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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
NikonAF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens
 
4.7

(based on 265 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (202)

  • 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 265 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

I upgraded from a cheaper lens and am very satisfied

By DeRossi

from CT

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

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

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

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

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

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

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

This a great lens. Extremely fast focus. Great photos

(6 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

My worst Nikon lens

By Barton

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

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

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

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

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

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

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

Sharp and Great fit to my D7200 Nature Photos.

 
4.0

High marks all the way around

By Elliot

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

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

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

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

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

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

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

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

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

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

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

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

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

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

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

I LOVE IT.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Amazing image quality

By randy

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

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.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

I want to love it... but it is not the 70-200 f/2.8!

By xxxJUxxx

from NY

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

I used this lens for the first time at a rowing regatta last weekend. It was cloudy and drizzling rain when we arrived, and I was concerned that I had brought the wrong equipment. The 80-400mm doesn't have the internal mechanisms and protection that the 20-200mm has. The rain abated, so I dared to take my gear to the water's edge. I used it with my D7200, so the range of course is considerably better than my 70-200mm! But the focus is a little slower than the 70-200mm. Also, I don't think the images look quite as sharp. It is effectively the same size as the 70-200mm before it extends for the zoom. But when it is extended it is a BIG lens! Perhaps I need to get better used to taking photos with this big lens, and am sufficiently impressed that I will continue to try. I am very impressed with the VR. At one point I must have inadvertently switched it off... I don't use a tripod, as I am move around the regatta quite a lot, trying to capture candids as the athletes prepare for their race and launch their boats as well as capturing the races. The photos without VR have been deleted; the ones with VR, captured at 400mm are OK, at 80mm are fantastic, and cover the range between. Overall, I'm satisfied with my purchase and looking forward to using the lens in better lighting to see if I can get the amazingly sharp photos others have posted.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great lens for nature photography.

By Jim

from New Smyrna Beach, FL

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

Love this lens for birds and other nature shots.

(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

I think I am going to love this one!

By Raptor Photographer

from Northwest Georgia

Verified Buyer

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens:

I will start by saying B & H are great to work with. Their customer service is helpful and knowledgeable and shipping was super quick and secure.

The Lens..... I bought this lens for wild life photography and birding. I first bought the Sigma 150-600. While it had a lot of reach, it was slow to lock on, especially for moving birds. I wanted a lens that would keep up with flying eagles nesting in the area and other raptors as well as general wildlife.

So far it has exceeded my expectation. The pictures are tack sharp and the auto-focus is fantastic.

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