Saturday, 25 November 2017

300mm f/2.8

I've always wanted a large prime lens (300mm f/2.8 or 400/500mm f/4) but, sadly, have never been able to afford one; for starters brand new copies of the latest ones cost as much as my car and the secondhand VR ones command hefty prices as well. I was in town this morning and as I passed the local camera shop I had my customary glance in the window. Normally the shop hasn't got anything I'm interested in (I usually have to go to Southampton for that, or browse the fabulous MPB Photographic) but I always look anyway and today I saw a Nikon 300mm f/2.8 AF-S for sale. I went in, tried it out, found myself handing over my credit card when I shouldn't have and left the shop with an old, well-used-but-perfectly-functional 300mm f/2.8.

As it's about 4 iterations ago, it's an AF-S (I) and has no VR, it's hard to handhold (more so on my D500 which is an APS-C) but I'll try it on a tripod at some point and see what I get. So far I've aimed it at the cat, dog, bird feeders (never a bird to be seen when you need one) and the Moon.

I'm looking forward to trying it out properly and, hopefully, it will do until I can afford a VR version. It's a bit cosmetically shabby but the AF motor, optics and aperture mechanism all seem in good shape. These old primes were built to last - a feeling I don't get with my 200-500 as, despite that being a great lens, the build quality is plasticky - so, although this one is at least 16 years old, I hope it will last me for a while. The AF motor is the only thing that would concern me as I don't think Nikon makes the parts for these any more, but if the worst happens, I'd just have to use manual focus.

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