Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR £1470, $2000

IT’S PRIME TIME – WITH A REL­A­TIVELY FAST APER­TURE

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This Nikon prime lens gives a use­ful tele­photo reach, equiv­a­lent to 450mm on a DX body, but lacks ver­sa­til­ity com­pared with a zoom lens. How­ever, its f/4 aper­ture en­ables shut­ter speeds as fast as us­ing a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens with a 1.4x tele­con­verter. It’s also more com­pact and eas­ily man­age­able than a 300mm f/2.8 prime lens, and only about a third of the price to buy.

At 755 grams, this lens is only about half the weight of a 70-200mm zoom. The main rea­son be­hind the com­pact, light­weight build is that it uses a PF (Phase Fres­nel) el­e­ment, and it’s the first Nikon lens to do so. Other at­trac­tions in­clude an elec­tro­mag­net­i­cally con­trolled di­aphragm and new-gen­er­a­tion VR with Sport mode, as seen in the Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Per­for­mance

Con­sid­er­ing this is a prime lens, sharp­ness is dis­ap­point­ing – among the worst of any lens in the group. Aut­o­fo­cus speed is pedes­trian as well. There’s very lit­tle pin­cush­ion dis­tor­tion but, over­all, im­age qual­ity isn’t mas­sively im­pres­sive.

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