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Adding a f/2.8 Telephoto Lens

For those looking to add a telephoto lens to their collection, one of the Nikkor Nikon lenses in the f/2.8 300mm lineup may be just what they need. These lenses allow a photographer to be quite far away from his or her subject matter, and are therefore a useful addition to any photographer's lens portfolio.

Which Types of Technology Are Present on This Line of Lenses?

This type of Nikon lens saw a deal of change, with certain models being solely manual focus, others having vibration reduction, and still others having totally different pieces of technology inside of them.

  • The very first 300mm f/2.8 ED lens was a bit slow due to its traditional unit focusing, as well as its manual diaphragm. However, camera technology has come a long way since 1971, and over time, these lenses have been continually improved.
  • The first autofocus (AF) version of this lens was the 300mm f/2.8 IF-ED, which had a hole drilled in the side for a screw-type autofocus. This AF was still quite slow, but saw improvements over time.
  • The 300mm f/2.8 VR was the first lens of this type to add vibration reduction. Vibration reduction tries to compensate for any camera shake that may occur.

What Is the Advantage of 300mm?

The demarcation 300mm refers to the focal length of the lens. Because DSLR and SLR lenses come in all types of focal ranges and lengths, it's important to know what the advantages are of this particular length.

  • The 300mm is a very large focal length for a camera lens. For comparison, consider that the typical kit lens is usually 18-55mm, making 300mm almost four times the maximum focal length of these lenses.
  • The 300mm is in the telephoto range. Telephoto lenses compress the image, filling the frame edge-to-edge, and reduce depth of field.
  • While there are telephoto zoom lenses, like the 70-200mm zoom lenses, this lens is a prime lens, meaning it has a fixed focal distance set at 300mm. The advantage of this is that it is takes very sharp photographs when compared to a zoom lens, even when not using a professional-grade lens.

What Is the Advantage of f/2.8?

The measurement f/2.8 refers to the maximum aperture of which this lens is capable. In general, telephoto lenses have higher aperture values, making this lineup quite unique, as f/2.8 still allows the aperture to be quite open.

  • An advantage to this large aperture is that it lets in more light, meaning that the photographer can shoot with a faster shutter speed and a lower ISO number.
  • Another advantage is that f/2.8 can still provide some depth of field. Whether shooting on an SLR or a DSLR, on a manual lens or an AF-S lens, a 300mm lens always compresses the foreground and background. A lower f-stop can mitigate this, if it is not what the photographer desires.