Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR £1470, $2000
IT’S PRIME TIME – WITH A RELATIVELY FAST APERTURE
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.
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.