Jwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 21 Reply 1, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4625 times:
Don't have it myself but from what I hear people are quite happy about it overall.
Autofocus is reportedly a bit slow but that report comes from people who otherwise use only AF-S lenses, and in contrast to those anything else is slow
NIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4611 times:
Buy it! I own both the 80-400VR and the 80-200 2.8. The 200 focuses much faster and I love it but I am learning to use the 400VR and it is a great lens. Here is an example of what you can get with it. Here is something I shot.
It takes a little getting used to but I am beginning to get comfortable with it and I am getting better shots. Was at JFK today and got some great pics with it from the Costco lot. I would invest in it. Keep us posted!
IngemarE From Sweden, joined Mar 2005, 285 posts, RR: 5 Reply 3, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4583 times:
Sigmas 80-400 is a whole lot better (but still not what I would call a really good lens).
Owned the 80-400VR myself and I wasn't happy with it at all. Also tried some friends 80-400VR's and found them to be equally "bad", so it wasn't just mine that was soft. Tried out Sigmas 80-400 as well and found that it produced better images than the Nikon.
When that's been said, it is a whole lot of millimeters crammed into one lens and it isn't all that heavy, I must say. (Nikon and Sigma both)
GOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4298 posts, RR: 23 Reply 6, posted (7 years 6 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4503 times:
Quoting Jwenting (Reply 5): Kevin, your battery drains faster in cold weather so your camera has less power to move those lens motors.
Take that into consideration in winter, try to keep those batteries warm.
That's probably why. I don't have an MB-D70 like I do on my D100. I'll have to get one someday. I went out this afternoon, somewhat chilly and having that problem. I got kinda frustrated so I shot using manual focus on the 80-400 VR. I'll keep that in mind next time. Thanks.
Skidmarks From UK - England, joined Dec 2004, 7121 posts, RR: 60 Reply 7, posted (7 years 6 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4475 times:
I have a D70/80-400VR combo and I am quite happy with it. The lens works fine for what I use it for and I wouldn't swap it. My experiences with Sigma lenses havent been good so, although I have tried the Sigma equivilent, on my past usage I would stick to Nikon.
N949WP From Hong Kong, joined Feb 2000, 1437 posts, RR: 1 Reply 8, posted (7 years 6 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4442 times:
Works good enough for me.
Please do note that this lens is not an AF-S lens, which means the AF motor within the SLR body must drive the lens, and not all in-body AF motors are created equal!! No problem with the F5 on which I usually mount that lens, but I'm not sure how it'll fare on the D70.
Diezel From Netherlands, joined Oct 2002, 646 posts, RR: 12 Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4396 times:
I own both the 80-200/F2.8 and the 300mm/F4. I use them on a D100. I had the 80-400VR but I sold it. Trust me, if you tried the 80-200/F2.8 and the 300mm/F4, you will be disappointed with the 80-400VR. The 80-400 is just less quality and will loose focus quite often. The aperture is OK, never had problems with that and I even got it to work with a kenko 1.4 TC.
I still can't figure out why Nikon decided to build this ideal zoom lens as an AF instead of an AF-S lens.
You could also think about buying the Nikon 1.7 TC, which works fine on the 300mmF4 and will give you 500mm withy perfect quality.
Sunilgupta From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 770 posts, RR: 15 Reply 10, posted (7 years 6 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4383 times:
The 80-400VR is not terribly sharp wide open. For some reason the Nikon Digital cameras favor wide aperture and fast speed shutter speed so when you use program mode you will not get very sharp results.
I shoot on aperture priority between 7.1 and 9 depending upon the available light.
Regarding the focus speed: yes, it's not the fastest, but for civil airliners there is no problem. With fast moving military it has problems sometimes
Kereru From New Zealand, joined Jun 2003, 873 posts, RR: 50 Reply 13, posted (7 years 6 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4360 times:
Quoting Billsville (Reply 12): My other Option is the Nikon 70-200VR with 1.7x or 2x TC. Are there many here shooting with that combination?
Yes quite a few. 70-200 is fine for large airliners but a bit short for smaller aircraft like warbirds and GA aircraft. I haven't tried the 1.7x TC but it is quite soft with the 2x and I try and avoid using it now for the maximum focal length. I am thinking about this 80-400 VR too but Clickhappy is swaying my choice away from it. What is a better Nikon / Sigma alternative?
Billsville From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 80 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (7 years 6 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4353 times:
I hear that the 1.7 TC is quite good and produces quite good results with minimal picture degradation. I thought the 2.0 TC would be okay as well, but your not the only one to note that the 2.0 TC produces variable results. What stop were you using at the time? There seems to be some variables when the Lens is wide open. Do you get the same results when you stop the lens down? e.g. F8-F9?
I'm really starting to think it all comes down to photographer technique. Experienced photographers seem to be able to get the most out of the 80-400.
I guess you've got to ask if the 70-200 with the 1.7x TC will be enough (119-340) for your needs?
NIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 19, posted (7 years 6 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4315 times:
Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 17): Experienced photographers seem to be able to get the most out of the 80-400.
Ah, so thats it, I dont know what I am doing!
Quoting Cancidas (Reply 18): i've got the lens and absolutely love the thing. it's the staple lens of the majority of the group of spotters i hang out with.
Exactly. I have owned it for 7 months and I am just now getting comfortable with it. As stated above if you are good with it your pictures will be good. Art Brett uses this lens and his work speaks for itself.
IngemarE From Sweden, joined Mar 2005, 285 posts, RR: 5 Reply 21, posted (7 years 6 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4301 times:
I too have a few pics in the DB, taken with the 80-400VR.
Problem is, I'm not as happy about how those pictures came out, as I am unhappy about the ones I missed (...and it's those pic's that "stay" with you forever )! Reasons then mainly being general softness and lack of AF speed.
Look elsewhere, is my tip. I know, from trying it out, that the Sigma 80-400 beats the Nikon 80-400. Picture quality-wise, that is. It still has the same slow AF though.
A good friend of mine recently bought a Sigma 50-500 and from what I've seen so far, it produces great pics. It has high-speed focus too, so no more missed pic's due to slow AF!
I know A-net photog Rez Manzoori uses a "Bigma", from time to time. So check out his pic's!
This is not so bad when the subject is overhead but when it gets further away like on the runway it is just not big enough in the frame. I have tried both the 80-400mm Nikon (Sam Chui's) and a friend David's 50-500mm Sigma from this position:
The Nikon has a larger aperture so a bit better in low light me thinks. The Sigma is cheaper and has a broader focal length range. Any help would be appreciated as the 200-400mm f4 Nikon is definately out due to cost.
AAGOLD From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 542 posts, RR: 52 Reply 23, posted (7 years 6 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4232 times:
I have the 80-400 and love it. For many of the locations I am forced to shoot from it's my primary lens. I would estimate that over 65% of my photos were taken with this lens, particularly those at the NY area airports. The auto focus might be slow compared to some other lenses, but as pointed out earlier for commercial aviation photography it's plenty fast enough. I've also used it for airshow photography successfully so no complaints in that department either.
Royal, months back you told us that your 80-400 was rolling around in the trunk of your car. In this thread you tell us that it's a doorstop. Why do you keep it if you are so dissatisfied with it? I would suspect it might come in handy at times when your access isn't close enough for a shorter focal length. If I had your access I'd probably let my 80-400 be a doorstop too, but I don't.
We've had plenty of visitors come to NY with a max focal length of 200mm (300mm with the digi factor) and they end up not taking pictures from several good locations because the images are too small. For the money I find the quality and performance of the 80-400 to be excellent.
Redfox From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 172 posts, RR: 2 Reply 24, posted (7 years 6 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4219 times:
Nikon's 80-400VR is a superb lens. I have been using it for two years, soft it is not. Focus is noisy and slow but as Art rightly says it not a problem probably as most focus as most aviation photography requires focus at or close to infinity. Choice of body and focus mode has a huge effect on acceptability for any screw type AF lens.
The only issue I have/had is a possible failure of VR but sent for service and internal cleaning to Nikon UK, VR was given a clean bill of health.
We have read the good bad and ugly posts about the lens, here is a review from Bjørn Rørslett, a photographer that I respect.