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Old Jan 16, 2005, 7:47 PM   #1
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Hello,

I am considering the Nikon 300mm f/2.8D ED-IF II and I'd like to hear some opinions on this lens.

This is a very expensive lens, so I'd also like to know if there are any alternatives. I've searched for a Sigma 70-399mm f/2.8, but I cannot seem to find one.

Thanks,
Scott
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Old Jan 16, 2005, 9:38 PM   #2
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sdgeiger wrote:
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Hello,

I am considering the Nikon 300mm f/2.8D ED-IF II and I'd like to hear some opinions on this lens.

This is a very expensive lens, so I'd also like to know if there are any alternatives. I've searched for a Sigma 70-399mm f/2.8, but I cannot seem to find one.

Thanks,
Scott
Scott:

Sigma has a300mm f/2.8 EX APO HSM lens in their current list:

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/html/lenschart.htm

But, I'll be darn if I see anyone that actually has this lens.

The Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX APO HSM lens does seem to be stocked by a few vendors.

You'll see both the Nikon and Sigma offerings in this price search:

Price Search for Lenses

Nikon has apparently made a few different versions of the 300mm f/2.8 over the years.All of theNikkor 300mm f/2.8 lenses rate very wellat sites like photozone.de and photodo.com, but I don't see any tests of this lens with the "II" designation.

What surprised me was that all tests I've found for Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 lenses show that they'realmost as sharp wide open at f/2.8as they are stopped down some. These lenses (Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 offerings)are sharper at f/2.8 than most are at f/8. ;-)

Some of the comments I've found on the currentNikon 300mm f/2.8D ED-IFII AF-Sindicate very fast focusing, sharp,contrasty and no CA. As to whether or not it's $4k sharp after the current rebate is another question. ;-)


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Old Jan 16, 2005, 10:13 PM   #3
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If found someone that may have the 300mm f/2.8 Sigma (Unique Photo in NJ).

Sigma 300mm f/2.8 EX HSM Lens at Unique Photo

I haveno experience with this vendor. They only have a handful of reviews at http://www.resellerratings.com (probably because they are not in the price search engines, so they are not a popular internet seller):

http://www.resellerratings.com/seller2598.html

I did a check at the Better Business Bureau and found no complaints:

http://www.trenton.bbb.org/nis/newse...21000012001594

I also checked around on some of the forums and in general, comments were favorable. One poster did indicate that returns were for store credit only, and another mentioned being billed before an item shipped -- finding out later that they were out of stock). But, you see these types of comments about most vendors from time to time.

I'd call them and check on stock if you're interested (just because it's on their web site doesn't necessarily mean they actually have it).Use your own judgement as to their reliability.


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Old Jan 17, 2005, 2:25 AM   #4
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The 300/2.8VR is set to be introduced in coming months (March release date I think). Once that's out, those at the forefront of the upgrading cycle will want to offload their "obsolete" 300/2.8 non VR glass, so you might catch a few second hand bargains then.

If you're considering this price range, consider also the 200-400/4 VR zoom. By most nature photog's accounts, this zoom is at least as sharp as the best primes in its range. Downside: loss ofa stop compared to the f/2.8 primes, and extremely heavy. It focuses extremely fast, but also offers high precision too as the focus distance range requires three quarters of a full revolution from closest distance to infinity, so it's ideal for fine manual focusing. Most other Nikkors by comparison, the focus range from closest to infinity is achieved in a quarter to a half-turn.


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Old Jan 17, 2005, 2:19 PM   #5
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sdgeiger wrote:
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This is a very expensive lens, so I'd also like to know if there are any alternatives. I've searched for a Sigma 70-399mm f/2.8, but I cannot seem to find one.
JimC is correct! they have a fantastic 120-300 f/2.8... It costs even less than their own 300mm f/2.8 and is better optically (ever wonder why the 300mm doesn't sell any more)! http://www.shutterbug.net/test_repor...gma/index.html



Check my 2x picture with it posted over the Canon forum, it is still quite good with a match 2xTC wide open (ie 600 f/5.6). This lens also has the ultrasonic HSM which is fast, silent and with full time manual overide of the AF! http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/168829
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Old Jan 17, 2005, 4:47 PM   #6
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I don't deserve any credit for that one.... It sounds like I was trying to help him find a lens that's not as good. ;-)

No wonder the 300mm f/2.8 isn't being stocked by anyone if the 120-300mm f/2.8 is better.


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Old Jan 17, 2005, 4:57 PM   #7
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FYI - In case someone wonders about its 'weather proofing' capability: http://www.hoothollow.com/Tip-December%202003.html

The flip side is this lens is quite hefty (which 300mm f/2.8 aren't?), but it'll cover the entire 100-600 range with just some TCs instead of several equally heavy lenses... that you'll have to lug around!
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Old Feb 11, 2005, 9:50 AM   #8
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I've heard good things about the Sigma 120-300 2.8 in terms of it's optics. I bought the Sigma 300 2.8 about 3 years ago. I'm very pleased with it's performance. One advantage it has (perhaps the only advantage) it has over the 120-300 is in filter size. The 300 2.8 uses 46mm drop in filters, and a polarizer and UV are included with the lens. Other 46mm drop-ins are available via Calumet and other suppliers. What size filter does the 120-300 take? 96mm? 105mm? I don't think I'd want to pay for a circular polarizer of that size. That is what kept me from trading up to the zoom.
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Old Feb 11, 2005, 10:02 AM   #9
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wmdyer wrote:
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What size filter does the 120-300 take?
105mm! :evil:

However I found the following when using the lens:
1. No need for UV protection filter, since the lens hood is all metal and is quite sturdy (it comes with a leather hood) and extend quite far out...
2. Like with all Sigma the lens coating already has a KR1.5 warming effect built-in
3. A polarizer really cut the f/2.8 down two stops defeating the whole purpose of having a fast lens in the 1st place!

Plus I tend to use a polarizer more on landscape, but less so with a tele
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Old Feb 15, 2005, 8:50 AM   #10
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I suggest you read this to get a professional opinion. A cheaper option and according to his review just as good. I have the 70/200 and the TC14E and can recommend the combination.

http://www.bythom.com/70200VRlens.htm
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