AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II
The newly-improved AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Super Telephoto enables spectacular photography, even in the most demanding conditions encountered by pros or passionate enthusiasts. Safeguarding the qualities that have, for decades, made this lens a natural choice for photographers specializing in fast-action sports, live entertainment, nature and wildlife and more, this newest edition of the 300mm f/2.8 NIKKOR features additional performance and handling enhancements.
Of course, a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture allows photographers to work in a wide variety of situations and offers the important ability to shoot at higher action-stopping shutter speeds and to more effectively obscure distracting backgrounds. But simply enabling these functions isn't nearly enough a NIKKOR Super Telephoto must provide necessary core functionality, along with genuinely superior image fidelity. Painstaking and experienced engineering, combined with the use of the finest raw materials, fuel "NIKKOR" optical performance. Unmistakable NIKKOR image quality can also be traced to a design that features 3 high-performance ED glass elements to virtually eliminate chromatic aberration and Nikon's exclusive Nano-Crystal Coat to further reduce image-degrading internal reflections
Nikon VR II (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization
Like all NIKKOR lenses featuring Nikon VR image stabilization, the 300mm f/2.8's VR II was designed for the specific requirements of its host lens. The VR II incorporated in the new 300mm enables shooting at up to 4 shutter speeds slower than otherwise possible, assuring dramatically sharper images, while the Tripod VR Mode detects and compensates for specific vibrations often encountered with tripod shooting.
I bought this lens 4yrs ago as an upgrade from the very good 300f4. I do wildlife in Africa so this lens with the 3 converters is the most flexible and cost effective lens available. IQ is stunning even with the TC's. I use it now with a Nikon D810 and often use the 1.2 crop mode as it gives more speed, smaller files if I shoot 1000 images on a daytrip and if I need a little extra "reach" Yes I know you can crop but I prefer to frame the images in viewfinder. Using it without the TC's on the FX D810 for landscapes, portraits or wildlife at closer range produce results that might just be tipped by the new 400f2.8. This combination, D810 with 300f2.8 is a marriage made in heaven.
Fast, responsive, VR and really not that heavy. I've used this hand held, with formal support (mono or tripod), or simply leaning on a tree, car door frame, or my knees sitting on the ground. Pairing it with a 1.4x tele still gives great results. Its the high quality images with the ability to be quickly mobile and use this lens hand-held which makes it great for wildlife in all sorts of environments. Could I shoot all day without support-no. A few hours is no problem. Also packs very well in my camera back-pack with the reversible lens hood attachment.
I have wanted this lens for a long while. I have the 24-70 2.8 and the 70-200mm vr11 new lens as well. I am so happy with the results with my sports photography with this lens. The color and bokeh are outstanding. i am now looking for the 400mm 2.8 lens next. Dont wait buy it you wont be sorry.
This lens is the standard by which other lenses should be measured. Superb in every respect, like color rendering, bokeh, sharpness, virtually no CA, VR, AF speed and accuracy. I have a raft of pro spec Nikon lenses, but the 300 f2.8 VRII is the best of the all of them. Adding the 1.4x TCII (or now the 1.4x TCIII) gives you a 420mm f4 with basically no penaly in IQ or AF speed or accuracy. This just makes the 300mm f2.8 VRII that much more versatile. I cannot recommend this lens highly enough.
This lens is the benchmark for measuring the quality of other lenses on the market, speed and focus accuracy is amazing and the sharpness and contrast is striking. Certainly can be used for shooting handheld because VRII works perfectly. When used with D800E the possibilities are endless with remarkable cropping power. The Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II is a bokeh champion it produces exceptionally good-looking background blur, especially wide open at maximum aperture of f/2.8 and higher.
This lens replaced a 300 f4 and the difference is amazing. Coupled to a TC-20E it is a useful wildlife and bird lens without being too heavy. The autofocus is fast and I can even hand hold this thing for a little while on a bright day. With the TC-20 autofocus still works well and very little decline in sharpness. Plan on getting a really sturdy tripod to get the best out of this lens.
Sports ~ low light ~ excellent lens choice.
I read hundreds of reviews before purchasing this lens and I can attest that the praise this lens receives is warranted. This is a workhorse lens. Very fast auto focus. Very sharp images with proper holding/mounting. I put it through it's rigors w/D800 and I cannot see any vignetting or other aberrations. Accurate color representation. Impressive in low light. Of note: The case it comes with is impressive too. Padded of course, with shoulder strap, handle for hand carry and velcro for attaching to belt or whatever...
I have had zooms before, and in fact I have the 70-300 zoom that came with my d600 kit. This guy is in a completely different league. Just got it today and tried some handheld shots playing around. It is big and relatively heavy but the stabilization works wonders.
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 NikonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s quality control? Yes, but verify. The 300mm f2.8G ED VRII image sharpness is impressive. The service from B&H is also impressive.