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300mm f/2.8 ED-IF AIS Nikkor

Suitable For:

Medium telephoto needs, low light advantage.

Camera Formats:

FX and DX


Focal length: 300mm
Maximum aperture: 2.8
Minimum aperture: 22
Angle of View: 8°10'
Focus Throw: unknown
Maximum reproduction ratio: 1:8.3
Lens Elements: 8
Lens Groups: 6
Diaphragm Blades: 9
ED Glass Elements: 0
Autofocus: n/a
Minimum Focus Distance: 3m
Filter Size: 39mm
Filter Type: drop in
Dimensions: 132mmØ by 255mm
Weight: 2.4kg
Accessories: HE-4 hood

Bjørn's Rørslett's Overview:

My standard telephoto lens for many years now, built with a workmanship and quality to last a life-time. Very sharp with a good although not overwhelming image contrast, and a crisp colour rendition. It handles extremely well on a tripod with near-perfect balance on the F4 or F5, and its manual focusing is very smooth and swift. In common with most super-speed lenses it flares quite easily when shooting against the light.

Maximum sharpness is near wide open, between f/2.8 and f/4, although contrast improves up to f/5.6. Vignetting at full aperture is quite moderate. Sharpness deteriorates quickly when the lens is stopped down beyond f/11. It can be used with all Nikon 1.4X tele-converters to give a useful 420/4 unit, but the results with most 2X converters are not spectacular. Also, adding extension tubes will soften the image to a certain degree.

In common with other ED-IF designs from the same era, the 300/2.8 does show some peripheral colour fringing used on the D2X and D3. Image sharpness suffers as well. Post-processing can mitigate this issue to some extent, but I have to admit that the modern 300 mm designs should be preferred with these modern cameras.

Bjørn's Rating:

4-5 (F4,F5) (much depending on your focusing accuracy)
4 (D2X)
4 (FX: D3)

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