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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    hark's Avatar

    Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S

    Recently Glenn @gqtuazon said he wanted to sell his Nikon 300mm f/4 AF-S lens. I was interested until I found out the rear end of the lens lacks any type of glass element. The aperture blades are further inside the lens but nothing protects them from dust. This is the way Nikon designed it. So I passed on it.

    Looking at a camera store's web site that is somewhat near me, I saw they had both this lens as well as the older Nikon 300mm f/4 AF lens (it's a screw drive lens). Since I've really wanted a 300mm f/4 prime, I decided to AB them. Unfortunately for me, the rear of the screw drive lens is made the same as the AF-S (lacking a rear element). The sales rep said he's never heard of it being an issue and said other Nikon primes are made the same way. I know my Nikon 180mm f/2.8 lacks a rear element, too.

    So I took test shots with both lenses. I couldn't even tell any difference in their sharpness--the AF speed was slower in the screw drive lens while the AF-S was very quick to respond. Their price of the screw drive lens was $399. Definitely a bargain considering the sharpness so I bought it. Both B&H and Keh sell this lens for more ($499 and $549 respectively). Excitedly I came home and ordered an 82mm UV filter from B&H for the front.

    Well...have you ever experienced buyer's remorse? Although the screw drive lens takes gorgeous images, I felt remorse at giving up the AF speed. Plus my Nikon 1.4 teleconverter won't work with the screw drive lens which meant having to shell out more money for a Kenko teleconverter. Oh no! What did I do?

    So the next day I returned to the store. The thing is this store doesn't accept returns on used items that are purchased in-store. They do when it is an internet order, but not only do they state that at the time of the sale, they also stamp it on the receipt. Their AF-S lens was priced far more than Glenn's and even more than comparable completed sales on ebay. But my only hope was to see if they would allow me to pay the difference and go with the AF-S instead. Knowing they had this lens on sale a couple of times, I asked if they would consider letting me have it at the sale price. They did. Unfortunately I still paid almost $100 more than what I would have paid if I had bought Glenn's lens. And of course B&H shipped out the 82mm UV filter so now I have to pay to return it.

    The good news is the lens is stellar, and if anyone is interested, you should check with Glenn to see if he sold his.

    https://nikonites.com/gallery/showim...#axzz4j4jWnZom


    › See More: Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S
    Last edited by hark; 06-08-2017 at 03:17 AM.
    Thanks/Like RocketCowboy, gqtuazon Thanks/liked this post
     
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and
    My 2017 Thread
    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci

    Nikon 14mm f/2.8; Nikon 16mm f/2.8 fisheye; Nikon 85mm f/1.8G; Nikon 105 f/2.8G micro VR; Nikon 180mm f/2.8; Nikon 300mm f/4 AF-S
    Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G; Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8; Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII; Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR




  2. #2
    Senior Member

    Re: Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S

    Sorry you had to go through that. I have the AF model, and, while it is a very nice lens, the AF-S is what you want (I believe) for BIF-type photography.

    I don't have a AF-S tele, ...yet.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Ironwood's Avatar

    Re: Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S

    I have been tempted by the AFS 300f4 as well, I had the chance to buy a mint copy a few months ago, but ended up getting a Sigma 50-150 f2.8 instead on the day, I dont regret buying this lens. But I still wonder if I should have got both of them.
    I would love a 300 f2.8, but they are a little out of my reach.
    I have read where some people leave their 1.4TC permanently on the 300 f4 to stop the dust getting in, apparently they work very well with the 1.4
    Thanks/Like hark Thanks/liked this post
     
    Brad


    Every Day might not be a good Day,
    ​ but there is something good in every Day.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    mikew's Avatar

    Re: Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S

    It also has a great reputation for closeup images ie Dragonflies and Butterflies.
    Thanks/Like hark Thanks/liked this post
     
    Mike

    Nikon D500,Sigma 100-400,Sigma 105 macro

    Nikon 1 V2,FT-1,10-30mm 30-110mm Viltrox extension tubes

    Olympus EM10 MK11,14-42,40-150








  5. #5
    Gear Head
    Moderator
    gqtuazon's Avatar

    Re: Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S

    Quote Originally Posted by hark View Post
    Recently Glenn @gqtuazon said he wanted to sell his Nikon 300mm f/4 AF-S lens. I was interested until I found out the rear end of the lens lacks any type of glass element. The aperture blades are further inside the lens but nothing protects them from dust. This is the way Nikon designed it. So I passed on it.
    I still paid almost $100 more than what I would have paid if I had bought Glenn's lens.

    The good news is the lens is stellar, and if anyone is interested, you should check with Glenn to see if he sold his.

    https://nikonites.com/gallery/showim...#axzz4j4jWnZom
    Sorry to hear about your lens buying decisions Cindy. I do appreciate the plug for my Nikon 300mm f4 AFS. It is still available if someone is still interested. I'm trying to fund a strobe light since I rarely used that lens. Thanks again for the plug.
    Thanks/Like hark Thanks/liked this post
     
    Best regards,

    Glenn
    My Gear
    Flickr
    My website

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S

    Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S
    Quote Originally Posted by Ironwood View Post
    I have read where some people leave their 1.4TC permanently on the 300 f4 to stop the dust getting in, apparently they work very well with the 1.4
    Years ago I had an arm injury that resulted in surgery but also left me with chronic tendonitis (in both arms from the other arm having to work harder). Usually I would go with a VR lens because I have more difficulty getting sharp images without VR, but the price of a used copy of the newest 300mm f/4 VR is just too much right now--I also have 4 PocketWizard triggers on order so this was my limit budget-wise. I know I will be using this lens mounted on a tripod or monopod, but out of curiosity yesterday, I went out with it on my D7100 as well as my Nikon 1.4 teleconverter hand held. If my math is correct, that should give it a field-of-view of 620mm.

    A local woman said she raised this female mallard which now resides at a local park. I was able to get within 10-12 feet of these sleeping ducks without any problem...again these were handheld. The male is the hybrid mallard I asked about previously. His head is a very dark green with lots of black on his body.

    Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S-dsc_3282-low-res.jpg

    Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S-dsc_3283-low-res.jpg

    Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S-dsc_3287-low-res.jpg

    Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S-dsc_3288-low-res.jpg

    Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S-dsc_3300-low-res.jpg

    After taking the above photos, I went back to my car and grabbed the tripod. When the female saw me approaching with it, she began to quack which woke up the male. She got up and stretched which is what she's doing below. She held out her leg for several seconds before they headed back to the water. All of the above images were hand held. I am absolutely amazed with its sharpness and overall IQ. Even though I also have the Nikon 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR, this blows it away the zoom at the 300mm end! With my zoom, I've been noticing a little artifacting and chromatic aberration at times depending on my settings and scenes.

    I can't remember whether or not I even mounted the camera on the tripod for the shot below or if I simply hand held it. The female clearly didn't want me to get too close with the tripod so I might have set it down and taken this without the camera being on it. I honestly can't remember. There's definitely no buyer's remorse here! Down the road, if I want to upgrade to a 300mm f/4 VR, that can always be an option. But for now, wow...just wow! It's an amazing lens!

    Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S-dsc_3302-low-res.jpg
    Last edited by hark; 06-08-2017 at 01:08 PM.
    Thanks/Like Roy1961, Ironwood, Danno Thanks/liked this post
     
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and
    My 2017 Thread
    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci

    Nikon 14mm f/2.8; Nikon 16mm f/2.8 fisheye; Nikon 85mm f/1.8G; Nikon 105 f/2.8G micro VR; Nikon 180mm f/2.8; Nikon 300mm f/4 AF-S
    Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G; Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8; Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII; Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR


  7. #7
    Gear Head
    Moderator
    gqtuazon's Avatar

    Re: Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S

    Wow! Those are pretty sharp even at wide open or stopped down a bit to get a bit more sharpness with the TC. I noticed that the 1.4x TC works well with it too if you need a closer field of view. Nice job!
    Thanks/Like hark Thanks/liked this post
     
    Best regards,

    Glenn
    My Gear
    Flickr
    My website

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S

    Quote Originally Posted by gqtuazon View Post
    Wow! Those are pretty sharp even at wide open or stopped down a bit to get a bit more sharpness with the TC. I noticed that the 1.4x TC works well with it too if you need a closer field of view. Nice job!
    Thanks, Glenn. I used the TC on all of the images--when I've used this TC on my Nikon 70-200 f/2.8, I could see a slight degradation of the images, but these do look quite good with it. Other than a few test shots at the store, I haven't tried the lens without the TC. Most likely I will keep the TC on it most of the time.
    Thanks/Like gqtuazon Thanks/liked this post
     
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and
    My 2017 Thread
    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci

    Nikon 14mm f/2.8; Nikon 16mm f/2.8 fisheye; Nikon 85mm f/1.8G; Nikon 105 f/2.8G micro VR; Nikon 180mm f/2.8; Nikon 300mm f/4 AF-S
    Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G; Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8; Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII; Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR


  9. #9
    Senior Member

    Re: Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S

    So glad you like it and that it's working well for you. While I totally understand the reluctance to spend the money on the latest copy I just want to go on the record for anyone reading this thread that the latest model is absolutely spectacular. It lives on my D500 and makes shooting wildlife effortless because it's size and weight belie its focal length. Heck it's lighter than the 70-200mm f4 and on the D500 it's only 1.5 ounces heavier than the D750 with 24-120mm f4 that I use to walk around with all the time. I couldn't imagine a long hike with the older lens but with this I can have it on one shoulder and the D750 on the other with a 1.4x converter in my pocket. It's just amazing, and sharp as a tack.
    Thanks/Like hark Thanks/liked this post
     
    Jake

    Hippies Must Use Back Door ... No Exceptions

    D750, D500, D610, D800 @ IR 720nm, Sony a6000 (and a bunch of other stuff)

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Nikon 300mm f/4 AF vs AF-S

    Quote Originally Posted by BackdoorHippie View Post
    So glad you like it and that it's working well for you. While I totally understand the reluctance to spend the money on the latest copy I just want to go on the record for anyone reading this thread that the latest model is absolutely spectacular. It lives on my D500 and makes shooting wildlife effortless because it's size and weight belie its focal length. Heck it's lighter than the 70-200mm f4 and on the D500 it's only 1.5 ounces heavier than the D750 with 24-120mm f4 that I use to walk around with all the time. I couldn't imagine a long hike with the older lens but with this I can have it on one shoulder and the D750 on the other with a 1.4x converter in my pocket. It's just amazing, and sharp as a tack.
    Someday I hope to get the VR version, but since I recently bought the fisheye lens, have PocketWizard triggers on order, and am eyeing an FM2n, this will suffice for now. Glad to hear the VR model works well. I trust your judgement. Thanks!
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and
    My 2017 Thread
    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci

    Nikon 14mm f/2.8; Nikon 16mm f/2.8 fisheye; Nikon 85mm f/1.8G; Nikon 105 f/2.8G micro VR; Nikon 180mm f/2.8; Nikon 300mm f/4 AF-S
    Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G; Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8; Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII; Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR






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