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on Feb 20, 2015 in Field Reports

300f4 PF In Hand!

300PF 2

While the 300f4 PF just arrived, it is already a very well traveled lens! It started its journey from B&H two weeks ago. Because of weather, it was delayed in getting delivered by one day. No biggie, except I wouldn’t be in the office to receive it. I was on the road. The great folks at B&H Customer Service were great to get it redirected to where I was. Well, that was great until, yep another one day delay. So, after the fourth redirect and two weeks later, it’s finally in my hands. Talk about a nail bitter, I wanted that lens. And my first impressions are … wow!

2470-300

It is small, it is light and from my first clicks on the D750, it is gorgeously sharp! It’s small length (you can see it next to the 24-70AFS here) is due in large part to the incorporation of an PF (Phase Fresnel) element. While not new element technology, in the past in other manufacturer lenses, there were some issues, namely backlit flaring. A PF element can best be described as a kinda fresnel element where the element has a gazillion concentric etched circles on one side bending the light. It’s really kinda cool and with some really quick clicks, I not only see this lens being beautifully sharp, but the flaring no more than what you would expect shooting into the sun. Time will tell though as like I said, I’ve only made a couple of clicks and not seriously started to delve into this new tool.

Green element is the PF element, Yellow is ED

Green element is the PF element

Why have I added this lens to my bag? The main reason are my backyard birds. The 300 PF focuses closer than my previous 300AFS (now past down to Brent). It’s much lighter, brighter, shorter and on the D750, amazingly well balanced. The barrel is like that of the 18-35AFS (now 19months old has more than proven itself), made from a some type of polycarbonate material. It comes with a shade but no tripod collar. And to be honest with you, I’m not sure it needs a tripod collar. Being the same size as the 24-70AFS and weighing perhaps a tad less (I’ve not check those weights), since it’s not needed with the 24-70AFS, perhaps the 300f4 PF doesn’t need one too? It’s 77mm front element which is very nice. Well, enough of this, I have some birds to chase and a new toy tool to play with!