A Peek Inside the AF-S Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8 FL ED SR VR

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bgelfand, May 15, 2020.

  1. Factories must be dusty given the lack of use because of current world events ;-)

    It seems that center sharpness is better in the new zoom compared to the current Nikon 300mm f/2.8, but edge sharpness is not as good. Perhaps the prime loses a bit due to not as rigid tripod mount.

    I'm hoping that notwithstanding of the new zoom, Nikon would release FL versions of the 200/2 and 300/2.8 primes some time in the next few years. These would likely be significantly lighter and more compact than the zoom, which is quite big and heavy.
  2. It's interesting that whenever people here discus wide, standard or medium telephoto lenses and hype sharpness, there's usually a big 'but there are more important things' push back.

    Whenever a 150mm+ lens is discussed in sharpness terms, no-one seems to twitch.

    I guess this is because it is actually more important really.....:D

    400mm f4E FL VRIII Macro please.:cool:
  3. The close focus distance on fast lenses is often limiting (taking the 200/2 as a case in point), but a 400mm macro might be overkill. Not that I'm against long macros in principle.

    If you're using a big telephoto, it's presumably because you wanted to resolve detail. (Okay, I sometimes do it to lose the background, but the 200mm is the smallest "big telephoto" and is weird.) Otherwise you could just use a shorter lens and zoom in. I think Ilkka was pushing back (on handling). I'm reasonably sure that were I to win the lottery (which I don't enter), I'd be happy with the 500mm PF/400mm FL/800mm FL triplet, along with the 19mm PC obviously - I don't really see the need for a 180-400 or 120-300 myself. That said, I've been at the back of a conference room trying to photograph colleagues on stage and thought a fast 120-300 would have helped a bit (70-200 has been short, and I need speed for the lighting) - but I don't really imagine ever having so much money that I wouldn't find a better use for it than solving that problem (and hiring someone to carry it). Maybe I should eventually upgrade my 300mm f/4 to the PF...

    I'll happily rip a shorter lens to shreds on the basis of its LoCA rather than absolute sharpness, but since the longer lenses tend to be reasonably corrected for that and are on the slower end of the relative aperture range anyway, it's not usually the biggest crime. I've heard good things about the bokeh of this zoom. Otherwise, the old 200-400 f/4 was a bit soft at long range for the money, I'm not entirely happy with the sharpness of the 200-500 at the 500mm end (not that it's bad), and I found the Sigma 120-300 visibly softer than the 70-200 FL when I tried one; sharpness is worth reporting on.
    mike_halliwell likes this.
  4. I can hardly wait to get my hands on a 150-300 f/2.8 Nikon zoom. It would give me an excuse to buy a really good set of jeweler's screwdrivers and a new soldering gun. Any takers?

    I have a Sony 100-400/4,5-5.6 GM, which I carry rather than a 70-200/4. I find the extra reach useful, and it's only an inch longer than the 70-200. The 30 mm gap between this lens and a 24-70/2.8 is not much of an issue, and one I can bridge with a prime lens or two. Nor is the slower aperture an issue for landscapes and general travel photography. A variable aperture gives the designer more room to concentrate on optical quality at the same price, or lesser quality at a lower price if you prefer.
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
  5. I was a bit confused at how the new screwdriver that apparently leaks oil and has a ribbed metal exterior rather than a rubber one is better suited for disassembling optics. But I own too many screwdrivers (for the amount I use them).

    There are plenty of Nikons which don't hold the selected aperture in live view/DoF preview as you zoom, although I don't know how many don't have this with E lenses. Otherwise, an aperture change on zoom doesn't bother me as it might have with a mechanical aperture ring, so long as the long end is fast enough.

    One thing that put me off a 200-400 f/4 is the argument that my 200 f/2 could deliver 400 f/4 with a TC, and the 200-400 is on the big side for a 200 f/4. But then the 200-500 f/5.6 is inexplicably bigger than my 200 f/4 too...
  6. For me the 300mm f/2.8 is better than the zoom. If I use the lens it's always at 300mm.

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