AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR is a light weight and compact lens for a nature photographer (01.04.2016)
Text and photos: Vladimir Oja
As a photographer, I am focused on capturing landscapes and the longest lens in my camera bag is 70mm. But sometimes situations occur that require telescopic lens. I AM PHOTOGRAPHER Pro Shop gave me an opportunity to try out a telescopic lens. I had to make a choice between 70-200mm f/2,8G ED VR II NIKKOR and AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR. As I wanted to keep the weight of the camera bag as low as possible I chose AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR as a test lens. Weight was not the only reason I decided on this camera – I also considered the measures of the lens. This lens weighs less than NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S and NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G AF-S ED and its measures are a bit bigger than those of 24-70mm f2.8. Because of this latter characteristic, this lens does not look like a telescopic lens in the camera bag and it is very similar to 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.
Like most fixed focal length lenses, there is nothing bad to say about the photo quality even when shooting with f4. AF is fast and VR is helpful when shooting from hand. In this sense, this lens is exemplary.
When shooting, I was impressed by the smoothness of the focusing ring. The focusing rings of AF lenses that I use move quite easily, which makes manual focusing not so smooth.
There is no point in complaining about the price of this lens compared to is predecessor because new technologies cost more and when we compare its price with the price of AF-S NIKKOR 300mm F/2.8 G ED VR II, it is clear that you have to pay more than double the price for the superb optical power. When we think about a telescopic lens that is compact and would not take much room in the camera bag, AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR is surely a good choice.