Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED

Last updated (15 April’12):
- Review by SLRLensreview

The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED features 300mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f/4. The lens construction has 10 elements in 6 groups (2 ED glass elements) and has diagonal angle of view at 8°10′ [5°20' with Nikon digital cameras (Nikon DX format)]. Closest focusing distance at 1.45m/4.8 feet and has a filter size of 77mm. The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED lens weighs 1,440 g/50.8 oz and it measures 3.5 inches in diameter and 8.8 inches long.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED Reviews

SLRLensreview reviews the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED and writes;
“Nikon AF Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED IF is a pretty solid long telephoto lens. Its biggest advantage is the bang for the buck it delivers in terms of performance to the price ratio. Image resolving capabilities of the lens are quite sound, APS-C sensor or FF. The lens is built like a tank, has very decent command of color, flare and vignetting.”
rating: N/A

Mansurovs reviews the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED and writes;
“Overall, I’m very pleased with this lens. It would be great if Nikon added VR to the future versions of this lens, but we do have to work with what we have today :) Considering that the lens costs 4 times less than the professional 300mm f/2.8 VR and yet yields almost the same contrast and sharpness, it is a good bargain and is definitely worth getting. It is also an excellent choice for those who like to travel light and want to handhold their lenses for long periods of time.”
rating: N/A

Bythom reviews the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED and writes;
“Better still, the lens is incredibly sharp when using the TC-14E 1.4x teleconverter (I used the original TC-14E, not the newer TC-14E II, but that shouldn’t make a difference, as only the cosmetics are different). And I do mean incredibly. All the attributes that I like at 300mm f/4 are still present at 420mm f/5.6! Yes, it focuses a bit slower with a converter and hunts a bit more, but it is still very sharp.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

Photozone reviews the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED and writes;
“The resolution figures are generally excellent and distortions and vignetting are basically negligible. CAs are very well under control. Adding a Nikkor AF-S 1.4x only results in a moderate decrease in resolution (about one school mark). The mechanical quality of the Nikkor is exceptionally high and it was a joy to use this lens in the field.)”
Rating: ★★★★☆

User Opinions

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED User Reviews

Superb 300mm f4 Nikon telephoto lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is the latest version of the Nikon 300mm f4 ED Nikkor lens, which is surprisingly relatively light and barely hand-holdable. Those photographers who don’t need the additional speed or bulk of the 300mm f2.8 Nikkor, will find this lens quite reliable for nature, landscape, and especially, sports photography. In its latest incarnation, the 300mm f4 ED Nikkor now can focus very fast and accurately, due to Nikon’s Silent Wave autofocusing technology.” – by John Kwok

Great Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is a superb lens, without the bulk or the much higher cost of the f/2.8 version. With the money you’ll save, you can buy a replacement tripod collar for the lens from Kirk Enterprises, which is a vast improvement over the somewhat flimsy collar which comes with the lens. “ – by Barry R. Schirm

rivals much more expensive lenses | Rating: ★★★★★
“Nikon’s 300mm f/4 ED-IF AF-S telephoto lens is a excellent value and an excellent choice for shooting Sports, wildlife and portraits. At 3.17 lbs., it is very mobile and easy to hand hold. With extra low dispersion “ED” glass and fast, silent internal focusing, it is capable of producing photos that rival much more expensive lenses.” – by lemmy shoyu

Exceeded expectations | Rating: ★★★★★
“Amazing results. I was considering the 300/2.8AFS VR.. but it costs a whole lot more ( ~$5K), and its too heavy to lug around. The 300/4 AFS is affordable and can be easily hand held. The images from this lens, obviously, cannot match the f/2.8 lens, but they are close. Everything considered, the AFS 300mm f/4 Nikkor is a better value than the 2.8 VR lens. “ – by E. G. Kallen

Incredibly sharp, even wide open. Fantastic lens. | Rating: ★★★★★
“I could see no difference in sharpness or contrast regardless of aperture. I then photographed a house for sale sign up the street. The lens quickly and quietly locked in on the sign. Again, zooming in all the way on the camera’s LCD, I was able to easily read the very tiny print at the bottom of the sign (at 200 ISO)…” – by Sam

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED User Manual

- Download Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED User Manual (PDF – 1.1Mb)

Features & Specifications

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED Specifications

Lens-making is an art–Nikon artisans craft Nikkor optics from the finest materials, taking pride in adding their intellect and technique to bring the world’s finest lenses to life. They push the leading edge of lens-making in their effort to provide the “glass” that makes the world’s greatest pictures.

AF Nikkor lenses work with Nikon SLRs for optimal performance, even the very latest. The Nikon 300mm f4D IF-ED AF-S is a compact super-telephoto lens for travel, sports, wildlife and stock photography. It is a super fast, super quiet lens using Silent Wave motor technology, with ED glass elements for high-resolution and high-contrast images. It features a 4.8-foot closest focusing distance, M/A mode that allows rapid switching between autofocus and manual operation, and a nine-blade rounded diaphragm that achieves a natural blur for out-of-focus elements.

ED glass: An essential element of Nikkor telephoto lenses
Nikon developed ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass to enable the production of lenses that offer superior sharpness and color correction by minimizing chromatic aberration. Put simply, chromatic aberration is a type of image and color dispersion that occurs when light rays of varying wavelengths pass through optical glass. In the past, correcting this problem for telephoto lenses required special optical elements that offer anomalous dispersion characteristics–specifically calcium fluoride crystals. However, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens’ refractive index. So Nikon designers and engineers put their heads together and came up with ED glass, which offers all the benefits and none of the drawbacks of calcium fluorite-based glass. With this innovation, Nikon developed several types of ED glass suitable for various lenses. They deliver stunning sharpness and contrast even at their largest apertures. In this way, Nikkor’s ED-series lenses exemplify Nikon’s preeminence in lens innovation and performance.

Nikon Super Integrated Coating ensures exceptional performance
To enhance the performance of its optical lens elements, Nikon employs an exclusive multilayer lens coating that helps reduce ghost and flare to a negligible level. Nikon Super Integrated Coating achieves a number of objectives, including minimized reflection in the wider wavelength range and superior color balance and reproduction. Nikon Super Integrated Coating is especially effective for lenses with a large number of elements, like our Zoom-Nikkors. Also, Nikon’s multilayer coating process is tailored to the design of each particular lens. The number of coatings applied to each lens element is carefully calculated to match the lens type and glass used, and also to assure the uniform color balance that characterizes Nikkor lenses. This results in lenses that meet much higher standards than the rest of the industry.

Internal Focusing
Imagine being able to focus a lens without it changing in size. Nikon’s IF technology enables just that. All internal optical movement is limited to the interior of the non-extending lens barrel. This allows for a more compact, lightweight construction as well as a closer focusing distance. In addition, a smaller and lighter focusing lens group is employed to ensure faster focusing. The IF system is featured in most Nikkor telephoto and selected Nikkor zoom lenses.

Distance information
D-type and G-type Nikkors relay subject-to-camera distance information to AF Nikon camera bodies. This then makes possible advances like 3D Matrix Metering and 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash. Note: D-type and G-type Nikkors provide distance information to the following cameras: Auto exposure; F6, F5, F100, F90X, F80, F75, F70, F65, F60, F55, F50, Pronea S, Pronea 600i, D2 series, D1 series, D100, and D70s/D70. Flash control; F6, F5, F100, F90X, F80, F75, F70, D2 series, D1 series, D100, and D70s/D70 cameras.

Silent Wave Motor
Nikon’s AF-S technology is yet another reason professional photographers like Nikkor telephoto lenses. AF-S Nikkors feature Nikon’s SWM which converts “traveling waves” into rotational energy to focus the optics. This enables high-speed autofocusing that’s extremely accurate and super quiet.

M/A mode
AF-S Nikkors feature Nikon’s exclusive M/A mode, that allows switching from autofocus to manual operation with virtually no time lag–even during AF servo operation and regardless of AF mode in use.

What’s in the Box:
Lens, 77mm snap-on front lens cap, rear lens cap LF-1, semi-soft case CL-M2.

See also: Lens Reviews | Nikon Lenses

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