Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm F4 IF-ED Review


The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED, introduced in 2000, used Nikon’s most advanced Silent Wave Motor at the time. The failure rate of the Silent Wave Motor was relatively high. As a result, the motor of the copy under review is no longer working. Howerver, the lens can still focus and manually. Back in the 2000, the mainstream format of Nikon DSLR was a DX format sensor with 5 to 6 million pixels. The lens receive many positive reviews at that time. How does the lens perform on a full-frame 42-megapixel camera now?


focal length300mm
Maximum aperturef/4
Minimum aperturef/32
Lens construction10 elements in 6 groups (2 ED glass elements)
Closest focusing distance1.45m / 4.8 ft
No. of diaphragm blades9 (rounded)
filter size77mm
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED specifications
Nikon AF S NIKKOR 300mm f4D IF ED diagram
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4D IF-ED lens construction

Lens workmanship/Handling

The body of the lens is made of polymer and the mount is made of copper. The overall workmanship is very good, inheriting the consistent workmanship of Nikon’s high-end lenses.

Lens sharpness

Nikon AF S NIKKOR 300mm f4D IF ED Sharpness
(The camera used for testing is Sony A7RII 42MP)

The center of the frame is already very sharp when wide open, and the corners are very good. At F5.6, the whole photo is very sharp from center to corners.

Chromatic aberrations

During the test, thanks to two ED lenses on the design, only a small amount of purple fringing was found in extreme environments. Below is a 100% crop close to the center of the frame.

Nikon AF S NIKKOR 300mm f 4D IF ED CA

Flare resistance

The lens comes with built with a hood, and the hood has internal felt linings to reduce reflections. Under normal circumstances, the flare is not detectable.

Distortion and Vignetting

Distortion is essentially imperceptible. At F4.0 there are noticeable vignetting, please refer to the photo below. The vignetting basically gone at F5.6.

Nikon AF S NIKKOR 300mm f 4D IF ED distortion


I don’t notice any coma during testing.


The bokeh of this lens is neutral. Please refer to the photos below.

Nikon AF S NIKKOR 300mm f 4D IF ED Bokeh
Bokeh when focus at 1.45 meter


With a 9-bladed rounded aperture, you can get 18-point sunstars if you stop down it to F8-11…


The lens is more than good enough for use on a 42MP camera where it performs very well in every aspects. A working copy is best to be used on a Nikon Z mount cameras which will provide autofocus and in-body stabilization. When adapting the lens to other cameras, it is recommended to use a tripod as manual focusing is diffcult on this lens.

Test photos

All photos are taken with the camera’s default Standard mode with only brightness adjustment in post. For a larger photos, please visit our Flickr.


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