Nikon Releases an Updated 80-400mm Zoom – Finally!

Posted Mar. 5th, 2013 by Daniel J. Cox

Nikon finally updates one of their most popular lenses for the photo enthusiast group, the Nikkor 80-400mm zoom. This lens was the first Nikon-branded product to incorporate their VR technology. The first generation of this optic, which came out twelve years ago, was a descent lens but nothing really special other than its focal length. It was soft at the 400mm range and did not allow people to add a teleconverter. Adding a teleconverter was not something I was interested in but many of my students were. The AF was slow to say the least and it had a horrible tripod collar. All of these issues on paper have been taken care of and from the photos I’ve seen it’s a beauty. I hope to get my hands on one sooner rather than later. Will let you know how it goes.

The new, second generation  Nikkor 80-400mm zoom lens. Should be great for wildlife and sports.

The new, second generation Nikkor 80-400mm zoom lens. Should be great for wildlife and sports.

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There are 6 comments on this post…
  1. MarioOn Jul. 5th, 2013

    Hi Dan – did you ever do the full report on the Nikon 80-400 lens?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 5th, 2013

      Mario, thanks for checking back for the final report on the new Nikkor 80-400. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to do it. I just got back from a month in Ireland and it’s been crazy. I really apologize about that. Will be trying to get that in this summer. I appreciate you reminding me however and It’s nice to know there are some out there that actually do read what I write and are interested in the information. I’ll do my best not to let you down and get that finished in the next several weeks. Hang in there.

  2. Jim BechtelOn Apr. 12th, 2013

    I’ve been shooting one for about a month now.. It is quite sharp and the auto focus works well. The tripod collar is to flimsy in my opinion.. I have shot several controlled test images (D2x, D800 & D4) and so far it’s looking good. Yes it does work with a convertor..

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 17th, 2013

      Jim, I’m also extremely impressed with sharpness and AF. Will be making a full report on how amazing this new lens is in a week or two. Thaks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Amitava RayOn Mar. 8th, 2013

    We will wait for Dxo Mark report on below link for fully trusted & Un-Paid review as most reviews often Paid-Reviews.

    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Camera-Lens-Database/Nikon/Nikon-AF-S-NIKKOR-80-400mm-F45-56G-ED-VR

  4. Michael J. AmphlettOn Mar. 8th, 2013

    Thanks Dan – heard about it earlier this week, didn’t see it at the UK FOCUS pro-show on Monday though…?

    Shame about the suggested price tag of $2700.00!

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/03/05/Nikon-launches-AF-S-Nikkor-80-400mm-4p5-5p6G-ED-VR-telezoom#press

    More about it here:

    http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/zoom/telephotozoom/af-s_80-400mmf_45-56g_ed_vr/index.htm

    Much dearer in the UK though!

    http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-nikon-80-400mm-af-s-nikkor-f4-5-5-6g-ed-vr-lens/p1536507

    Which is approx…$3680.00, so USA folks, please don’t make too much of a fuss! 😉

    As usual, the tripod mount looks a tad feeble… although the lens weight is not so bad at 1.57kg (3.46 lbs). Improved min-focus distance from 2.3m to 1.5m (5.7 ft) will be useful too.

    Dependent on real-world use and, how good it really is, it might be a nice ‘travel lens’ compromise, particularly for APS sensor users… biggest “but”, I still don’t see TC compatibility mentioned…?

    We’ll have to wait three weeks to check it out… but I’m not planning on parting with my 200-400 anytime soon though!

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