REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
 
4.7

(based on 268 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (205)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (51)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (151)
  • Consistent output (95)
  • Strong construction (88)
  • Durable (72)
  • Easily interchangeable (72)

Cons

  • Heavy (59)
  • Poor in low light (21)
  • Price (4)
  • Blurry focus (3)
  • Pricey / poor value (3)

Best Uses

  • Wildlife photos (153)
  • Sports/action (97)
  • Landscape/scenery (79)
  • Weddings (11)
  • Macro photography (10)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (97), Semi-pro photographer (59), Pro photographer (20), Casual photographer (6)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (207), Yes (12)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Excellent lens, welcome update!

I'm very happy with this new iteration of the Nikkor 80-400mm. About time, Nikon, but well done! I had the original (non AF-S) 6 years ago--used it once and...Read complete review

I'm very happy with this new iteration of the Nikkor 80-400mm. About time, Nikon, but well done! I had the original (non AF-S) 6 years ago--used it once and sold it. The addition of AF-S has turned this into a great carry lens for me for birding. Not too big or heavy and with good reach. My Nikkor 500mm f/4 is a bit heavy to carry around for hours and really needs a solid tripod. And my Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 with 1.7x teleconverter is not as sharp as this lens, IMO, not surprisingly. I still won't sell the 70-200mm though as it's excellent for near-distant subjects.Image quality with this lens is excellent on my D7100 (DX), edge-to-edge and even at 400mm and f/5.6. I did fine-tune the lens focus with my body, as I do with all my telephotos--this can make a noticeable improvement.Focus is fast and accurate enough and the zoom is smooth. VR seems to work as advertised. Some CA is present but easy enough to minimize in Photoshop. I did replace the tripod collar with a Kirk Lens Collar, which supports the lens in 2 places and feels much more solid. If I had to find something to complain about it would be the price--Canon's new 100-400 is ~$ less at this time. Yes this lens isn't cheap, but it's a quality Nikkor and fits my needs very well. I've taken some bird photos that I love with it so far, and look forward to many more.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Tender lens and dust hog...

When I first purchased this lens, I was thrilled. The autofocus was fast, and the focus was nice and sharp. The VR worked well when photographing from a moving boat. After only...Read complete review

When I first purchased this lens, I was thrilled. The autofocus was fast, and the focus was nice and sharp. The VR worked well when photographing from a moving boat. After only a few months the focus had degraded and I sent it to Nikon for repair. They claimed that it had been dropped, but it hadn't. The lens did get bounced around a bit -- I shoot racing sailboats from a moving boat, but it was not handled any differently than my 70-200 f2.8 VR. It's also important to note that the lens telescopes when you zoom -- and it sucks a lot of dust. Now, a year after my initial purchase, it's back to the repair shop once again for soft focus and dust inside the elements. Completely unacceptable for a lens of this price.If you treat it very gently, and don't use it in dusty places, this lens will serve you well. But otherwise, expect problems.

Reviewed by 268 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

80-400 vs 200-500; my take

By RichLI

from LI! MY

Verified Buyer

Bought just as it came out in 2013 for a Tanzania safari - yes, was more than I was eager to spend but when considering cost of trips - vs either Sigma and Tokina - didnt make sense - would I do another Africa photo safari?
BUT Couldnt have been more pleased with choice after returning with beautiful images where I was able to shoot at low end (80mm) of wildlife close in as well as further out. Subsequent travel continues to yield excellent results.
Have always been knocked out by results with this piece of kit.
Could an extra 100mm on long end sometimes be valuable; yes - but on balance think this option is more successful all around - for me.
Recently looked at the 200-500 to potentially sell this and swap but when handled the 200-500 size/weight determined that as an advanced amateur travelling with this and other equipt would literally be too much.
If I just was shooting on day trips or didnt need to carry a backpack - might come to a different decision.
Did I mention I like what is having a usable if not optimal walk around lens (weight - size of 80-400 is not that difficult).
Anyhow - sometimes more costs more - we're Nikon shooters right??
Consider your use case carefully for this purchase....

 
5.0

Awesome keeper

By Comfort

from Undisclosed

Just got this lens a week ago and a thousands shots later, definitely getting rid of my 70-200 f/4. The images from this lens and my D800 are amazing!!!!

 
5.0

Great Value

By Mike H

from Undisclosed

Fabulous lens and a real bargain. I use it with the Nikon D500 for birding. I highly recommend this lens.

 
5.0

I upgraded from a cheaper lens and am very satisfied

By DeRossi

from CT

Verified Buyer

This lens is crystal clear, sharp at all distances, exactly what I needed. Of course it is heavy, but that is the bulk of quality. Now I can't imagine why I ever comprised with a cheaper, lighter, but much inferior lens.

 
5.0

I love the reach of this on my D7100

By bart brickman

from cascabel

Verified Buyer

I needed more reach on my D7100 and this sure does the job. I do need to do some arm and shoulder exercises for the flying bird shot. This lens is quite a formidable chunk. But then I reckon all big glass is that way. Sound like this is my first big one, yer right. It is a five star performer.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Very happy with this purchase

By Gary the Naturalist Wannabe

from Gainesville,FL

Verified Buyer

I originally purchased the Nikon 200 - 400 mm lens. When it arrived I was stunned at the size and weight. I sent it back right away and B&H had no problems with the return. At the same time I ordered this very usable lens. The clarity and sharpness is excellent! I am photographing wildlife, generally without a tripod, using the VR option. Some of my images over just the last couple of days are amazing. I am mentally kicking myself for not getting this years ago! This is well worth owning.

 
5.0

Excellent Lens.

By Jairo

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

This a great lens. Extremely fast focus. Great photos

(7 of 18 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

My worst Nikon lens

By Barton

from Undisclosed

Site Member

I bought this lens in April 2015.  By December of 2016 it was so filled with dust as to be unusable.  And I shoot mostly on the water, where dust is not an issue.   I sent it to Nikon for service and they say dust inside a lens is not a manufacturing defect.  They want $600 to clean it.  I asked to talk to the service tech to understand why it is going to cost so much to clean.  Customers are not permitted to talk to anyone in the service group. 
I am a mechanical engineer, any lens that expands- this one roughly doubles in volume when it is zoomed from 80-400, has to draw in air.  They must not be filtering that air, which is how the dust gets inside.   So for my use, I will need to pay $600 to have the lens serviced every year or so, and have to deal with Nikon service, which has a very hierarchical old school tops-down you will get it when we say so don't ask attitude. 
I own six Nikon bodies and over a dozen Nikon lenses.  If I were starting over that number would be closer to zero. Much closer.

 
4.0

Really good all-around lens

By Clifton

from Undisclosed

Site Member

I have been using this lens for more than a year now and it stays on my camera all the time except for when I have special projects.
I am mostly into birds and other wildlife.  This lens is light enough for me to carry all day and sharp enough for great detail.  Contrast and detail are very good.  There might be better telephoto lenses on the market but it would cost me many thousands of dollars and more than three additional pounds of weight to find out.

 
5.0

Nikon Quality

By Ron

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

I'm a photographer enthusiast, a little more experienced than an hobbyist, and far less experienced than a professional. I got the lens about 2 weeks ago and visited a national wildlife preserve two days later.
I have been impressed with the quality of the product but it is as expected from Nikon. It is lighter than I thought it would be. I previously had a Nikon 400mm zoom which drove me crazy, whenever I tried to autofocus it would continue focusing when I was shooting regardless where I set my camera. This lens operates as I expected. It is also physically smaller which is nice for travel.

 
5.0

Sharp and Great fit to my D7200

By Thomas

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Sharp and Great fit to my D7200 Nature Photos.

 
4.0

High marks all the way around

By Elliot

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

This is a very nice lens. Images are clear throughout the range, even at the extremes. It is also light enough to handhold. High marks all the way around.

 
5.0

Great lend

By Dave

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Good sharp lens. Solid build. Just what you would expect from Nikon.
VR stabilizer is not as good as Canon's 100-400 IS II, but it's not bad.

 
5.0

Crisp Clean Images

By Dennis and Linda

from Hobe Sound, FL

Verified Buyer

Had the original version of this lens for 10 years and was happy with it knowing it's limitations. The current version is sharp and with the D7200 and D810 bodies we can focus quickly enough even in lower light and get great shots.

We are happy with our Christmas present.

 
4.0

Great lens, but a bit expensive.

By Roberto

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

The lens is fast to focus, sharp, and not as heavy as other lens that go to 400mm.

 
5.0

Yes, I recommend it.

By Brian

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Outstanding lens...perfect for wildlife. A little heavy but manageable without a tripod. Use back button focus and incredibly sharp images.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great travel lens

By Anthony

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

I purchased this lens for use with my D750, along with the Kirk collar.  I only shot with it for a few weeks, but the results were impressive.  Without any focus adjustment, it was very sharp; focus was fast and accurate.  The VR seemed to work very well.  I was impressed with the ability to handhold this lens.  If my primary concerns were hiking with a zoom telephoto and being able to handhold, I would have kept this lens.  In the end, I found myself needing more reach, specifically with the full-frame D750, and since the lens was relatively expensive, I opted to return it and try the Sigma 150-600mm.  I really wish I could afford to have both, but for full-frame wildlife photography, I'm going to suffer with the larger size of the 150-600mm.  I think this lens would be awesome on a D500.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Well built, broad range, full-frame zoom lense

By Dive Buddy

from Upper Peninsula - Michigan

Verified Buyer

The lens has great resolution/contrast and clarity. It is well sealed against the weather elements and has a high magnification range. Obviously it is a little soft in the extreme upper and lower magnification ranges - not unlike any of the other wide ranging zoom lenses out there. I bought the aftermarket tripod collar which was expensive but well designed and constructed. I have not experimented much with the auto-focus modes. The lens itself is a rather large lens - perspective buyters need to take that in to account depending upon what applications they will utilize this lens for.

(0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

I LOVE IT.

By Don

from clerawater FLA

Verified Buyer

I LOVE IT.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Amazing image quality

By randy

from Undisclosed

Site Member

I own the 300,400 and 500 primes and the 80-400 (in good light) holds it's in the image quality department. Auto Focus is very fast and accurate. The lens feels great to hold and is especially good for birds in flight. The price is high but you get what you pay for.

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