5) Comparison of sharpness between PF and conventional lenses at 300 mm.

There is this old saying, ‘you get what you pay for’. Well early in 2015 Nikon announced a new Phase Fresnel (PF) lens to complement its more traditional ‘long lenses’. This new PF lenses would be lighter smaller and cheaper that conventional lenses. Wildlife photographers such as myself were delighted. The question that remained was would the new PF lenses perform as well as the larger heavier long lenses? I have been fortunate to be able to try out Nikon’s 300m f4 PF lens and compare this against the 300mm f2.8VR1 lens (note this is an older design that the current version). I have used these lenses on a Nikon Z7II camera body and Reikan’s Profoto software and compare the value obtained by ProFoto’s Quality of Focus (QoF). The QoF is an estimate of how contrasty a st image is – the higher the value the better. The results obtained showed the Fresnel lens with a QoF value of 1,577 while the conventional lens gave a value of 1,723. That is a big difference and the results between the two images are likely to discernible. What about the prices? Today the retail prices of these two lenses are £1639 for the PF lens and £5399 for the conventional equivalent AF-S VR2 lens. So you really do get what you pay for. Whether the increase in sharpness is worth it, only you can decide; of course, there are other factors too such as the weight to be considered but the important thing is you do have a choice.