Noisy AF on 80-400 f4.5-5.6G VR

MrFotoFoolMrFotoFool Posts: 326Member
I rented an 80-400 f4.5-5.6G VR and tried it out this afternoon. The autofocus is rather noisy and feels kind of jittery (like the lens is shaking when you press the shutter halfway). At first I thought it was the vibration reduction mechanism but I turned off VR and when I hit the button to autofocus it was the same. Is this normal for this lens?

Comments

  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,766Member
    I’ve noticed jittery AF on my 70-200 VRII lens but it seems to work fine.
  • gene_mcgillgene_mcgill Posts: 354Member
    I had an 80-400 f4.5-5.6G VR and its autofocus was just as you describe. I had occasion to have the lens repaired for another issue. Since I was sending it to Nikon anyway, I asked Nikon to check the autofocus. They said it was normal. It did seem to work OK in spite of that jitter.
  • MrFotoFoolMrFotoFool Posts: 326Member
    I tested it in a controlled way the following morning by focusing on a mountain acrosss from my home (with saguaro cacti on the ridgeline). I used a tripod and fast shutter speed and repeated the same shot at the same focal length with a Sony 200-600 that I own. The Nikon image was grossly out of focus and the Sony was tack sharp. I sent the lens back to LensRentals without using it further and told them it needs to be checked out. Even if a new one works better (as I assume it would) I decided not to buy one and stick with my somewhat large and heavy Sony. (I still use Nikon D850 for shorter lenses).
  • MrFotoFoolMrFotoFool Posts: 326Member
    LensRentals confirmed the lens does not focus properly at infinity. They are going to repair it and issue me a refund for my rental.
  • MrFotoFoolMrFotoFool Posts: 326Member
    @mhedges @gene_mcgill and anyone else who has or had this lens. Other than the jittery AF in continuous focus mode, are there any issues? Is the lens sharp? They have a good deal on a refurbished model now (additional 10% off) and I may grab it this weekend before the sale ends.
  • gene_mcgillgene_mcgill Posts: 354Member

    @mhedges @gene_mcgill and anyone else who has or had this lens. Other than the jittery AF in continuous focus mode, are there any issues? Is the lens sharp? They have a good deal on a refurbished model now (additional 10% off) and I may grab it this weekend before the sale ends.

    My experiences:

    - Sharpness: Best all around from 80-300mm, but usable out to 400, in particular on close subjects. It was definitely sharper if I turned off the VR and shot at an appropriately fast shutter speed. At 300, it was on par with my 300 f/4D. I never had higher-end primes or third-party lenses in that range so I cannot compare to them. Within its range, my 70-200 f/2.8G VRII was a tad sharper. https://www.flickr.com/photos/126560387@N02/29157501076/
    - Bokeh: Nice when used at close distances: https://www.flickr.com/photos/126560387@N02/16407179786/ but busy at longer distances: https://www.flickr.com/photos/126560387@N02/20173920689/
    - Build: That repair I had done was for a failure of the lens shade mount - easy to cross-thread that - be careful. Over time I did see some dust inside the lens - not surprising for an extending zoom - but no impact on image quality.
    - Other: CA was well controlled. However, sometimes I would see a slight glow around the subject (a BIF, for example). Usually had to view at 100% to see it, but still.

    If I was sticking with DSLRs, I probably would have kept the lens. But I am moving to the Z system. Trading in the 80-400G helped fund the 100-400 S, which is noticeably better.

    Hope this helps!
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,766Member

    @mhedges @gene_mcgill and anyone else who has or had this lens. Other than the jittery AF in continuous focus mode, are there any issues? Is the lens sharp? They have a good deal on a refurbished model now (additional 10% off) and I may grab it this weekend before the sale ends.

    Sorry I have never had this lens. Apologies - my experience is with the 70-200 2.8 VRII which does sometimes chatter when it focuses.
  • MrFotoFoolMrFotoFool Posts: 326Member
    Thanks for replies. I have decided not to get it but to stick with my Sony 200-600. In spite of the larger size, it is so sharp and has extended range that I think it's too good to give up.
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