Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Review

April 8, 2015 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR is a surprisingly small and lightweight full-frame telephoto lens that delivers excellent results in the field. The amazingly compact design and moderate weight allows the lens to be used hand-held in most shooting situations. Sharpness is very high wide open at f/4 and remains high up to and including f11. Geometric distortions and chromatic aberrations are minimal, but corner shading is quite pronounced at the lens' maximum aperture. If corner performance is critical, and you are shooting with a high-resolution FX body, you'd be wise to stop down to f/8 – but otherwise we wouldn't hesitate to use this lens wide open. Generally speaking, the lens' bokeh is very nice and smooth, and you can easily separate your subject from the background. And while the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f4E won't double as a macro lens, you can still take very decent close-up shots with it.

Focusing speeds are good, especially if you engage the focus limiter. The AF motor is virtually silent, and focusing is highly accurate and dependable. The inclusiion of VR image stabilisation greatly enhances the utility of the lens in comparison with its predecessor.

All this goodness comes at a price, though, and quite literally so. Priced at £1,639.99/$1,996.95, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR is a rather expensive proposition, especially when compared to its – admittedly bigger, heavier and non-VR – predecessor.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 3.5