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300mm f40 AFS

hotrats49

Member
Hi there. I've recently had the opportunity to purchase a very reasonably priced second hand Nikkor 300mm f4.0 AFS lens which is yet to arrive. I intend to try it out in the field for both still and moving subjects. If anyone in the forum has experience with this lens, I would appreciate your comments on the following: 1) General impressions of the lens and the much criticized tripod collar. 2) The replacement collars offered by Really Right Stuff or Kirk Enterprises. I've looked at the designs on their respective web sites and the two collars are quite different. 3) The lens reportedly works very well with the TC14E converters. Has anyone tried this lens with the newish TC17EII teleconverter? Thanks a lot and keep shooting, whatever your equipment or subject matter happen to be. Cheers. Greg.
 

scott_lin

Member
I've been using this lens since November of last year. I also bought the tc-14e in late december and I've been using it extensively this winter with an F80 and a ball head/tripod. There have been a lot of Great Gray Owls in the montreal area this winter, and the lens/tele combo has given some excellent results. I can't even complain (yet) about wide open results with the tele -- but I try to stop down when possible because everyone says so
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. All in all it's my one and only "long" lens and it was relatively affordable. I've never tried one of the bigger afs lenses, so I'm not sure how much sharper they might be....I do have an af-d 80-200 that isn't in the same league wide open -- but then again I never used that lens with a tripod. I've experienced the dreaded collar issue already shooting a saw-whet owl wide open with the tele -- (1/30th and 1/15th). Let's just say I got lucky once out of thirty six frames of Provia pused to 200 -- I've got one sharp shot on my tripod using the best long lens d&ening techniques I could muster. I've since bought a remote release for the f80 and I can get down to 1/45th safely. I guess you can draw your own conclusions. After reading about the noticeable loss in image quality with the 2X I decided to avoid it-- so I guess I can't comment on the that or the TC-17e. Anyhow, I don't think you'll regret your purchase, but you may start wanting a 4002.8 next like me. ;)
 

hotrats49

Member
Hi Scott. Thanks for the info; that's really great to get some real feedback on this lens. I've been dreaming about the bigger AFS lenses but cannot afford one, so that's why I opted for the 300mm f4.0 AFS. Your results suggest that the optics are as good as everyone says they are. It will be interesting to see how it stacks up against my much loved (the beast) 50-300mm f4.5 ED AIS at 300mm. Like yourself, I also use the 80-200mm AF-D and have tried it both on and off tripod. I'd have to say that it's good in some situations, but I'm not totally happy with it. Anyway, when the 300 arrives I'm going to have a "shakedown" run by shooting water fowl up north of Cambridge here in the UK, where I currently live. If possible, I'm going to try and get hold of a second hand TC-14E or EII before then. I agree that the 2x converter is probably pushing this lens too far. Keep shooting. Cheers, Greg.
 
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