Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR

Last updated (12 November’11):
- Review by Shutterbug

Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR is a telephoto zoom lens. The lens features 80-400mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f4.5-5.6. The lens construction has 17 elements in 11 groups (3 ED glass elements) and has diagonal angle of view at 30 degrees 10 minutes to 6 degrees 10 minutes (35mm format), 20 degrees to 4 degrees (Nikon DX format). Closest focusing distance at 7.5 feet and has a filter size of 77mm. The Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR lens weighs 48 ounces and it measures 3.6 inches in diameter and 6.7 inches long.

Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR Reviews

Shutterbug reviews the Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR and writes;
“In terms of optics, build, quality, and features, this is clearly a professional lens, likely to satisfy both pros and demanding photo enthusiasts. While some photographers still prefer to use tripods for all their work, others will consider the VR system to be a blessing. “
rating: N/A

Photodo reviews the Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR and writes;
“For the price, Nikon should do better and this lens is probably due for an upgrade. The performance at the long end is disappointing to say the least and the vibration reduction has long since been superseded. Despite this, the lens is a capable performer at shorter focal lengths and the VR does work well with static subjects.”
rating: N/A

Photozone reviews the Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR and writes;
“The Nikkor AF 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR is a decent performer but it also comes with a few glitches. Optically the lens shows a very good but not exceptional resolution characteristic except at 400mm at wide-open aperture where the borders could be a little better. “
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Ephotozine reviews the Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR and writes;
“The saving grace is that the lens has good contrast throughout the range and aberrations are, again, fairly well controlled although CA does become noticeable around the edges at the long end of the zoom. “
rating: N/A

Kenrockwell reviews the Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR and writes;
“I’m amazed. This lens has a staggering SEVENTEEN elements and even with all this glass has no problem with ghosts. Avoid uncoated filters like Tiffen if you are pointing it straight at a light source like the sun, and otherwise it is much better than the 80-200 AF-S which has a real problem with ghosts.”
rating: N/A

Bythom reviews the Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR and writes;
“From 80 to 300mm, this lens is very sharp. You’ll see a bit of softness in the corners on 35mm bodies at larger apertures starting around 300mm, but other than that, there’s not much to complain about. With VR active shooting handheld, you should be able to get sharp, detailed images out of this lens at focal lengths up to 300mm.”
Rating: ★★★½☆

User Opinions

Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR User Reviews

80-400…a lot of lens for the money, | Rating: ★★★★★
“Build quality is excellent. It’s “older” technology, so it is a bit slower focusing, and a bit noisier than wsm lenses. I find that on the D80 it hunts for focus a bit more; the D300 handles the lens better, getting to focus sooner and more surely. Still, the D80 is perfectly capable of turning out great results with this lens, so you certainly don’t “need” a D300 to use the 80-400. “ – by Fred Carter

Great Lens and Superior Performance | Rating: ★★★★★
“It is a digital equivalent 120mm to 600mm that I can hand hold for sharp pictures even at 600mm. A trick I use with the D300 is to set my ISO with a low of 200 and a high of 3200 with the lowest shutter speed of 125 so with VR if I can take the picture and do my part, it will be sharp.” – by Louis Berry

review of 80-400 mm lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is a great lens, especially for the price… There is a very handy dial feature that enables me to turn the lens without turning the entire camera body. Changing from portrait to landscape style is simply a turn of the dial. It’s very helpful. My craft is outdoor photography. It gets a lot of attention from other photographers….great lens!!” – by Sandra Bennett

Manual Focus!!! | Rating: ★★★★★
“I was hesitant to make the purchase because of the noted sluggish automatic focus – and it is true. But now I use it solely with manual focus and usually a monopod and the reults are just incredible. I have taken beautiful bird and wildlife photos as well as far away details that I had never successfully photographed. “ – by C. Gauthier

Nikon… Photography!! | Rating: ★★★★★
“I get good sharp hand held photos, thanks to the VR capability. It is a little slow on the focus but nothing to stop me from getting some great shots of bird sitting and in flight. “ – by D. Bowers

Great Nikon Quality | Rating: ★★★★☆
“The optical and mechanical quality of this lens is nothing short of fantastic. I have been very pleased with the results of this lens. Great sharpness and nice contrast. The lens is a bit heavy but the VR allows one to hand hold it with impressive results even at 400mm. If you need the extra reach of 400mm, this lens will not disappoint you. “ – by J. S. Huber

Great lens, but starting to feel a little dated | Rating: ★★★★☆
“I find the VR system works well, and with the lens zoomed out to 400mm, I can usually get sharp results with shutter speeds in the vicinity of 1/100 second, maybe a little less.” – by Busy Executive

Useful as a walkabout lens, | Rating: ★★★★☆
“It’s rather lightweight compared to the set of lenses it replaces. But much heavier than a compact with a very powerful zoom. The vibration reduction works quite well. Distortion is low. Flare is rather low. Very sharp wide open from 80mm to about 200mm, pretty good to 300m. “ – by M. Henri De Feraudy

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR User Manual

- Download Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR User Manual (PDF – 970kb)

Features & Specifications

Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR Specifications

Lens-making is an art–Nikon artisans craft Nikkor optics from the finest materials, taking pride in adding their intellect and technique to bring the world’s finest lenses to life. They push the leading edge of lens-making in their effort to provide the “glass” that makes the world’s greatest pictures.

AF Nikkor lenses work with Nikon SLRs for optimal performance, even the very latest. The Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED AF VR is a compact, lightweight 5x telephoto zoom with Vibration Reduction. VR operation offers the equivalent of using a shutter speed three stops (eight times) faster. VR is automatically detected during panning operation with two modes of VR: Image plane and Viewfinder. VR for the viewfinder is cancelable to conserve battery power. Three ED glass elements ensure superior optical performance and high contrast even at maximum apertures. Filter does not rotate during zooming. The nine-blade rounded diaphragm achieves a natural blur for out-of-focus elements.

ED glass: An essential element of Nikkor telephoto lenses
Nikon developed ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass to enable the production of lenses that offer superior sharpness and color correction by minimizing chromatic aberration. Put simply, chromatic aberration is a type of image and color dispersion that occurs when light rays of varying wavelengths pass through optical glass. In the past, correcting this problem for telephoto lenses required special optical elements that offer anomalous dispersion characteristics–specifically calcium fluoride crystals. However, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens’ refractive index. So Nikon designers and engineers put their heads together and came up with ED glass, which offers all the benefits and none of the drawbacks of calcium fluorite-based glass. With this innovation, Nikon developed several types of ED glass suitable for various lenses. They deliver stunning sharpness and contrast even at their largest apertures. In this way, Nikkor’s ED-series lenses exemplify Nikon’s preeminence in lens innovation and performance.

Nikon Super Integrated Coating ensures exceptional performance
To enhance the performance of its optical lens elements, Nikon employs an exclusive multilayer lens coating that helps reduce ghost and flare to a negligible level. Nikon Super Integrated Coating achieves a number of objectives, including minimized reflection in the wider wavelength range and superior color balance and reproduction. Nikon Super Integrated Coating is especially effective for lenses with a large number of elements, like our Zoom-Nikkors. Also, Nikon’s multilayer coating process is tailored to the design of each particular lens. The number of coatings applied to each lens element is carefully calculated to match the lens type and glass used, and also to assure the uniform color balance that characterizes Nikkor lenses. This results in lenses that meet much higher standards than the rest of the industry.

Distance information
D-type and G-type Nikkors relay subject-to-camera distance information to AF Nikon camera bodies. This then makes possible advances like 3D Matrix Metering and 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash. Note: D-type and G-type Nikkors provide distance information to the following cameras: Auto exposure; F6, F5, F100, F90X, F80, F75, F70, F65, F60, F55, F50, Pronea S, Pronea 600i, D2 series, D1 series, D100 and D70s/D70. Flash control; F6, F5, F100, F90X, F80, F75, F70, D2 series, D1 series, D100, and D70s/D70 cameras.

Vibration Reduction (VR)
This innovative VR system minimizes image blur caused by camera shake and offers the equivalent of shooting at a shutter speed three stops (eight times) faster. It allows handheld shooting at dusk, at night, and even in poorly lit interiors. The lens’ VR system also detects automatically when the photographer pans–no special mode is required.

VR operation works with the Nikon F6, F5, F100, F80, F75, F65, D2-series, D1-series, D100, D70-series, and D50 cameras.

What’s in the Box:
Lens, 77mm snap-on front lens cap, rear lens cap LF-1, bayonet hood HB-26, soft pouch CL-M1.

See also: Lens Reviews | Nikon Lenses

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