Nikon 300mm 2.8 VR II review, maybe the best budget SUPER TELEPHOTO for WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY 2020!


Hey Guys, today I’m back with what is a well overdue review of the Nikon 300mm 2.8 VR II!

I’ve had this lens for 8 years now, a true faithful friend.
The lens has been with me all over the place as a pro wildlife photographer, helping me make thousands of images I love, and deliver professional assignments and jobs.

Investing in a supertele a a huge step in your wildlife photography journey and for myself the 300 2.8 was always the lens for me. The fast aperture, incredible AF speed and combination of flexibility with teleconverters plus a compact form factor for travelling ticked all my boxes, and today I thought I’d share some thoughts and images.

With the price now often below £2500 and even as low as £1800 the 300mm 2.8 VR I and VR II offer an incredible option for the budget conscious wildlife photographer. Far surpassing the consumer zoom options that can retail for not much less, the 300mm 2.8 is a class apart in terms of the professional quality, performance and optics.

If you are looking at getting one, often in the UK Wex have some great second hand deals, offering a 12 month warrantee on purchases and great service. I use and work with Wex ( I give regular lectures and workshops for them) so know they are a great company and team.
If you do buy it helps me out with a small cut whilst ensuring you’ll get a great deal and reliable product.

This ones a steal!
Nikon 300mm 2.8 VR I :

As always guys if you have any questions be it about the 300mm 2.8 VR II or anything wildlife photography related be sure to drop it in the comments and I’ll get back to you!
Thanks for watching and please do like and subscribe and share if you enjoy the content.

Cheers Guys!


For more of my work be sure to check out my Instagram @TomMasonPhoto or on the web –

In my bag : (UK affiliate links help me fund the channel and cost you nothing)
Lowepro Whistler 450 AW II – (travelled flawlessly on all my flights with ALL the gear below inside!)
Nikon Monarch HG 8×30’s – Simply love these.
Nikon D850 + Grip + D5 batteries
Nikon D5
Nikon Z6 and 24-70S – (All video for the channel now shot on this – love this little camera!)
Nikon 300mm 2.8 VR II (My all time favourite lens)
Nikon 70-200 FL
Nikon 35mm 1.4 G
Nikon 20mm 1.8G
Nikon 1.4 TC
Nikon 2.0 TC
Nikon SB-700
Spare D5 battery
Gitzo Mini Traveller
Petzel Headlamp
G-tech external drives
Macbook 12″
Gitzo Rocket Blower (however i’d get this one)

I also carry a trusty Gitzo Tripod and Monopod
Gitzo 2 series mountaineer (will do a video about this soon)
Gitzo monopod

If you have any Gear questions drop them below as well, I’m always happy to help! Or hit me up on Twitter or Instagram @TomMasonPhoto.



28 thoughts on “Nikon 300mm 2.8 VR II review, maybe the best budget SUPER TELEPHOTO for WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY 2020!”

  1. Hi Tom I have just purchased one second hand and it’s awesome. Only one thing I find the focusing is I little louder than my other more up to date lenses . Should you say this sounds normal?

  2. Great vlogs you put out, Tom; recently found and subscribed 👍🏻
    Seriously tempted by this lens, used anyway. 50th birthday soon and I’ve asked for money towards a super telephoto, up to now been looking at 150-600 lenses which I’ve rented before but in truth I found the aperture limitations frustrating in the early hours and I’m far more drawn towards fully blurred backgrounds. Trouble is I’d probably also have to sell my beloved 70-20 2.8 and 14-24 2.8 just to get close, especially when allowing for a 1.4 and 2.0 TC 😭 The other thing which I think makes this lens a good choice is your D850…I have a D750, so with half the mp just not sure it’s a sensible choice…maybe that kidney selling website is not such a bad idea after all, if it gets me a D850 too! 🤣

  3. @Tom, I finally found here in South Korea a perfect 300mm f2.8 VR II at 2000 GBP like new. What a masterpiece. The AF its a laser … I will leave my 200-500 on the z6 for videos and keep this baby on my D850 for stills. Thanks for your contents , always the best around !!

  4. Great video. You are so right about everyone having that close up tight shot. They are great in some instances but the landscape shots with the subject being small in the 1/3 is in my opinion the nicest and classic shot for fine art. Good for you for not following the pack! Don’t shoot the norm and everything else will fall in place.
    Less is more!

  5. Wow, I really loved all the photos in this one. I'm surprised how close you got to the grizzlies with 300mm. Just wondering though if you at all end up cropping a lot with the shorter focal length. Personally I think the 180-400 with the built in 1.4tc would be the ideal lens for any form of wildlife.

  6. Really useful video. I've searched everywhere in UK and couldn't find a VRII in mint condition for less than 3K. Most at 3K or less have been about a bit, although the important bits inside and switches are in good working condition. I think 3K/3.5K for a quality used VRII is a more accurate number. Higher for mint condition.

  7. Thank you for this and all your videos. I always learn something new. FYI: The sound on your videos is painfully low. I get blasted by sound if I don't remember to turn my PC volume down after viewing your videos.


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