Nikon 300mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Nikkor
(From Nikon lens literature) Super Fast Telephoto AF-S Lens with Vibration Reduction and new Nano-Crystal AR coat. Nikon's exclusive Silent Wave Motor enables ultra-high speed autofocusing with exceptional accuracy and powerful super-quiet operation. Vibration Reduction (VR) technology offers the equivalent of using a shutter speed 3 stops faster. In addition, active vibration mode selection possible for use in active situations such as a moving boat, car or plane and provides VR performance with Automatic detection of panning. VR On/Off mode available. Internal Focusing (IF) design for smoother focusing. Exceptionally high optical performance; compatible with both 35mm and digital SLR models. Three ED glass elements effectively compensates for magnification and virtually eliminate chromatic aberration Meniscus protective glass element to overcome internal reflections from digital imaging sensor. Focus Mode switch enables quick response to changing situations with quick-switching between M/A (Manual-Priority Autofocus) and M (Manual Focus) modes. AF operation switch enables easy selection of settings. Focus Preset function instantly recalls a preset focal point. Focus Limiter switch limits AF-servo movement to a selected shooting distance range.
Nikon 300mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Nikkor User Reviews
10 out of 10 points and recommended by mrcontinental (7 reviews)Still the sports and paparazzi king, hand holdable with VR with easeIt's gonna cost you... BIG
The Nikon 300mm f2.8 has long been the professional standard, wickedly sharp and versatile. Sports, paparazzi, and portraits are handled with ease. Beautiful bokeh, brillant contrast and color, everything a lens should be and more. You can put Glamour Shots out of business with this thing on a D3s or D700. If you want to afford this save and sacrifice and go for it because it is spectacular.reviewed June 13th, 2011 (purchased for $4,200)
9 out of 10 points and recommended by bradhill (9 reviews)Blazingly fast autofocus, effective VR performance, great bokeh, great contrastLarge and heavy, only moderate performance with TC's, not quite as sharp as other fast primes from Nikon
This is a lens that was built from the ground up for capturing action. Despite being large and heavy (due to its large aperture) the VR function on this lens works well enough that the lens begs to be hand-held. Some specifics about this lens:reviewed October 25th, 2008 (purchased for $3,520)
1. Image Quality: Sort of a Jekyll and Hyde thing: This lens exhibits wonderful bokeh characteristics, great contrast (even, thanks to the N coating, when shooting backlit subjects) and colour, but is slightly less sharp than other professional quality Nikon super-telephotos (such as the 200 f2 VR). But...shoot this lens wide open and the bokeh is so wonderful (buttery smooth) that your subject will be so well isolated from the background that it will APPEAR to be tack sharp.
2. Autofocus Performance: Absolutely stellar. Blazingly fast and accurate. If I'm shooting action that requires moderate levels of magnification this is THE lens of choice.
3. VR Performance: Excellent - does exactly what it's supposed to do - gives you 3+ stops advantage. Note that this lens does not do well (images soft) with the VR function turned on when shooting from a tripod.
4. Performance with Teleconverters: Moderately good at best. Prepare to stop down to the f8 or so range to get professionally sharp images with the TC-14EII (1.4x) TC and even further with the TC-17EII (1.7x) TC. This is not necessarily a problem on Nikon's high ISO performers (at the time of writing this would include the D3 and D700).
As a nature photographer, I turn to this lens commonly to shoot birds in flight (often paired with the TC-14EII when using my D3).
An example of this combination (Bald Eagle in flight) can be found here:
Shooting backlit action? Grab this lens FIRST. Example (Orcas surfacing) here:
I can wholeheartedly recommend this lens to nature photographers or to sports photographers.
One final comment: If you're considering buying this lens, I would suggest also checking out the wonderful Nikon 200 mm f2 VR. The 200 f2 absolutely LOVES TC's - pair the 200 f2 with the TC-14Eii and you only lose 20 mm to the 300 f2.8 (with comparable image quality) and you save a bundle of bucks.