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Old Sep 22, 2008, 11:50 AM   #1
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Other than VR, is there any optical or operational difference between the Nikon 70 - 300mm f 4 - 5.6 G autofocus zooms?

I'm not sure if they are both AF-S or if the non VR version relies on the focus motor in the camera.

Is the optical performance different between the two versions?

I'm asking because, for my use at auto races and outdoor daytime sporting events, the shutter speed is almost always fast enough to render the VR feature moot.

-------------------- Bill

Edit: Oops - the title should refer to f4 - f5.6 rather than f4.5, but I don't know how to edit it.
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Old Sep 22, 2008, 4:00 PM   #2
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There are a few websites on the internet that did do a review of the 70-300mm VR lens. For sports photography, the VR will not help very much.

The older 70-300mm lenses (there were 2 models) are not AF-S. They cannot be used on the D40 and similar models.

The main thing you will need to find out is how quick the autofocus speed is. I have used the old 70-300mm f4/5.6 G, and I didn't think the autofocus was fast enough for action, in my opinion. If you can go to a store that has a display model of the 70-300mm VR, you should try it out.
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Old Sep 22, 2008, 6:31 PM   #3
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I have a 70-300 D version and tryed to use it at Nascar events. I found I used it most of the time in the 200ish range because it was so hard to keep the cars in view any longer. I now use the 18-200 and it's a better solution all around. The focus is marginal with the 70-300 and a bit better on the 18-200. I used to prefocus the longer lens at specific spots and snap the shot when the car entered that point. Worked most of the time. The 70-300 was great from my vantage point in the stands when the cars would pit.
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Old Sep 22, 2008, 11:09 PM   #4
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Thank you for the comments.

Sounds like I'll need the VR version for it's AF-S focusing speed.

I do think I need the 300 mm reach for the locations where I like to watch at Road America and Mid-Ohio. ( To get head-on shots that don't include safety fencing and barriers in front of the subject, I need to be on a hill top over looking a near-by corner and shoot the subjects as they come around and exit one corner earlier. Even with a 300 mm, some cropping will still be necessary.)

I know a longer and faster lens would be chosen by the pros I observe at these events, but my budget limitations rule.

------------------- Bill
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