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Thread: The pocket sized 300mm

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    The pocket sized 300mm

    Just when I was thinking that I would concentrate on wide angle lenses and a "normal" prime or two for a while, they announce this:



    The new Nikon 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens vs. the old Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED version | Nikon Rumors

    Ok, it isn't exactly pocket sized, but sevenhundredandsomething grams? If the image quality is good, this must be the best travel telephoto lens ever. I think I went back to Nikon at the right moment
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Nice lens.

    $2000 nice though. Unless I really really need a 300mm lens, I'm unlikely to spend that kind of money "for the off chance I need it"... I'll get far more use out of a $2000 35mm lens. :-)

    G

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    This is one of the rare lenses which maybe could convince me to step back into FF Nikon - I have long waited for such a lens ....

    But as I am now more than happy with my m43 2.8/40-150 it is not very likely it will happen soon

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Strange coincidence for me this. My 300mm lives on borrowed time (the plastic gears in the AF mechanism won't last forever), but I have been reluctant to buy the AF-S version due to weight and price. It isn't really usable for travel. This is of course, but the price is even higher

    I'd better start saving, and maybe later this year

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Strange coincidence for me this. My 300mm lives on borrowed time (the plastic gears in the AF mechanism won't last forever), but I have been reluctant to buy the AF-S version due to weight and price. It isn't really usable for travel. This is of course, but the price is even higher

    I'd better start saving, and maybe later this year
    Jorgen,

    I think you cannot go wrong with this new 4/300 - this seems to be a wonderful and very practical lens!

    Having said that I would also consider the new 80-400 VRII which is much more versatile, has very similar speed and is optically just exceptional! Plus almost the same price range ....

    For me it would be very hard to decide, but given my background as wildlife shooter I think I would (need to) prefer the zoom! Although I also would lust for this new 4/300

    Best

    Peter
    Last edited by ptomsu; 6th January 2015 at 09:42.

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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Just when I was thinking that I would concentrate on wide angle lenses and a "normal" prime or two for a while, they announce this:



    The new Nikon 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens vs. the old Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED version | Nikon Rumors

    Ok, it isn't exactly pocket sized, but sevenhundredandsomething grams? If the image quality is good, this must be the best travel telephoto lens ever. I think I went back to Nikon at the right moment

    PF = Phase Fresnel

    Interesting technology.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post


    Jorgen,

    I think you cannot go wrong with this new 4/300 - this seems to be a wonderful and very practical lens!

    Having said that I would also consider the new 80-400 VRII which is much more versatile, has very similar speed and is optically just exceptional! Plus almost the same price range ....

    For me it would be very hard to decide, but given my background as wildlife shooter I think I would (need to) prefer the zoom! Although I also would lust for this new 4/300

    Best

    Peter
    The 80-400 is nice, Peter, but it's bigger, more than twice as heavy, 30-40% more expensive and I do really prefer primes

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    For me, I see a new category of travel photography coming up here. What has been available so far with long reach for travel, mostly the 70-300mm lenses, have been limited by relatively small apertures, mostly f/5.6 from around 150mm and up, and lack of critical sharpness at the long end as well.

    This lens will fit comfortably in my compact Lowepro Inverse 200 AW with the D810 body and 3-4 other lenses (20/28/50/105). Total weight won't be bad either, at around 3 kilograms. The only piece lacking now is $2,000
    Last edited by Jorgen Udvang; 7th January 2015 at 08:33.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    I WANT ONE.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Really something else what Nikon is doing with these f/4 lenses of late.

    I've lugged my 70-200 VRI F/2.8 and 300 F/4 on many a trip - the newer f/4 versions are darn tempting....

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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Great looking lens. Now if they could only accomplish the same with a 500!
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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I WANT ONE.
    Me too!!!!! I find that when I use the 70-200mm zoom, I'm always shooting at 200mm and wanting more reach. This lens is ideal to add to a 20mm, 35mm, 50mm, 100mm (or 135mm) kit. Zooms begone!!!! Looks like I'll be selling some stuff soon. Buy a toy, sell a toy.

    The sample images look promising.

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I WANT ONE.
    Me too…. now should I pre-order or wait…..

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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Swissblad View Post
    Me too…. now should I pre-order or wait…..
    I'd suggest waiting until the actual user reports and reviews are published in February. That's my plan. I don't have much that I can use it for until March or April anyway.

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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    I have the AF-S 80-400. I like the extra reach.
    But it can be a little soft in the corners IMHO.
    It's tack sharp in the center though.
    Its CA is easy to correct.
    The new 300/4 would be nice to have.
    Also that technology in a longer lens! :-)
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    300/4 at that size, IF it is sharp wide open will be a done deal for many of us. In my case, it could mean I sell my (excellent) Sigma 120-300/2.8 -- love the Sigma IQ, even with converters, but it's HUGE at 300/2.8 proportions.
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    I preorder the lens when it first came out ...this is one that I need to see if it can work . The 70-200/2.8 Vr has been a work horse for sports ....but what an awful lens to carry around . A small longer lens is exactly where the gap is in my sports equipment . Lots of places I just can t take a larger lens and monopod .

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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Roger, I'm looking forward to your feedback on this lens. Please let us know what you like and don't like, and post some photos when you can. I know it won't be shipping for about a month, so I'll wait patiently.

    Joe
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    Senior Member Hulyss Bowman's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    I've seen some full size samples and now I want it. But first I need to buy what is on my waiting list : the 16-35f4 VR
    Kind regards - Hulyss - hulyssbowman.com
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    Senior Member The Smoking Camera's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    After looking at specs, much to like about this gorgeous looking lens. Would love to see this design/technology in 400, 500, 600 and 800mm versions - a family of supertelephoto-lites. Also curious how this will work on a Nikon 1 camera with the Ft-1 adapter and eventually native 1 lenses in the future.
    ........................................
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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    ... and how about a "pocket sized" 180mm f/2.8?
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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Hulyss Bowman View Post
    I've seen some full size samples and now I want it. But first I need to buy what is on my waiting list : the 16-35f4 VR
    The 16-35/4 VR would be my go to lens for wide angle as well!
    Life is an ever changing journey
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    300/4 at that size, IF it is sharp wide open will be a done deal for many of us. In my case, it could mean I sell my (excellent) Sigma 120-300/2.8 -- love the Sigma IQ, even with converters, but it's HUGE at 300/2.8 proportions.
    As a 30+ year Nikkor/Nikon super-tele shooter and owner of the current and previous 300mm primes I feel a need to step into the fray on this thread. I know many of you want this for a portrait lens, but I am largely a wildlife shooter.

    Jack, brings the point, a big "IF".

    The currently available 300/4 is tack sharp. Nikon will have to do amazing things to beat that.

    What the lens brings is an electronic aperture - something the video crowd has been asking for.

    Also the PF lens element is interesting and it will be interesting to see how Nikon implements it. Other companies have tried/used this technology to limited (better) results and have eventually dropped it.

    Of course it has VR and that will be good for handholding for birds in flight, as will the great weight reduction.

    With that said I rarely use the VR on super-teles now because they are usually tripod-mounted or mono-pod-mounted. About the only time I use VR is if the wind is really blowing while in the Everglades, Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone and the like.

    The VR makes sense for the video crowd, too.

    Of course I want one, but I am in no hurry because I already have a 300/4. Iwill wait for comparative clarity and sharpness reports. In a sentence, I am skeptical.
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Canon still make their two DO lenses, a 70-300 and the rather expensive 400mm f/4.

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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Canon still make their two DO lenses, a 70-300 and the rather expensive 400mm f/4.
    Interesting as I did not know about the 400/4 lens. I stand somewhat corrected. Two lenses out of how many models in the market is hardly a glowing testimony for the technology. None the less thanks for the info. Even old coots like me can learn something.

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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    What I find very interesting is that Canon claim somewhat over 30% weight savings with the 400mm, while the Nikkor is around 50% lighter than its predecessor. The Nikkor seems to be a much more radical design. All the more interesting to try it out then

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    Senior Member segedi's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Weighs in at about a pound less than my 150mm Sigma Macro... impressive.

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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    A bit more about the technology and some information about lens flare.

    A Closer Look at Nikon's New Phase Fresnel (PF) Lens Technology
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm


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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    The samples with the bare lens on the D810 do look promising. I'm not a fan of TC's, and those images are good, but don't have the same "bite" as the bare lens.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Agree Joe, but the 600 combo looked pretty darn good for a 600. The 1.7 not so much.
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Canon has a diffraction optics designed 400mm f/4 DO lens that I have used for almost ten years in hand held bird flight photography. The lens is relatively short and light weight and is easily hand held so the new Nikon 300mm f/4 PF diffraction optics lens is very promising. The Canon DO lens does have a slight boken issue with the back ground as shown in the attached images. I love the lens for it's size and so the boken effect is not a deal breaker for me. The boken effect is not nearly as pronounced as the donut highlights associated with mirror lenses.

    The Nikon design is different from the old Canon DO lens and there may well be no boken issue at all. Canon has recently redesigned their 400mm DO lens and the new design may also be free of the issue.

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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    And now for the 400mm DO Lens Images that I failed to attachment in my previous reply
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    I am supposed to get the new 300mm today. So if I do, I will shoot a couple of sample shots and compare it against my existing 300mm f/4 which is one heck of a lens, so we will see.
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Quote Originally Posted by jsf View Post
    I am supposed to get the new 300mm today. So if I do, I will shoot a couple of sample shots and compare it against my existing 300mm f/4 which is one heck of a lens, so we will see.
    keep us posted!!!
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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    The pocket sized 300mm


    + 1

    That's exactly the direct comparison I'm interested in.

    Which version shows the best subject isolation and the most three-dimensional rendering of the focused subject ?

    That quality is far more important to me than size and weight, personally I'm not all that focused on the current "reduction-of-size-and-weight" trend that seems to have caught a substantial part of the market.

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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    300mm test Between the new PF on the left and the old ED on the right. In looking at the few files I shot on the tripod at a variety of f/stops. I couldn't see any appreciable difference. These are all 100% crops shot at about 100 feet/30 Meters. Because the neighbor shifted slightly when I was doing the old lens, there is more a plane of focus on her sweatshirt. So overall the old lens looks sharper. But when I checked all of the files, I just couldn't match the plane of the new lens to the old lens. I did some hand held shots and the VR does of course make a difference. But I have to say the old 300mm is a remarkable lens, it deserves all of its reputation. The focus is slower on the old (screw type) AF than the new SWM AF, but that is no surprise. The shortness and lightness of the lens is quite nice.
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Thanks - I'm really interested in the close focus capability - 1.4m vs 2.4m for the old 300mm (which indeed was a good lens), and what the out of focus areas look like - i.e. if the PF lens has a peculiar effect - like that of a mirror lens.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    The pocket sized 300mm


    Thank you, jsf.
    Do you think you could at some point make a more controlled side-by-side comparison of the two lenses on a tripod, where you shoot some subject plus some background at a distance to the subject (in order to illustrate the subject-isolation ability, the three-dimensionality and the Out-Of-Focus rendering) ?
    I think the exposure values of your initial test shots are too different to really illustrate the performance difference (if any) of the two lenses, and at f/11 I believe diffraction already starts to kick in on a 36 Mp sensor in 24x36mm format.


    ...


    But the fact that you own both lenses makes a very valuable opportunity to illustrate the difference between them, so it would be highly appreciated if at some point you could find the time to make a controlled comparison on tripod, and if possible at both f/4, f/5.6 and f/8.
    Thank you in advance, and I hope it is not too much to ask for, otherwise please forgive me for being so shamelessly demanding

    Addendum:
    Self-timer delay of a couple of seconds, plus Exposure delay of a couple of seconds, is also useful to rule out any shake from the tripod and the shutter when you trip the shutter.
    It's in MENU >> Custom Settings >> C3 >> Self-timer >> 2 sec
    And in MENU >> Custom Settings >> D4 >> Exposure delay >> 2 sec
    But all that is of course up to you and your habits when testing.
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    Senior Member JohnBrew's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    I must say this new lens has impressive specs, but my existing 300/4 is fairly new and still a pretty awesome lens. I only rarely use it - for birding and surfing and then on a gimbal mount.
    I, too, would like to see more head-to-head testing. The new lens with less elements seems to mirror the construction of the 1.8G's versus the 1.4G's.
    Less is more?
    Last edited by JohnBrew; 20th February 2015 at 04:46. Reason: typo

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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Yes I can, I was rapidly losing daylight, and was curious what the two f/stops looked like for my own satisfaction. So I will take more time this weekend and do both with a near far subject, at the various f/stops, all at the same 100 ISO. In the preliminary look I see a reasonable Bokeh not at all like the 500mm mirror lens which I did own for a short period of time. I have found that on the old 300mm f/11 is quite sharp, it seems that diffraction at that f/stop is not a problem with that lens even on the d800. But my preference is f/5.6 or f/8 on that lens. I think it has to do with it being a long lens and a true 300mm.

    My tripod technique is exactly that, Steen, mirror up and a built in delay of at least two seconds. Plus yesterday I was trying my new tripod, an Induro, that only weighs with the head 4 lbs. As opposed to my Majestic that weighs 13 lbs. So tomorrow a long and fruitful test.

    The new lens is not quite 200mm in length. I wish it had a built in hood like my 200mm and 300mm have, rather than the cheap new lens hoods that Nikon is so fond of. I did do a hand held comparison at 6400 ISO and the new lens was superior in low light, no surprise there. But outside handheld at 800 ISO the old lens was equal at a distance. I am always amazed at how sharp the old lens is.

    So I will post this weekend.
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Between this and the new Sigma 24, I already know I'll soon be out of pocket $3 grand...
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    It's going to be an expensive year, Jack.... what I'm really concerned about is how to cope if Nikon releases a 600mm f4.0 PF lens that weighs in less than the current 300mm f2.8.....

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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Firstly everything was shot on a d800e at 100 ISO. Mirror locked up, 3s built in delay. Securely fastened on a 13 lb Majestic tripod. The two lens are identified as follows. The old 300mm f/4 is the ED IF and the new 300mm f/4 is the PF. I ran through the apertures from f/4 through f/16. I've included just the f/5.6-f/16, All of the images were batch processed in ACR in my presets, then into PS with two sharpening passes, one as an Un-sharp mask and the other was Smart Sharpen. I think that Smart sharpen has an un-sharp mask but I find that it seems to help a bit, in reality for myself I prefer for some of my images to be run a third time in sharpen edges but that is my taste for some things that I shoot. I didn't do that for the test.
    First the 100% crops.
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    The Bokeh on the PF lens at f/5.6, f/8 and f/11
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    At minimal focusing about 1.5 M with the PF 300mm lens at f/8.
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Thanks JSF, really helpful - looks like a great little lens!

  48. #48
    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Another sample of photos taken with this cute little lens:

    Alpinechaff

    Snow Finch

    There are also some taken with the Nikkor 800mm f5.6......... dream on....

    And a nice thread on FM

    This lens looks good - ideal for when weight / size is an issue!
    Last edited by Swissblad; 22nd February 2015 at 02:38.
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  49. #49
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Swissblad View Post
    It's going to be an expensive year, Jack.... what I'm really concerned about is how to cope if Nikon releases a 600mm f4.0 PF lens that weighs in less than the current 300mm f2.8.....
    It'll be $7,000+ and worth it
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
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  50. #50
    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: The pocket sized 300mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Swissblad View Post
    This lens looks good - ideal for when weight / size is an issue!
    At my age, weight/size is always an issue.

    "jsf", thanks for the sample images. You've sealed the deal (for me).

    Joe
    Last edited by Joe Colson; 22nd February 2015 at 08:02.
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    Joe Colson Photography
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