Author Topic: Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR Lens announced, with the D6.  (Read 14099 times)

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR Lens announced, with the D6.
« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2020, 15:02:02 »
Oh dear. Another highly tempting Nikkor.

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR Lens announced, with the D6.
« Reply #46 on: March 05, 2020, 13:17:19 »
Oh dear. Another highly tempting Nikkor.

Perhaps a review would be possible to evaluate those temptations? ;-)

I think it's amazing that they are able to make a zoom that has higher MTF at 300mm f/2.8 than the 300/2.8 VR II which in itself is at the top of the list for image quality among lenses of its kind (according to tests such as lenscore and dxomark). It's understandable that the zoom is heavier given the 25 elements and zoom mechanism. The front also seems to be packed with some large lens elements. I imagine the weight reduction from a barrel structure and material redesign would be relatively small given the large volume of optical elements in the lens. In a 400/2.8 or 600/4, if there is only one large front element, the barrel weight must be a significant part of the whole.

However, as the new zoom lens is 9000+ EUR it requires some commitment of funds to purchase. I would personally prefer a 300mm f/2.8 E FL SR VR prime at a lower price point, shorter physical length and lighter weight. I currently mainly use the 200/2 II for sports and 500/5.6 PF for wildlife. A 120-300/2.8 would be great to have but I believe it would be more difficult to handle than the 200/2 (which is much shorter, though front heavy). I hope to have a chance to try the zoom out some time to see if it would be possible to hand hold it. I never really got used to monopods and either use a tripod or hand hold, most of the time. I guess if I were to purchase the 120-300, I would need to use a monopod.

chambeshi

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LensRentals dissection and testing - confirms this an impressive optic - not least, confirming: "First, like every law, Roger’s Law that Zooms Are Never as Good as Primes has at least one very expensive exception. At one of its focal lengths. This zoom is ‘prime good’ at 300mm." ie compared against the 300mm f2.8G VRII

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2020/05/a-peak-inside-the-af-s-nikkor-120-300mm-f2-8-fl-ed-sr-vr/
"The lens is well built in the old, classic Nikon F way. Obviously, we don’t think that’s pretty, and it’s not fun to work on. But it’s been an effective method of manufacturing for decades. The moving parts are solid, the chassis and assembly are solid, the weather resistance is as good as anything, maybe better."

MTF testing of a single copy against Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 at 300mm: "...the Nikkor is significantly better than the Sigma. The Sigma, BTW, is a really good lens, so the Nikkor is just awesome...the Nikkor is significantly better than the Sigma. The Sigma, BTW, is a really good lens, so the Nikkor is just awesome...Again, I want to remind you this is just one lens. Whether other copies will behave this way, I have no clue yet. This one is great at 300mm, not so great at 200mm, and really good at 120mm, although not quite as good as at 300mm."

compare LR tests to Nikon's MTF curves: - https://www.nikon-image.com/products/nikkor/fmount/af-s_nikkor_120-300mm_f28e_fl_ed_sr_vr/spec.html

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Frank Fremerey

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You're right, yes the 45 and 85 doesn't have the problems that exist on the 24. That (likely fake) Z "leaked roadmap" did show a 135mm/1.8 S lens. I'm 80% sure that roadmap is fake though.
I wouldn't really fancy a 135/4 PC-Micro-Nikkor unless is goes to 1:1 and it's able to beat the printing-nikkor 105mm at 1:1. But then, it will likely cost a lot and become a one-trick-pony, as I don't do any portrait stuff. It's definitely too long for food (for me) while travelling, don't want to grab too much weird stares when I snap a food pic.

The 19mm PC-Nikkor however has superior mechanical control compared to both the 45 and 85. I sold my 85mm due to the annoying LoCA and somewhat quirky FL. I like to take photos of food and landscapes when I'm out wandering, I like close-ups as well. The 24 while being great for landscapes and close-ups, it's too wide for food.
Downward tilt, bit too wide.


I am actually considering the last "latest" PC-E Nikkor I've yet to own, the 45mm. It should be wide enough for landscapes, it's marked as a micro-nikkor, and 45 FL should be great for food. I'm not sure if it has the same LOCA issues found on the 85 however, hopefully not! 

great POP in this food shot. I would even contemplate to eat the pizza ... hahaha!!!
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Erik Lund

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Wow, that is one fine lens! and yes agree, funny old school Nikon design for a new zoom ;)
Erik Lund

chambeshi

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Re: Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR Lens announced, with the D6.
« Reply #50 on: July 22, 2020, 15:54:42 »
Many of us, including me, will not be buying this lens. However it is interesting to read these recent field tests by Brad Hill. They testify to the excellence achieved by the Nikon engineers with their top end optics (including QC etc), and optimizing image quality with teleconverters. These are comparisons include top quality primes using TC14 III:

scroll down to 20 July: http://www.naturalart.ca/artist/fieldtests/fieldtest_Nikkor_120-300.html#120-300_Wrap-up

short summary: " The Nikkor 120-300 f2.8E is EXCELLENT when shot with the TC-14EIII at 420mm: While I anticipated good optical performance of the Nikkor 120-300mm f2.8E/TC-14EIII combination, I did not expect it to be THIS good! At 420mm it outpaced both the Nikkor 300mm f2.8G VRII plus TC-14EIII (a combination many owners of the 300mm f2.8G swear by) and the Nikkor 180-400mm f4E with its built-in TC engaged. And, at 400mm it tied Nikkor 180-400mm f4E (shot without its TC engaged) in optical performance...which is really quite remarkable."

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MILLIREHM

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Re: Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR Lens announced, with the D6.
« Reply #51 on: July 22, 2020, 22:24:18 »
Thanks for the link and the summary
short summary: " The Nikkor 120-300 f2.8E is EXCELLENT when shot with the TC-14EIII at 420mm: While I anticipated good optical performance of the Nikkor 120-300mm f2.8E/TC-14EIII combination, I did not expect it to be THIS good! At 420mm it outpaced both the Nikkor 300mm f2.8G VRII plus TC-14EIII (a combination many owners of the 300mm f2.8G swear by) and the Nikkor 180-400mm f4E with its built-in TC engaged. And, at 400mm it tied Nikkor 180-400mm f4E (shot without its TC engaged) in optical performance...which is really quite remarkable."

It seems no wonder that  If the 120-300 mm is better than the 300 mm prime it is better with TC-14EIII as well. That it was able to outpace the 180-400 (I am considering to aquire) even without TC is indeed remarkable. Seems that the 180-400 needs an SR-update (which is not likely to come at all).
Wolfgang Rehm

Roland Vink

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Re: Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR Lens announced, with the D6.
« Reply #52 on: July 22, 2020, 23:33:16 »
Thanks for the link and the summary
It seems no wonder that  If the 120-300 mm is better than the 300 mm prime it is better with TC-14EIII as well. That it was able to outpace the 180-400 (I am considering to aquire) even without TC is indeed remarkable. Seems that the 180-400 needs an SR-update (which is not likely to come at all).
The 180-400 was only outpaced when the inbuilt TC was engaged to increase the reach to 420mm (in other words, zoomed to 300mm with 1.4x TC in place). Probably not a fair comparison. At 400mm without the TC the 180-400 the performance is equivalent. Brad Hill also rates the 180-400 extremely highly. In his blog http://www.naturalart.ca/voice/blog.html he writes:

I can honestly say that from an optical perspective the 180-400 is one of the most "solid" lenses I have ever owned - at every aperture, every focal length (including those accessed only by engaging the built-in 1.4x teleconverter), and at all camera-to-subject distances, this lens delivers stunning edge-to-edge sharpness. And note that when I say that optically it is "...one of the most "solid" lenses I have ever owned"

If the 180-400 focal length suits you better than 120-300, I don't think you need to hesitate about the quality.

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR Lens announced, with the D6.
« Reply #53 on: July 23, 2020, 09:42:41 »
If the 180-400 focal length suits you better than 120-300, I don't think you need to hesitate about the quality.

I also think so. Moose Peterson had some aviation images and other examples made with the 180-400 in his review in the Nikon Owner magazine and I was very impressed with the quality of the printed images. 

MILLIREHM

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Re: Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR Lens announced, with the D6.
« Reply #54 on: July 23, 2020, 10:12:39 »

If the 180-400 focal length suits you better than 120-300, I don't think you need to hesitate about the quality.

You are perfectly right. The 180-400s image quality appears to be superb so  the quality differences are of no practical relevance. (I'd like to have them both ;-) ). With a more practical approach the range of the 180-400 mm suits my needs better, and the built in TC gives more versatility for fast switches. Still considering wether it is promising enough to upgrade from my 200-400, and would need to get together the money.
Wolfgang Rehm

chambeshi

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Re: Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR Lens announced, with the D6.
« Reply #55 on: July 23, 2020, 11:10:18 »
There are quite a few options to get to 400mm and/or 600mm in the Nikon system. Cost is the big filter, but these two new tele-zooms open up choices even among the "exotics"

Brad Hill has just added his tests using TC2E III on the 120-300 f2.8E SR.  As expected, the image sharpness is penalized but mainly at closer distances. However, it is most impressive for a zoom+teleconverter to read: "In my experience the prime super-telephoto that pairs up best with the TC-20EIII is the Nikkor 400mm f2.8 (both G and E versions). I believe the Nikkor 120-300mm f2.8E pairs up just as well with the TC-20EIII - which is nothing short of amazing."

http://www.naturalart.ca/artist/fieldtests/fieldtest_Nikkor_120-300.html#120-300_2xTeleconverter
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MFloyd

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Re: Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR Lens announced, with the D6.
« Reply #56 on: July 23, 2020, 16:55:01 »
Wonderful lens. But the 120-300 range is not very suitable for my sport activity. For indoor sport should be just the right choice. In mid 2019 I tried to purchase the 180-400 TC, but unavailable. I replaced this with the “poor man’s version” i.e. the 70-200E FL mm with TC 2.0, together with the 500mm f/5.6E PF; which makes a flexible combo, being still lighter and cheaper.

But despite the foregoing, I will ask if I can borrow one from NPS for a fortnight. You never know.  ;)
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MILLIREHM

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Re: Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR Lens announced, with the D6.
« Reply #57 on: July 23, 2020, 20:08:22 »
Brad Hill has just added his tests using TC2E III on the 120-300 f2.8E SR.  As expected, the image sharpness is penalized but mainly at closer distances. However, it is most impressive for a zoom+teleconverter to read: "In my experience the prime super-telephoto that pairs up best with the TC-20EIII is the Nikkor 400mm f2.8 (both G and E versions). I believe the Nikkor 120-300mm f2.8E pairs up just as well with the TC-20EIII - which is nothing short of amazing."

I can confirm that the TC20EIII is surprisingly good combined with the 400/2,8 E (different to a lot of other superteles). I wonder how closethe 120-300 mm is to the 400/2,8 IQ wise.

Wolfgang Rehm

golunvolo

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Re: Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR Lens announced, with the D6.
« Reply #58 on: July 24, 2020, 01:09:53 »
Wonderful lens. But the 120-300 range is not very suitable for my sport activity. For indoor sport should be just the right choice. In mid 2019 I tried to purchase the 180-400 TC, but unavailable. I replaced this with the “poor man’s version” i.e. the 70-200E FL mm with TC 2.0, together with the 500mm f/5.6E PF; which makes a flexible combo, being still lighter and cheaper.

But despite the foregoing, I will ask if I can borrow one from NPS for a fortnight. You never know.  ;)
Indeed, it will be an excellent choice for stage too. I'm thinking a ff and dx bodies, with 70 200 and 100-300.Ahhh...will see