Nikon 300mm F4 Pf Sample Images

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Nikon 300mm f/4 Due east PF VR
Ultralight ED AF-S NIKKOR


© 2015 All rights reserved.

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Compared   Usage   RecommendationsMore

Please help

Nikon 300mm f/4 PF ED VR AF-S

Nikon 300mm f/4 PF VR
(FX, DX and 35mm coverage, 77mm filter thread, 26.half-dozen oz./754g, 4.six’/1.4m close focus, about $i,999). enlarge. I got mine at this link to information technology at Adorama, I’d also get it at Amazon or at B&H Photo Video. Hint: Adorama offers information technology in a kit with some free goodies for the aforementioned price equally the lens solitary.

This advertising-free website’south biggest source of support is when y’all use any of these links to canonical sources when you get
anything, regardless of the country in which you lot live. Nikon does not seal its boxes, so
purchase at retail or any source non on my personally approved listing since you’ll have no way of knowing if you’re missing accessories, getting a defective or damaged customer return or a used lens. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for your support! Ken.

May 2015
    Nikon Reviews    Nikon Lens Reviews   All Reviews

All Nikon 300mm f/4 Lenses Compared

Why Stock-still Lenses Accept Meliorate Pictures

Sample Prototype Files


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Falls, Yosemite Valley

Falls, Yosemite Valley, xv May 2015.
D810, wide-open at f/4 at one/320 hand-held at ISO 100. Bigger or full-resolution file.

Sharp from edge-to-edge wide-open at 36MP; you can’t go improve optical performance.

Gray Tree in Fog, Yosemite Valley

Tree in Fog, Yosemite Valley, 16 May 2015.
D810, f/eleven at 1/500 at ISO 100. Bigger or photographic camera-original © file.

Tree Fronds, Mariposa Grove of Big Trees

Tree Fronds, Mariposa Grove of Large Copse, sixteen May 2015.
D810, f/5.six at 1/xxx hand-held at ISO 400. Bigger.

Stone Face, Yosemite Valley

Rock Face, Yosemite Valley, fifteen May 2015.
D810, wide-open up at f/4 at 1/1,000 at ISO 100. Bigger or full-resolution file.



Sample ImagesIntro

Specs   Performance

Compared   Usage   RecommendationsMore

Compatibility   Format   History

This Nikon 300mm f/4E PF VR is the earth’south smallest and lightest fixed 300mm SLR lens by a large margin. It weighs
as much as the previous 300mm f/4 AF-Due south, and is three” (75mm) shorter.

This 300mm lens is designed for those who actually shoot in the field all day, every bit opposed to sit down around at domicile talking nigh information technology. Information technology uses a Fresnel chemical element to use less glass and save even more weight.

This lens is the same size as the 24-seventy/2.8, merely
weighs less!
Information technology weighs less than the 28-300mm VR, too.

This 300mm is pocket-sized plenty to fit perfectly in my Think Tank Speed Demon waist pack, and is comfortable wearing around my neck all day on my D810. That’southward why I got this lens: it’s a 300mm I actually take out and apply all day instead of leaving dorsum in the auto.

You may grab the focus band at any time for instant manual focus override.


This lens uses an electronic diaphragm, and therefore is but fully uniform with cameras introduced since most 2007. Meet Nikon Lens Compatibility for the complete list.

It volition not piece of work properly with older DSLRs and will not work properly on any 35mm camera. Older cameras cannot command the diaphragm and it will e’er shoot at f/4.

Merely for fun I tried it on my 1988 Nikon F4. It autofocuses, simply in that location is no VR. It meters and car-exposes — simply it only shoots at f/4, which is where we usually want to shoot it.

I tried it on my Nikon F6, and everything works fine — except it merely shoots at f/4.

I tried it on my Nikon FM3a, and it also works great, of grade with manual focus, no VR and only at f/iv.

Since this lens is usually shot wide-open, it’s actually quite useful on 35mm cameras. Different Yard lenses, this lens always shoots at f/4 on older cameras, and that’s usually where we want to shoot it.


This is a total-frame lens optimized for use on FX cameras, and I’ll be reviewing information technology as such.

It works great on DX cameras, for which you may make the usual inferences.


intro     tiptop

1964-1969: 300mm f/4.five NIKKOR-P

Nikon’s first 300mm SLR lens was the f/4.v NIKKOR-P.

Information technology had 5 elements (P = Penta = five) and had very strong lateral color fringes, visible even on 35mm film.

1969-1998: 300mm f/4.5 NIKKOR-H to AI-s

Nikon updated the design to half dozen elements in the 300mm f/iv.5 NIKKOR-H (H = Hexa = 6).

Coatings vary somewhat by era; multicoating came along in in the 1970s.

Nikon made many unlike mechanical versions of this lens from 1969 through 1998 and they all share the same very adept optics.

Its optics are far superior to to previous NIKKOR-P.

1977-1999: 300mm f/4.5 NIKKOR-ED and ED-IF

The 300mm f/4.5 ED (1977 – 1979) and 300mm f/4.v ED-IF (1978 – 1999) are newer, more than expensive and quite different designs.

They counterbalance less, are a little sharper and focus more closely than the older lenses.

The ED-IF version focuses internally, and then only a fingertip film of the focus band is needed.

1987-2000: 300mm f/4 AF

The 300mm f/4 AF (1987 – 2000) has fifty-fifty amend optics, and adds autofocus.

It’due south built like a tank, and has slow autofocus speed to match. Yous take to move ii switches to get from automobile to transmission focus.

2000-nowadays: 300mm f/four AF-S

The 300mm f/iv AF-South adds ultra fast autofocus with instant manual focus override.

2015-present: This 300mm f/four PF VR

The 300mm f/4 PF uses ane Fresnel chemical element for less weight. It’southward the same thought equally Canon’s DO lenses, which besides employ Fresnel elements.

Fresnel elements have been used for hundreds of years in lighthouse condensers.

It’southward also Nikon’due south first 300mm f/4 or f/iv.five lens with Vibration Reduction.



Sample ImagesIntro

Specs   Operation

Compared   Usage   RecommendationsMore than

Proper name

Nikn 300mm f/4 PF VR bottom

Bottom, Nikon 300/4 PF VR.

Nikon calls this the Nikon AF-South NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR SWM IF ∅77.

Silent Wave Autofocus Motor.

Nikon’due south brand name for all their lenses.

Electronic diaphragm, but like Canon has been doing since 1987. This ways it only works on the newest Nikon cameras.

Pressed Fresnel element, which has a funny zig-zag cross section just as lighthouse condenser lenses practice to relieve weight.

Magic Extra-low Dispersion drinking glass for reduced secondary chromatic aberration.

Vibration Reduction. Claims almost 4 stops improvement.

Internal focusing; nothing moves externally as focused.

77mm filter thread.

Continuously variable index of refraction anti-reflection coatings.


Nikon 300mm f/4 AFS internal diagram

Nikon 300mm f/four VR AFS internal diagram.
ED glass

16 elements in 10 groups.

One ED drinking glass element.

One Fresnel chemical element.

Internal focussing.

It’southward multicoated, which Nikon calls Nikon Super Integrated Coating.

One element has Nano coating for marketing purposes.

Fluorine front schmutz-resistant coating.

Close Focus

4.6 feet (i.4 meters) from the paradigm plane, marked.

Maximum Reproduction Ratio

1:4.two (0.24x).


Nikon 300 4 PF front

Nikon 300mm f/4 PF, diaphragm not visible.

9 rounded blades.

Stops down to f/32.

Electronically controlled for quieter operation, only isn’t compatible with cameras made before almost 2007.

Vibration Reduction

Rated an phenomenal iv.5 stops.


35mm film, FX and DX.

Focal Length


When used on a DX camera, information technology sees angles of view like to what a 450mm lens sees when used on an FX or 35mm camera.

Angle of View

8.ii° on FX digital and 35mm.

5.iii° on small-format DX.

6.ii° on Pronea APS.

Hard Infinity Focus Terminate?


You have to let the AF organization focus at infinity.

Focus Calibration


Depth-of-Field Calibration


Infra-Red Focus Index


Discontinuity Ring


Tripod Collar

Optional Nikon RT-1, $170.

Filter Thread

77 mm.

Never moves.


Nikon HB-73

Nikon HB-73.

HB-73 plastic bayonet hood, included.

$62 for a replacement.


Nikon CL-M3 case

Nikon CL-M3 padded nylon case.

Nikon CL-M3 case

Rear, Nikon CL-M3 padded nylon case.

CL-M3 padded nylon case, included.

It’s the aforementioned case included with the xiv-24mm and the 24-70/two.8G.

Belt loop, velcro and dual-attachment closure.


Nikon specifies three.five” (89 mm) diameter by 5.viii” (147.5 mm) extension from flange.


26.575 oz. (753.5g), bodily measured weight.

Nikon specifies 26.6 oz. (755g).


Snap-on 77mm forepart lens cap.

HB-73 plastic bayonet hood.

LF-four rear cap.

CL-M3 instance.




v years, USA.


TC-14E, TC-17E and TC-20E teleconverters, too equally the -II versions.

The -E teleconverters allow autofocus, but your camera may not piece of work well with the TC-17E or TC-20E because the constructive discontinuity becomes f/six.7 or f/8, respectively.


Mon, 05 January 2015, 9 PM NYC time.

Promised for

Thursday, 05 Feb 2015.

Shipping Since

Mine shipped to me on Midweek, 06 May 2015.

As of the end of May, 2015, people who didn’t order them the moment they were appear as I did are withal waiting. See How to Go Ane.

Cost, USA

$2,150 if in stock, $ane,997 if you order and wait, May 2015.

$1,999, January 2015.

Box, Nikon 300/4E PF VR

Box, Nikon 300/4E PF VR.


Sample ImagesIntro

Specs   Performance

Compared   Usage   RecommendationsMore

Overall    Autofocus    Bokeh    Baloney   Ergonomics

Falloff    Filters   Focus Breathing   Flare & Ghosts

Lateral Color Fringes    Macro    Mechanics

Sharpness   Sunstars   Vibration Reduction

Optics are great, simply more important is that this is a lens for people who actually shoot, as opposed to just talk nearly it. (Run into The 2 Kinds of Photographers.)

Its optics are swell, but far better than any armchair discussions is that this lens is so lite that I really carry it with me. It easily fits in my Recollect Tank Speed Demon belt pack, and it’due south so weightless that it’s petty and comfy to have it on my Nikon D810 hanging around my neck all twenty-four hours. No other 300mm lens can practise this; others weigh twice equally much and won’t fit in my preferred bags.

       operation     pinnacle

The Nikon 300mm f/4E is a breakthrough, letting u.s.a. tote a 300mm lens in our fanny pack or effectually our neck all twenty-four hours without strain. While it’southward not the all-time for pointing into the dominicus, so what: this is the 300mm lens you’ll actually have with yous when yous need information technology.

       performance     top

Autofocus is ordinary. It’s reasonably fast, but it can get stuck or hang up and not focus sometimes if you’re style out of focus and it can’t effigy out which way to go.

No worries, only motion-picture show the manual focus ring until it’due south shut, and allow autofocus take information technology from there.

Transmission Focus

Manual focus is fast, and you lot can flick it with a fingertip.

It’s not the best for precise work on a tripod with magnified Live View, merely this lens isn’t intended for that: it’due south a portable lens to be carried in the field for nature and activeness.


performance      top

Bokeh, the quality of out-of-focus areas as opposed to the caste of defocus, is groovy. Backgrounds simply become away.

Nikn 300mm f/4 PF VR Bokeh

Nikon 300mm f/4E VR PF shot on full-frame at f/4.
Camera-original © 36MP JPG file.

       functioning     meridian

The Nikon 300mm f/4 VR PF has no visible distortion at whatsoever altitude.

For more scientific use, use these figures to correct the tiny corporeality of pincushion distortion in Photoshop’s Lens Distortion tool. These aren’t facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.

100′ (30m)


30′ (10m)


10′ (3m)


4.6′ (1.4m)


© 2015 All rights reserved.


(handling and ease-of-use)       performance     top

Nikon 300 4 PF VR

Nikon 300/4 VR PF.

Ergonomics are marvelous!

It’due south the perfect size and weight, and the focus band falls right where it should in your hand. Ditto for the switches, which fall right under your thumb.


(darkened corners)       operation     top

Falloff on FX and 35mm is invisible, even without whatever vignetting correction.

It’south fifty-fifty more than invisible on DX (encounter crop cistron).

I’ve greatly exaggerated this past shooting a gray field and placing these on a gray groundwork; you lot’d never see this in actual photos.

Nikon 300mm f/four PF falloff on FX and 35mm at infinity, no correction.

© 2015 All rights reserved.

Nikon 300mm f/4 PF falloff on FX and 35mm at infinity, Normal Vignette Control on Nikon D810.

© 2015 All rights reserved.

Filters, use with
       performance     top

There is no problem with vignetting, even with combinations of thick filters.

The filter ring never moves.

Focus Breathing
       performance     pinnacle

Of interest mostly to cinematographers focusing dorsum and forth between two subjects, the image from the Nikon 300/4 VR PF gets bigger equally focused more closely.

Flare & Ghosts
       performance     pinnacle

The 300 PF uses some Fresnel elements which accept concentric ridges. These ridges can be fabricated to crusade some weird flare if yous point the lens at a low-cal source.

Nikon cautions that the Fresnel element, with its round scribe patterns, may generate weird kinds of flare with lights shining into the lens. Nikon too claims that its software may help; good luck on that one.

Nikon 300mm Fresnel

Low-cal refracting from the concentric ridges of the 300 PF’south Fresnel lens elements.

You won’t see any issues unless you deliberately go looking for them past pointing your lens at the dominicus, just if you do, here are worst-case examples:

Nikon 300 PF flare

Yosemite National Park, sixteen May 2015, f/22.

Nikon 300 PF flare

Yosemite National Park, xvi May 2015, f/11.

This is fine. I’thou letting the sunday polish right into the lens, and so filling the frame with dark trees to make any small flare visible. This doesn’t vary much with aperture; information technology varies more with the position of the calorie-free source.

Lateral Color Fringes
       performance     pinnacle

There tin exist the slightest bluish-yellow lateral color fringes on the D810, which corrects them automatically. I’d never come across it unless I was deliberately looking for it.


performance      acme

Information technology gets pretty close:

Nikn 300mm f/4 PF VR Macro

Omega Constellation at shut-focus distance on total-frame at f/4.

The images would be even tighter on smaller-format cameras (see ingather factor).

It’south super-precipitous; here’s a crop from a 36MP full-frame paradigm at 100%:

Nikn 300mm f/4 PF VR Macro

Ingather from above paradigm at 100%.
If this is 6″ (15cm) broad on your screen, the full prototype would print at fifty x 75″ (ane.25 x 1.ix meters)!

These samples are wide-open up at f/4, which is superb. Many lenses get softer at macro distances wide-open; this lens stays just equally abrupt.

       performance     top

Nikon MMmm f/FF AF-S

Nikon 300mm f/4E PF VR.

The Nikon 300/four VR PF is well made of mostly plastic on the exterior.

Filter Threads



Plastic bayonet.

Hood Mount


Gold Band


Barrel Exterior


Focus Band

Plastic; prophylactic covered.

Focus Calibration


Depth of Field Calibration



Mostly plastic, with some metal.

Aperture Ring



Dull-chromed brass.



Mounting Index Dot

White plastic ball.

Identity Plate


Serial Number

Sticker glued into a recess on the bottom of the lens.

Usa Model Signified by

5 Year Nikon The states sticker on exterior of box and yellow Nikon USA v-year warranty paper within.

Moisture seal at mountain


Noises When Shaken


Made in


       functioning     tiptop

Warning one:
Paradigm sharpness depends more on you than your lens.

Warning 2:
Lens sharpness doesn’t mean much to good photographers.

While amateurs waste time worrying about lens sharpness, pros know that lens sharpness has lilliputian to do with making precipitous pictures. This said, the Nikon 300/4E VR PF is ultrasharp, peculiarly in the full-frame corners wide-open.

Your biggest roadblock to sharpness will exist camera motion. Even with VR, this very lite lens has a lot of magnification, and amplifies fifty-fifty the slightest camera move for blurrier results. The VR system can only do so much with this lens, so I have to shoot at 1/250 or faster for all-time manus-held results.

Nikon’southward MTF curves ostend what I saw shooting this lens: information technology’s just near optically perfect, fifty-fifty better than the previous 300/4 AFS which is also superb, and much better than my favorite 28-300mm VR:

Nikn 300mm PF MTF

Nikon 300mm PF MTF.

       performance     peak

With its rounded diaphragm, the 300/4 PF rarely makes any child of sunstars on brilliant points of light.

Here’s the best I can get, and this is at f/32:

Nikon 300 PF flare

Yosemite National Park, sixteen May 2015, f/32.

Vibration Reduction (VR)
       performance     top

VR is poor on my D810.

I have to shoot at at least 1/250 for constantly tripod-equivalent sharpness at high magnification. At 1/160, nearly of the images are softer than I’d like when seen at 100% on-screen. Of course for normal use, you would never be looking at images that closely and yous’d become abroad with much slower speeds.

AHA! It turns out that my lens reviewed here is lacking. Nikon has a service advisory where if yous send them your lens, they will gear up this if you accept a very early serial number as I have.

Nikon cautions that even the newer lenses (serial number 205101 and above) and my lens afterwards repair (actually a firmware update) may not always work perfectly. It’s hard for VR to work well with a light, long lens like this because they wiggle more than big, heavy teles, and have much more magnification than shorter lenses.



Sample ImagesIntro

Specs   Performance

Compared   Usage   RecommendationsMore

All Nikon 300mm f/4 Lenses Compared.

This is is the world’s smallest and lightest fixed 300mm SLR lens. Information technology’south smaller and lighter than the previous winner, the manual focus 300mm f/4.5 ED-IF.

While this 300mm is the same size as the 24-70mm f/2.8G, this 300mm weighs 17% (5.2 oz./148g)
than the zoom! The 24-lxx is shown at its shortest mechanical setting; it gets longer than this 300mm when set up to wide focal lengths!

Nikon 24-70mm compared to 300mm PF

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G (902g) and 300mm f/4E VR PF (754g).



Sample ImagesIntro

Specs   Operation

Compared   Usage   RecommendationsMore than

Nikon 24-70mm compared to 300mm PF

Nikon 300mm f/4E VR PF.

A/m – 1000/a –  Thou

Use A/m. This is autofocus, and also allows instant manual-focus override.

M/a does the same thing, but allows even the tiniest rotation of the focus band to swap to transmission focus. This is probably too sensitive and will sometimes become into manual mode when you don’t intend.

M locks-out autofocus so it’s always in manual focus.

Focus Limiter

I use Total.

The ∞ – 3m setting (∞ – 10′) prevents the lens from focusing closer than 3m/10.’ Use this only if you’re having bug with the lens jumping all over the range from very close to very far.

Vibration Reduction (VR)

NORMAL is just that. I use it.

SPORT is for panning and chasing subjects around.

VR doesn’t exercise much on this lens; keep it at ane/250 or faster for all-time results if you’re counting pixels.

Tripod Collar

This lens is designed for hand-held shooting.

If you use a tripod, y’all may too employ the non-VR 300/4 AF-South which is better made and much less expensive.

When I’ve used this lens on a tripod, I don’t need no stinking collar. It’due south lite enough, like the 24-lxx/2.8, that I just attach my camera to the tripod.

If you insist, feel free to purchase the $170 Nikon RT-1 tripod collar.



Sample ImagesIntro

Specs   Performance

Compared   Usage   RecommendationsMore than

This Nikon 300mm f/4 VR PF is for the photographer who actually shoots, as opposed to simply talking about it. Information technology’s half the weight of other 300mm lenses, so this is the 300mm you lot’ll really take out and utilize.

It certainly will be sharper than a 70-200mm VR Ii and TC-14E.

When yous get yours, use simply these links to canonical sources of supply, especially this link straight to this lens at Adorama, B&H Photo Video or at Amazon. Using whatever of these links when you lot become
anything, regardless of the state in which you lot alive is my biggest source of back up and ensures you get the all-time prices, option and service. Information technology helps me keep reviewing these lenses when you go yours through these links — but I receive
for my efforts if you take your chances and purchase elsewhere. Never purchase at retail; Nikon doesn’t seal its boxes so yous never can be sure if you really got a new lens or non when buying at retail.

Cheers for your support!



I’d exit either a 77mm Nikon Articulate (NC – UV) filter, or a 77mm Hoya Evo MC UV on the lens at all times.

If you desire the best possible protective filter, the 77mm Hoya HD2 UV is ultra multicoated, repels clay and fingerprints and made of shatter resistant glass. I’d put this filter on my 300/4 PF; information technology’s an expensive lens worth protecting with the best filter.

If I was working in nasty, dirty areas and don’t want to jump for the HD2 filter, I’d use an uncoated 77mm Tiffen UV filter instead. Uncoated filters are much easier to clean, only more than prone to ghosting.

I would leave the hood at home.

For color slides like Velvia 50, I use a 77mm Hoya HMC 81A or 77mm Nikon A2 filter outdoors.

For B&Due west film outdoors, I’d apply a 77mm Hoya HMC Yellow K2 or 77mm Hoya HMC Orange.

More Information


Sample ImagesIntro

Specs   Operation

Compared   Usage   RecommendationsMore

Nikon’due south page on the 300/4 PF.

Service advisory for early production

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