REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
NikonAF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens
 
4.9

(based on 66 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (61)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (57)
  • Strong construction (49)
  • Rugged (40)
  • Nice bokeh (38)
  • Consistent output (37)

Cons

  • Heavy (33)

Best Uses

  • Wildlife photos (58)
  • Sports/action (51)
  • Landscape/scenery (11)
  • Low light (11)
  • Weddings (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (30), Pro photographer (14), Semi-pro photographer (13), Casual photographer (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (57), Yes (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

I should have bought this years ago.

This lens is a huge upgrade from my older AF 300 f/4.0. The AF-S focusing is much faster, and the ability to instantly overide to manual is very nice. The extra stop...Read complete review

This lens is a huge upgrade from my older AF 300 f/4.0. The AF-S focusing is much faster, and the ability to instantly overide to manual is very nice. The extra stop really comes in handy when using a teleconverter (I got the 1.7x to go with this lens, it works great). Granted, it is a bit heavier to carry around, but after a few long days at the San Diego Zoo, I'm getting used to it. I'm not going to check "heavy" as a con, since this much weight just goes with the size.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Verify AF Accuracy

Please see the attached graphs. I used LensAlign and FocusTune to test the Nikkor 300mm f2.8G ED VRII lens, Serial Number 209819. The lens was mounted on an Arca-Swiss Z1G (giant) monoball...Read complete review

Please see the attached graphs. I used LensAlign and FocusTune to test the Nikkor 300mm f2.8G ED VRII lens, Serial Number 209819. The lens was mounted on an Arca-Swiss Z1G (giant) monoball and Gitzo 5000 series carbon-fiber legs, at a height of 42 inches. The ISO was 1600 and the shutter speed was 1/320. The lens-to-target distance was 26 feet and I used a shutter release cable. The camera body was a Nikon D4 that last week came back from Nikon NY after being adjusted for a back-focusing issue. For an overview of the lens AF performance, I took 4 shots at each micro-adjustment value from minus 20 to plus 20 in steps of 5 units. Based on this overview test and to look for a peak in the curve, I took 9 shots at each micro-adjustment value from plus 10 to plus 20 in steps of 2 units. As you can see both curves go up from left to right, but do not come down. This means, there is no peak. Conclusion, this high-priced lens is focusing in front of the target by greater than 20 micro-adjustment units.

If this was my first such experience, I would not be so appalled.
Sad to say, that last month I tested a new Nikkor 85mm 1.8D lens, only to find that it was focusing behind the target by greater than minus 20 micro-adjustment units.

This 300mm f2.8G ED VRII lens, Serial Number 209819, was returned to B&H (RMA) for a new lens. The B&H representative was very professional. He said, it happens.

I tested the replacement 300mm f2.8G ED VRII lens, Serial Number 209868, in exactly the same way that was used for the defective lens. The replacement lens (209868) was also front focusing, but not as badly as the defective lens. The replacement lens could be adjusted for accurate focus on the target with the AF micro-adjustment set to plus 16.

Can we pro photographers trust Nikon's quality control?
Yes, but verify.

The 300mm f2.8G ED VRII image sharpness is impressive.
The service from B&H is also impressive.

Reviewed by 66 customers

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5.0

Performed as Anticipated

By Gatu

from Chicago

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Sports/Action
  • Wildlife Photos

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

As expected the lens is the cat's meow. Yes, it is both heavy and expensive but you get what you pay for. I can hand hold for a little while and then looking to switch hands, look for something to prop myself against or rest the lens on. I did a couple mile plus hikes with the Nikon provided lens strap and let's just say, you don't really want to that, no fun. It's best mounted with a sidekick type gimbal head - your percentage of keepers dramatically increases. The picture included was taken with the rig mounted on a tripod with sidekick gimbal head with the Nikon tc-20e 111 converter turning the lens into a 600mm f4. I'm over a football field away from the action. I have some "Happy Accidents" hand holding and bracing but the ratio of keepers drops dramatically. I'm a bigger guy, in good shape and health, if that helps you determine if you think you can/want to carry this baby around (lens weighs 6.36 lbs)It's an investment you won't regret. If this is your first foray into large tele glass it will be different than anything you've experienced - don't even think a 70-200 zoom (weight wise) is in the same family, it's not. Make sure your support equipment (tripod, ball head etc.) is up to the task.

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  • No

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5.0

Awesome...But Too Much for Me.

By Don

from Orange County, CA

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

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

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

First of all, let me say that B&H is absolutely THE Best Source for photo equipment.I purchased the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VRII after much experience using the Nikon 300mm 4.0 lens and finding the 300mm 4.0 lens to be perfect in every way...with the exception of not having a VR system. Although I had read all the reviews and the Specs on the Nikon 300mm 2.8, I was not prepared for the size and weight of this lens. It is a beautiful, but massive lens. At 71 years of age, my arms complained when I tried to hand-hold the 300mm 2.8; it was too much lens for me. I typically use my 300mm 4.0 (with a 1.4 TC on a D750) mounted on a Monopod that I carry over my shoulder like a rifle. I did not feel that I could do this very well with the 300 2.8; too much weight and too valuable of a lens.Nevertheless, if I were often in a situation where I was able to use a very sturdy Tripod and Gimbal Head, the 300mm 2.8 with the TC would be the lens for me.

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  • No

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5.0

Quality!

By Eagle's Nest

from Eagleville, CA

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Sports/Action
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

    I took my new 300 out after a snow storm in remote northern California and used the lens for the first time, it was everything i hoped for and expected. Super fast focus and amazing clarity. In the late winter afternoon lower light it sucked up the light and gave me beautiful shots at ISO64. Yes, it is much heavier and larger than the f4, but that's what you get with pro glass, and i don't mind it at all.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Nice lens!

    By bjphoto

    from Tuftonboro, NH

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

    I tried the 600mm but it was just to big and cumbersome for me. I like to hike and shoot wildlife. Hubby carries it for me and even this one is heavy but not as bad as the 600mm. So I added the 2x teleconverter to reach the 600mm on my full format camera and it reaches about 900 with my DX. The images are crisp and clear. I have been very happy so far.

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    • No

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    5.0

    An amazing lens.

    By Eagle Watcher

    from Ripley, OH

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

          This lens produces exceptional photos.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          I'm Impressed..

          By john

          from N.J.

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Sports/Action
          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

          And that's not easily done. I didn't think I was going to get good results handholding this lens ,I thought wrong. The VR works great.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Excellent

          By David

          from Sierra Madre, CA

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Pros

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

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Macro Photography
            • Sports/Action
            • Weddings/Events
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

            Excellent lens, it works perfectly as it pairs with 2X converter-TC2.0 III to extend to 600mm.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            Perfection

            By Mick

            from Portage, MI

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Sports/Action
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

              Crystal Clear
              Fast Focus

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Amazing

              By jimmyboy

              from Conn

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

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

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Sports/Action
                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

                Outstanding lens. One of the best from Nikon.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Worth the Wait

                By Birdman

                from Westchester NY

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                • Heavy
                • Pricey

                Best Uses

                • Sports/Action
                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

                I am a wildlife photographer concentrating mainly on bird life. I have been looking at this lens for over a year and I finally made the leap and I am very happy. The lens produces crisp, clean, clear and just stunning photos. I coupled this lens with the Nikon TC17 EII teleconverter and the lens still performs great. Although you can use all the Nikon teleconverters with this lens I stick with the TC17 EII. The TC20 EIII works well but it is slow to focus in low light conditions. Also, even though you can hand hold this lens with a converter I suggest a tripod especially with the TC20 EIII. Try it out and compare the shots. You will be amazed how much more clean and crisp your shots are when using a tripod,

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                (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Expensive

                By ArtS

                from Virginia Beach, Va

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Rugged
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                • Heavy
                • very expensive

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

                I use this lens with a D7100 and it performs as advertised. I also use the TC-14EII with it. It has improved my photos greatly but there is a bit of a learning curve - you must also perfect keeping the lens steady, steady, steady. It is a very heavy lens so be prepared. Either work out a lot lifting weights, or like me, use a Tripod and Gimbal or a bean bag. I still use my D7000 and the 70-300mm lens and keep my 105 F2.8 handy along with a 18-300mm.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Amazing

                By wvanstone

                from Palmyra NJ

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Rugged
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                • Heavy

                Best Uses

                • Sports/Action
                • Wildlife Photos

                Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

                Amazing in every way.
                I use this with all three TC's 1.4,1.7 & 2.0. The 2.0 does a great job at making this a very usable 600mm f5.6

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Comparison with Nikon 300mm F4

                By lknight

                from Singapore

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Pros

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

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Wildlife Photos

                  Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

                  I use the lens for wildlife and it was an upgrade from a Nikon 300mm F4 (which I already thought was superb). The 300mm F2.8 is faster to focus, and VR II is very welcome for hand held photos in low light. The lens is super sharp, works well with a Nikon 1.7x teleconverter. The only downsides are its weight compared to the Nikon 300mm F4, and the cost difference!

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  5.0

                  Outstanding

                  By DBaucom

                  from Athens, AL

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

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

                  Cons

                  • Heavy

                  Best Uses

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

                  Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

                  As usual, Nikon delivers excellent quality with this lens. It's a tad heavy, but that is to be expected at this aperture/focal length combo. Focuses quickly and accurately and image quality is excellent. Would definitely recommend!

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Superb

                  By Michael

                  from Maine

                  Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

                  For my nature photography, I wanted a fast, long lens that I could carry easily, hand hold for brief periods and that would give me sharp results wide open. Most of my photos are taken at dawn or dusk. This is perfect.

                  Share this review

                  (13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  I should have bought this years ago.

                  By Frank B

                  from San Diego, CA

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

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

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Sports/Action
                    • Wildlife Photos

                    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

                    This lens is a huge upgrade from my older AF 300 f/4.0. The AF-S focusing is much faster, and the ability to instantly overide to manual is very nice. The extra stop really comes in handy when using a teleconverter (I got the 1.7x to go with this lens, it works great). Granted, it is a bit heavier to carry around, but after a few long days at the San Diego Zoo, I'm getting used to it. I'm not going to check "heavy" as a con, since this much weight just goes with the size.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Spot On Lens

                    By CMyersPhoto

                    from Okinawa, Japan

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                    • Heavy

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Sports/Action
                    • Weddings/Events
                    • Wildlife Photos

                    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

                    Lens arrived packed amazingly well by B&H. Other than that there is not much to say that hasn't already been said. It's remarkably fast focusing and very sharp. You can hand hold it but I suspect you wouldn't want to for more than a short time. Add a monopod and you're good to go. Can't imagine that anyone would not be pleased with the beauty. VERY sexy lens that delivers.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Very Good Lens

                    By Arcata PhotoBirder

                    from Arcata, CA

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                    • Not Quite In Focus At Inf

                    Best Uses

                    • Sports/Action
                    • Wildlife Photos

                    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

                    I'm a professional bird photographer, and my primary travel lenses are a Nikkor 200-400mm f/4 zoom and this Nikkor 300mm f/2.8, sometimes used alone and sometimes with teleconverters.

                    The 300mm f/2.8 has reasonable size and weight, and when used without a teleconverter, it has a fast crisp focus, except focus is slightly off at infinity. This latter is the reason I gave it four 4 instead of 5 stars.

                    The focus is slower and less crisp when used with a teleconverter, but that is the expected downside tradeoff when using a teleconverter.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Sharp as a knife...

                    By Doug

                    from Charlotte, NC

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Sports/Action
                      • Wildlife Photos

                      Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

                      Doesn't get any better than this lens! Super sharp, very nice contrast, and great color renditon wide open at F2.8. AF is lightning fast and accurate even with tc's. MF is smooth and without backlash. If you want to have 300mm, 400mm, 500mm, and 600mm in your arsenal this lens lets you get there with tc's. There is a very, very slight loss of sharpness with the 1.4x tc stopped down 1 stop. The 1.7x tc requires 1.5 to 2 stops to get back to good sharpness. Have not tried the 2x tc. VR works quite well and have had great low light shots.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Great lense

                      By Pops

                      from Lodi, CA

                      About Me Casual Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                      • Heavy

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Sports/Action
                      • Wildlife Photos

                      Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens:

                      Just got the lense and was impressed by the weight. Took it to point Reyes to look for Tule elk and was completely impressed with the speed of focus, absolutely sharp focus and solid build.
                      Would like to have a different objective cover than the bag, but overall extremely pleased with the lense.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • Yes

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