Nikon AF-S 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR Lens

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Nikon has announced its new AF-S 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR lens. The F-Mount FX lens offers a good range at a constant F2.8 aperture.

Key features

  • F-Mount Lens/FX Format
  • Constant f/2.8 Maximum Aperture
  • Fluorite and ED Elements
  • Silent Wave Motor AF System

The design philosophy of the AF-S 120-300mm f/2.8 was speed, reach, and flexibility. The lens features an advanced optical design, quick focusing performance, and a bright f/2.8 constant maximum aperture.

The lens weighs 14.6 oz. (3,250 g) and it has physical dimensions of 5.1 in. (128.0 mm) x 12 in. (303.5 mm).

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Dust- and moisture-resistant magnesium alloy lens barrel allows the lens to be used in inclement conditions.

Optical Design

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Fluorite and extra-low dispersion glass are used throughout the optical layout to effectively suppress a variety of aberrations for improved clarity, sharpness, and color accuracy throughout the zoom range.

One ED glass element, two Fluorite lens elements and a newly developed SR (Short-wavelength Refractive) lens element work together. In addition, ghosting and flare are effectively minimized through the application of innovative ARNEO and Nano Crystal Coats, for sharp, clear images even when a light source is in the frame.

Designed for use with FX image sensors, this 120-300mm lens is also compatible with DX sensors where it will provide a 180-450mm equivalent focal length range.

The constant f/2.8 maximum aperture offers consistent illumination throughout the zoom range and benefits working in available lighting conditions as well as offers improved control over depth of field.

VR

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The 120-300mm includes a Vibration Reduction image stabilization system that compensates for camera shake to enable sharper handheld shooting. A Silent Wave Motor is claimed to provide quiet autofocus performance along with full-time manual focus override. A designated Sport Mode is well-suited to working in fast-paced conditions and a Tripod Mode helps to suppress subtle ground vibrations when working atop a support system.

Additionally, a rotating tripod collar is featured to assist working with a support system and this lens utilizes an electromagnetic diaphragm to ensure consistent exposure stability when shooting at fast continuous speeds.

Auto Focus

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The lens is claimed to offer prime-rivaling AF performance. AF performance is paramount when photographing athletes and other fast moving subjects at a distance. A newly-enhanced AF servo drive provides optimal autofocus power, resulting in incredibly accurate subject tracking, even for subjects that erratically change speed, for pro dependability shot after shot.

Focus range limiter allows you to constrict the focus system to a 19.7′ to infinity range for faster focusing performance Assignable Function buttons can be used for lens-based activation of AF/AE Lock modes or for switching between different AF Area Modes.

Competition

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Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Nikon F

Direct competition comes the form of the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Nikon F. It has the same constant aperture, same range, and it is considerably cheaper at $3,099 USD.

Specifications

Mount TypeNikon F-Bayonet
Focal Length Range120mm to 300mm
ApertureConstant F2.8
Lens Elements25
Lens Groups19
VR (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization Yes
Lens shift using voice coil motors (VCMs)
Diaphram Blades9
Internal FocusingYes
Minimum Focus Distance6.56 ft. (2.0 m) from focal plane at all zoom positions
Filter Size112mm
Compatible with Nikon AF-S TeleconvertersYes

Price & Availability

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The Nikon AF-S 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR isn’t a lens for the average shooter, especially given the cost of owning one is going to set you back $9,496.95 USD. The lens will start shipping at the beginning of February.

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