Experiences with the new Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,365Moderator
edited March 2014 in General Discussions
This lens has now been out for a while and some folks have asked questions about how well it performs in the real world. And, I cannot find the thread we had going, so…. anyone with experience they would like to share?
Msmoto, mod
«1

Comments

  • michael66michael66 Posts: 231Member
    edited March 2014
    I just got it two weeks ago, used, LN, from KEH. They dropped their prices to align with the $400 reduction from Nikon. With the case, it cost me $1800. Honestly, I can't see a mark on it any where.

    It is huge! It is fat! It is heavy.

    But somehow it is finely balanced, even as it seems to swallow my D7100. With the BlackRapid attached to the tripod mount of the lens, it hangs easily and evenly.

    The focus and zoom rings move smoothly. The stops on the zoom ring feels more like an expensive car door. It just stops, no dink like on cheaper lenses. This is why you guys all wax so poetic about the holy trinity. Don't get me wrong, I love my holy ttrinity ( Tamron trinity ), but this is a whole step beyond. Wow!

    The VR steadies the beast so well that it should be quite hand-holdable. If your hand doesn't break off from the weight. The AF is fast, but not lightening fast. No, I didn't time it. I'm not that anal. Well... I've only done a few test shots, but I hope to take it out in the wild this weekend. I'm not sure I'll be able to pan BIF like with my little 55-300, but we'll see. And of course, I'll have to check out the issue folks have with the tripod collar.

    Sorry, I don't have more for you. Time is an accursed b*tch.

    Oh, forgot to mention. I did get to play with the older version that this one replaces. The only thing, I could see, that the old one has over the new one, is its smaller size and weight. It focuses slower. Much slower. And it didn't keep up when panning as well as the new one. Glass wise, I have no idea.
    Post edited by michael66 on
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    Michael,
    If you tighten the collar down very tight, it works adequately.
    I have not made up my mind yet, whether to spend the extra couple of hundred on the RRS replacemrnt collar.
    As nice as it looks... http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/s.nl/it.A/id.3219/.f?sc=26&category=605 the money could be better utilized.

    Chas
    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited March 2014
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • michael66michael66 Posts: 231Member
    Had mine for nearly a year now

    my comment are here

    http://forum.nikonrumors.com/discussion/624/well-finally-we-get-an-updated-80-400/#sthash.MvSYGZoK.dpuf


    Wow. Someone was VERY angry last year. Has that faded? What are your impressions of the lens over the past year? It may be a while before I get to do testing of this lens other than shoot a brick wall at 500 ft.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,365Moderator
    Thanks for all who helped the old lady across the street…... ~O)
    Msmoto, mod
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited March 2014
    . Someone was VERY angry last year. Has that faded? What are your impressions of the lens over the past year?

    I hope I have learnt not to buy Nikon stuff when it first come out; as the price will inevitably fall through the roof


    That said, it is still a brilliant lens, £3000 cheaper and half the weight of the 200-400mm f4 G VR II AF-S ED

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 729Member
    I replaced the Nikon collar with the RRS one, and that is a huge improvement. The RRS collar somehow is more solid, feels better in a sling, and is well worth the investment.

    As for the lens most is already said, except, it just looks good:) Oh, and it certainly helps you along taking good pictures, especially the VR...
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    The VR is very good
    So good, I have only used a tripod two or three times
    NB with lens, it really is important to turn the VR OFF when using a tripod
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    I replaced the Nikon collar with the RRS one, and that is a huge improvement. The RRS collar somehow is more solid, feels better in a sling, and is well worth the investment.

    As for the lens most is already said, except, it just looks good:) Oh, and it certainly helps you along taking good pictures, especially the VR...
    In addition, the RRS ring allows quick disconnect of the foot for handholding.

    .... H

    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • michael66michael66 Posts: 231Member
    In addition, the RRS ring allows quick disconnect of the foot for handholding.
    I haven't gotten the RRS collar replacement. The fact that the foot comes off, seems to unnerve me. Am I worried for nothing?


  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    In addition, the RRS ring allows quick disconnect of the foot for handholding.
    I haven't gotten the RRS collar replacement. The fact that the foot comes off, seems to unnerve me. Am I worried for nothing?

    yes


    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    @michael66

    I should not have been so glib, it is a fair question.

    The RRS foot attaches exactly like the nikon feet attached whn Nikon rings ad this feature (70-200 2.8 VR1).
    It both snaps into place and is tightened by a lock screw, and is very secure.

    Since I usually hand hold the 80-400 G, this feature is useful since the foot gets in the way. It is also much stronger than Nikon's ring.

    Also look at the Kirk ring / foot for this lns as it supports the lens at two points.

    If I did a lot of tripod work with this lens tht ould be my first choice, it is much lighter than RRS long lens support which I use on the 200-400 / 4 and the 400 / 2.8 .

    Regards ... H



    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • autofocusautofocus Posts: 625Member
    _DSC7439_5050

    Took this a couple of days ago. Trying D4 at 10fps with autofocus, 51 points on moving objects. I found I got an 8 of 10 ratio on focus. The lens focuses very fast and handles well on the D4. I've used it quite a bit to shoot Motocross and it performs great. I think the oof area can be a bit harsh unlike the 70-200mm. For fast sports where you have need for a long lens it's a hit for the money. I would love to have 300 / 2.8 but I'm sure I would miss the ability to change focal lengths quickly. Feet aren't fast enough for action sports sometimes.
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    In addition, the RRS ring allows quick disconnect of the foot for handholding.
    I haven't gotten the RRS collar replacement. The fact that the foot comes off, seems to unnerve me. Am I worried for nothing?
    Removing the RRS foot, will also allow you to place the lens in it's intended protective case.
    I bought the Lowepro lens case for mine and with the standard collar/foot attached, if just fits snug,
    with the foot turned back into one of the back corners.
    I have my doubts, the RRS foot when still attached, will fit into these cases, I shall likely find out though...
    So it being removable, is actually a benefit here.
    Obviously this makes hand held shooting easier too, unless you want to turn the foot up?? Not an option I would use.
    Or you can completely remove the collar for hand holding. I would prefer to leave my collar on, at all times...
    The RRS collar and foot sure look like nice addition to this awesome lens.
    Chas
    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 536Member
    I have the RRS ring.

    Here's a photo at 80 mm:

    Cranes-1916
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    Is that great shot hand held or on your tripod?
    I really like the size and depth of the whole scene, if certainly appears huge.

    Chas
    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 536Member
    edited March 2014
    Is that great shot hand held or on your tripod?
    I really like the size and depth of the whole scene, if certainly appears huge.

    Chas
    Handheld from a moving police rescue boat. F/11 1/1000 sec, ISO 1000. I don't remember if VR was on or not.

    Post edited by Symphotic on
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    edited April 2014
    Hi,
    Thanks for sharing the info and the picture itself. When ever we see those large rectangular metal boxes pass by on a freight train, we don't think much about them, or how it first arrived on our shores, from one of those large floating container barges.

    Some of those large unloading docks are amazingly, robotically operated. They pretty much need to be, with thousands of these large heavy containers moving about daily. You really showed the scale of it in your great shot.
    Probably Active VR?

    Chas
    Post edited by ChasCS on
    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • michael66michael66 Posts: 231Member
    I completely forgot about this thread. Here is another shot of that Panda; hand-held and pretty much ooc, 1/500, f/7.1, ISO320, 200mm.

    MCD_0188

    While this is to show off what the lens can do, critique is welcome. Or should I put this over in the critique thread? I think I did blow it out a bit. Maybe go back to the raw image?
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 967Member
    edited April 2014
    Thanks for posting. The white on the Panda is blown out, but I do that with lenses that flare all the time in bright sun. You can play with it in RAW, but sadly only so much detail is recoverable. Everyone likes overexposing and pulling back, but I like the opposite of underexposing a hair and pulling up, but that is a personal preference LOL. If you post more pics, what would be nice is to see are some pics from 300-400 range. For 200, there are primes and the great 70-200's available, and seeing how it shoots normally in the 300-400 range would be helpful. Like this one:
    image
    Thanks.
    Post edited by manhattanboy on
  • michael66michael66 Posts: 231Member
    @manhattanboy Sure, I posted one in PAD yesterday. Here's another;

    MCD_0210

    It seems that I have a whole learning cycle with each new lens. I just started to get the hang of the DX 55-300.

    As for under-exposed, from what I understand and I could be really wrong, the details are still there. If you over-expose, the details get blown out. So I would agree with you. The tough thing is trying to chimp in the bright sunlight, not to mention the teeming masses of onlookers jostling you and giving you creepy stares when they see this lens. I tried to meter on dark and bright areas of the scene. Good or bad? I think I put a bunch on Flickr. I'll check and open them up if not.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,166Member
    edited December 3
    Hope its not "too good to be true" just got a 80-400 AFS off ebay... at 50% off new.... Now I cant wait till it arrives in a couple of weeks....
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,632Member
    I don't get this ..why would you pay 2000+ for a 80-400 when I just paid 400 for a Tamron 100-400 and 800 for a N 200-500
Sign In or Register to comment.