Nikon tele lens test/review database

Index

NEW AND BETTER ARTICLE INDEX AT NIKON INDEX
(It is only the new index that will be updated. It doesn't have the ranking yet, but is better and more up-to-date)
(You might also want to check out some of my other index based on same concept: Olympus IndexPanasonic IndexFujifilm Index)

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II

Image quality rating: 100,00%

Overall rating: 96,67%

Main points:
  • Superb optical performance
  • Fast focusing
  • Expensive


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
ePhotozine
5/5
4.5/5
'This updated 200mm f/2 is a superb lens without a doubt. It produces images with excellent contrast, sharpness, low distortion and minimal levels of chromatic fringing. Whether dropping nearly £5000 on this lens is good value will be up to you, and what you intend to do with it. If you often find yourself using this focal length in the dark, or need faster shutter speeds in less than ideal lighting, such as for indoor sports, then having this lens in your armoury will most certainly pay dividends. It's a specialist lens, which comes at a specialist price.'D700
SLRGear
10/10
10/10
'This is not a lens that is easy to hand hold for any length of time. A good monopod is almost mandatory. I recommend renting one if you can, before you plonk down the considerable amount this lens costs. '
Lenstip
'There is no need to go on at length about anything in this summary. The Nikkor AF-S 200 MM f/2G ED VRII is a flawless lens - if you need an instrument with such parameters and you can afford it you shouldn’t hesitate one single moment.'
Ken Rockwell
'200mm f/2 lenses are very specialized; most people find the similar 300mm f/2.8 or200-400mm f/4 lenses more useful.'
Dxomark


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II

Image quality rating: 100,00%

Overall rating: 100,00%

Main points:
  • Sharpness
  • Fast AF
  • Expensive drop-in polarizer not included


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photography Life
'Before I got my hands on the Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II lens, I already had high expectations. Having seen the legendary performance of the earlier 300mm f/2.8 models, I knew that the new 300mm would not disappoint. My primary interest in obtaining this lens, was to find out how it performed with the new TC-20E III and other teleconverters, and how it performed against comparable and cheaper telephoto lenses. As you can see, the Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II not only meets, but exceeds all expectations. Its first-class contrast and colors yield beautiful images with exceptional bokeh, thanks to the magical design of the lens. Sharpness-wise, it is without a doubt the sharpest telephoto lens I have held in my hands and its performance with all Nikon teleconverters is beyond this world. The VR II system is very effective and certainly does a great job at preventing camera shake. That’s why top photographers use and love this lens – they know what to expect of it.'
SLRGear
10/10
10/10
'After struggling to get good zoo animal and large bird photos with the Nikkor 300mm f/4 AF-S and the Canon 400mm f/5.6L, I finally caved and bought this lens. The quality of both the output and the construction are astonishing. My sample is as sharp wide open as the 300mm f/4 was stopped all the way down to f/9, and it leaves the peak sharpness of the 400mm f/5.6L at any aperture far behind even with a Nikon 1.4x TC added. Center sharpness is first rate from f/2.8 all the way to f/9, and the edges catch up from f/4 to f/9. Now instead of getting recognizable backgrounds I'm seeing bokeh that can only be described as dream-like; with subjects appearing to float on air against a back-drop of swirling color. The focusing speed is so fast that it is easy to keep to the lowest ISO settings in all but dim light or a stiff wind. And the soft-sided carrying case enables transport with a camera attached. What a relief! '
Ken Rockwell
'Now will be a great time to find bargains on closeouts and used samples of the identical old model 300mm f/2.8 VR.'
Dxomark


Nikon 400mm f/2.8G VR

Image quality rating: 100,00%

Overall rating: 90,80%

Main points:
  • Sharp as a pin
  • Big, though. Heavy


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photography Life
'Without a doubt, the Nikon 400mm f/2.8G VR is a superb piece of engineering art. While it does have its own inconveniences like heavy weight and bulky construction, it sits in the same class of top Nikon lenses like the Nikon 200mm f/2G VR II and the Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II, with an exceptional optical design that yields sharp images, beautiful bokeh and colors. Its performance from large to small apertures is outstanding – the lens is designed to be used at largest apertures between f/2.8 and f/5.6. As I have shown in my sharpness tests and explained in comparison pages, it works very well with the Nikon TC-14E II and TC-17E II teleconverters, providing great results even at largest apertures. Its low light AF capabilities are certainly affected with teleconverters, especially with the TC-17E II and TC-20E III, but once you get used to working with teleconverters, you will know how to use them to get the best results. The Nikon TC-20E III negatively impacts both sharpness and contrast at large apertures, but stopping down between f/8 and f/11 yields surprisingly good images. I would say that the Nikon 400mm f/2.8G VR behaves very similarly as the Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II with teleconverters.'
byThom
5/5
3/5
'Here's the question that I usually get: which should I get, the 400mm, 500mm, or 600mm? From an acuity standpoint, the 400mm is the best of that bunch, and clearly so. The 400mm with the TC-14E is pretty darned close to the 600mm f/4 (disclaimer: I've only used Nikon NPS 600mm loaners; make of that what you will, but those lenses get used and abused by a lot of photographers, so I'm not sure I've seen the best the 600mm can produce). I tend to rule out the 600mm for all but the absolutely focal length obsessed (you know who you are, and you like little birdies ;~).'
Imagepower
Ishootshows.com
'It’s got the optics to shoot wide open without flinching and the speed to pair exceedingly well with teleconverters when 400mm just isn’t enough. What these two attributes add up to is a really fantastic flexibility that’s up for the rigors of any distance shoot. For concert photography and Lil Wayne’s big I Am Still Music Tour, the Nikon 400mm f/2.8 VR II did a killer job.'
SLRGear
10/10
10/10
'Blown away by this. The image quality is ridiculously good. It resolves to a pixel on my D300. AF is perfect (but that is also camera-related) and ludicrous-speed fast. NO CA evident anywhere. Close to perfect. Fast. f2.8 gives great options with DOF. Muscle-men can hand-hold until they fatigue, but it is just fabulous with a monopod or even better with tripod and unlocked ball-head. VR is legend.'
Ken Rockwell
'I was surprised at how easy this lens is to hand-hold compared to the older AF-I.'
Fredmiranda.com
9.7/10
'This is one serious lens - both price wise and in the commitment required to use it. However, all this pales into insignificance when you finally snap that picture of a beautiful songbird in perfect focus with the background a soft, dreamy wash of color. For anyone who hasn't used one of Nikon's big lenses, here's my recommendation : rent one - you'll fall in love and eventually buy one!'
Bjorn Rorslett
5/5
'This new incarnation of the 400 "soccer" lens sports a very high image quality, provided you can get the shutter speeds up and away from the 1/2 sec to 1/60 sec range. This is because the tripod support - once again - is inadequate. Also, using the so-called "long lens technique" within this shutter-speed window will lead to blurring or loss of fine-detail rendition. Even the dedicated tripod mode for VR will not help under these circumstances. You definitively have to use mirror lockup (MLU) in conjunction with a cable release, plus pay attention not to touch neither lens nor camera in order to get sharp images. The sports photographer needs faster shutter speeds anyway, so these caveats won't apply.'


Nikon 500mm f/4G ED VR

Image quality rating: 100,00%

Overall rating: 92,00%

Main points:
  • Not cheap


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
byThom
5/5
3/5
'Here's the question that I usually get: which should I get, the 400mm, 500mm, or 600mm? From an acuity standpoint, the 400mm is the best of that bunch, and clearly so. The 400mm with the TC-14E is pretty darned close to the 600mm f/4 (disclaimer: I've only used Nikon NPS 600mm loaners; make of that what you will, but those lenses get used and abused by a lot of photographers, so I'm not sure I've seen the best the 600mm can produce). I tend to rule out the 600mm for all but the absolutely focal length obsessed (you know who you are, and you like little birdies ;~). The 500mm lens isn't far behind the 400mm, though. Indeed, you'd have to be handling both lenses near perfectly to see any difference.'
Imagepower
SLRGear
10/10
10/10
'If you need a long lens this will not disappoint. '
Fredmiranda.com
10/10
'Picture quality is unchallenged. ( Price though is about $2,500 more than Canon's equivalent.) That said, this lens measures up to the highest of build quality standards, and the VR is amazing in that one can actually HAND HOLD shots and get clear, crisp images!!!!'


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8D ED

Image quality rating: 96,25%

Overall rating: 95,50%

Main points:
  • Large and heavy.
  • Good Focus


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Imagepower
'The optical quality of the AF-S Nikkor 300 f/2.8 is simply breathtaking'
SLRGear
9.75/10
9.5/10
'I bought my copy of this lens used in February 2009. I have shot around 25,000 photos with it since that time. I use it with a D700. I have TC14E and TC20E II teleconverters as well as a C-PL1L circular polarizer that I use with this lens. This is a brilliant lens.'
Fredmiranda.com
9.6/10
'I got this lens for soccer when I did it and the delivered photos were amazing.'
Bjorn Rorslett
4.75/5
'Short, fat and extremely sharp with phenomenal colour saturation and image contrast.'


Nikon 200mm f/2G ED-IF AF-S VR Nikkor

Image quality rating: 96,00%

Overall rating: 87,50%

Main points:
  • There is not a single negative in this lens
  • Exceptional sharpness
  • Lightning fast focus


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
byThom
5/5
3/5
'The 200mm f/2 isn't for everyone. First, it's an expensive lens. Second, it's a brick-and-a-half in terms of weight. Third, its large diameter--especially with hood reversed on the lens--makes it not small bag friendly. But it's an exceptional performer, and 200mm at f/2 is extremely useful for indoor or night sports. I've never been dissatisfied with the results I've gotten from this lens, and other than the workout I get from lifting it (hint: use a monopod), I always happy to pull it out of the bag.'
Photozone
5/5
4/5
'For many, the 200 VR is one of the dream lenses, and in our review it certainly showed why. The lens delivers outstanding sharpness throughout the whole aperture range, is basically free of aberrations and distortions and has extremely pleasing bokeh. It could handle backlight a little better, however the newer version II model of the lens has the potential to handle these conditions better due to Nano Crystal Coat (however, lacking a copy of the newer model we haven't verified this and are only assuming here).'D200
Photozone
4.5/5
4/5
'Nonetheless, there are drawbacks. It's a massive lens, certainly not the best choice for candid shots, or other kinds of photography where the photographer wants to remain unnoticed. That also means it's heavy. There are owners who claim they can hand-hold this lens for hours, but the author is certainly not one of them. It's a bit front-heavy, too, especially when combined with a rather light-weight DX camera. And last but not least: it's expensive. One could get a nice and complete setup of camera and several lenses instead of this single lens.'D7000
Photozone
4.5/5
4/5
'The build quality is excellent, AF is extremely fast and the VR unit works as promised. In addition, the lens combines very well with all three available tele converters, adding even more usage scenarios than the already obvious ones (basically anything that requires shallow DOF and/or fast shutter speeds, like portraiture, indoor and outdoor sports, kids, etc.)'D3X
Imagepower
'My conclustion could hardly turn out more positive'
SLRGear
10/10
10/10
'Words cannot describe the incredible sharpness this lens is capable of. Even goofing around you will accidentally get a real keeper. I've done excellent portfolio work for aspiring young models with this and the 300 f2.8 VR. In door sports is a dream with this on a D3s, you can almost shoot in the dark. Still works well with the TC 17eII for increased versatility. You gotta pay to play!'
Ken Rockwell
'This is a lens that you let your sports magazine buy for you to to cover indoor volleyball. For your own money it's a very special purpose and expensive lens.'
Fredmiranda.com
10/10
'Ive had this heavy lense for about a month, and I try to carry it with me every day. Using it with a monopod its not heavy at all. It works very fast, gives me razor fast images in both sports and weddings as well as portraits. I used in studio with my d3x and gave me fantastic images!!'
Bjorn Rorslett
'I already know this is one of the finest lenses ever produced by Nikon. I also know that VR can adversely impact sharpness when the lens is tripod mounted, despite Nikon's claims to the contrary. The tripod collar design is, as common with recent long Nikkors, inefficient and suprisingly flexing. Still the stunning performance of this lens has overcome my objections, so not only do I have my own copy, it is one of my most used lenses. It continues to deliver its magic on the D3, too.'


Nikon 300mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Nikkor

Image quality rating: 95,00%

Overall rating: 97,00%

Main points:
  • Almost instant, accurate and silent autofocus
  • High optical performance.
  • Handy memory recall.


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
ePhotozine
'The advanced sophistication of this lens, with the whole thing being peppered with buttons, knobs and switches, belies the ease with which it can be used once the basic concept of how the lens works is overcome. The speed with which it does work has to be experienced to be believed. As far as we can ascertain, the only gimmick is the on/off for the focus confirmation bleep which would soon be turned off, never to be switched on again such is the accuracy and speed of the autofocus.'D2X, D70
Imagepower
'The D3X and the AF-S VR 300 f/2.8 are a perfect match'
SLRGear
9.5/10
9.5/10
'The Nikon 300mm f2.8 has long been the professional standard, wickedly sharp and versatile. Sports, paparazzi, and portraits are handled with ease. Beautiful bokeh, brillant contrast and color, everything a lens should be and more. You can put Glamour Shots out of business with this thing on a D3s or D700. If you want to afford this save and sacrifice and go for it because it is spectacular.'
Ken Rockwell
'You know who you are if you need this lens. This is a great lens, and likewise a new model means discounts on previous models, all of which are spectacular.'
Fredmiranda.com
9.9/10
'I'll keep it simple. The image quality this lens produces is nothing short of brilliant in every respect. Images have an unbelievable level of sharpness, contrast, and color punch right from f2.8. The bokkeh this lens produces might be the highlight of its IQ, absolutely erasing background elements that would distract from your subject in some of the smoothest creamiest OOF you'd ever believe.'
Bjorn Rorslett
4.75/5
'This lens is a logical next step in the evolution of the 300 mm lens range. Photographers have repeatedly been told VR is an absolute necessity and so it's only natural Nikon eventually "gave" them what the customers think they need. Not to say VR doesn't come in handy in practical photography, but I wouldn't call it an instrumental feature.'


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G

Image quality rating: 94,00%

Overall rating: 92,00%

Main points:
  • Excellent sharpness
  • Falloff quite pronounced at wide apertures
  • Focusing speeds adequate, but not amazing. 


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photography Life
5/5
4.5/5
'Similar to the excellent Nikon 50mm f/1.8G, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G seems to be an excellent performer that competes with its much more expensive, bulkier and heavier brother, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G. While it does not have the same complex optical design of the 85mm f/1.4G, it very closely rivals it in terms of colors and bokeh. It shows exceptional resolution and contrast performance at all apertures, especially wide open.'
Photozone
4.5/5
5/5
'The Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8 G is an excellent lens. It performs on a very high level in almost any regard, even on the high resolution DX sensor of the Nikon D7000. Sharpness is excellent in the image center straight from the largest aperture, the borders and corners deliver very good resolution wide open and excellent sharpness stopped down.'D7000
Photozone
4.5/5
5/5
'The Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8 G is an excellent lens that performs on a very high level in almost any regard. Sharpness is excellent in the image center straight from the largest aperture, the borders and corners deliver very good resolution wide open and excellent sharpness stopped down.'D3X
ePhotozine
4.5/5
4.5/5
'Image sharpness is excellent where it is needed – in the centre at wide apertures and across the frame when stopped down – the build quality is good and the lightweight design not too much of a burden to be carried around all day. The price may seem a little high compared to the older lens, although that has been heavily discounted to clear the remaining stocks.'D700
Ishootshows.com
'The new 85mm f/1.8G is an excellent lens. Of course, so was its predecessor, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 AF-D. What Nikon offers in this new short telephoto prime is nothing ground breaking or revolutionary – extremely good image quality and overall performance in a price point that won’t break the bank.'
Lenstip
'You can sum up the review of this lens in two ways, according to that old adage: some people see the glass is half empty, others see it half full. The first group will notice that a 1.8/85 lens should differ from a 1.4/85 lens not only in aperture and price. You would wish the cheaper sibling was manufactured equally well, in the same plants and using the same good components. In the case of the Nikkors it is not the case. The slower model is produced in China, not in Japan, using worse parts and less efficient antireflective coatings.'
Camera Labs
'The Nikon 85/1.8G is a very good lens and represents excellent value for money. It's the cheapest 85mm large aperture lens with AF across all Nikon bodies that you can buy and it delivers an image quality that is actually better in some respects than its larger (and 3-4 times pricier) sibling - the Nikon AF-S 85/1.4G. My upcoming Nikkor 85mm shootout will give you the low-down on that.'
Ken Rockwell
5/5
4/5
'If you want an 85mm with incredible ability to blur backgrounds and keep the subject ultrasharp, the extraordinary 85/1.4G is even better than this 85mm G.'
Popphoto
'If you’re a wedding photographer who can deduct the cost of the lens, we say go for the f/1.4. It’s probably better for candle-lit portraits. The rest of us would be very nicely served by this humble, but magnificent, 85mm f/1.8.'
Dxomark
Better Family photos
'Overall I am quite impressed with this lens.'
Ming Thein
'I thought that it would be easy to write a conclusion to this review; it isn’t quite so straightforward. I’m going to turn it around a bit instead'D800E
Neil Van Niekenk
'I would highly recommend this lens for any photographer who wants a portrait lens that can be used wide open with confidence. It is small and light-weight and would barely take up space in your camera bag.'D4


Nikon 600mm f/4G VR

Image quality rating: 90,00%

Overall rating: 87,50%

Main points:
  • VR at best does nothing from a tripod
  • Superb image quality (VR OFF)


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Imagepower
SLRGear
9/10
7.5/10
'A hefty lens with a hefty price tag especially in Europe. Outstanding image quality (VR OFF), especially for back-lit subjects. The new nano coating works. Focuses much closer than the MKI or MKII 600 AFS. AF is blindingly fast, but then it is on the MKI & MKII 600 AFS. The MK I was a revalation 11 years ago!'
Richard Peters Photography
'These shots were actually taken at 850mm as I was using the 1.4x TC which works very well indeed with the 600.'
Richard Peters Photography
'’ve recently got my hands on the Nikon TC-20EIII 2x teleconverter to see how it performs specifically on the 600 and 200-400 VR.'
Ken Rockwell
Fredmiranda.com
10/10
'I bought this lens new about 16 months ago and have used it extensively for wildlife. It has never let me down and has enabled me to capture pictures I could only dream of before. Anyone interested in this lens is already aware of its large size, weight, and price. I don't consider those negatives, just characteristics of this outstanding lens.'


Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G

Image quality rating: 89,63%

Overall rating: 87,27%

Main points:
  • Good resolution performance
  • Beautiful out of focus blur
  • Good resistance to flare and ghosting


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photography Life
'Photographers buy the Nikon 85mm lenses for their beautiful bokeh rendering, colors and sharpness when shooting portraits at large apertures. As you have seen in this review, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G exceeds expectations by beating both the old AF-D version of the lens and the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G at 85mm. It truly is one hell of a lens for portrait photography and the fact that it focuses dead-on at f/1.4 in pretty much any light makes this lens a remarkable tool for professional photographers that work in challenging conditions and need the highest performance they can get from a prime lens. With the exception of AF speed, it beats the Nikon 85mm f/1.4D in every way and the fact that it actually delivers tack sharp images with accurate focus, easily compensates for the AF speed. The Nikon 85mm f/1.4G is certainly an ideal candidate for any kind of portrait photography, where subjects are beautifully isolated from the backgrounds and maximum sharpness of the subject is preserved. Like any other f/1.4 lens, you have to be very careful with focusing, as any movement could cause focus to shift due to depth of field, but the good news is that the lens focuses well and spot on no matter what subject you point it to. I shot in some challenging situations with lots of bright backlight and the lens focused correctly every single time, making photography sessions a joy and delivering outstanding results to our clients.'
Photozone
4/5
4/5
'Nikon has a winner here, the AF-S 85/1.4 performs on a very high level. Sharpness is excellent in the image center at any tested aperture, border and corners follow only slightly behind wide open, reaching excellent resolution stopped down, too. For a portrait lens, this is a quite rare performance characteristic. For the intended usage, portraiture, a lack of sharpness towards the borders and corners usually would not be an issue, but having the extra sharpness available opens up new creative options.'D3X
ePhotozine
4.5/5
4.5/5
'As is often the case, there is much more to how a lens performs than the resolution alone. In this case, Nikon's new 85mm f/1.4 certainly proved itself capable of producing images of very high resolution when stopped down a little. 'D700
Ishootshows.com
'If you’re still reading this and don’t want to buy this lens immediately, I’m really not sure what more I can tell you. The new Nikon 85mm f/1.4G AF-S is a lens that’s filled with awesome, wrapped in amazing, and sprinkled with whoop ass for good measure.'
SLRGear
9.55/10
9.18/10
'There is a lot to like in the new Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.4G. The addition of nano-crystal coating will help to contend with flare issues that were something of an issue with the previous 'D' version of the lens. The new AF-S motor makes focusing a snap: if you want to override autofocus results, just turn the focus ring. Much easier than the manual-auto focus switch on the 'D' version.'D300s, D3X
Lenstip
'If you were a perverse and malicious being, you would start the summary of this test this way: although the Nikkor AF-S 85 mm f/1.4G costs almost 1700 $, it gives us more or less the same the image quality at the maximum relative aperture as the Samyang 1.4/85, which costs about 300 $. What’s more, the aforementioned Samyang corrects chromatic aberration, distortion, coma and vignetting better than the Nikkor and allows us to work with higher precision in the manual mode '
Photoreview
9.3/10
8.5/10
'You need a fast prime lens for portraiture.'
Camera Labs
'Overall contrast is very good even wide open and with very bright backgrounds like sky and snow. Sharpness and micro-contrast is reduced at f1.4 and f2.0 (you have to look at 66% or 100% magnification on your monitor to see it) but only slightly. The performance in this respect is really excellent. '
Ken Rockwell
'The instant, full-time manual focus override is worth the price alone, even if it weren't for the incredible optics which give ultra-sharpness in-focus, and super-soft velvety backgrounds without even trying. This 85/1.4 does all this not just at f/1.4, but also at most apertures.'
Dxomark
Camera Labs
'The pixel-density of the 36MP sensor shows that there are limits to the performance of this lens. But to be fair, that was to be expected: Almost any lens will show flaws wide open on a D800. And we are still talking about a very high level of performance here. Other than that the Nikon 85/1.4G confirmed its excellent resolving power and buttery bokeh of my first review. How it compares to its smaller brother - namely the 85/1.8G (see my Nikon 85/1.8G review) - will be subject to the upcoming 85mm shootout which will not only compare sharpness but also bokeh and other performance-indicators side-by-side to give you a final verdict.'D800
Neil Van Niekenk
'My first impression already is that lens is even better than I anticipated …'


Nikon 300mm f/4D ED-IF AF-S Nikkor

Image quality rating: 85,00%

Overall rating: 91,23%

Main points:
  • Optically clean, sharp and colorful
  • Great Bokeh for portraits, nearly as good as the f2.8 version
  • Does not have VR


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photography Life
'Overall, I’m very pleased with this lens. It would be great if Nikon added VR to the future versions of this lens, but we do have to work with what we have today :) Considering that the lens costs 4 times less than the professional 300mm f/2.8 VR and yet yields almost the same contrast and sharpness, it is a good bargain and is definitely worth getting. It is also an excellent choice for those who like to travel light and want to handhold their lenses for long periods of time.'
byThom
4/5
4/5
'Let me report the good news first. Everything that was wonderful about the old 300mm f/4 seems to remain. I can't see any tangible visual difference between pictures shot with the old and the new version--it's as if Nikon took the optics out of my old lens and installed it in a new body (with a couple of minor changes, that's essentially what they did). Being able to focus to 5 feet (1.45m) is a big performance plus, in my opinion. I see a itsy bitsy amount of sharpness loss in the corners at f/4 with the focused racked all the way to 5 feet, but not enough for me to worry about.'
Nikon Glass
'Today, the AFS 300mm is a very respectable telephoto, offering sharp and contrasty images, fast AF, good reproduction ratio thanks to its minimum focus distance of only 1.45m, and a solid build, though those buying second hand, must be careful of worn out AFS motors, as there are a lot of reports of squealing and faulty AFS motors in this model as well as the AFS 17-35mm zoom. '
Photozone
4/5
4/5
'The Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED is one of the few near-flawless lenses tested so far. The resolution figures are generally excellent and distortions and vignetting are basically negligible. CAs are very well under control. Adding a Nikkor AF-S 1.4x only results in a moderate decrease in resolution (about one school mark). The mechanical quality of the Nikkor is exceptionally high and it was a joy to use this lens in the field. Highly recommended!'D200
SLRGear
10/10
9.67/10
'I've had mine on my camera with a Nikon 1.4 TC (for a 420 mm total) for the best part of a year. (There is no optical penalty with this TC - Lens combo!) It is an absolute joy for birding - although 2.8 would be a lot nicer - and way more expensive. It is also great for macro shots. '
Ken Rockwell
'Try this yourself, since my experience with this lens is limited.'
Fredmiranda.com
9.7/10
'This lens is wonderful (optically) if you can use the focal length. It tracks birds effortlessly (like my beloved Canon 400mm f5.6L lens, which Art Morris called a great birding lens); it takes the TC without obvious degradation in quality but with some loss of AF speed. It is very easy to pack, handle and use for a lens of this size and quality.'
Bjorn Rorslett
4/5


Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D

Image quality rating: 84,94%

Overall rating: 97,47%

Main points:
  • Great Portraits and balance between cost and quality
  • great bokeh and fast auto focus
  • Soft until f/2.8


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Momentcorporation
4/5
5/5
'Quite an astonishing lens, performance is almost at top of the line. The lens outperforms it's price with ease, delivering great results. Contrast is pretty damn good even wide open. I rated this lens for portrait photography, as this is what the lens is more or less made for. I would rate it 4 out of 5 for other types of shooting, the reason for this is quite simple, on a portrait lens it's ok for some softness wide open. From f/2 and to f/8 the lens shows remarkable results. Definitely worth it's price.'D3
Photozone
4.5/5
5/5
'The Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.8 D was a very boring lens during the tests simply because it showed a exceptional performance in all tested categories. Besides the lab results the lens shows a beautiful bokeh (out-of-focus blur). If I had to name a weakness it may be flare in contra light but it is a minor issue in the otherwise very harmonic package. So if you´re looking for a portrait lens or a similar application where you would like to isolate an object from its environment this is an ideal lens. Highly recommended!'D200
Photozone
4/5
5/5
'The Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.8 D performs on a very high level. Sharpness is very good wide open and excellent across the frame stopped down.'D7000
Photozone
4/5
5/5
'So, does it perform better than its faster and more expensive cousins? Well, not quite, there is one property where it falls short: bokeh. The quality of the background blur is not bad, but lower than with most ultra fast portrait primes. If you're after buttery smooth bokeh, this is not your primary choice. For anyone else, though, the lens offers tremendous value for a quite affordable price.'D3X
SLRGear
9.47/10
9.24/10
'The comparison between the 85mm ƒ/1.8 and ƒ/1.4 versions is one of the longest ongoing discussions concerning the Nikon product line. In the final analysis they are dramatically different products, offering results which are difficult to compare. The ƒ/1.8 version offers better corner-to-corner sharpness, but at wider apertures, the ƒ/1.4 offers better central sharpness.'D200, D3


Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D

Image quality rating: 81,47%

Overall rating: 84,25%

Main points:
  • Close focus is 0.85m/ 3.0ft
  • Lens comes with both Depth Of Field and Infrared compensation markings
  • Contrast is sweet even on f/1.4.


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
byThom
4/5
3/5
'The real issue here is value. The f/1.8D is about one-third the cost of the f/1.4D. You obviously lose two-thirds of a stop in light gathering, the question is do you lose anything else? My answer might surprise you. Not nearly as much as the price suggests. Indeed, if anything the f/1.8D is a little sharper wide open than the 1.4D at f/1.8 on my FX bodies. This is especially noticeable in the corners (the f/1.4D may beat the f/1.8D in some apertures in the center, but barely).'
Momentcorporation
4.5/5
4/5
'The reasons I see for picking this lens over the Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D is build quality, Bokeh, and contrast/sharpness wide open. It's definitely a better performer then the 85mm f/1.8D when used wide open(except for the longitudinal CA) It also outperforms the manual focus 85mm f/1.4 AI-S. The build quality of the f/1.4 is just awesome compared to the plastic AF f/1.8D'
Photozone
4/5
4/5
'Finding a verdict for the Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.4D isn't easy. From f/2.8 and up the performance of the lens is superb and neither distortions, CAs nor vignetting are something to worry about. However, at f/1.4 and, to a lesser degree, at f/2 the lens shows a couple of flaws - the border resolution is "only" good, the level of contrast is reduced and the results show a pronounced degree of purple fringing at harsh contrast transitions and longitudinal chromatic aberrations. 'D200
Photozone
2/5
3.5/5
'The Nikkor AF 85mm f/1.4 D delivers very good to excellent sharpness in the image center, is basically free of distortion and produces very creamy and pleasing bokeh. Vignetting is of course visible wide open, but actually well under control for such a large aperture lens. CAs are moderate and usually not field relevant.'D3X
Imagepower
'Being one of the finest jewels both optically and mechanically there is still reason for complaint'
SLRGear
9.88/10
9.5/10
'The 85mm ƒ/1.4D has been a class-leader for many years, and for many portrait photographers, ''the'' go-to lens. It doesn't take much to get outstanding images out of this lens, and if you want to shoot images with razor-thin depth-of-field, or in extremely low-light conditions, this is one of the few ƒ/1.4 options left. But as Nikon introduces technological innovations in its line of pro zoom lenses, die-hard prime lens shooters must be starting to get itchy for some innovation as well. In the final analysis this is the kind of lens that you already know if you're going to buy and just need the reassurance of a test review to help you part with your money. Sign the cheque or swipe the card - the lens is worth it.'D200
Ken Rockwell
'The plastic made-in-China 85/1.8G is Nikon's sharpest by a small margin on the D800, but people buy these for their incredibly pleasant bokeh (out-of-focus backgrounds), for which this f/1.4 AF-D lens is better.'
Fredmiranda.com
9.7/10
'Without a doubt, this is the best portrait lens I've ever used. I also love it for indoor sports such as volleyball or basketball.'
Bjorn Rorslett
5/5
'The only criticism of this lens, apart from its elevated price, is the possible presence of a slight colour fringing in high-contrast objects that are out of focus, given the lens is stopped well down. This results from the IF design used and the same problem occurs to a greater or lesser extent for all IF lenses. Occasionally, if you shoot test charts with the lens wide open, you can observe a reddish tinge to black objects immediately in front of the focus plane, with a greenish cast just behind it. The 200/2 behaves similar.'
Dxomark


Nikon AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED

Image quality rating: 81,43%

Overall rating: 81,80%

Main points:
  • Beautiful bokeh and a very nice outdoor portrait lens
  • Not tack sharp
  • compact sized


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photozone
4/5
3/5
'It was a joy to test drive the AF 180mm f/2.8 IF-ED - it's one of those lenses that harmonized perfectly with the camera. The resolution is generally excellent. Distortions and vignetting are not field relevant. Lateral CAs are well controlled although you may spot purple fringing at times. During the field tests the lens was also capable of delivering outstanding contrast and a nice bokeh (with a bit of bokeh fringing).'D200
Photozone
3.75/5
3.5/5
'The AF-D 180/2.8 performs on a very high level. Center resolution is excellent wide open already, while the borders and corners show very good sharpness throughout most of the tested aperture range. Distortion, CAs and vignetting are well controlled and not field-relevant for most subjects.'D3X
SLRGear
8.93/10
8.44/10
'This lens is another great example of why I'm coming to like primes so much. Besides the fact that they're easier to write about ;-) they just deliver better image quality. This particular 180mm f/2.8 from Nikon also happens to be built like a tank. (If tanks were small and cylindrical, they'd probably look a lot like this.)'D200
Fredmiranda.com
9.6/10
'I got a used one of these to replace my 70-200mm afs vr version I. The bokeh is identical, and it is actually much sharper. Beyond that - the Nikkor 180mm f2.8 AF is smaller, lighter, and less expensive...a win-win-win. I sold off the 70-200'
Bjorn Rorslett
'The AF versions of the 180 mm lens introduced internal focusing (IF) with corresponding change in optical formula. IF makes for effortless focusing, but tends to give some residual colour fringing in the out-of-focus areas. Image sharpness and contrast of the AF lens is excellent, but the plastic barrel makes the lens feel cheap, this in particular holds for the first release of the AF 180 that had an inconveniently narrow focusing ring. The next version came with a hammered surface finish and improved focusing action. Both version carry a sliding sun shade of questionable length and usefulness.'
Dxomark


Nikon 400mm f/2.8D

Image quality rating: 0,00%

Overall rating: 98,00%

Main points:
  • Very Sharp
  • The fastest AF of any Nikon lens I have tried
  • takes 1.4 tc extremely well


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Imagepower
'I agree the AF-S 300 and 500 are a little sharper in the corners'
SLRGear
Fredmiranda.com
9.8/10
'I lusted after one of these for quite some time. I use to shoot Canon and once owned the 400 f/2.8 IS. It was a great lens, but its gone, and I've found a new best friend for shooting football and soccer. I've been using a 200 f/2 and a 300 f/2.8, but nothing reaches out and touches someone like a 400 f/2.8 piece of glass, with an AFS focus engine. The 200 is too short, but for low light situations its a must have. The 300 is great, but its too short for field sports. Yea you could add a TC, but they are hit and miss. I asked alot of questions before I bought this, and got alot of feedback. Some said get a 200-400, others said a 300. With a 200 f/2, a 300 seemed silly, and the 200-400 is f/4 and I can't make it f/2.8. So I took the plunge, and I'm glad I did. Thanks to all who contributed to pushing me in this direction. I guess the only thing better at f/2.8 would be the VR version, but I can't afford that much, but at this point I really don't care! If you can find one of these and its in good shape take the plunge, you won't be sorry. '


Nikon 500mm f/4D ED

Image quality rating: 0,00%

Overall rating: 0,00%

Main points:
  • Optical quality
  • Closest focus over 4 ½ metres


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
ePhotozine
'If you have a good reason for justifying the price of this lens, you will not be disappointed with the results. You will need to mount it on a pro-spec body to extract the best from it, because the autofocus is extremely quick and needs the faster reacting camera to cope with it. With the weight of the lens, combined with the weight and bulk of the carry case, you will need some serious determination in order to get it to the location you are using it in, but the results in the end will probably be worth it.'


Nikon TC 20E III

Image quality rating: 0,00%

Overall rating: 0,00%

Main points:
  • Gives you options
  • Creates less image quality


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Photography Life
'Without a doubt, the new Nikon TC-20E III is a huge improvement over the Nikon TC-20E II. While I have not had a chance to actually test both side-by-side, I have tried using the Nikon TC-20E II in the past and was very disappointed with the results, even when used with fast lenses like Nikon 300mm f/2.8G. As can be seen in the previous pages of this review, the new TC-20E III is capable of producing excellent sharpness and contrast with most fast prime lenses and the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II. Even though the lab tests show that the sharpness is relatively good with slower f/4 lenses, I personally would not recommend using the TC-20E III with any of those, unless you will be heavily stopping down and focusing manually on a tripod. You will need to be careful in selecting the right lens to pair with the TC-20E III. Again, it is one thing to shoot test charts in a controlled environment and completely another to shoot subjects like birds in challenging light. The TC-20E III is not an easy tool to master – it will take some time to get used to and you will have to first learn how to properly use the autofocus system on your camera.'


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