NIKON AF-S 300mm f2.8 VR or AF-S 200-400 VR


Jun 7, 2008
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#1
Hi, I'm actually planning on purchasing either of the lens for wildlife photography. For the 300mm I would be using it with a TC-20E III for the extra reach, equivalent to 900mm on a dx sensor. As for the 200-400mm I would couple it with a TC-14E II for a reach of approx 840mm on a dx sensor.

However, I've not managed to get hold of a 200-400 to test out personally for the image quality. Online reviews have said it to be comparable or at worst slightly lousier as compared to the 300mm f2.8 while allowing greater versatility due to the zoom. Thus, could some out there enlighten me on the image quality of both lens? And it possible offer comparisons between them please? Thanks.
 

K S Kong

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Dec 11, 2007
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#2
The Quality of 200-400mm f4 VR and 300 f2.8, you can look at this website: http://www.hickingbotham.com/reviews/nikon300200400.htm

For wildlife photography, using TC is important, and how fast it can focus and tracking even more important, and 1.4X is always better than 2x, so I choose 200-400mm f4 + TC 14E ll, and if you got the need, you still can use 2x on it and become 800mm f8 (on DX is become 1200mm f8, and 300mm +TC 20E lll only 900mm f5.6). If you don't mind about the weight and the price difference, I belief 200-400mm f4 VR ll is the better choice.

I recently travel with my 200-400mm f4 to Alaska, all the way using handheld shooting, result always has been satisfactory.

Included some link photos here, hope can help you to make a decision.

Using 200-400mm f4 VR handheld:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kskong/4578569058/in/set-72157624694926394/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kskong/4350734009/in/set-72157622821512546/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kskong/4696199800/in/set-72157622821512546/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kskong/4696210274/in/set-72157624352227920/

Using 200-400mm f4 VR + Tripod
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kskong/4695471019/in/set-72157624140444583/

Using 200-400mm f4 VR + TC 14E ll handheld:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kskong/4696142880/in/set-72157624140444583/
 

Tanlih

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Jan 16, 2006
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#3
I'm also searching for a 200-400 f4 to test it out 1st before making the plunge but from those shots K S has taken and shown here, I believe the IQ is really very good.. might be renting a 300mm f2.8 VRII to try out soon.. I'm also going for a better lens to shoot wildlife after selling my Nikon AF 80-400mm VR last month, I was actually thinking is those Nikon 600mm f4 primes worth the investment? or i should also go tryout a Sigma 50-500mm f4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM??
 

baggiolee

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Dec 7, 2006
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#4
pardon me, so the nikon teleconverter works on DX DSLR?

eg. 70-200 vr2 + nikon teleconverter + D90?
 

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Jun 7, 2008
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#5
yes the 600f4 prime is definitely worth it for its price. Would get it too if not for monetary constraints. 14k is a little too much for me to afford. Can only get a 7k lens for now. Im just a jc student only afterall ahaha. Other concern is the image quality. While the 200-400 is great, the 300 definitely beats it hands down since its newer and being a prime. Plus at night you could probably just take the tc for use as a indoor lens of one for the dark.

Ive actually located a seller willing to sell a 300mm to me at a lower price than in market so if you want could hook up tgt.

As for the question posed for the 70-200, yes it does work but be sure to buy the tc 20e III so as to not lose out on image quality. Other older versions would suppress the image quality. Af is slower by a bit though. Its actually what im doing now but i think its too short for any real birding.
 

Omega23

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Mar 12, 2009
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#6
Why didnt you consider the 400mm F2.8?
 

Leong23

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Oct 18, 2007
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#7
I'm using 300mmf2.8VR1 with 2xTC

To be frank, it is too short for birding. But it is much lighter and cheaper than 500mm or 600mm.

Some sample shot with 2xTC



 

Jun 7, 2008
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#9
hey leong, great shots youve got! But you mentioned that its too short? Heh. Are you using it on a dx or fx body? Cause i plan to use it on a dx actually. So yeah hope to hear from you about that.

Also, is the focus speed fast enough for catching fast moving birds? Like eagles in action or so. Cheers!
 

K S Kong

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Dec 11, 2007
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#10
Lens for birding is always longer the better,the most commonly seen is 500mm + 1.4x TC. Because it is lighter and smaller than 600mm, can easily carry it oversea. (But usually I feel that my 600mm + 1.4x TC is not enough and forced to use with TC20E lll :sweat:).

For 300mm it too shot for normal birding, unless you are shooting Heron or Stork. But the 300mm f2.8 is really a beautiful lens:bigeyes::bigeyes:, if you are oversea maybe can use it with 2x TC for birding. I have some bird shot using 70-200mm f2.8 VR ll with TC 17E ll at Darwin.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kskong/4111846334/in/set-72157622581358307/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kskong/4384852314/in/set-72157622581358307/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kskong/4384090663/in/set-72157622581358307/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kskong/4062956142/in/set-72157622581358307/
 

Leong23

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Oct 18, 2007
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#12
300mm with tc 2x and on a dx sensor is still too short is it? sorry new to the subject so kinda have my queries about stuff.
I'm using dx sensor too (D300) and it is only good to shoot "friendly" birds. :bsmilie:

300mm is very commonly use for flight shots where 200-400mm is a good lens for wildlife especially shooting big games.

For birding, the basic setup is 500mmf/4 with 1.4xTC.

Do set aside some budget for your support systems and flash bracket.
 

Tanlih

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Jan 16, 2006
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#13
Damn... I'm deeply poisoned by your birdies... :sweat:
those are very nice bird shots Leong23!

I wish I can affort a 600mm f/4 now also but its still not in my budget range for now...

@Omega23: how much is a Nikon 400mm f/2.8 selling? new piece i mean ;)

I have the same budget range as entitybeing now, around $7K, not more than 8k maybe?
 

Tanlih

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Jan 16, 2006
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#14
For birding, the basic setup is 500mmf/4 with 1.4xTC.

Do set aside some budget for your support systems and flash bracket.
In this case, do you think the newish Sigma 50-500 OS HSM lens can fit the bill if I want to save my budget for a better tripod+ gimble head+flash bracket+ nice flashes like SB-900?
 

An drew

Senior Member
May 27, 2005
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#15
While the 200-400 is great, the 300 definitely beats it hands down since its newer and being a prime. Plus at night you could probably just take the tc for use as a indoor lens of one for the dark.

Ive actually located a seller willing to sell a 300mm to me at a lower price than in market so if you want could hook up tgt.
The 200-400 is a phenomenal lens and I think it is sharper than a 300+1.4. I think the IQ would not be far off from the 300. A 200-400 would be extremely versatile for wildlife. 300 is a little short and constantly using a 2x is not the best way to go. But if you can get 300 for a good price then good price wins.
 

An drew

Senior Member
May 27, 2005
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#16
In this case, do you think the newish Sigma 50-500 OS HSM lens can fit the bill if I want to save my budget for a better tripod+ gimble head+flash bracket+ nice flashes like SB-900?
A Bigma 50-500 can never be compared to a 500 f4. So if you can afford the 500 get the 500. Worry about the support later. Start with a beanbag.
 

Jun 7, 2007
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#17
where to get used 300mm f2.8 IF-ED AF-S II or 300mm f2.8 IF-ED AF-S ?

what is the price range?
 

Jun 7, 2008
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#18
i just saw one being sold at peninsula sc. one of the second hand shops listed at 4000. idk how much you can lower it by. also on clubsnap got someone trying to sell too. go search a bit.
 

Jun 7, 2007
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#19
I saw a 300mm afs at P & G photographic centre at peninsula shopping centre selling 4.2k few days ago. if it is the same shop, the price went down by $200.
 

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