I’m currently testing the new Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II and doing as much bird photography as possible to see how it performs in various situations, especially with teleconverters. I received it a couple of weeks ago, but my schedule went hectic and I have not received the new Nikon TC-20E III, which I really wanted to test this lens with. The Nikon TC-20E III is nowhere to be found at the moment and I was able to get a copy by renting it through LensRentals.com for now. I also needed the TC-20E III to complete my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II review and wanted to test it with all of my telephoto lenses after hearing so much about its great performance. The TC-20E III is arriving at the end of this week, so I am planning to get out and shoot as much as possible during the weekend and next week.
So far, I’m in love with the Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II. It is so sharp and full of contrast, that I don’t even see a reason to shoot it without teleconverters. The Nikon TC-14E II is unnoticeable on it and the Nikon TC-17E II performance is just superb – that’s what I have been shooting with and I am more than impressed with this setup. The TC-17E II makes the Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II a 510mm lens and the new VR system helps me keep the lens stable while hand-holding it. I do not have an arca-swiss mount for the lens yet, so I have not used a tripod once so far – only hand-held shots.
This super cute fur-ball is a fledgling burrowing owl chick. My presence did not scare him and he just sat there watching me as I got closer with the 300mm to take his pictures. Like I’ve said in my Raptor Photography article, finding YAS (Young and Stupid) birds works great for bird photography. They are so curious, that they will let you get really close, as in the above example. Shot this video with VR on, hand-held:
And here he is in flight, after getting scared from a tractor that was loudly passing by at sunset:
Here is a shot of a flycatcher to show you the sharpness of the Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II with TC-17E II (1.7x TC):
One more sample (flycatcher chick):
The Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II lens review is coming soon!