The new Nikon 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens vs. the old Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED version

Nikon-AF-S-NIKKOR-300mm-f4E-PF-ED-VR-lens
A quick specifications comparison between the new Nikon 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens and the previous 300mm f/4D IF-ED version:

 Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR  Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED
Nikon-AF-S-NIKKOR-300mm-f_4E-PF-ED-VR-lens Nikon-AF-S-Nikkor-300mm-f_4D-IF-ED-lens
Focal Length 300mm 300mm
Maximum Aperture f/4 f/4
Minimum Aperture f/32 f/32
Format FX/35mm FX/35mm
Maximum Angle of View (DX-format) 5°20' 5°20'
Maximum Angle of View (FX-format) 8°10' 8°10'
Maximum Reproduction Ratio 0.24x 0.27x
Lens Elements 16 10
Lens Groups 10 6
Compatible Format(s) FX
DX
FX
DX
FX in DX Crop Mode
35mm Film
VR (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization Yes --
Diaphragm Blades 9 9
Nano Crystal Coat Yes --
ED Glass Elements 1 2
Aspherical Elements 1 --
Super Integrated Coating Yes Yes
AF-S (Silent Wave Motor) Yes Yes
Internal Focusing Yes Yes
Minimum Focus Distance 4.6ft.(1.4m) 4.8ft.(1.45m)
Focus Mode Manual
Manual/Auto
Auto/Manual
Auto
Manual
Manual/Auto
Filter Size 77mm 77mm
Accepts Filter Type Screw-on Screw-on
Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length) 3.5in.(89mm)x5.8in.(147.5mm)Based on CIPA Guideline 3.5in.(90mm)x8.8in.(222.5mm)
Approx. Weight 26.6oz.(755g) 50.8oz.(1,440g)
Price $1,999.95 $1,369
MTF Charts Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f:4E PF ED VR lens MTF chart Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f:4D IF-ED MTF chart
Lens Design Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f:4E PF ED VR lens design Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f:4D IF-ED lens design
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  • Brian

    Will it be as sharp as the existing lens which is one of the sharpest I’ve ever used.

    • Nikos Delhanidis

      Nikon updating this lens (and some others such as 400 2.8, + the 14E III) i suspect they are having in mind the resolving power demands of current and upcoming sensors.So most probably it would be sharper…

      • Brian

        I use the current a lot. Takes the 1.4 and 1.7 tele with no issues. Here’s a recent shot with a 1.5 tele..
        https://www.flickr.com/photos/bkushner/16202527661/

        • neversink

          You mean a 1.4 tele??? (Nice birdie by the way!!!) Great detail!

          • PeterAndelvesnev

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            • KnightPhoto

              You looked hotter yesterday PeterAndelv… interesting I wonder if they do this Spam with some kind of crawler robot technology – damn it seems to be getting through.

            • I am blocking, banning and flagging of those.

        • Spy Black

          I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Your present 300mm is a bird in hand…

        • Steve C

          Lovely little birdie pic.

        • Michal Zdunek

          looks good, I also use the TC2.0 on that lens. it’s unforgiving but it still works.

          https://www.flickr.com/photos/zdunek/16022052688/

      • Theodoros Fotometria

        But the 400mm IS F2.8… This is no more than 300/f4.8… (or it is a 260-270mm f4)…

        • Michal Zdunek

          I have the old 3mm /f4.0

    • Rick Johnson

      MTF chart would leave you to believe so, especially in the center. M30 seems to suffer a bit toward the edges though in comparison.

    • Comparing the MTF charts we can assume that the new lens will have slightly more contrast towards the edge of the frame and will be sharper all across the frame. Furthermore it is possible that the new lens will have more busy bokeh, since the sagittal and meridional lines don’t line up as nicely as with the old version.

      taken out Nikon’s website:

      Using a MTF chart to determine the bokeh effect of the lens

      Another factor that can be read from the MTF graph is the ‘bokeh’ of the lens. … The bokeh effect varies between lenses and the effect is influenced by the quality of the lens elements used and the number of aperture blades in the lens design (more blades produce a better circle and therefore a better ‘bokeh’ effect). The closer the solid line and the dotted line are together, the softer the out of focus effect will be on a particular lens.

      http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Learn-And-Explore/Article/h3c4udzf/what-is-a-lens-mtf-chart-how-do-i-read-it.html

    • Theodoros Fotometria

      I’m sure it’ll be even sharper (not that one cares anymore at the sharpness level) …but, like the previous lens it is too damn slow at f4.8…. Couldn’t they make it of 82mm (like the old AF IFED) or even better at 86mm of filter diameter? Theory claims at least 75mm active front element diameter for f4… Who do they think they are fooling with this clear fraud of declaring a 77mm filter diameter lens as f4?

      • Ken Elliott

        I’d prefer they keep the 77mm filter size, just like most professional Nikon lenses. F/4, F/4.8 – not a big deal. A lens that won’t take my existing collection of filters? That’s a much bigger deal.

        Dude – clear fraud? I think you wait until you get the lens in your hands, or a set of optical specs before you make such an outlandish claim.

    • Bengt Nyman

      LenScore says NO. Expect 20% lower resolution, 924 versus 1189.

      • Brian

        I returned mine 3 days after buying it. Was not sharp alone or with teles. 300 F/4D much sharper.

        • Bengt Nyman

          Wow. Thanks !
          That’s what LenScore is reporting.
          I have asked both LenScore and LensRentals to test the DX portion of the image of this lens.
          I am using the older lens. The problem with this excellent, older lens is that new TCs can not set or report the aperture, so you are stuck using f/5.6, doing exposure compensation, or heavier post processing.

  • Nikos Delhanidis

    Well, Nikon, it would be nice to surprise us soon with a 400 5.6 sibling of this (or 4.5 if you can keep it at the same cost)

    • KnightPhoto

      If this thing has top IQ with a TC14E III, I’m not sure a 400mm f/5.6 is actually necessary? Or were you gonna shoot the 400 f/5.8 with a TC at f8?

      • Nikos Delhanidis

        yeap, aiming at 600 (560mm) F/8

        • Pat Mann

          Just use the TC20EIII

          • Nikos Delhanidis

            My experience showed me that no 2x TC, no matter how good it is, can provide neither quality or performance enough for action photography

            • neonspark

              true that. TCs are a compromise and people still treat them as if they are magical devices that get around the laws of physics…they don’t.

      • Bengt Nyman

        That’s what I have been hoping as well. However, my hopes appear dashed by LenScore as well as by real world reports.
        Bummer ?

    • Brian

      A few years ago I contacted Nikon asking why they didn’t make a 400 F/5.6 and they said “we do, the 300 F/4 with a 1/4 tele”. I don’t understand why they won’t make an affordable 400 F/5.6 ala Canon..This forces most Nikon shooters to get the sigma or Tamron zooms to reach without paying a fortune.

      • true

        Precisely. I think Nikon is shooting themselves on the foot when it comes to wildlife photography.

        • neonspark

          well given as most wild life photographers shoot with glass longer than 400mm, it is doubtful they are losing anybody but the extreme ammateurs that haven’t quite made the cut to get true wild life glass.

          • true

            Because there’s not enough people who buy the 150-500 or 150-600 zooms? And the people who want same performance with 400 prime on a 1.4 TC with lighter weight are all amateurs?

            My my, I must only buy 2.8 teleprimes from now on. Will you carry it for me?

            • neonspark

              While I have seen a few people with those funky challenged TC and zoomed setups, please, we all know if you go to any place where there is a lot of BIF, the big guns 500+ primes are all you see the vast majority of times.
              I don’t deny a 600 f/4 lens is big and heavy, but sorry, that 150-600 lens is a joke in comparison. Let’s just come out and say it.

            • true

              You forgot that I want a lens that can be handheld. 150-600 might not be heavy in comparison to some lenses that are better in tripod, but it isn’t something I’d handhold for long periods of time, thus my search for something that has reach and can be handheld.

            • neonspark

              you’re searching for a unicorn.

            • true

              http://tinyurl.com/n9ugzee I just want something with similiar performance in my nikon system too. It doesn’t have to come from nikon, I just want to use it with my nikon camera. I read nikon and tamron had done a joint patent for 200-500 with tamron, so maybe there’s hope?

            • peter w

              please look at the results. Off course the big Canon and Nikon guns stand apart, but those Tamrons and Sigma’s definitely beat the 600 F5,6 ais etc etc we used to be so happy with.

    • EarlFargis

      I agree.

      I don’t find the argument they make a 300mm f/4 so no need for a 400mm f/5.6 compelling. It’s all about choice. And teleconverters are a kluge that will always effect image quality and, face it, photos taken with telephoto lenses are often cropped requiring every pixel of resolution. I have the 300mm f/4 with the Nikon 1.4x and 1.7x. It works well with the 1.4x. The 1.7 is a bit disappointing and needs to be stopped down.

    • Theodoros Fotometria

      For 400mm f4.5, you need about 90mm active front element diameter according to optical theory… which means at least 102mm of filter diameter… This lens is of less than f4.5 (Nikon’s claim of f4 at 77mm filter diameter is a clear fraud)… What’s the use of a 400mm f6.3 if they come out with a (more length) 400mm which is going to be even more expensive? …add a teleconverter to it and you have all the f6.8 420mm you want… (at 500 shutter speed on tripod). LOL…

      • Nikos Delhanidis

        i am not (or other action photographers) using front filters on our teles. While the 300 f/4+ 1.4x is great for quality 400mm action photography, i need the option for more reach. A 400 F/4.5~5.6 would suffice, no matter how large the diameter.

        • Theodoros Fotometria

          Νικολακη, before you declare your self an “action photographer” (or a photographer at all), I suggest to learn the basics of optical theory… You haven’t understand a word out of my reply to your nonsense… I’m simply pointing to you that this lens is a 300/4.8 and that a (real) 400/4.5 would be a 2.5Kg beast (with the same technology) that would cost more than double the price…

      • true

        mate wtf are you smoking? Do you see ppl using Canon 400 5.6 on a tripod? no because it weights 1.25kg. What the 400 5.6 DOES however is go 560mm with a 1.4TC and outperforms tamron 150-600 at 750g less (as demonstrated by Tony Northup’s Tamron 150-600 review http://tinyurl.com/nh42trx and this test site http://tinyurl.com/n9ugzee .

        My guess is that the canon 100-400 IS2 zoom has better time reaching close to 600mm than this 300mm f4 from nikon.

        • neonspark

          both canon and nikon’s 100-400 zooms are not really a match for this light weight portable lens.
          You’re missing the point entirely. Nikon’s own 400 PF will no doubt follow now that we know they are pushing the F4 line to the prime teles, but the 300 is a very nice addition since it both refreshes the popular 300 f/4 and adds the PF weight savings making it overall a better general lens than a 400. It will be lighter, more portable and more versatile. Not to say there is no room for a larger heavier 400, but there is definitively no denying the 300 will be the most popular since it is going to be a poor man’s 300 and deliver top notch quality at a nice entry price.
          overall an excellent addition to the nikon lineup and no doubt this lens will be a classic among the many nikon users that have been asking for a modern budget alternative to the 300 f2.8

      • ITN

        If the true focal length is 291mm (as in the 2013 patent) and the front element 74mm the maximum aperture of the 300/4 would then be f/3.93.

        • Theodoros Fotometria

          Nope… you are forgetting the existence of aperture ring…. You need to measure ACTIVE diameter, this is minus the percentage of area that aperture “blanks” when fully open. You also need to exclude some (admittedly minor) shading that the filter thread creates and you need to consider the image circle of the lens….

          • Ken Elliott

            Hate to tell you, but the aperture ring doesn’t exist on this “G” lens.

          • kotozafy

            But at the opposite side, you must also take into account the MAGNIFYING effect of the front glass on the apparent aperture!

    • Nikos Delhanidis

      No doubt this is a great performance lens with practical size and weight. I am curious though how many users wanting a quality medium tele prefer to spend 2k on a 300 f4 prime and not think that their 70-200 2.8 VR II that works great with all current Nikon TCs can cover them for that focal length instead.

      Would also be interesting statistically to know how many and how often they are using the 300 F4 with TC on.

      The canon 400 5.6 is a bright sample for both brand and third party lens companies , just lacking stabilization. Its very small, very light, and with sharpness untouched by any -400, -500, -600 superzoon, giving access to exotic lenses level of IQ and reach at 1k the most …

      For those many at least that came to conclusion that they are using almost most of the time the long end of a super zoom while they are definitely not happy with the IQ they get which gets prioritized but they cannot find a way to afford a small car value of lens

  • Spy Black

    How do you get to see the whole comparison table?

    • Yeah, P, your tables are often wonky on my screen too. Both on my desktop and my phablet phone.

      • MassimoTava

        Adjust the zoom. Control and mouse wheel to adjust.

        • Yeah, that’s not it at all. This is a formatting issue with wp.

  • pudding

    Wow that weight! New 755g vs Old 1440g!

  • JosengSisiw1

    Almost half the weight, smaller with VR… shit Nikon will have my 2K again….

    • CERO

      I think Nikon pulled a nintendo. “IS YOUR BODY READY?”.
      your wallet clearly wasnt.

      • JosengSisiw1

        Haha, Cero don’t stick your tongue on my wallet…..

        • CERO

          sorry. I love to lick the tears of the victims.

          • JosengSisiw1

            It will be more likely to be tears of joy….enjoy the sweetness of it.

  • Photobug

    Peter, can you fix the chart so it displays properly to see the old lens? Thanks. Looks like you been busy posting trying to keep up with all the new stuff.

    • What browser are you using?

      • Photobug

        Peter, using FireFox…I did a refresh/reload of the page and now it displays correctly. Had to do that on the D55-D5300 comparison too.

      • Brian

        I can’t see it either on Firefox.

        • just refresh your browser

          • Photobug

            Had no issues this morning on the lens or the D5e00/D5500 comparison. Saw your note that you made some adjustment, too. Thanks.Great job getting all the announcement info posted. Thank You!

  • Dean

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  • SteveHood

    It looks like it will have flare issue similar to the original Canon DO lenses.

    http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/img/img_pffrare_2.jpg

    • saywhatuwill

      Where’s this photo? I can’t find it.

      • SteveHood

        The following link came up when I clicked on the PF symbol on the new 300mm f4 product page.

        http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/glossary.htm#pf

        • Ha, they just added it – this was not there earlier today.

        • Global

          That is pretty heavy…..

          • Global

            My understanding of this PF is that it negates Chromatic Aberration. So basically, you trade one kind of aberration for another (you get flares).

            Their point was that you can “kinda, sorta” minimize this flare (though not by much it seems). My question would be: Was the CA that bad in the previous version?

            Regardless, this new version is half-the-weight.. soo… I guess a lot of people will think thats worth nearly twice the price on its own.

            • KnightPhoto

              Nikon’s description of PF strangely glosses over the main user benefit which is that DO (sorry PF) delivers the incredible weight and size savings. It certainly brings to mind how tempting that would be on a 600 f/4 PF lens – not that I expect that.

              Anyhow that PF lens element, I wonder if it really is jagged like that on the trailing edge of it…

            • Pat Mann

              I’m really looking for the return of the 600 f/5.6 with this tech. About the size of the 300 f/2.8, I’d imagine.

            • Theodoros Fotometria

              Yeah… that is (about) feasible (only a little longer)… they can get about 25mm of length with diffraction optics, but a 600/5.6 would still weight as much as 3.5 Kgr, no matter how light the frame would be… Unless if they end up to replace glass with …more plastic for optical elements.

            • neonspark

              it’s about being “lightER” as in an improvement, not about being weightLESS

          • Global

            My understanding of this PF is that it negates Chromatic Aberration. So basically, you trade one kind of aberration for another (you get flares).

            Their point was that you can “kinda, sorta” minimize this flare (though not by much it seems). My question would be: Was the CA that bad in the previous version?

            Regardless, this new version is half-the-weight.. soo… I guess a lot of people will think thats worth nearly twice the price on its own.

        • saywhatuwill

          Is it possible that it’s because it was taken with an earlier model that wasn’t finalized yet?

    • IndyReader

      That’s ok, I’m not planning on using it to shoot point sources of bright light on a routine basis.

    • Mark

      There no no evidence those examples are even from the new 300mm lens. Who’s buying one to shoot into extremely bright light in the midde of the night anyway?

      • Global

        That’s just a crop of a city landscape. Hardly abnormal, considering most of the world lives in one……………..

      • JJ168

        Many d750 experts? Not necessarily owners 🙂

    • neonspark

      off course. it is similar technology. A great addition to the nikon catalog IMO and one they should follow with a 400 and 500 versions.

      • true

        It’s similiar, but it seems Nikon is WAY behind Canon when it comes to telephoto lenses. Newer Canon DO lenses must be much better are they not?

        • neonspark

          how so? do you have any proof that the canon 300 f/4 DO is better?
          and how is nikon WAY behind? Canon has a couple more models which are older, hardly merits your conclusion as both have all the necessary flagships all the way to 800. But as far as technology and does canon have a 300 DO? You shoot canon so you should know but I’ve only see a 400 which costs nearly 6K, not really the audience for this lens and I’d hope the 6K lens beats the 2K lens. If nikon had made a 6K PF lens then we can talk.
          I think there is a lot of mysticism in your evaluation of gear you don’t own.

          • true

            D810 is made by canon? I didn’t know, I thought 5d4 was?

            • neonspark

              you tell me. Apparently you know something about nikon’s lens that isn’t yet on the hands of testers against a vaporware canon lens that doesn’t seem to exist. So if you can infer that much from a yet to ship lens versus an imaginary lens, who knows, maybe you’re shooting with a canon D810 too.

            • true

              Well, I was reading the comments on dpreview regarding the flare issue http://tinyurl.com/m57n535 and someone did infact bring up the

              “The million dollar question is, will this 300/4 Fresnel lens be more like Canon’s 400/4DO Mk I or Mk II? Mk I suffered all sorts of optical issues from the Fresnel element; Mk II seems to have solved most of them. Did Nikon get Fresnel right on the first try?”

              “But yes, it does look similar to the flare blobs of the Canon EF70-300 DO. The bokeh of that lens is quite all right, but these flare blobs and its overall flare resistance are its achilles heel.

              Canon’s much more expensive 400/4 DOs, either the original or the II, don’t really exhibit this behaviour,”

              We’re seeing a problem Canon sorted out couple of years ago, yet we’re paying the premium price for the product at hand. Weight saving is very good thing, but going too much of compromise can be bad too.

  • Rafa R

    does it have a tripod collar?

  • Henri

    I wish they kept the hood collapsible…

    • KnightPhoto

      Haven’t seen that in years Henri. Although I did notice SpyBlack’s 135mm AIS f/2 and f/2.8 both had the extensible hoods – those were the days. I have heard though, that the built in hoods really were too short and don’t provide the amount of lens shading required by today’s IQ standards.

      • TheInconvenientRuth

        The 105 and 135DC lenses also have the built-in hood, but the thread on it (you pull to extend and then ‘screw’ to stay in place) is very dodgy, so I use a 3rd party hood on the 105DC. On the 105 it works well because the front element is set far back. On the 135, you’d be better off with a 3rd party hood.

  • KnightPhoto

    Holy batman do you SEE THAT size and weight reduction! This is groundbreaking guys and gals. Price is decent, better than I feared, might even say good price, considering the tech in here (PF and VR) and some of the high prices we were bantering about a few weeks ago. Pretty much a definite buy for me at some point. MTF looks great too. Now I just need a DX camera to go with it 😉

    • AYWY

      I was like “It doesn’t have a tripod collar? How light is this? Wow!”

      The weight is 755g, length 14.75cm. For comparison the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G with VR is 745g, length 14.22cm.

      Canon’s 300mm f/4 is 1.2kg, 22.1cm. Much cheaper though also a 1997 design.

      • KnightPhoto

        Great, I’m hefting my 70-300VR as we speak to get a sense of it – thanks!

      • true

        Canon’s 400 5.6 is also great. Something nikon doesn’t have.

    • Ian Lindo

      No kidding. It actually weighs 95 grams LESS than my 70-200 f/4…

  • TheInconvenientRuth

    To really appreciate the mind-boggling size difference, I did a quick side-by-side of the lens diagam versions, as accurately as I could do it with such images. YEah, this one will definetely be in my bag ALL the time now. Ruthy is so happy…

    • TheInconvenientRuth

      ~slightly~ more accurate version:

      • Eric Calabros

        seems Nikon has hired some Katana masters

      • KnightPhoto

        Wow – even better Ruthie!

    • TheInconvenientRuth

      ~slightly~ more accurate version:

    • One has to really wonder why Nikon marketing isn’t able to create illustrations like this in order to support one of the main selling points for this lens….

  • AYWY

    Just to let the difference sink in to anyone reading… the weight and size is almost the same as the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G VR (when fully extended I presume).

    • KnightPhoto

      I believe from eyeballing mine, that is the length of the 70-300VR NOT extended!

  • TheInconvenientRuth

    May I be the first to compliment Nikon on giving this lens the same tripod collar as the 70-200/4.0G. Since you won’t often have 2 lenses on 2 tripods at the same time anyway, you could save money by just having one for both lenses. Very nice touch.

  • Guest

    I wonder what does the “E” stands for in f/4E

    • Felix 思聰 Wong

      Oh my words, just came to realize that there’s an E after F4,
      got too excited from the weight and size

      • TheInconvenientRuth

        It’s the Electromagnmetic Aperture control, same as the new 800mm f/5.6E has: “Electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism is incorporated for enhanced
        stability in auto exposure control during continuous shooting even when
        the teleconverter is used (Not compatible with the D2 series, D1 series,
        D200, D100, D90, D80, D70 series, D3000, D60, D50, D40 series, 35mm
        film cameras)”

        • Felix 思聰 Wong

          Thanks!

  • BurnumBurnum

    The minimum focus distance of the new lens is slightly reduced (1.4m vs. 1.45m) but the Maximum Reproduction Ratio is also smaller (2.4 vs. 2.7). So does that mean the focal length is smaller when focusing at the minimum focus distance?

    • Bobby

      The minimum focus distance is measured from the sensor, not from the front of the lens. If you measure the distance from the front of the lens, then the old 300mm still focuses slightly closer.

    • peter w

      yes, 10% more focus breathing of the new model,

      acceptable

      happily much less than with the zooms in this focal range.

    • amaas

      2.4 is actually better than 2.7, so focus breathing should be similar, MFD is slightly shorter and magnification went up slightly due to that.

  • jvossphoto

    Will be a future must buy for me. It will no doubt match up beautifully to the TC 14iii. My dreams would be answered if Nikon would make a 700mm f/5.6 version that’s half the weight of the 600mm f/4 and that would also match up beautifully with the TC 1.4 iii

  • DSS

    It’s a nice-looking lens with a couple of neat features, but looks like I’ll probably keep my current 300mm f/4D AF-S around for a lot longer. This lens would have to be very noticeably better in sharpness if I was going to be tempted to fork out $2,000- $2,300.00 (TAX included). If I’d need to upgrade my 1.4TC II to the 1.4TC III as well,.. that would make things even more costly without really improving on my photography in any significant way.

    Currently the only benefit I see is being able to have it with me more often due to the smaller carrying size. If in the future I find a spare $2,500 laying about, I’ll give it a thought. The current version is just so sharp!

    • Spy Black

      There’s always LensRentals for those times when you need a shorter, lighter 300…

  • HF

    The MTF indicates an amazingly sharp lens. Compare it to 400/2.8 (at f=4, first) and 300/2.8g (second at 2.8) for MTF30. Luckily I didn’t buy the 80-400g already. This with an 1.4TC could be a great lens. As it’s lighter than our Sigma 50mm Art lens and similar to the 35/1.4 we use a lot it’s even great for handholding (including a claimed 4.5 stops VR) without tripod collar.

    • SteveHood

      Should work well on a crop sensor.

  • B2

    o wow, that one looks fantastic, especially if it comes to weight, it was worth waiting…

  • No Gain without Pain

    Nice, but:

    No tripod mount supplied.

    The MFD is closer but the max rep. ratio is less than the current 300/4 so it’s yet another heavy breather from Nikon.

    • Chris

      You don’t need a tripod mount for this lens. It’s lighter than the 24-70 which has no tripod mount either.
      AFAIK the tripod mount of the 70-200/4.0 is the same, so you can buy one if you want one.

      • No Gain without Pain

        Yes, I do.

        And, err no, I would not be using this lens instead of the 24-70mm.

  • Steve C

    Is it just me, or does the outer element look way bigger on the new version, compared with the older lens?
    I was sure the filter size would be bigger.

    • nwcs

      I think the diagrams are not displayed on the same scale

      • Steve C

        Ok, nice M42 avatar btw.

        • nwcs

          Thanks! It’s from one of my few attempts at astrophotography. The weather hasn’t been good to me this year.

  • Nikos Delhanidis

    on paper at least, i must admit i need to hat off nikon this time on this

    • peter w

      it will be very well if it is well on print paper

  • Avabanana

    Will the new 300mm be compatible with TCs? Will they even physically fit? Look at the optical diagram. The rear element is set way back.

    • peter w

      yes it will accept convertors.

      check Nikon.com

      • Avabanana

        Ah, thanks. That info was not on Nikon Europe.

  • Jim Huang

    Does the new lens work with film camera? I know it has the electro-magnetic aperture mechanism, which the older version of the lens doesn’t have.

    Thank you

    • fjfjjj

      I don’t think that any film cameras are able to activate the diaphragm of an “E” Nikkor.

  • Pat Mann

    Wow! Now do this for the 400 and 600 f/5.6 lenses, please. We’ll have to see if that contrast MTF curve really reflects the contrast with the diffractive element in use, but this is amazing.

  • dbltax

    I was in hysterics when I saw the weight! Shut up and take my money!

  • waterengineer

    Will the new lens be compatible with the 1.4 and 1.7 TCs? Also, will there be a Kirk foot available? The $170US for the Nikon foot is just silly.

    • Avabanana

      Plenty of feet available on fleabay at very sensible prices.

    • Steve C

      Exactly. Who’s going to pay big money for a lame Nikon tripod collar when they can get a better third party one for less money.

  • wow. in terms of weight i am impressed! If they could implement such reduction to all tele-lenses 400/500/600 that would be awesome.
    500/4 and 2.6kg or 600/4 3.3kg it sounds sexy already 🙂

  • 750gr??? Wow, if performances are great, this lens is a dream for reach and compactness … I have no use for it but gosh Id love to!

    • MonkeySpanner

      Agreed – I can’t think of a use for a 300mm f/4 – but I am working hard to come up with one.

      • I have a goid one I think! Leave the 70-200 2.8 at home and make more use of the 85 1.4 in FX, x1.2 crop (103mm 1.8 eq) and Dx crop (127mm f2.1 eq) and pull the 300mm f4 out of your “pocket” when needing extra reach … i am very tempted, actually I believe I am already convinced !! As I am more and more shooting that way and try to keep the heavy 70-200 aside when shooting events. I am all convinced. Thank god!

      • also … Sigma is pretty likely to release a 135 f1.8 or f2 “anytime soon”, so what’s the point for the 70-200 !?!!! 🙂

  • neonspark

    the weight savings are amazing

  • Aeroengineer

    Sorry if this has already been addressed, but will it work with a Nikon 1 and the FT-1 adapter? I note that the 800 f/5.6 is shown by Nikon as compatible.

  • neversink

    Definitely going to test this lens and if I like it, I buy it. Although I would prefer a 2.8 aperture, the weight savings makes this a winner for me. Since I never used a Phase Fresnel lens before, I am going to be cautious. Looking forward to great test results. I like that it has an aspherical element, and claims to have virtually no chromatic aberration or ghosting due to the Phase Fresnel element. The nano crystal coating on the ED lens and fluorine coating on the front element is a plus.

    I am psyched to try this lens.

  • neversink

    Tripod foot????? – Do we really need one for this lens. It’s nice to have, but with this lens being so lightweight at 1.7 pounds, just mount the camera body on the tripod.

  • Amazing what technology can do …
    Think about that:
    The 200-400mm f4 is 3.3kg
    This 300mm f4 allows 1.2crop 360mm f4.8 + dx crop 450mm f5.6 = 750gr
    It is also an equivalent of 400mm f5.3, if you do a x1,35 crop in post. And this is still 19,7mp to work with on D8xx

  • IamGoogoo

    Very cool, I’m really only worried about sharpness, an extra couple pounds means nothing to me, but $500 does…still keeping my current 300mm

  • true

    I’m very dissapointed how the Nikon seems to be creeping behind canon when it comes to tele lenses. Nikon doesn’t seem to be able to offer a handholdable prime/zoom that is either sharp or affordable for the 500-600 range. 80-400 is more expensive and softer than canon’s 100-400 is2 , so I guess it wont be doing 560mm very happily, and this new 300 f4 seems to be “gen 1” canon DO as the flare test shows, whilst the newer canon DO lenses are already of newer generation. Will it take Nikon another 4 years to catch Canon in wildlife? Considering how long it took them to upgrade the aged 80-400, I would guess so yes, since even the 1993 design 400 f5.6 is much more happy to go 560mm than the nikon newer 80-400 zoom that costs twice the price.

    Where does this all take us? It seem to me that we nikonians are paying premium for what seems to be “older generation” of DO. Why didn’t the nikon challenge canon in wildlife lenses earlier on? Did nikon not take AF sport shooting seriously enough, until it was too late?

    • true

      Until I will see a handholdable and affordable nikon prime/zoom that can go close to 600mm, I will believe Canon is leading the race, when it comes to wildlife. So why is it that Nikon will not maybe try to gain points via other methods? It’s not like they’re putting VR to their 20-85 primes, so why not introduce a IBIS that can work in conjunction with the VR? They have patent for hybrid VF if that’s needed for it to work, they could have OVF that’s always “on”, and then a EVF that could be turned on and off via a switch.

      • neonspark

        “handholdable and affordable nikon prime/zoom that can go close to 600mm”
        if you refer the the 200-400 lenses, neither is hanholdable or affordable from canon or nikon, so by your measure, neither company is leading. 🙂
        What you want is a smaller sensor then.

        • true

          what I want is a 400 f5.6 with a TC1.4 that can outcompete tamron 150-600 2kg. Too much asked?

          • neonspark

            TC= compromise. But if you’re ok with that go for it. Again, if nikon had shipped a 400 f/5.6 people would complain about no 300 f/4 PF. And if they had shipped both some idiot would then complain there is no 600 f5.6. ultimately you an always find a flaw with any system if you set out to do that. Who knows that other things 2015 will bring.

            • true

              This lens might be good with a 1.7TC , but that’s about the only thing I can think of it.

            • neonspark

              because you’re obsessed with getting that much field of view. I tell you what this is for: people who don’t want to haul a massive 400, or a less massive 400. People who want a modern 300 prime but don’t want the 2.8 version. People who don’t want to TC their 70-200 zoom to have VR on a 300.
              If this lens was a car, it wouldn’t be an F350 truck. It would be an F150 and plenty of people do fine with just that. I think it is clear that you’re looking for something else. This isn’t it. We get it. This is just the best 300 f/4 in the market right now and for people who want that, the choice is clear.

            • true

              You’re right. I want a 400 / 600 range. I’m interested to see how this lens will get there with 1.7tc, because it would be hell alot lighter to carry than a regular 150-600 tamron zoom.

            • peter w

              @true
              It will be at least as acceptable as the present 300 F4 with tc1,7. I think you should buy a D7200 and crop the image, rather than use a convertor. Accept if the lens outperfors the resolution of the D7200 sensor. This could deliver best IQ when there is enough light for nornal iso.

          • HF

            Focussing will be difficult for most bodies especially in lower light where most of the interesting animals appear.

          • neversink

            Whine! Whine! Whine!

      • neversink

        True – Why are you here wasting your time? Why don’t you enjoy your Canon lenses and bodies if you think they are so wonderful and go to a Canon site. Leave us poor Nikon owners in peace. I am interested in this lens, and I certainly won’t be selling my 500mm f/4. They are two different beasts.

        • true

          When did I ask you to sell a tripod king? I just want something that is handholdable. Maybe it’s too unreasonable thing to ask for a BIF lens that doesn’t cost 2600 euros?

    • neonspark

      “Nikon doesn’t seem to be able to offer a handholdable prime/zoom that is either sharp or affordable for the 500-600 range”

      define affordable 500-600 canon lens? And if you are talking compromising the lens with a TC, ok that is one choice but that is NOT a true 500-600 prime zoom then. TCs are not magical, you give some to gain some.

      “80-400 is more expensive and softer than canon’s 100-400 is2

      The canon lens is newer so it off course benefits from newer designs. This doesn’t mean the 80-400 is bad in any way. Nikon’s 14-24 runs circles around the canon wides yet it doesn’t mean all the canon wides stopped working. Last I checked people were quite happy with theirs. This notion that X lens is no good because Y lens from company B is slightly better at best is silly.

      ” I guess it wont be doing 560mm very happily, and this new 300 f4 seems to be “gen 1″ canon DO as the flare test shows, whilst the newer canon DO lenses are already of newer generation.

      total bull crap. besides it is better than the EF 300 f/4 and that is what you should take back to your canon board silly.

      “Considering how long it took them to upgrade the aged 80-400, I would guess so yes, since even the 1993 design 400 f5.6 is much more happy to go 560mm than the nikon newer 80-400 zoom that costs twice the price.

      you’re saying a prime takes TC better than a zoom and this is a nikon problem? seriously?

      “Where does this all take us? It seem to me that we nikonians are paying premium for what seems to be “older generation” of DO


      given as how you neither shoot nikon nor understand PF nor have a PF lens nor have any evidence of your claims, all I’m going to say is go back to canon rumors 🙂

      • true

        I do shoot with nikon, and am just very dissapointed there’s no 400 5.6 with nikon that weights 1.25kg and can go 560mm without any effort. Did I mention the price is also half that of 80-400 AF-S?

        • neonspark

          You can find any system that lacks some lens you want. No system has everything. If you need a 400 5.6 and that is so critical to you, buy one from whoever makes it. who cares about what one person needs anyway? Some people will claim they need a 300 f/4 PF for this and that. whatever you use just quite the bitching and go shoot.

          • true

            I’ll be waiting for a sigma 150-600 C, since I have hope that thing could weight less than a 150-600 Tamron.

            • neonspark

              why wait. if a 400 f/5.6 from ages ago tantalizes you so much just get it. What’s the worse that happens? nikon ships one later that is more modern and better but who cares as your lens won’t stop working.

            • true

              only 400 5.6 I can get for nikon system is a Sigma 400 5.6 , but I’m not too sure whether the AF of it is very top notch. Checking a review of that lens on photozone.de , it seems to have better sharpness than a canon 400 5.6 which is kinda surprising

            • neonspark

              again, if your system has a hole, go somewhere else. I know many canon shooters that came to nikon for some lens or another that they wanted to have which canon didn’t offer or won’t offer in the future. If it really matters that much to you, just go over there 🙂
              Based on your trash talking nikon as “last gen DO”, it sounds you’re better off going to similarly narrow minded people who basically need to justify their choice by spreading misinformation. you’ll be right at home at canon land.

            • true

              What lens does nikon have canon doesn’t? the 14-24? Tamron 15-30 2.8 VC is about to replace that, and with very good success too.

              What about 17 tilt-shift, or a 1-5x macro lens? Are those lenses nikon can offer? No they’re not.

              I’m interested in all kinds of photography, so it pains me I have to do reverse lens trick if I want to have more magnification (180 sigma macro lens + 50 f1.8 lens), when canon can provide it natively.

            • HF

              Again the same rant. You are talking about Nikon lenses but when pointed to the wide zoom you are suddenly taking Tamron as an example to fill the gap. You can always do the same with Nikon and use Sigma or Tamron to fill holes. So get the Sigma 150-600 and stop complaining. Your reasoning isn’t sound especially since you only pick a few speciality lenses hardly anyone needs (macro 1-5x). I still am not convinced that the 100-400ii from Canon is better than Nikons 80-400, since we would need a test using the same camera to be sure. Maybe the Canon is better with TC, but this would be a problem with the TC being better on the Canon side. The lens rentals comparison only revealed a minimal gain in sharpness (mainly edges) compared to the older version.

            • true

              http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=915&Camera=614&Sample=0&FLI=5&API=1&LensComp=972&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=0 here there’s big difference

              You can get wide aperture lenses on canon too, you can get a 70-200 on canon too, you get even better 24-70/24-xxx because not only do you have both the sigma and tamron on canon too, but you have a 24-105 on canon that is better than sigma. Okay you don’t get a 24-120 that you get on nikon, but that’s about it.

              “So get the 150-600 Sigma and stop complaining” The one out there atm (sports) weights 3kg. The one I’m after (contemporary) will probably weight 2kg or less. I’m not buying it because it’s not been released yet. I’m not buying a tamron 150-600 either because I know there’s been some issues with AF, and because I happen to know the canon 400 5.6 is better. It seems like a waste of money for me to settle on something inferior when I know these companies could do better performance / weight wise (like, introduce a 400 5.6 prime maybe? or an upgrade version of 200-500 zoom with a VC? The original 200-500 weights ONLY 1.2kg. That’s very very much lighter than a 2kg big monster the 150-600 is)

            • HF

              I doubt this comparison (not only because this is a canon only guy). The MTF50 I have seen from the Nikon were quite good, in the same ballpark as the 200-400/4 and slightly worse than the excellent 400/2.8. Maybe with TC performance degrades more than with canon, but this doesn’t interest me. I don’t intend to use it at f8 where AF performance gets bad in bad light. I think it is better to use Canon in your case as most things you need are better there in your opinion.

            • true

              Of course they’re better there. A professional photographer does a review of a item that’s both accessible to canon and nikon (tamron 150-600), compares it to canon 400 5.6 to find out the canon can do better, and is 750grams lighter than the said tamron (with a 1.4tc , so it’s 560mm). I’m not going to believe a 80-400 will be able to go 560mm without problems after what I’ve seen from that site (same site’s canon vs tamron comparison supports the photographers 400 5.6 and 150-600 comparison).

              I’m going with what information I got, and when I look at 80-400 @ DXO, it doesn’t seem to be “super top notch” what it suggests to be with its premium price. I know it’s not fair, but tamron 70-200 @ 200 is much sharper than a 80-400 @ 400 . Heck even a 80-400 @ 400 vs tamron 150-600 @ 600 shows tamron is a bit sharper http://tinyurl.com/klmkp2o . I guess that’s doing tamron a bit of favor, but it’s still a bit too heavy for my liking for handhold.

            • neversink

              Neonspark…. I think our friend true is just another reincarnation of robert, rtphotography or some other whiner that plagues us….. Trash talking every Nikon product, praising Tamron and Canon. Same trash talk, different incognito virtual identity…

    • whisky

      if most of your griping is about price, sharpness, and weight … try the nikon 1 70-300mm Cx. you might like it.

    • neversink

      You may be a “nikonian,” but I am a working photographer and use many different brands of cameras. Nikon is the one I use the most these days for my day to day work, but I am not limited by them.
      Secondly, if you think Canon is so great, why in the world are you here bitching? Go get a life!

      • true

        canon is “so great” because it can deliver 150-600 zoom performance in a 400 prime lens with weight of 1.25kg . The same freaking thing we’re “celebrating” here when nikon releases a dated mark 1 DO with flares all over the place, but no problems it’s “lighter than older nikon”

  • neonspark

    for those bitching about the price and that it isn’t a 400 f/4, please remember this:
    EF 400mm
    f/4 DO IS II USM $6,899.00
    so are 100 mm worth 5K to you? wow.

    • true

      Probably going to cost 2200 euro where I live. If it turns out to be cheaper than I think then I’m optimistic.

      • HF

        German price is 2049 Euros. But I expect it to get in the 1900 Euro range, soon.

        • peter w

          If you need it now, buy it now…

          if you don’t need it now, buy it later when perhaps the price has gone down, or up…

          I fear I want this lens before the price goes down… a bit. (Definitely I do not need it, since I use a 300F4 right now and got some great pictures with that, from tripod off course)
          But first do a bit of checking what this fresnel thing those to the contrast in backlit photos.

          • HF

            I always wait for first reviews and comments showing up. That’s why I bought D810 and D610 and not D800 or D600. I don’t need it but want it. However my wife wants the 300/2.8. I’m just not sure whether the 2.8 vs 4 is making this large difference in background blur at 300mm for portraits.

            • true

              Well if there’s something, 2.8 is much heavier. I don’t believe that extra stop is going to make too much different @ that range since for bokeh, since it’s already very long (maybe more difference @ 200 of 70-200 , between 2.8 and f4). If you don’t need extra reach then the 300 f4 vr should be very nice, since it’s very light too.

            • peter w

              that’s quite a different thing… 😉
              Well, will she carry it? And the tripod?

            • HF

              She doesn’t have to carry it far, a few minutes from the car to the locations of her clients. It’s about separating the subject from busy backgrounds. Of course the 2.8 is better, but the question is by how much at 300mm.

            • peter w

              I wouldn’t choose a lens with which strong backlights on a location could ruin the picture. I think thought that 300 F4 does get your back-grounds rather quiet, especially when you are rather close to the subject, former 300 F4 F-S D700:
              http://www.birdpix.nl/album_page.php?pic_id=324090

  • MyrddinWilt

    4.5 stops of VR????

    That is huge. I have found no difficulty using the 24-120 f/4 at really slow shutter speeds (1/15) at the narrow end on a D800. The extra couple of stops of VR would mean being able to use a 300mm lens at 1/15 handheld.

    That is pretty radical.

  • peevee

    It is better to have 70-200/2.8 (or even cheap 80-200/2.8) and 1.4x teleconverter.

  • Owen Strickland

    Hello, two questions.

    1. Do you guys suspect that the price of this gem will go up or go down?
    2. Will it be sharper than the old 300mm f/4?

    Thanks!

    -Owen

  • Patrick Downs

    How in the heck did they reduce the weight of the new one by nearly 50% while adding VR? I really wanted the current/outgoing one (I have its predecessor), especially at the price, and maybe still do. VR would be nice, but it isn’t worth nearly $800 or more to me, maybe.

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