sia jubilee
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2000 12:48 am

Any One Already Bought The Nikon's AF VR 80-400?

Wed Jan 17, 2001 8:12 pm

Hi everybody,

Have any one here bought the Nikon AF VR 80-400 f4.5-5.6 ED?
If so, can you share your experience with this lens?
Such as the AF speed, the resolution, contrast etc. Especially-- is the "Vibration Reduction" as good as Nikon said?  

Look forward for any reply.  

Regards,
Alan
 
Cliffie
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2000 4:59 am

RE: Any One Already Bought The Nikon's AF VR 80-400?

Thu Jan 18, 2001 2:13 am

Hi Alan,

Look up for my latest shots. Most of them were taken with Nikon D1 and VR 80-400, except the US A330 during startup (Tokina ATX Pro II 28-70) and some of the taxi shots.

Another representative VR example:


Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Ingo Richardt



That's 400mm x 1.5 digital factor = 600mm handheld. What this picture actually shows is even equivalent to a conventional 1200mm shot. I only used just a half of the 2000x1332 original D1- "output". Means I did NOT resize the pic but took the center part of it.

LMK if you need more info.

Best regards,
Ingo Richardt
 
chrisair
Posts: 1771
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2000 11:32 pm

RE: Any One Already Bought The Nikon's AF VR 80-400?

Thu Jan 18, 2001 9:07 am

Hey Ingo,

You got any shots with the VR on a regular camera? I'd like to see a couple comparasons with it, like with the VR on and the VR off, at 400mm.

 
sunilgupta
Posts: 766
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2000 12:15 pm

RE: Any One Already Bought The Nikon's AF VR 80-400?

Thu Jan 18, 2001 4:08 pm

I just got it last week and shot a few with it. All I can say is "wow"!

I was able to get shots of small stuff like RJ’s and 737’s at 400mm hand-held that are so sharp you can see wheel spokes, etc. Considering that I drink *way* too much coffee, that’s not bad!

To answer your specific questions:

- AF speed is ok with the Nikon F100. Nothing to write home about but unless you have an F-16 heading straight for you at mach 1.2 you should be ok.

- Resolution with Provia 100F is outstanding. I could easily read the ship name on BA 747s and Austrian A330’s on full frame shots.

- Contrast is very good. IMHO, better then any lens I have except the 300 F4 ED.

- VR really works (see sample below). It has two modes. One lets you see the VR working in the viewfinder with a slight press of the shutter release. This mode is hard to get used to so they also have a mode that only activates the VR during the exposure. In this mode it is my unqualified guess that your fps is reduced.

My only complaint is that the zoom ring is very stiff. Also, I haven’t gotten used to the rotary type zoom as all of my older lenses are push-pull zooms… but I guess that will take time.

Even though the scan can’t do the original image justice, here is a sample:

http://www.silversky.f2s.com/images/civilian/VR_SAMPLE01.JPG

It was shot at 400mm on Provia 100F. This is not the best shot I have with the lens but I wanted to use it for illustration purposes. The a/c only filled about 50% of the frame but you can still see all the details. I use the Minolta Scan Dual II… with a better scanner you would really be able to see what this lens is capable of.

Here is another sample shot at about 300mm:

http://www.silversky.f2s.com/images/civilian/VR_SAMPLE02.JPG

Good luck getting the lens. I have waited over six months and only got it through the generosity of someone I know.


Sunil
 
chrisair
Posts: 1771
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2000 11:32 pm

RE: Any One Already Bought The Nikon's AF VR 80-400?

Fri Jan 19, 2001 3:09 pm

Nice shots Sunil! When I went to the cameraworld "camera show" I was able to run a test roll through my F100 with a "factory" lens on it. I was really happy to see the results, although your shots are the first i've seen with aircraft and that lens. (I did enjoy trying out all the goodies on my cameras. Seeing all their lenses, cameras, etc sitting on the counter made me salivate.)

The wait time out here is something like 4-5 months, and it is a hefty $1599. I would love to get my paws on it, from the reviews I've read, it sounds like an amazing lens. One outstanding question I've got for you, is the lens sharper than the 80-200 f/2.8 Nikkor?

Chris
 
sia jubilee
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2000 12:48 am

RE: Any One Already Bought The Nikon's AF VR 80-400?

Fri Jan 19, 2001 8:19 pm

I owned a AF ED 80-200 2.8D, but I don't believe the VR zoom is sharper than the 80-200.
Maybe the 80-200 one hasn't got the VR function.
So the image might get vibrated.
I think the 80-200, 28-70 should be the best zoom of Nikon's.

Finally, I have to say thanks to every one answer me about the VR lens.
I would like to get one so posted a message on the board.
End up get a good result from you guys!  Smile

Alan
 
sia jubilee
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2000 12:48 am

About The AF Speed Of The Lens

Fri Jan 19, 2001 8:22 pm

A remark, I wanna know how is the AF speed.
Because the lens is not a AF-S series.
So some machanial problem/factors will make change to the AF speed.
I use a F5 and a F80. Just talk on the F5, my AF 80-200 (non AF-S) work very fast.
 
sunilgupta
Posts: 766
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2000 12:15 pm

RE: Any One Already Bought The Nikon's AF VR 80-400?

Sun Jan 21, 2001 8:30 am

Chris, I have shot with the 80-200 but it's very hard to say for sure which is sharper. Alan is probably correct in saying that the 80-200 would be tough to beat. There are so many variables. From the rolls I put through so far, the lens appears to be very sharp. Keep in mind I shot everything at between f8 and f11. With the VR there is no need to shoot wide open since shutter speed can be kept low even at high zoom ranges. I would say that even if the lens is less sharp (I’m not saying it is) it’s hard to beat this lens as an all-around travel lens. It basically replaces my 70-300 and 300.

Alan, as I mentioned, the AF speed is not super fast. I’ve even had the lens hunt which is annoying. However, I’ve only lost one or two frames out of a sequence of landing shots. This lens does not focus as fast as my 300 f4 ED but it’s ok.

Now if only the weather would improve so I could go use it :-(

Sunil
 
sia jubilee
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2000 12:48 am

RE: Any One Already Bought The Nikon's AF VR 80-400?

Sun Jan 21, 2001 12:46 pm

Thanks Sunil,
As the lens is powered by the build-in motor of the camera, so the body is the main factor.
You are using F100,right? the motor is very similar as my F5.
And I wonder which 300 f/4 you use.
The "AF-S" one or the old "AF" one?
Oh yes! If you got a AF 80-200 2.8 (With two seperate rings--Zoom and Focus, but not AF-S). Exactly the one before AF-S.
Can you tell me more about the AF speed between these two lens?
I have got only this tele zoom. So your opinion is appreciated.

Alan
 
sunilgupta
Posts: 766
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2000 12:15 pm

RE: Any One Already Bought The Nikon's AF VR 80-400?

Mon Jan 22, 2001 12:14 am

I have the older 300 f4 AF ED. Even without AF-S it has *never* failed me for two reasons. One, its internal focus is one of the fastest I've seen even though it is driven by the camera motor. Two, it has an infinitely settable limiter so that I can set the range of the lens at very close to infinity. This means that even if it looses focus it has nowhere to go and the camera will refocus very fast.

The 80-200 I used was the second iteration. In other words the one prior to the one before the AF-S version!! (There are four versions of this lens).

It’s very hard for me to judge the AF speed between the 80-400 and 80-200 that I used because it was quite a while ago. I borrowed one for a while but I elected not to purchase the lens because it only went out to 200mm range. For me that was not enough because I generally don’t have ramp access. Only thing that I can say is that some other (non-aviation) photographers have complained about the AF speed of the 80-400. Others say it is fine. So far it seems fine for me… 747’s float by pretty slow on approach anyway!

Sorry I could not be much more help here!

Sunil
 
sia jubilee
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2000 12:48 am

RE: Any One Already Bought The Nikon's AF VR 80-400?

Mon Jan 22, 2001 12:33 am

Thank again Sunil,

I agree with you that the (non-aviation) photographers will not like this lens.
Becasue it is not a "AF-S".
After this discussion, I think I will get it back to home.  Smile

Regards,
Alan Tsui
Hong Kong

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