s shutter speeds. I noticed it early on, but once Nikon acknowledged the problem, I felt relieved that it would be resolved. Well, I was wrong. It has now been back to Nikon twice, and they aren't able to fix the issue. They updated the firmware on the first return, and it had no effect. After showing them sample images clearly demonstrating the issue still exists, they asked for it back again, and are now claiming they can't find an issue. So if you think you would be using this lens in the above mentioned shutter speed range, I can't recommend that you buy it. If you always shoot faster than 1/200th s anyway, the lens is absolutely amazing with it's performance. I've reduced my star rating from 5 to 3 because of the VR issue, and Nikon's handling of it.
Prologue: I use only DX cameras, with this lens.
I purchased this with the intent of at least complimenting my AF-S 80-400mm f.4.5-5.6G ED VR. Which is does very nicely. What you lose in reach (and focal length flexibility) over the 80-400 you gain in the essentially full extra stop of light. Plus, it's (marginally) sharper wide open than the 80-400 is at any setting, so you actually gain even more light, i.e. I'll happily use this at f/4 (where depth of field allows) whereas I typically use the 80-400 at f/7.1.
The VR works very nicely, though perhaps not *quite* as good as the 80-400. The 80-400 has that magical feel like the lens is actually steering the camera - the viewfinder image can be that solid. And you can use the 80-400, at 400, down to ridiculously low shutter speeds - I have *pixel*-sharp hand-held shots taken at 1/2s, for example (given repeated attempts, of course). This 300 just doesn't have that, to the same degree. However, at more typical shutter speeds, the actual photos reflect a slightly different reality than the viewfinder image would lead you to believe - that the 300's VR system might actually be doing better than the 80-400's. In particular, I get quite a few shots from the 80-400, particularly in continuous shooting mode, which have visible motion blur. At least sometimes this is not just despite the VR, but *because* of it - turning VR off entirely sometimes improves sharpness. Not so with the 300 here. So that's very nice - you can just leave VR on, on this 300, and forget about it forever.
Oh, and let's not forget the weight. This 300 is (by big telephoto standards) almost comically small and light. It really feels like a play-thing in comparison to all its competitors. So you don't get quite the "aren't I a big professional now" feel of carrying other quality telephoto lenses around, but then at the end of the day you also don't get the "why am I so old and decrepit" feeling either, so... :)
(don't be misled, though - it still has a feeling of high quality)
Compared to the older model AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED, this one is unequivocally superior in every way. Smaller, lighter, sharper, excellent VR (heck, VR *at all*), and - contrary to what some people say - in my opinion the bokeh of this new lens is at least as good. Even with the difference in price, I'd always pick this newer model.
Bokeh is of course a key criteria in this kind of lens, second (IMHO) only to sharpness. I think this 300 compares well with the 80-400, and its predecessor 300/4. Comparing like apertures (so ~f/5.6) to the 80-400, it has a subtly different look, but it's neither clearly better nor worse. Open it wide and, unsurprisingly, it wins easily. It doesn't necessarily yield the results of a 300/2.8, or longer focal length primes like the 500/4 & 600/4, but to my eye that's more than anything just about the difference in focal length or aperture, not the intrinsic quality of the bokeh itself.
Minimum focusing distance is respectable but unremarkable. Combined with a teleconverter you can start to use this for 'macro' work, and that it can still yield a good-looking f/5.6 with a 1.4x tele, and consequently about a 1:3 reproduction ratio, makes it perfectly usable for larger 'macro' critters - e.g. dragonflies, larger frogs, etc. And you'll get closer than the 80-400 too (which is officially only 1:5, though by my eye closer to 1:4 with manual focusing).
One caveat worth mentioning is that it doesn't come with a tripod collar, which is arguably okay, but if you stick this on a small body like a D5500, and/or stick a teleconverter or extension tubes on, then it does get a little disconcertingly front-heavy. This would be okay, if the tripod collar - sold as an optional accessory - weren't ridiculously expensive by itself.
The only other point to note is the price. For not that much more you can get the 80-400, for example, and have that extra reach and, perhaps more importantly, dramatically increased shooting flexibility thanks to the relatively generous focal length range. For me, if I had to pick just one for all time, I'd probably just flip a coin. In some situations this 300 is better, in others the 80-400. But if anything about the 80-400 puts you off - perhaps the extra cost, or the substantial extra weight & size, etc - *and* the fixed focal length of this 300 doesn't bother you, then I recommend you go with the 300.
Oh, and if you're comparing this to something like a Tamron or Sigma 150-600, or anything else of that heft, I wouldn't. They're very different. If you are focused on size & weight, or image quality, then those aren't really in contention. Conversely if you must have the extra reach, then this 300 isn't a good option (sticking a 2x teleconverter on it really hurts the image quality). And I wouldn't compare it to any older superzooms like the 200-500s, 150-500s, 50-500, etc - those are all rubbish in comparison to this (in addition to being big, heavy, and ugly).
Upon receiving the Nikkor 300mmF4 VR lens, I checked it out first for sharpness and focus, then for any VR problems.
Let me first say that this lens is sharp, sharp, sharp even wide open. It totally equals its larger 2.8 cousin at every aperture. This lens also focuses accurately and quickly.
At first, I thought I did not have a VR problem. It was only after many shots I notice a problem. I would get a double horizontal line between shutter speed of 1/80th to 160th second. Please note that this was only noticeable on horizontal lines, not vertical lines. The degree of what I called astigmatism, was from 2 to 4 pixels. This occurred on all my camera bodies (D800, D750, and D7200). Iso Values higher than 1600 often masked the problem. To make the problem most visible, I would photograph road signs. The abrupt white to black transition on the sign printing made an easy way to evaluate the degree of the problem.
After my May trip to South Africa and the Kruger National Park, I sent the lens back to Nikon with detailed photos of the problem. The lens was returned a week later with a statement saying that the lens was within their specifications. No detailed analysis was provided.
After some thought, I tried a different approach to the problem. I did a lot of internet research as to Nikon VR systems in general. One thing stood out in my research. The weak point of most VR systems is around 1/125th second exposure. Why, I am not sure. Interaction with the mirror, shutter, or something else? Also, the low weight of this lens coupled with its high IQ is unique. Most all systems of equal quality would weight at least twice as much.
I tried various techniques such as gripping the lens and camera body tighter, bracing my arms, using a monopod, etc. all with no success.
By chance I then tried just holding the camera loosely and not gripping the lens at all. For the first time, I was able to get a good, sharp shot at 1/125th second. My success rate was about 33% of photos taken. My best result was with the D7200, even though this camera magnifies the telephoto ability of this lens to 450mm.
Although this seemed counter to what one should expect, it did start to make sense when I researched further. Thom Hogan had a great article that helped explain the workings of VR and the problems with tripod mounting and shutter speeds in the 1/125th range.
During these experiments, I was also corresponding with a well known Canadian nature photographer, who was not having any problems with this lens in regards to VR. I did discover that he used the extra grip attachment on all his Nikon cameras, whereas, I did not. The grip attachment for the D7200 was recently on sale so I thought I would give it a try.
I can now tell you that, with the Nikon MB-D16 grip attached to the D7200, the 300mmF4 VR worked flawlessly at 1/125th second as well as all other shutter speeds in the questionable rearm of 1/80th to 1/160th. Only one caveat here: you still must keep your hands completely off the lens itself.
Why the extra grip works so well I do not know. It could be the extra mass, or the better balance, or the extra area for your hands. All I know is that it works well, even when I attach the TC 14EII teleconverter.
I am now so pleased with this lens. For bird photography, I use this lens with the 1.4 teleconverter on a D7200 with the extra grip attached. That gives me a hand holdible 600mm (35mm equivalent) F5.6 lens in a combo that only weighs 4 pounds! This allows for quick response, which is really useful on birds in flight. The images I get are stunning. In some ways I can do better than those guys with the 10 pound lenses. I have no need for a tripod, monopod or any other contraption to hold the lens.
I hope others can benefit from my experience and can repeat the results I found above.
It is now 2016 and only love this lens more. I was able to get the grip attachment (MB-D15) for my D750 last week. I was hoping for my VR problem to go away with the use of this grip on the D750, as it did on the D7200. Well, miracles of miracles, it did go away!
Get this lens if you want top quality that you can carry with you all day. I always have this lens with me, whether in the car, walking or extended hiking. Couple this lens with any of Nikon's tele-converters and you will get candid shots that just were not possible before.