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by PowerReviews
NikonAF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens
 
4.7

(based on 198 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (146)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (46)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (156)
  • Strong construction (131)
  • Consistent output (118)
  • Durable (103)
  • Nice bokeh (87)

Cons

  • Heavy (36)
  • Poor in low light (19)
  • Slow focus (10)
  • No VR (6)
  • Difficult to clean (4)

Best Uses

  • Wildlife photos (141)
  • Sports/action (103)
  • Landscape/scenery (55)
  • Macro photography (30)
  • Wildlife (25)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (97), Semi-pro photographer (45), Enthusiast (19), Pro photographer (16), Casual photographer (7)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (144), Yes (7)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Transformational lens

I am addressing this review to amateur photographers who are passionate about their hobby, and find themselves wanting better image quality and sharpness than zoom telephotos can deliver.

Igniting my passion for...Read complete review

I am addressing this review to amateur photographers who are passionate about their hobby, and find themselves wanting better image quality and sharpness than zoom telephotos can deliver.

Igniting my passion for wildlife and bird photography, this lens has helped me move to professional status from serious amateur in less than a year. I've since moved to the remarkable Nikon 300mm f/2.8, but will be probably the f/4's biggest fan forever.

Before I had the 300mm f/4, I was using the Nikon 80-400 and the 28-300. These lenses delivered images that were just adequate, and often not even that. As I grew as a photographer, and as my eye for what was acceptable became more discriminating, I needed something better, yet affordable.

Pairing the 300 f/4 to the Nikon 1.7TC in strong light opened my world unbelievably - the 300 f/4 became my go-to lens - with it, I perfected my ability to capture birds on the fly. I highly recommend this lens for image quality, sharpness, portability, simplicity and value.

Couple of "good-to-knows" - the lens hood is built in (a convenience) and slides to open and back to close. There are subtle mechanisms for securing it open and closed, and requires care so as not to "strip" these. Also, as you add teleconverters, you need more light and the AF slows - trade-offs for more reach.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Sharp images, but Autofocus is too slow

Once it focuses, this lens produces a nice, sharp image. However, if you plan on using this lens to follow wildlife or athletes, you may have more success using manual focus than...Read complete review

Once it focuses, this lens produces a nice, sharp image. However, if you plan on using this lens to follow wildlife or athletes, you may have more success using manual focus than relying on the auto. The autofocus system in this lens relegates the use of this lens to taking shots of my 7 year old's football games or my 4 year old playing in the back yard. For stationary or relatively easy subjects to track, this lens is excellent. For quick tracking, you will need a faster autofocus.

Reviewed by 198 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great product! Great Price!

By RR photographer

from Davis, CA

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Lightweight
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Rugged
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Tough To Attach

Best Uses

  • Landscape/Scenery

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

Disclaimer - I've only used this lens three different times in the 2 weeks I have owned it. Having said that......this is a MUST have if you are looking for some reach. Not knowing any better, I originally bought a 2x teleconverter. The images were soft and the teleconverter basically amounted to me paying $ to degrade image quality. I returned it in exchange for this lens and man am I glad I did! When used properly, great images can be had. What I mean by that is the negative reviews all seem to be due to the lack of VR. However it would be a much more expensive lens if it had VR. And honestly, why pay the money for that, as shooting handheld at 1/150th of a second in low light with this lens would just be asking for a crummy image, even with VR, so why complain that it doesn't have VR? The other negative reviews all seem to be on focus time. I shoot trains at speed predominately and this is really an issue with any lens, given the bright headlights on a train tending to make a lens "freak out" trying to focus. Having said that, this one focuses just as well as my 70-200/2.8 and all my other lenses. Autofocus is simply not an issue with this lens at all. Just a great bargain and I have nothing bad to say about it at this point.My ONLY complaint is it is a tad difficult to find the white line on the base of the lens for where to attach and rotate it (other nikon lenses seem to be more conspicuous with their white dot placement). Once you get the hang of it though, even this is not an issue.

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  • No

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(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Game Changer

By L33_0h

from Corvallis, OR

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Lightweight
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Rugged
  • Sharp
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

    I have been a nature photographer for over 10 years (since around age 11), and I have always had the desire to shoot wildlife. Before owning this lens, I settled for budget pieces of glass like the 70-300 f/4-5.6 VR, but I was never satisfied with the results. After buying this lens and shooting birds with it, I can say with confidence that if you are shooting on a DX body, this is as close as you can possibly get to the 500mm f/4 without spending $. The lens has fast and accurate AF (although it hunts occasionally), it's spooky sharp, and it's light enough to hand hold if there is enough light. The absolute biggest downside is the tripod collar, which is pretty much useless. It is worth it to buy the replacement collar made by Kirk, as it makes for much sharper images when shooting on a tripod. If you are like me, and you want to make crisp wildlife images without spending the price of a good used car, buy this lens. Check out some images that I have shot with this lens below to see for yourself!

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    • No

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    4.0

    Best of the Nikkor 300's I have used.

    By NikonHaole

    from San Diego, Ca.

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Close Focus
    • Close focusing
    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Sharp and contrasty
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Maybe The Lac Of Vr

    Best Uses

    • Sports/Action
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

    The AF-S Nikkor's impressive image quality, accurate, quick auto focus and professional build make an excellent photographic tool. Performance at closest focus is very high and the lens can be successfully used for portraits, although I use it primarily for sports. With the Nikkor TC-1.4E converter attached, auto focus speed and IQ remain high enough that the AF-S is useable for wild life at moderate distances.

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    • No

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    5.0

    Excellent results AF-S Nikkor 300mm

    By Tim in Colorado

    from Denver, CO

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Rugged
    • Sharp pictures

    Cons

    • Heavy
    • No VR

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

    I had been looking for a lens that would provide sharper pictures, especially in low light, than my current lens, the Nikkor 80-400mm zoom. The Nikkor 300 mm F/4D IF-ED lens that I recently purchased has provided the opportunity for me to take very sharp pictures, even in lower light. I do have some learning to do with my new lens, but I am quite excited to continue taking photos with the combination of my Nikon 7100 with the 300mm lens. If I could make a wish that it had one more feature, it would be for it to have VR - admittedly if it did have VR the increase in cost would have to be considered.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (2 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Great lens, but...

    By Kent Green

    from Clinton, MD

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Lightweight
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Poor in Low Light

    Best Uses

    • Sports/Action

    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

    I purchased this lens primarily for outdoor high school sports photography. With good light it produces amazingly sharp results. However, results diminish as available light begins to fade. Overall this is a great lens but I plan on investing in the 300mm f/2.8 to increase my low light keep rate.

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    • No

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Nice lens

    By Abphotos

    from Macon, GA

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Night Photography
      • Sports/Action
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

      This is the lens I wanted and it works great. The only problem is the collar you have to be careful or it will pop off.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Top Tier

      By Corey

      from Green Bay, WI

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Lightweight
      • Nice Bokeh

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Sports/Action
        • Weddings/Events
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

        This looks, feels, weighs and performs just like the 70-200mm in the same class. The 300mm is very fast and accurate with focus. The glass is high quality so the images are crystal clear. I've always felt like there isn't a lot of difference between F2.8 and F4 so, for me, this was a huge addition to my arsenal for a fraction of the cost. Camera ISO ranges are so outstanding nowadays that it makes up for the slight loss in speed (F2.8 vs F4). Moreover, after years of lugging heavy equipment and lenses - this lens is of much (weight) relief to my back and shoulders.

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        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Finally getting clear and crisp shots

        By Birder Sherry

        from Carpentersville, IL

        About Me Casual Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

        I am a casual photographer and was frustrated by results from my 55-300 telephoto lens. The photos never seemed clear and crisp. This lens has changed all that. I am finally getting shots I'm happy with. It's a little heavier than I'd like, but I mostly use it with a tripod, so it's not a big issue.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • Yes

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        5.0

        Excellent lens. Sharp and light.

        By DRM

        from Northern Virginia

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Lightweight
        • Nice Bokeh

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Sports/Action
          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

          Purchased to take pictures of birds in flight. Light weight makes it easy to hand hold. Images are sharp.

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          • No

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          4.0

          Super Sharp for the price

          By Winterfl

          from Va

          Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

          This is my first long Len for wildlife. I am happy with the result. The image is very sharp in focus. I will use TC E20 III to double focal length. It might lose a few stops but it worth to try.

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          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Should have bought this sooner

          By TLa

          from SoCal

          About Me Casual Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Sports/Action
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

            I use this lens with a D5200 for shooting birds. I had been using the Nikkor 70-300mm VR previously. Wow, what a difference, and I'm not just talking about the price. The 300mm focuses faster, gets sharper pictures. The color and constrast seem to be better. With a Kenko 1.4x TC attached, tracking BIF can be problematic but image quality is still very high for stationary or slow moving objects. The lens is solidly built but it's not so heavy that it can't be shot handheld. This lens has no VR but I knew that going in so it's not an issue so far. All things considered, this lens has met or exceeded all my expectations. I'm very happy I bought this lens.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            Sharp, Fast, Amazing

            By eso_photo

            from Southern California

            Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

            Aside from the smallish tripod collar I have no complains. I had expected it to be heavier but was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to handhold, but that could be a subjective observation. For less than 200fps shutter, give or take, I suggest a tripod or monopod.

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            5.0

            Very sharp

            By Joseph the glass shooter

            from Houston Texas

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Lightweight
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Rugged
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Photography
              • Sports/Action
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

              I bought a converter that makes it a 450mm and shoot birds wildlife about anything

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Super sharp lense in good light conditio

              By EdwardLey

              from Panamá

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Lightweight
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Poor in Low Light

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Sports/Action
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

              I bought the Nikon 300mm f4 a couple of months ago and really like the results i´m using it with de TC-14eII and have to admit that in good light conditions this combination rules, most of the time taking pics of nature and wild life, no so heavy, very sharp lense absolutely recommend it, thanks Nikon!!!

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              • No

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              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Wow

              By T Hostetter Photography

              from Virginia

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Macro Photography
                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

                Super sharp, quick focus. Great for wildlife. Bought this lens because of the great reviews on B & H. I must say I was not disappointed. I can not say enough about how happy I am. The lack of VR has not been a problem for me. I am using lens with the d7100, they make a great match. This is now my favorite lens !!!

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                • No

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Amazing chunk of glass

                By the Steve

                from Livermore, CA

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Easily Interchangeable
                • Fast / accurate auto-focus

                Cons

                • Heavy

                Best Uses

                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

                I bought this for wildlife photography. I took it out and got some nice water bird shots just before sunset. I used it with a Nikon TC-14E II 1.4x Teleconverter and the photos were great.

                The focus is fast and the pictures are amazingly sharp. The balance is fairly good at the tripod mount on the lens.

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                • No

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Outstanding and affordable nature lens

                By Leonardo

                from Kansas City, KS

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Macro Photography
                  • Wildlife Photos

                  Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

                  I have owned two copies of this lens. It is exceptionally sharp, has great contrast and bokeh, and handles teleconverters very well. It is also an excellent close-up lens, so is a good general purpose nature lens. I call it affordable because stepping up to a 300 mm f2.8 would cost quite a bit more money.

                  Although not a lightweight lens, it is easy to shoot hand-held. It has no VR, but fast autofocus. I do not miss the VR, which would probably drive up the weight and certainly the cost.

                  I tried replacing this lens with a 70-200 mm VRI (on a DX camera) and teleconverters, hoping for greater versatility. This was a costly mistake, as I could not get the same image quality at either long or close distances.

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                  • No

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                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  BIG BANG

                  By David-eye

                  from Texas Hill Country

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Sharp
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Heavy

                  Best Uses

                  • Sports/Action
                  • Wildlife Photos

                  Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

                  Big, heavy, long…amazing! This telephoto lens is very sharp and the auto-focus is spot on. It is excellent for the classic reasons that you buy such a lens, such as wildlife and sports, but also performs well, as seen in the attached pic #1 as a candid portrait lens (note the creamy bokeh), and as seen in pic #2 when want to get up close, but keep your distance. I have also used it with the Canon 77mm 500D Close-up lens for terrific macro shots. Use it with a monopod and save your strength.

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                  • No

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Awesome lens!

                  By JimB1979

                  from Ethridge, TN

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Durable
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Rugged

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Wildlife Photos

                    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

                    I use this lens primarily to shoot wildlife and absolutely love it. I had a 80-400mm that was good but the sharpness and clarity of this lens just blows the previous lens away. It's not too heavy to carry and I almost exclusively shoot hand held.
                    Would highly recommend this lens.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Awesome Lens

                    By AtlNikonShooter

                    from Atlanta GA

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Durable
                    • Easily Interchangeable
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Lightweight
                    • Nice Bokeh
                    • Rugged
                    • Strong Construction
                    • Super sharp
                    • Very close focus distance

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Macro Photography
                      • Sports/Action
                      • Wildlife Photos

                      Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED Lens:

                      This is is fantastic. Super sharp and image quality is great. Very easy to hand hold and walk around with. I love that it will focus as close a five feet. It's almost like having a macro built in.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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