Bottom line is that I am retiring on Friday (two days).
I am thinking about the 300 f/4. It will either go on a D4 or a D800. Since the D4 has such ability with ISO, is the f/4 just right, or would the f/2.8 be lots better (and worth the $5700 price tag)?
I have a 500mm, and an 80-200mm. TC set of the 1.4, 1.7 and the 2.0 II.
"Today is the tomorrow that yesterday you spent money like there was no"
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#1. "RE: 300mm f/4 or f/2.8?" | In response to Reply # 0Wingman Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2002Thu 27-Jun-13 12:51 AM
Depends on what you want to do with it, I reckon. I have the F4 version -- the 2.8 is just way too big to carry walking anywhere. The F4 AFS is wonderful with the TC-14E and can be used in good light with the TC-17. I borrow a 2.8 version for some airplane and car racing events, since it works spectacularly well with a TC-17.
Both are great lenses -- you just need to be clear on what you want a 300 for...
#2. "RE: 300mm f/4 or f/2.8?" | In response to Reply # 0dm1dave Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Thu 27-Jun-13 01:03 AM
That is a difficult choice. Both are superb lenses – the f/ 2.8 is about as sharp as you can get and the f/4 is right up there. Both will work well with the TC14 and TC17 on either of those two bodies.
The price and the size (weight) are two big factors in the decision. The f/4 should be easier to handhold and carry around. The f2.8 can be handheld but it is still fairly heavy.
Have you considered the Sigma 120-300/f2.8 OS?
The Sigma lens also has superb optics and is quite a bit less expensive than the Nikon 300/2.8. The Sigma does not work well with the Nikon TC’s but it is outstanding with the Sigma 1.4TC.
B&H also has the first OS version of this lens for just $2400.
#3. "RE: 300mm f/4 or f/2.8?" | In response to Reply # 0ajdooley Nikonian since 25th May 2006Thu 27-Jun-13 11:07 AM | edited Thu 27-Jun-13 11:08 AM by ajdooley
Dan -- I'm no real help -- I have neither 300 mm lens. Dave's thought about the Sigma 120-300 may be germane though. All things being equal -- which they seldom are -- I like the flexibility of zooms.
But more importantly... congratulations on your retirement tomorrow! That will be a great day. Then the next day will be Saturday... as will EVERY DAY for the rest of your life! You will doubtless stay busy, but now YOU will set the agenda. Enjoy the days. Treasure the opportunities and take time to love your close friends and family.
Waterloo, IL, USA
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#4. "RE: 300mm f/4 or f/2.8?" | In response to Reply # 0Richcower Registered since 22nd Jan 2013Thu 27-Jun-13 12:32 PM | edited Thu 27-Jun-13 12:33 PM by Richcower
Congratulations on your retirement. I'll state the obvious, when you need f2.8 you'll be happy you've got it. You can never there with the f4 lens. You might want to find a shop that has both so you determine if the 2.8 is something you can manage, it's a lot bigger and heavier than the f4. You could try renting them too. The 2.8 version accepts all the TC's very nicely, despite its size it is very versatile. Regarding the current Sigma 120-300, I'd suggest reading up,on the problems people have reported with it, Roger at Lensrentals did a writeup on it and discussed its issues. After two years Sigma has released an updated version that is getting excellent reviews.
If you're set on one of the Nikon 300's, try them. If you think you can manage the 2.8, reward yourself for making it to this milestone in life and get it. You won't be disappointed.
#11. "RE: 300mm f/4 or f/2.8?" | In response to Reply # 4dm1dave Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Thu 27-Jun-13 10:27 PM
“Regarding the current Sigma 120-300, I'd suggest reading up,on the problems people have reported with it, Roger at Lensrentals did a writeup on it and discussed its issues. After two years Sigma has released an updated version that is getting excellent reviews.”
Just to be clear about which version is which...
In my post above I linked to both OS versions of the 120-300. The first link is for the most recent version ($3600) – the one that is consistently getting excellent reviews.
The second link is for the older version ($2500) that apparently has some issues. The most significant was that some users reported that “The lens had a problem with focusing. When you angled the lens up about 45 degrees (for birds in trees) the lens would not focus.” – I am not sure how prevalent this issue has been - It has always had great reviews for optical quality.
#7. "RE: 300mm f/4 or f/2.8?" | In response to Reply # 6gearsau Nikonian since 29th Sep 2004Thu 27-Jun-13 07:46 PM | edited Thu 27-Jun-13 07:53 PM by gearsau
Purchase the 300mm f2.8 and be done with it
You will always regret not getting it, if you go the 300mm f4 route.
There is no comparison between a 300mm f2.8 and 300mm f4.
I have " been there and done that in the past ". Always go for the one your head ( and heart) wants.
I own Nikon 300mm f2.8 AF-S ( 1997), 500mm F4 AF-I ( 1995), and 800mm f5.6 ( manual)..Never regretting purchasing them.
The Nikon TC14E is magic on the 300 & 500 mm lenses.
#8. "RE: 300mm f/4 or f/2.8?" | In response to Reply # 7D_Taylor Registered since 06th Jun 2013Thu 27-Jun-13 09:16 PM
Without the 500 I would say 2.8 hands down. With the 500 you have to pick over weight or versitility. The 2.8 will focus better and you can see though it at dusk with a 1.7 tc. If you had the 500 with you I would never use the 1.7 anyways. Really if it where me I would chose the 200-400. That's a nice combo with your 500. It weighs about the same as the 2.8 300, zoom, still plays well with a 1.4 tc, sharp, and focuses better that the 300 f4
#10. "RE: 300mm f/4 or f/2.8?" | In response to Reply # 9Lunastar Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010Thu 27-Jun-13 10:17 PM | edited Thu 27-Jun-13 10:20 PM by Lunastar
I'd get my hands on a 300/2.8 and try it out. If it feels right-get it as it's a crazy sharp, focuses like lightning with and without TC's. However, the 300/4 is very portable, within a hair of the 2.8's sharpness and takes a TC very well. Plus, your bodies are high ISO dreams so f4 shouldn't be a huge concern.
The 300/4 is the most portable sharp tele you can get. IMHO, anyway! If by wildlife you mean mammals then I'd also say look at the 200-400/4 as it takes a 14TC well and is the go to lens for many serious big gamer photogs.
#12. "RE: 300mm f/4 or f/2.8?" | In response to Reply # 0
Dan, I have both lenses. I don't have the 500mm so I use the f2.8 300 with extenders like the TC-20E III to bring me up to 600mm. I almost always use it on a tripod.
If I had the 500mm f4 I would use it more often than the 300mm f2.8. I probably wouldn't even have the 2.8 lens.
When it comes down between the f2.8 and the f4 lens I use the f4 much more often because of it's light weight and it's excellent performance. Since I got my D800 I use it even with the TC-20E III. Of course as a 600mm lens the f2.8 is better but not by much.
If I had your gear I would go with the f4 lens.
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#13. "RE: 300mm f/4 or f/2.8?" | In response to Reply # 0
Congrats on the retirement. Now don't sit back in the Rocking Chair and waste a way.
I've been retired due to disability since 1993-94 and my health has gone down constantly.
I always tell any one pondering retirement unless your retiring due to health reasons, not to do so. To die with your boots on. I was an electronics Tech and am on various groups associated Electronics Technicians. I tell each considering retirement, They should work up until they find your dead body setting at a bench and have to pry a soldering iron out of your hand.
Retirement especially if you don't have the means is not a joyful experience. If you do have means, you Travel until you get bored or run out of money. Then retirement is drudgery.
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#14. "RE: 300mm f/4 or f/2.8?" | In response to Reply # 13Wingman Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2002Sat 29-Jun-13 01:33 PM
Nonsense! Retirement is a chance to do all you wanted to do but were working too hard and long to do. We volunteer in a National Park all winter, and travel and take pictures in the summer. Retirement has been quite wonderful for us.
#15. "RE: 300mm f/4 or f/2.8?" | In response to Reply # 0
I've tried both and kept the 300/4. Both are superb. At f/4, I did not see any difference. Both are very sharp, contrasty and have fast AF. Obviously, the f/2.8 has f/2.8 and thus more subject isolation. If I were shooting sports, then that would have been my choice, but I don't, and I don't have any other use for 300mm and f/2.8.
For wildlife, I have the 500/4, and when I go light and don't want to carry that, then I use the 300/4. Also, the 300/4 focuses much closer than the 300/2.8 or 500/4, and that is important to me. I use it for semi-macro as well, either alone or with an extension tube. This saves me carrying an extra macro lens. So for me, the 300/4 was the better choice.
One thing I wanted to note: While the 300/4 is fine with the TC 1.4 and to some extent TC 1.7, the 300/2.8 works very well with all the TCs, up to the TC 2.0III, for a quite good 600mm f/5.6. This was not important to me either as I have the 500/4, but for somebody who wants to have a single long lens, mainly shoots sports and needs an occasional longer lens for wildlife, then the 300/2.8 is a great package.
Bay Area Nikonian