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Gear Announcements

Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR | Nikon CES Announcements

By Anthony Thurston on January 6th 2015

If you were looking for a solid telephoto lens with a long reach, but didn’t want to break the bank (in comparison to the thousands of dollars for longer lenses), than the Nikon 300mm F/4 has always been a great option for shooters of the Black and Gold.

nikon-300mm-f4

The lens, however, had not been updated in quite some time, that is, until today. Early this morning, Nikon officially unveiled  the new Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens. Apart from an obviously updated design and IS system improvements, Nikon has also added 6 new glass elements to the optical formula, for a total of 16 (up from 10 in the last version).

You also get Nikon’s lovely Nano Crystal Coating, which is usually an indicator of which lenses Nikon holds in high regard. The lens also sticks with the 77mm filter thread size, and you also gain 2 feet to your minimum focusing distance. If you are worried about the weight, it is also significantly lighter than the older model, coming in at just 26.06 oz (compared to 50 oz in the old model).

All these cool new additions are going to cost you though. While the current old model 300mm f/4 would run you around $1300, this new model is going to come in at ~$1999. Which is quite a sting if you are looking to get some reach, while keeping the budget down.

If you are interested, this new Nikkor 300mm F/4 will begin shipping the first week of February. You can get yours as soon as they are available by pre-ordering today over on B&H for just $1,996.95.

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. J. Dennis Thomas

    I’m curious as to how this Phase Fresnel lens os going to affect the quality of the out of focus areas. I mean I’ve seen Nikon examples, but those are cherry picked by marketing. I’m using a 300mm f/4 ED IF, it’s tiny and cost about a buck a millimeter. It renders OoF areas so smoothly. I wish it had VR, but for the price this lens is worth the cost many times over.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Yup, if we can learn anything from Canon’s DO lenses, this lens’ bokeh stands a pretty good chance of being inferior to say, taking a 300mm f/2.8 at f/4, or even the older 300mm f/4 D.

      For the price, I think the only thing you’re gaining is going to be AF power, weight savings, and of course, VR. The 300mm f/4 D is probably plenty sharp, and not that back-breakingly heavy, so it’ll be a tough decision. Hopefully I’ll get my hands on one asap to review!

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  2. Rafael Steffen

    Amazing lens and very light.

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  3. robert garfinkle

    this lens is not weather sealed – nikon

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  4. robert garfinkle

    Drool!

    There have been aspects of Nikon’s tactic’s that either displease or become highly mis-understood, but when items like this one come out, “sometimes” all but forgotten.

    Now we have a new 300, F4 about the same footprint, in size, as the 70 to 300, with superior optics – dang, dang, dang!!

    Here is what I like about Nikon. Recently, almost every Prime has been landing with N coating, lighter, and now “smaller”. Nice. Very Nice. Some complain the construction, using plastics, is a negative; and ok, I am not sure what they are driving at, maybe associating plastic with “cheap”, is it just a perception thing, not sure… and frankly, if the lens holds up, ok, what’s the difference really. Or does weight play a role in picture taking stability? not sure… Educate me please…

    Despite the more-so-often-than-not camera design mishaps that chap the backside of the photographers who depend on (have invested in) Nikon for reliability, accuracy, btw, in quite a few cases, fixable via firmware, Nikon has some great accolades in my book. Like impressive dynamic range on their cameras, and wide assortment of optics using the F-mount. I mean c-mon, it’s really really cool to know that you purchase a beginner camera and a few years later you fit yourself into a pro camera without having to become an eBay / Amazon Seller of, or dump your lenses at your local photo shop for 25% of what you paid for it :), yes I’ve done that in chase of a newer lens, that far I have gone.

    At any rate, I like what I’m seeing in the Nikon line up of lenses and definitely seeing a great trend. The price points are sometimes questionable, yet most people are noticing a fully featured (swm, N, ED) set of lenses for decent price…

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  5. Matthew Saville

    Yowza on that price, but I guess if this is another flawlessly sharp, rock-solid winner from Nikon, they can charge whatever they want. Sort of. Even if I was a dedicated telephoto shooter, I’d have a hard time justifying $2K for a “compact” telephoto that “only” goes to f/4. If weight is not a problem, I can get a used Sigma 120-300 2.8 EX HSM for well under $2K, for example. (Although their new 120-300 Sport is ~$3.5K) Or a 70-300 VR, which is “only” 1 stop darker at 300mm and also incredibly sharp, yet costs under $400. Hmm. If this lens had been $1200-$1500, I’d have seen it as more of an all-around winner, I guess that’s the bottom line.

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  6. Cyril Charpin

    wait for the 1st feedback :)

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  7. David Hall

    Well, I was only off by $500. In a previous post, I seem to recall I guessed this lens would come in around $2,500.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I’m with you- This lens would have killed the market at ~$1500, or at least $1800-$1900. Hitting the $2K mark on the nose is a significant turn-off to me, but then again I’m not a birder…

      =Matt=

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  8. robert garfinkle

    Yup, gonna add to my collection soon as I can.

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  9. Austin Swenson

    This is a fun looking new toy I wish I had

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  10. Mike McAdams

    we’re excited for this lens at my work :P

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    • Matthew Saville

      What kind of work is that, Mike? I’m truly curious to learn which genres of photography are willing to spend $2K on an f/4 tele lens… (Although I guess this is in line with insane prices of the 500mm and 600mm f/4’s, lol!)

      =Matt=

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