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Nikon Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 ED-IF AI-S Review

Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 AI-S Life Pixel Infrared Conversion

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio


June 2007

This beast of a lens entered the market in 1982, it was the first AI-S 300mm f/2.8 that Nikon made. It was discontinued in 1986, and was replaced by a upgraded version, close focus was changed to 3m, the optics was unchanged. The Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 AI-S was the professional photographers choice for sports and action photography. Fast f/2.8 aperture allows for high shutter speeds in low light situations. The lens features a 360° rotatable tripod mount, which makes it quick and easy to change between horizontal to vertical. The lens also has a focus preset ring. These old lenses have been replaced by AF lenses a long time ago(although Nikon made the later AI-S model un till 2005)


Lens Construction: 8 elements in 6 groups (2 ED)

Picture Angle: 8°10 (35mm)

Minimum focus distance: 4m

Filter Size: 122/39

Lens Hood: built-in

Included accessories: Slip-on front lens cap, rear cap, 39mm L37C filter, Gelatine slip-in filter holder, and case CT-302.

Size and weight: approx 2500g

Diaphragm: 9 straight blades.

price from: $ Discontinued

Price paid: $ 665 USD

Manufacturers web site:


  • Sharp! this lens in unbelievable sharp, even wide open.
  • Contrast.
  • Bokeh, creamy and smooth.
  • Good results with teleconverter's.


  • MF, can be hard tracking moving subjects.
  • Heavy, My usual setup of lenses and cameras weighs about 12kg, add this lens and I'm up to 14.5kg.
  • Minimum focus distance is 4 meters.


An amazing piece of optics, this old work horse still produces great pictures. When you get this good optics for 665 $ you can sit and smile about it. This is simply an incredible lens, with sweet contrast and an amazing sharpness, even wide open. The lens also works great with teleconverters. You can see additional shots with the TC-20E and the Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 AI-S here.

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Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G AF-S ED-IF VR. From $4,999.95 USD

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF. From $1,399.95 USD

*Prices and rebates are subject to change. Listed price is from July 27, 2009

Sample Pictures

Images have been imported to photoshop CS3 through Capture NX 2 thus leaving the original image settings as shot, I. E white balance, sharpening, etc .etc. Full resolution sample images are in RGB color mode. Check out my copyright page for information about usage of these images.

300mm f/2.8 @ 1/1000sec f/2.8
D2H, 300mm f/2.8 @ 1/500sec f/2.8
300mm f/2.8 @ 1/1000sec f/4
D2H, 300mm f/2.8 @ 1/250sec f/4
300mm f/2.8 @ 1/1000sec f/5.3
D2h, 300mm f/2.8 @ 1/125sec f/5.3
300mm f/2.8 @ 1/1000sec f/7.6
D2H, 300mm f/2.8 @ 1/60sec f/7.6
300mm f/2.8 @ 1/1000sec f/11
D2H, 300mm f/2.8 @ 1/30sec f/11
D2h, 300mm f/2.8 @ 1/20sec f/15
300mm f/2.8 @ 1/1000sec f/f/2.8
D200, 300mm f/2.8 @ 1/500sec f/2.8
300mm f/2.8 @ 1/1000sec f/4
D200, 300mm f/2.8 @ 1/640sec f/4
300mm+TC-20E f/2.8 @ 1/1000sec f/5.6
D200, TC-20E + 300mm f/2.8 @ 1/160sec f/5.6
© 2009 Fredrik A. Rasmussen. All rights reserved.