Nikkor 300mm f/4.5 ED-IF Ai-S - any users?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Ian Rance, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. On Saturday I picked up a clean Nikkor 300mm f/4.5 ED-IF Ai-S lens for £130. I do't have a 300mm lens so it will fill a void in my lenses and open up some new photo opportunities.
    Apart from the lens hood being floppy (I fixed that myself bu adding a little packing under the felt ring that secures the hood) it is very clean and has had low use.
    Looking back on this forum I don't see much about it at all - and most owners have the AF version.
    To those who have the ED-IF version of this Ai-S lens, how do you find it? Any shooting hints (best aperture and distance?) I use colour print film.
    Thanks for any input, Ian
  2. I had it in the past and found it to be a superb lens.
  3. Did you shine a light through it to inspect the elements? The fact that the rear element is located so deep within the lens housing means that there is often much dust on it. If it is really clean then the lens has been used carefully (or very little) and will perform quite well outside of use with teleconverters. Check Bjørn Rorslett's site for advice regarding best apertures in use.
  4. Yes Gerry - a light shows the elements to be clean and clear. Although the lens has a few small scrapes, they were from carrying it in a bag I think as the rubber grip, optics and lens mount are all in superb order.
    Not many here have this lens then?
  5. I bought one several years ago based on recommendations from this site. I still have it, and use it from time to time.
    The thing is built like a tank. It is pretty good optically. I found that my copy isn't particularly sharp wide open, and suffers from light falloff at the edges and corners. Stopping down to f/5.6 improves things quite a bit. At f/8 sharpness is about as good as it will get (good), and there is no light falloff in the corners. I have a couple of books by John Shaw, and his photos taken with this lens all seem to be at f/8. It looks like f/8 is the sweet spot with this lens.
    I used this lens a few times as a long macro lens by adding extension tubes between the camera and lens. It works quite well for that purpose.
    Experiment with it. Have fun.
  6. I still still keep mine, which I like very much.
    I also agree that is a pretty good lens. I consider it sharp even wide open, at least on my D700. I suspect it will look better on film.
    It may be not the most contrasty, nor as clinically sharp if compared to current pro lenses, but perfectly usable, specially for portraiture.
    I love its build quality, although mine also has a floppy hood and a too soft focus ring, nothing to be worried about.
    Mine is not used so often, mostly for fun with the PN11 extension tube. I find it to be equally sharp at macro distances in this way.
    I have some pics to post; not in a variety of conditions, I`m afraid.
  7. Here a shot at 6-9 feet, aprox., D700 @ 200ISO. The full image,
  8. 100% crop, f4.5,
  9. Now, a fast dirty shot with the PN-11. Full image;
  10. Detail @ f8, 100% crop;
  11. I have checked that the f4.5 pic of the shoes look sharper than the f8 one... the aperture is right, I just took the wrong shot. At f11 the pics start to look a bit softer.
  12. Jose.....
    Maybe you should spend less money on Nikon toys and but new shoes instead! :)
    Sorry! I know I am out of line here but I couldn't resist it! Hehe!!!
  13. A decent lens that by ALL accounts I've seen is better than it's non-IF predecessors.
    I had one back in the film days, and again recently on my D3. It seemed better("sharper") on the D3 than film, but I got tired of correcting the lateral CA, so I dumped it for the newer AF-S 300/4, which has a closer minimum focus distance---always a good thing for me.
  14. I have the non-IF version of the 300/4.5 AI ED. Excellent lens, sharp enough to use wide open. No real problems with CA that I can see with the D2H or color slide film. Long focus throw but that suits my wobbly hands. No idea how it compares with the IF version.
  15. Thank you for the thoughs - sounds like a decent lens. I am impatient to see the results but I no longer rush through a roll of film just to see 'lens test' photos (D&P too expensive now) so I will get to see what it is like next week.
  16. Ian, here's an example at the widest aperture. This file is a few years old, and I'm not sure if I processed it as well as I think I am able to now- hope it looks okay online. It was on Kodak E100g.

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