Nikon 300mm f2.8 versions?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by paul_wheeler|1, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. I have spent a while searching online and I've been left slightly confused.
    The older original VR version of the 300mm f2.8, seems to have two types of images associated with it. On the golden/brass name plate, one has the Nano "N" and the other has the "ED" symbol instead. Both show the red VR mark. I understood that both VR and VR II versions have the Nano coating, but what about the VR with only "ED", and not "N" on the plate? A quick search for images of Nikkor 300mm F2.8 AF-S VR ED on Google with show what I mean.
    Thanks guys. (and gals)
     
  2. This serial number chart might be of a little help.
    http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html#300
     
  3. Update...
    I actually think some second-hand sites are using images of the newer model while describing the older model. On reflection, the VR marks may not be red.
    I would still like clarification on whether all VR models of the 300mm f 2.8 have the Nano lens coating.
     
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    There are two versions of the Nikon 300mm/f2.8 AF-S VR. The first version was introduced back in 2004 with older VR technology. The current version was introduced on December 10 last year: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00VDYx
    The new version has what Nikon calls VR2, improved VR. Both vesions have nano coating, although that terms was not widely used back in 2004 when version 1 was introduced. Nikon started heavily advertising nano coating in August 2007 when they introduced a bunch of high-end lenses along with the original D3 and D300. Current lenses with nano coating have a black-on-gold N symbol to emphasis that feature.
    These are the Nikon USA pages on the two versions. However, for whatever reason, they are listing the older version as VR II as well:
     
  5. I have searched and found lenses with the older red VR symbol (ie not gold), one with "N" and the other "ED".
    00XFzQ-279011584.jpg
     
  6. Thank you Shun.
    My understanding was, as you say, both versions have the Nano coating. My confusion was caused by finding two cosmetically different VR I lenses.
    I understand there are VR I and VR II versions, but my question referred to what seem to be two versions of the older VR I lens as shown above.
     
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Paul, you are showing images of the old version. It looks like Nikon changed the plate on the barrel. As I said, Nikon started advertising about nano coating in 2007 and apparently they added the N symbol to version 1 later on.
    The new version features the M/A as well as A/M switch so that there are 3 settings on the AF/MF selection switch: http://www.nikonusa.com/Assets/Came...lephoto/Views/2186_AFS-300-ED-VR-II_front.png
    The old version only has two settings: M/A (auto focus w/ manual override) and M (manual). That should be the easiest way to tell them apart.
     
  8. Thanks again Shun, but the reason I have shown the images of the older version, is because I am looking at locating and buying a used copy. My original post and subsequent questions all concern the old VR I version. I know how to tell versions I and II apart. That is not my problem. Perhaps I did not make my post clear enough?
    To clarify, all I want to know is whether the lower lens in the picture above definitely has Nano?
     
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Paul, again, please read this Nikon USA page for the older version: http://www.nikonusa.com/Find-Your-N...D.html#tab-ProductDetail.ProductTabs.Overview
    That page has the same lens image as your second one for the older version and it lists that the lens has nano coating.
    When the new version was announced last December, I checked with Nikon USA and they confirmed that the old version also has nano coating. As far as I know, Nikon never changed the optical formula; in fact, versions 1 and 2 have the same optics. The main difference is VR vs. the improved VR2 (and the new A/M switch setting). My guess is that since Nikon started advertising nano coating, they changed the plate on the barrel on the older version.
     
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

  11. Thanks Shun. I have looked again at the link you posted and that has clarified matters. Thank you.
    Here in the UK, Nikon's top lenses are very expensive, so I can save a lot of money getting a mint older version. I'm thinking of adding the 1.7 teleconverter to the deal, so I get a 300mm and a 510mm for an awful lot less than a new 500mm f4 VR. If what I hear is true, the latest 2X converter works very well with the 300mm as well. I know the use of the teleconverter will give a slightly degraded image, but the 300mm with a converter will be easier to handle, and I can't afford a 300mm and a 500mm
    I have given up on the Sigma 150-500 :(
     
  12. I have started a new thread referring to my comments above.
     

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