After months of deliberation, weeks of checking secondhand suppliers and days of tension watching ebay, I got my mitts on a used 300m f4 lens on Saturday. Rob had half-heartedly encouraged me to wait to see if Nikon produced an updated version of this 10-year-old model with VR, but as such a lens didn't seem to be on the horizon at all, when I found a well-priced used one on ebay I went for it.
The lens had its first outing to - where else? Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve. Post-lunchtime on a Saturday meant it was pretty busy, and also it was a rather gloomy afternoon, but not a problem for putting the new lens through its paces. We went to the Grebe hide and Rob had fun photographing birds at the feeders with the 70-300mm while I pointed new lens at some Chiffchaffs in a willow by the water.
I put the teleconverter on after this (a Kenko 1.4) but got no better views of the Chiffchaffs, so went out in search of more obliging quarry.
I'm well pleased with the lens. One problem is that a few times it misbehaves and reports a rapidly dropping light level when there isn't one. Rob thinks this is a loose connection on one end or the other of the teleconverter. It gave me all kinds of grief on Sunday (see next post) but since taking it off and putting it on again (a variation of the IT panacea) it's been OK. Touch wood. If it does it again the teleconverter's going back. The lens seems fine on its own.