Summaries (click each for fuill reviews)
1964-1969: 300mm f/4.5 NIKKOR-P
Nikon's first 300mm SLR lens was the f/4.5 NIKKOR-P.
It had 5 elements (P = Penta = 5) and had very strong lateral color fringes, visible even on 35mm film.
1969-1998: 300mm f/4.5 NIKKOR-H to AI-s
Nikon updated the design to six elements in the 300mm f/4.5 NIKKOR-H (H = Hexa = 6), which greatly improved the optics.
Coatings vary somewhat by era; multicoating came along in in the 1970s.
Nikon made many different mechanical versions of this lens from 1969 through 1998 and they all share the same very good optics.
Its optics are far superior to to previous NIKKOR-P.
1977-1979: 300mm f/4.5 NIKKOR-ED
The 300mm f/4.5 ED added ED glass for supposed reduction in secondary chromatic aberration, but since the earlier lenses were so good, it doesn't make that much of an improvement.
Thus this lens wasn't very popular; it cost more than the earlier version but didn't do much different.
1978-1999: 300mm f/4.5 NIKKOR- ED-IF
The 3 300mm f/4.5 ED-IF is a completely different lens form the previous models.
The ED-IF adds internal focussing, and in doing that, made the lens the smallest and lightest 300mm yet, and let it focus much closer.
Better, instead of the whole lens having to rack in and out to focus, all you do is flick a small focus ring.
1987-2000: 300mm f/4 AF
The 300mm f/4 AF (1987 - 2000) has even better optics, and adds autofocus.
It is built like a tank, and has slow autofocus speed to match. You have to move two switches to get from auto to manual focus.
2000-present: 300mm f/4 AF-S
The 300mm f/4 AF-S adds ultra fast autofocus with instant manual focus override.
2015-present: 300mm f/4 PF VR
The 300mm f/4 PF uses a Fresnel element for less weight. It's the same idea as Canon's DO lenses, which also use Fresnel elements.
Fresnel elements have been used for hundreds of years in lighthouse condensers.
It's also Nikon's first 300mm f/4 or f/4.5 lens with Vibration Reduction.
This is the smallest 300mm ever, and it weighs only half as much as the others!
Help me help you top
I support my growing family through this website, as crazy as it might seem.
The biggest help is when you use any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. These places have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.
If you find this
page as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may
have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.
If you've gotten your gear through one of my links or helped otherwise, you're family. It's great people like you who allow me to keep adding to this site full-time. Thanks!
If you haven't helped yet, please do, and consider helping me with a gift of $5.00.
As this page is copyrighted and formally registered, it is unlawful to make copies, especially in the form of printouts for personal use. If you wish to make a printout for personal use, you are granted one-time permission only if you PayPal me $5.00 per printout or part thereof. Thank you!
Thanks for reading!
Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.
Home Donate New Search Gallery Reviews How-To Books Links Workshops About Contact