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Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED 35mm Primes

4.65 star rating
                      4.65 / 5 (20 Reviews)
MSRP : $1149.00
Focal Length : 300mm | Max. Aperture : f/4  | Focus : Autofocus  

  • Camera Format35 mm SLR
    Lens TypeFixed Focal Length Lens
    Focal Length300mm
    Lens Max Aperturef/4
    Min Aperturef/32
    Focus TypeAutofocus
    Macro LensWithout Macro Lens
    Closest Focusing Distance60 in
    Picture Angle8 degrees
    Attachment / Filter Size77 mm
    Groups / Elements10 Elements in 6 Groups
    Diameter3.5 in
    Length8.8 in
    Weight49.6 oz
    Product ID20724209

Product Description

Exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor enables ultra-high-speed autofocusing with exceptional accuracy and powerful super-quiet operation. No power consumption during manual focus operation.

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Reviews 1 - 5 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Rob Whiteley a Expert

Date Reviewed: January 6, 2011

Strengths:    Pretty much everything, see above

Weaknesses:    Pretty much nothing, see above

Bottom Line:   
Primarily purchased as a ‘with minimum compromise’ telephoto lens for wildlife photography, after years of being ultimately disappointed by the performance of 70-300 f.4-5.6-type lenses when compared to my prime wide-angle and medium-range telephoto lenses.

It was just finding the right telephoto, and making the financial plunge. And to be honest I wished I’d done it sooner…

Performance is staggering:

Focussing is accurate (when YOU’RE accurate!), and quiet. It’s also fast, even with a medium-range body like my D90. It’s even faster on a D700.

Very sharp, easily on par if not surpassing my 24/ f.2.8 and 85/1.8. When coupled with the fantastic, isolating, quality of the bokeh that the lens provides, the results can be instantly gorgeous. Seriously, if you’ve never used a lens like this before, when you first get the results back you think ‘Crikey, so this how the pro’s make the shots look like they do’. It really is like that. And as other have said, you can have every confidence using it wide-open at f.4 with no real loss.

Colour and contrast are spot-on, and certainly nothing to worry about.

Size and portability are a boon. It actually seems lighter than you might imagine for its size, but is really well made and has a solid, robust feel to it. I never even thought about spending the thousands more on a super-hefty 300/2.8, but being able to carry the thing around on day-long walks and outings, as I do, is definitely a consideration.

On that subject, nor have I tried the 2.8/300, but from what I’ve read the performance difference between it and this seem remarkably close for the price difference.

I’ve tried this against a friend’s 80-200 f.2.8, and considered one of those as oppose to this in the first place. The zoom obviously offers more versatility but to be honest the results from the 300 just seem that much sharper. Some might disagree but to me it was obvious. I just prioritised sharpness and that extra bit of focal length over the greater range of application of the 80-200. I also thought about the 80-400 VR but just too many sensible-sounding pro/user reviews commented negatively on the AF speed and the minimum focussing distance.
Haven’t tried it with a converter at all.

Built-in hood is a great trick, and extremely useful.

Another thing to consider is these type of lenses hold their value really well so if you ever want to sell it, and especially if you’ve kept the box and everything else, you’re never going to make a big loss. (I’d even consider buying one before, say, a month-long safari trip, then selling it after. Must be cheaper than hiring one).

Negatives? Nothing major; nothing at all. It seems a bit over-priced but these things always are, and there’s nothing you can do about that! Also, though it’s not a negative, there’s no rear element so when you look down the back of the lens you just see aperture blades and an empty space that stretches deep in to the body of it. It just looks vulnerable to dust, things etc getting lost in there. (Something to check if getting a second-hand one).

Overall – thoroughly happy with it and really still feel it was the best quality/size/price/minimum-compromise lens available for my priorities/budget.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $880.00

Similar Products Used:   Nikon: 70-210 f4-5.6; 70-300 AFS; 80-200 AFS f2.8

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ric_Pol a Expert from Roma - ITALY

Date Reviewed: June 7, 2002

Strengths:    Sharpness & contrast. Good quality with 1.4 X TCs.

Weaknesses:    Price, considering that the lens does not have VR feature.

Bottom Line:   
Nikon introduced the AF-S 300/4 lens in 2001, thus replacing the glorious AF ED 300/4 IF. The new lens has some interesting features, which allow to consider it, at least in my opinion, as a real improvement on the previous model. Such features are:

- the silent-wave AF motor (AF-S), which works also with F4-Series cameras;

- the use of 77 mm filters (finally!);

- a quite useful 1.45 m minimum focusing distance.

Color rendition is awesome and distorsion is comparable to my 50/1.8 E, i.e. nil. A state-of-the-art performance!
At the widest aperture an almost imperceptible corner light fall-off is visible, which disappears at f/5.6. Therefore, the light fall-off is better corrected than the previous non-D AF model. I guess the maximum aperture is around 1/3 stop less than f/4. In fact, slides taken at 1/500" f/4 are slightly darker than images at 1/250" f/5.6 or 1/125" f/8. To get similar densities at different apertures I have to compensate for +1/3 EV @ f/4.
The lens exhibits a very good sharpness at f/4, even in the corners. At f/5.6 sharpness increases and image quality is excellent. W/open & with my TC-14B the sharpness is very good, but contrast decreases. However, the overall performance is preferable to the AF Tokina ATX 400 mm f/5.6, a telephoto lens I used in the past with satisfaction.
I consider the AFS 300/4 a tool preferable to the f/2.8 brother because:
- it is unobtrusive & much lighter (a real travel lens, supplied with a nice semi-soft case);
- it focuses closer;
- it can produce high quality images even w/open;
- yes, it's slower, but it costs 4000 € less ...

About tripod collar, several reviews have stressed vibration issues. I consider the quality of the tripod collar of my sample (serial number: 210xxx) "satisfactory".

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

Price Paid:    $1350.00

Purchased At:   DearCamera

Similar Products Used:   AF Nikkor 300/4 ED; AF Tokina ATX 100-300/4; AF Tokina ATX 400/5.6; AF Tamron LD 400/4

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by uwcamerman a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: May 30, 2002

Strengths:    Sharp, fast focus, light. relatively cheap

Weaknesses:    The resale value if and when nikon releases a VR model.

Bottom Line:   
This lens is super sharp and super fast focusing. The only lens in this range that I would consider optically better(for Nikon) is the 300mm 2.8AF-S. This being true, I believe with all my heart that the 300mm f/4 AF-S is a BETTER lens. Now before you get all excited let me explain. Most photographers who use the 300mm f/2.8 stop it down to f/4 for max sharpness and light fall off reasons anyway. The 300mm f/4 is d*** sharp wide open with virtually no light fall off. The fact that at f/4 the 300mm f/2.8 is sharper than the 300mm f/4 is undeniable, but is it 500% sharper? For the price of the 2.8 I could pay for a whole lotta film and only in a handfull of images would I notice a difference. Now, other than price, it is lighter and smaller. Try hand holding the two lenses at the same exposure of 1/350sec and f8 and then tell me which lens is sharper! The f4 also focus closer. Unless you have someone to carry your gear for you, don't even look at the 2.8. And if you have an extra $3000 plus dollars to throw away, give it to charity or even me as thanks for saving your back from all that lifting! There is only one lens that will replace my 300 f/4 AF-S, and that is the 300f/4 AF-S VR if Nikon ever makes it.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by cmcaroffino a Expert from Battle Creek, Mi. USA

Date Reviewed: December 30, 2001

Strengths:    Very sharp, fast & quiet autofocus, well built

Weaknesses:    As others have noted the tripod collar isn't as smooth as on other Nikon lens but I can live it.

Bottom Line:   
A fantastic lens. I have used it with a Tamron SP AF 1.4 converter and the Kenko autofocus extension tubes with great results. This lens focuses close by itself and with addition of either the 1.4 converter or the Kenko extension tubes,it makes a great close-up lens with a lot of working distance. The long focal length completly wipes out the background. The autofocus is fast and quiet. I have used it to follow flying waterfowl on the Nikon F100 and the pictures were sharp and in focus. Could never do this with a manual lens. I love this lens and it is one of my most used lens for outdoor photography. Would highly recommend this lens.

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Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   B&H

Similar Products Used:   Nikon f2.8 80-200, Nikon 70-180 micro zoom,several nikon lens from zooms to fixed focal length

Type of photography:   People

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by alois a Intermediate from Ottawa Canada

Date Reviewed: November 3, 2001

Strengths:    Sharp, fast focus and solid.

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
Steping up from 70 - 300 5.6 ED this lens is simply incomparable. Even when matched with TC 20 E converter it is still tack sharp. Had to purchase good solid tripod and supporting arm from Manfroto and my soft image problems were eliminated. Comfortable in free hand action photography.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Ginn Photographic

Similar Products Used:   70 - 300 5.6 ED Nikkor
70 - 210 ?? Nikkor

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Reviews 1 - 5 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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