Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm F/2.8D IF-ED II

Super telephoto prime lens • Pro • Film era • Discontinued

Abbreviations

AF-S The lens is equipped with Silent Wave Motor.
D The lens relays subject-to-camera distance information to the camera.
IF The lens incorporates internal focusing.
ED The lens incorporates low dispersion elements.
II Second generation.

Production details

Announced:February 2001
Production type:Mass production
Production status: Discontinued
Original name:Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm 1:2.8 D II ED
System:Nikon F (1959)

Model history (10)

Nikon AI NIKKOR 300mm F/2.8 ED-IFA8 - 64m⌀122 1977 
Nikon AI-S NIKKOR 300mm F/2.8 ED-IFA8 - 64m⌀122 1982 
Nikon AI-S NIKKOR 300mm F/2.8 ED-IFA8 - 63m-- 1986 
Nikon AF NIKKOR 300mm F/2.8 ED-IF [I]A8 - 63m-- 1986 
Nikon AF NIKKOR 300mm F/2.8 ED-IF [II]A8 - 63m-- 1988 
Nikon AF-I NIKKOR 300mm F/2.8D ED-IFA11 - 92.5m-- 1992 
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm F/2.8D IF-EDA11 - 82.5m-- 1996 
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm F/2.8D IF-ED IIA11 - 82.3m-- 2001 
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm F/2.8G ED-IF VRA11 - 82.3m-- 2004 
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm F/2.8G ED VR IIA11 - 82.3m-- 2009 

Features highlight

Fast
3
ED
IF
9 blades
SWM
MFO
Focus limiter
Drop-in filters
TC

Specification

Optical design
Focal length:300mm
Speed:F/2.8
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Nikon F [46.5mm]
Diagonal angle of view:8.2°
Lens construction:11 elements - 8 groups
3 ED
Internal focusing (IF)
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Automatic
Aperture control:Aperture ring (Manual settings + Auto Exposure setting)
Number of blades:9 (nine)
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:2.3m [AF]
2.2m [MF]
Maximum magnification ratio:1:6.4 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing modes:Autofocus, manual focus
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Autofocus motor:Silent Wave Motor
Focus mode selector:M/A - M - A
Manual focus override in autofocus mode:Yes
Focusing distance range limiter:FULL;2.3-8;6-
Vibration Reduction (VR)
Built-in VR:-
Physical characteristics
Weight:2560g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀124×268.5mm
Weather sealing:-
Fluorine coating:-
Accessories
Filters:Removable front filters are not accepted
Additional features:Drop-in filter holder (52mm)
Lens hood:Slip-on HK-26 (round)
Teleconverters:Nikon AF-I Teleconverter TC-14E → 420mm F/3.9
Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II → 420mm F/3.9
Nikon Teleconverter TC-14B → 420mm F/3.9
Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E II → 510mm F/4.8
Nikon AF-I Teleconverter TC-20E → 600mm F/5.6
Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E II → 600mm F/5.6
Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III Aspherical → 600mm F/5.6
Nikon Teleconverter TC-300 → 600mm F/5.6
Nikon Teleconverter TC-301 → 600mm F/5.6

*) Source of data: Manufacturer's technical data.

35mm equivalent focal length and speed (on APS-C cameras)

In terms of FoV & DoF
Camera series [Crop factor] Focal length SpeedMax MR Dia. angle of view
Nikon D APS-C [1.53x] 459mm F/4.31:4.18 5.4°

Manufacturer description

MELVILLE, N.Y., Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Nikon, the leader in precision optics, 35mm and digital imaging technology, today introduced the AF-S Nikkor(R) 300mm f/2.8D ED-IF II, a high-performance, compact and lightweight telephoto lens that offers superior optical performance and fast autofocus operation. Weighing only 5.6 pounds, the lens is one pound lighter than its predecessor, making it the lightest 300mm f/2.8 lens available (as of February 2001). Further, its minimum focusing distance of 7.5 feet is 2.5 feet closer than the AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8D ED-IF. The AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8D ED-IF II exemplifies Nikon's commitment to provide the most demanding photographers with cutting-edge technology. The lens' extremely fast autofocus, small size and lightweight make it ideal for fast-action and sports photography, photojournalism and nature photography.

"The AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8D ED-IF II was designed with the photojournalist and sports photographer in mind. The lens incorporates magnesium alloy parts which significantly reduces its weight," said Richard LoPinto, vice president, SLR Camera Systems, Nikon Inc. "At only 5.6 pounds, it increases photographer's maneuverability and decreases the fatigue associated with working with fast telephoto lenses."

Autofocus performance is optimized with the use of Nikon 35mm and digital SLR cameras, including F5(R), F4(R), F100(TM), N90(R)s, N90(TM), N80(TM), N70(TM), N65(TM), Pronea(TM) 6I, Pronea(TM) S 35mm SLR models, and the Nikon D1(TM) and new D1X(TM) and D1H(TM) professional digital SLR models. The lens is compatible with all other Nikon SLR models featuring the Nikon F lens mount for manual focusing operation. With the addition of the AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8D ED-IF II to Nikon's Total Imaging System, photographers can now choose from eight AF-S Nikkor lenses featuring Silent Wave Motors for a wide variety of shooting situations. Nikon's Professional Total Imaging System, which together with world-class Nikkor optics, Speedlights, System Accessories and Nikon Professional Services Support, present a complete system that has time-proven its durability and performance.

The AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8D ED-IF II is an extremely fast focusing lens. Its Silent Wave Motor design, Internal Focusing system and advanced M/A mode combine to compliment Nikon's Multi-Cam 1300 Autofocus Sensor with five-segment detection featured in Nikon's pro models. The combination provides photographers with extremely fast and very accurate autofocus performance. Autofocus performance is further enhanced as the lens/camera combination performs with Dynamic AF and Focus Tracking with Lock-On(TM).

Generally, lenses are described with regard to the sharpness of the image they produce, with little comment about the portions of an image that make up the "out-of-focus" part of the picture. While concentrating on achieving superb focused image sharpness, Nikon engineers also pay special attention to the out-of-focus portion. They recognize that the impression of sharpness is augmented by the viewer's perception of the sharp parts of the picture contrasting with the out-of-focus portion. This aspect of design plays a role in the full development of the optical formula, and also in the design of the lens' aperture. For this and many other Nikkor lenses, the aperture features more blades than typically offered, thus making the aperture more circular and the appearance of out-of-focus highlights more natural and pleasing. It is such attention to detail that makes Nikkor optics stand out.

The Silent Wave Motor does not have a gear transmission, so there is virtually no noise coming from the lens focusing, as compared to gear-type lens driving systems. A CPU (Central Processing Unit) built into the lens provides communication between the lens and the camera body for exposure compatibility with all of the exposure control systems in compatible camera models. The lens' distance signal delivers information to the camera for enhanced exposure calculations.

Three ED glass elements in the lens provide higher resolution and superior contrast for greater sharpness and color correction. ED glass is critical for minimizing chromatic aberration in telephoto lenses and in lenses with large apertures. To enhance the performance of the lens elements, the AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8D ED-IF II employs Nikon's Super Integrated Coating to help reduce ghost and flare to negligible levels while enhancing color balance. In addition, the nine-blade diaphragm produces images with more natural looking highlights and sharper details.

The lens' IF (Internal Focusing) system keeps the lens design compact and better balanced to ensure fast AF operation and closer focusing distance. The IF design enables the lens to be both auto and manually focused without the lens changing size. The result is precise handling throughout the focusing range, from 7.5 feet to infinity. The lens' close focusing distance allows photographers to capture brilliantly detailed close-ups. The lens works with the Nikon AF-I Teleconverter TC-14E, enabling 420mm super-telephoto photography.

The advanced M/A mode lets the photographer switch quickly from automatic to manual focusing, even during AF servo operation, with virtually no time lag or power usage. This mode is especially important for instances when the photographer needs to focus the lens manually. Manual focusing operates without need for battery power, conserving battery performance for other camera functions.

The Nikon AF-S 300mm f/2.8D ED-IF II lens is offered in black and light gray and features a Ballistic Nylon Lens Case CL-L1 that is dust and water resistant. The lens will be available in March 2001.

From the editor

During 2001 Nikon introduced their second generation of long fast AF-S lenses, including this 300mm f2.8. All have reduced weight and closer minimum focus distances. Optically this lens leaves absolutely nothing to be desired, and is without doubt one of the best Nikkor of its type. Cosmetically the lens has a new smoother finish to the outer surface of the lens barrel and a different pattern on the rubberized grips of the focus ring.

Typical application

Class:

Fast full-frame super telephoto prime lens • Professional model

Professional model

  • Combination of focal length and speed meets professional demands
  • Silent Wave Motor
  • Compatible with teleconverters

Missing features (2):

Weather sealing • Fluorine coating

Genres or subjects of photography (4):

Distant subjects • Distant landscapes with perspective compression effect • Sports • Wild nature

Recommended slowest shutter speed when shooting static subjects handheld:

1/320th of a second

Alternatives in the Nikon F system

///// Sorted by focal length and speed, in ascending order /////

Lenses with similar focal length and speed

///// Sorted by manufacturer name /////

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2

Silent Wave Motor

Silent Wave Motor is available in variants with or without a gear system. Nikon never specifies which variant is used in a particular lens, however, in budget models, as a rule, gear-type Silent Wave Motor is used, without manual focus override in autofocus mode. This can be assumed by the presence of the A - M switch on the lens barrel, instead of M/A - M.

Focusing distance range limiter

The lens features focusing distance range limiter which allows to choose between the following focusing distance ranges:

FULLFull range of focusing distances.
2.3m - 8mRange of focusing distances suitable for shooting nearby subjects.
6m - ∞Range of focusing distances suitable for shooting distant subjects.

By setting the suitable focusing distance range, the actual autofocusing time can be shorter.

M/A - M - A

M/AAutofocus mode that allows switching to manual focus with virtually no time lag - even during autofocus servo operation and regardless of autofocus mode in use.
MManual focus mode.
AAutofocus mode without manual override.

Drop-in filter holder

A drop-in filter holder with a neutral filter comes with the lens. The holder accepts 52mm filters. The filter holder must be always in place because the filter is a part of the lens optical system.

Aspherical elements

Aspherical elements (ASPH, XA, XGM) are used in wide-angle lenses for correction of distortion and in large-aperture lenses for correction of spherical aberration, astigmatism and coma, thus ensuring excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. The effect of the aspherical element is determined by its position within the optical formula: the more the aspherical element moves away from the aperture stop, the more it influences distortion; close to the aperture stop it can be particularly used to correct spherical aberration. Aspherical element can substitute one or several regular spherical elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Use of aspherical elements has its downsides: it leads to non-uniform rendering of out-of-focus highlights. This effect usually appears as "onion-like" texture of concentric rings or "wooly-like" texture and is caused by very slight defects in the surface of aspherical element. It is difficult to predict such effect, but usually it occurs when the highlights are small enough and far enough out of focus.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Canon's Super UD, Nikon's Super ED, Pentax' Super ED, Sigma's FLD ("F" Low Dispersion), Sony' Super ED and Tamron's XLD glasses are the highest level low dispersion glasses available with extremely high light transmission. These optical glasses have a performance equal to fluorite glass.

High-refraction low-dispersion elements

High-refraction low-dispersion elements (HLD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

High Index, High Dispersion elements

High Index, High Dispersion elements (HID) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Anomalous partial dispersion elements

Anomalous partial dispersion elements (AD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Fluorite elements

Synthetic fluorite elements (FL) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. Compared with optical glass, fluorite lenses have a considerably lower refraction index, low dispersion and extraordinary partial dispersion, and high transmission of infrared and ultraviolet light. They are also significantly lighter than optical glass.

According to Nikon, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens' refractive index. To avoid this, Canon, as the manufacturer most widely using fluorite in its telephoto lenses, never uses fluorite in the front and rear lens elements, and the white coating is applied to the lens barrels to reflect light and prevent the lens from overheating.

Short-wavelength refractive elements

High and specialized-dispersion elements (SR) refract light with wavelengths shorter than that of blue to achieve highly precise chromatic aberration compensation. This technology also results in smaller and lighter lenses.

Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics

Organic Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics material (BR Optics) placed between convex and concave elements made from conventional optical glass provides more efficient correction of longitudinal chromatic aberrations in comparison with conventional technology.

Diffraction elements

Diffraction elements (DO, PF) cancel chromatic aberrations at various wavelengths. This technology results in smaller and lighter lenses in comparison with traditional designs with no compromise in image quality.

High refractive index elements

High refractive index elements (HR, HRI, XR etc) minimize field curvature and spherical aberration. High refractive index element can substitute one or several regular elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Apodization element

Apodization element (APD) is in fact a radial gradient filter. It practically does not change the characteristics of light beam passing through its central part but absorbs the light at the periphery. It sort of softens the edges of the aperture making the transition from foreground to background zone very smooth and results in very attractive, natural looking and silky smooth bokeh.

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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Fixed focus

There is no helicoid in this lens and everything is in focus from the closest focusing distance to infinity.

Internal focusing (IF)

Conventional lenses employ an all-group shifting system, in which all lens elements shift during focusing. The IF system, however, shifts only part of the optics during focusing. The advantages of the IF system are:

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/2.8 on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Automatic aperture control

For Programmed Auto or Shutter-priority Auto shooting, lock the lens aperture at its minimum value.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Teleconverters

Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.