Reviews and Problems with Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR AF Zoom-Nikkor
Showing 1-8 of 8
This Review for Birders
Brian C. Copeland "Amazon Addict", Amazon
17 April 2013
Summary: I had been birding with a Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 VC zoom that I purchased Used - Like New on Amazon for $340 and wanted to step up to the next level without breaking the bank on an exotic telephoto lens. I purchased the Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 Used - Like New condition here on Amazon for about $900. The lens did arrive in Like New condition and I slapped in on my D600 and took it birding right away. I was immediately disappointed with its overall performance.
Summary: Well, the 80-400mm isn´t a lens for wildlife photos, because it isn´t sharp and the focus is too slow. I think that the Nikon should do a new one, further if the Nikon make a new one better than the oldest they will increase the number of new photograph with Nikon cameras. Why a think that? Here in Brazil, I heard many peolple say that went to Canon because of the 100-400mm.
Summary: I owned this lens a couple of years ago...and it was too slow for wildlife photography. The lens isn't made for low-light shooting...which is when much of the wildlife world is up and moving, morning and evening. So...read the specs and reviews and don't expect it to do things it naturally can't with it's f-stop range. It should be obvious that it won't perform well without sufficient light!
Summary: I own many Nikkor Lenses and this is the only one with which I am disappointed. I have three major problems with the lens. First, the autofocus being outdated is very slow. Second, images exposed at 400mm and f/5.6 are extremely soft. I recently used the lens on my D90 to take many pictures of Big Horn Sheep and I could not believe how soft the images were. Third, the cost of the lens is much too high for the image quality produced.
Summary: I have a love/hate relationship with this lens. When used right, it is a good, albeit not great lens, but it focuses too slowly even on my D2X, it is less sharp than I would like, and poorly balanced. Not a lens I can recommend to friends or acquaintances. Perhaps if AF-S and/or a constant f/4 lens it might be better.
Summary: I read Ken Rockwell's review of this lens, and on that basis, I ordered it. I took it to Yosemite Valley for use on a photographic workshop and was extremely disappointed in its performance. I used it on a tripod with the VR turned off, as is recommended. According to Nikon and Rockwell, the lens can focus as close as 7.5 feet. I photographed some lichen-covered boulders that ranged from 12-18 feet away and could not get a sharp image.
Summary: I have owned this lens for over a year and up until recently have not recorded many images at/near infinity focus. Of late I have had the need to shoot 400mm at infinity and found the lens to be very soft. I returned the lens to Nikon for repairs. The list of things done to it by Nikon was extensive, and fortunately under warranty. Immediately upon receiving it back from repair, I placed it on a rock-solid tripod and head, to do a test shoot.
Summary: I have owned this lens for about three months. I use it primarily on birds and other animals and it takes sharp photos if the light level is good. However, after using it in a cold environment (15-20 degrees F), the focus locked up and I had to send it for repair. Nikon requires the owner to pick up the shipping costs to send it to them, which was $35 for a lens this big.