Q&A: How Do The Old and New Nikkor 80-400mm Lenses Compare?

Posted Sep. 23rd, 2013 by Daniel J. Cox

I read with interest your column in this month’s Outdoor Photography magazine of your experience on Galapagos Island, using the 80 x 400 lens. We wondered if this is a newly upgraded Nikor lens. We found on safari in South Africa it did not like low light photography and stopped functioning altogether. Has this issue been addressed and a newer lens designed? Galapagos is high on our bucket list, so both subjects in his column were of great interest.

Warm regards,

Jan Baldwin

Jan, the 80-400mm lens I wrote about in Outdoor Photographer is a completely new design. The first version, the one you had trouble with in SA, was truly not up to the standards needed for low light and quality photography. That has all changed with the newest version. Don’t hesitate to give it a try. I’m confident you will love it. I know I do.

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There are 2 comments on this post…
  1. Portrait of Jan L Baldwin

    Jan BaldwinOn Sep. 24th, 2013

    Thank you so much Dan for taking a moment to give me the straight scoop on the newly designed 80-400. We will be trading my older versions for the newer one. Again, thanks for your excellent information. Safe travels.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 8th, 2013

      Jan, My pleasure. Since my last post on the 80-400 I’ve shot nearly an additional 30,000 images with it in South Africa. My respect for this lens just keeps growing. It is the lens to have for wildlife today. It’s unbelievably sharp and the extended range we get without having to switch to another lens, namely 70-200, is phenomenal. This lens has added many images to my collection due to the improved speed in handling. Being smaller and lighter than my 200-400 I can swing with action, pick it up faster and hold it longer in all situations. The improved handling and reduced reaction time is nothing short of spectacular. Can’t say enough about what a great job Nikon did on this new photographic tool.

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