It seems like a person can get an older 300 AF F4 ED lens for a pretty good price, between 300 and 600 dollars depending on condition. Would this be a reasonable lens to get into a longer prime, or are these lens just too old? I would be using this on my D7K.
I had one which I sold to get the AF-S version, but I thought it was a good lens. The only drawbacks were that it didn't focus very close and the focusing itself was somewhat slow compared to the AF-S.
I used to have this lens. The image quality is excellent, which I don't have any compliant. But I do complain the focus speed. I used it on D7000. It is on the slow side. For fast moving object, this might be a problem. The copy I had is in mint condition but occasionally it squeals. I am not sure it is a copy-specific matter or just being old. Eventually, I sold it. Hope this helps.
For back-yard birding, I think it's a fine choice. Others say that it's too challenging for things like sports, although I'm not so sure as I've shot sports with slower lenses without much issue. But back yard birds - I've done that with manual focus lenses, which can't possibly be easier or quicker. In the yard you usually have a really clear idea of where you'll be aiming, and AF speed is rarely at issue.
On the other hand, I'm more than a little suspicious that a merely 100mm is not what you're really after. With birds, unless you're really into very large birds (storks, herons, eagles, etc) you usually can't have enough focal length. Even for back yard birding I usually prefer 800mm and I'd go further than that if my lenses permitted.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
FYI, the newer Nikon TC's won't work on the older 300 f4 - AFS is required for those. That said, with a Kenko 1.4 TC, which will work, you would have 420mm f5.6, which will AF, and will effectively be a 630mm field of view. I don't know how big your backyard is, but that is a lot of FL.
>FYI, the newer Nikon TC's won't work on the older 300 f4 - >AFS is required for those. That said, with a Kenko 1.4 TC, >which will work, you would have 420mm f5.6, which will AF, and >will effectively be a 630mm field of view. I don't know how >big your backyard is, but that is a lot of FL.
Hello Ryan. There never seems to be a lot of FL.
Here are 3 photos I just took. The tree in the photo is about 80' away in my yard. The 1st photo is with the AF 300mm f4 , the subject of this post. The 2nd is with the same lens plus the Kenko Pro 1.4x extender. The 3rd photo is with an AIS 400mm f5.6 ED-IF lens plus the Kenko Pro 2x extender. In the very center of the photo are 3 branch ends in a row and close together. That's about the size of a Bluejay.
That last photo has the equivalent view of a 1200mm lens on a full frame camera. You either want more lens or get a lot closer. I'll take the last photo.
I have one of these lenses and it works just fine although the autofocus is not as fast as an AFS lens. I don't use mine much since I have the Nikon 200-400 f/4 AFS and the Sigma 50-500 which both have VR. As mentioned, paired with a Kenko tc you are out to 630mm making this lens the cheapest way to accomplish that focal length.
Sun 25-Nov-12 11:16 PM | edited Sun 25-Nov-12 11:22 PM by smkunder
I am thinking you are right Jim, with a limited budget at this time I can get closer to what I want to do. I know its not optimum, but it seems like a pretty good alternative. Which kenko TC is everyone suggesting at the best to retain AF? Thanks all for the responses. Just a side note Jim, do you think the 200-400 lens is as sharp as the 300?
I know I am coming into this thread a bit late, but thought I would share my experience with this lens (I still own and use it regularly). If you check out my Nikonians Gallery you can see some shots I took with the lens on my D5000 (No autofocus ). However, the IQ is great, and the solid construction of the lens (mostly metal) is sturdy. It can be a tad heavy, but teles are obviously going to be heavier, and if you use a tripod it doesn't really matter anyhow. The only other complaint I have (which isn't a huge deal) is that it does not have VR. But most of my shots are keepers without VR as long as I shoot at 1/200s or faster (handheld). I love my AF 300mm f/4— it's an excellent product for the cost. I hope this helps!
Thanks Len for the comparison pics, it helps with the decision process. I just missed one on Ebay last night. May wait for one on here as I feel much more comfortable buying here. Want to thank everyone for all their help. This sure a great source for learning.
I have a 300/4 AF-S, but still keep my old 300/4 AF around as I've grown attached and also have quite a bit invested in it (including a recent Nikon C&C). It's an extremely sharp and nicely-built lens, one of Nikon's last real classics, IMO, as far as build is concerned.
If it makes you feel any better, the 300/4 AF-S is not considered to be one of Nikon's fastest-focusing AF lenses, despite it being an AF-S, and I find the older 300/4 quite often to be fast enough, depending on the subject of course. I really I enjoy using it.
Thanks D2xer I have made the decision to get one, just have to find it now at a good price. I have been seeing some great stuff in the widlife forum the last couple of days using this lens, and that has also helped to seal the deal for me.
Glad to hear of your decision. I had thought of selling mine some day, but was always reluctant as I know I'd regret it. There have been some nice ones up for sale within the last few months, usually in the $500-600 range. To further expand the possibilities of this lens, an 82mm to 77mm reducing ring and a Canon 500D diopter can get you some very nice long-range macro results.