Customer reviews

Customer Reviews | 36 reviews | 4.7 out of 5

4.5 stars

36 reviews | 4.7 out of 5

4.5 stars

36 reviews | 4.7 out of 5

Would recommend to a friend
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1-20 of 36 total reviews
Would recommend to a friend



1-20 of 36 total reviews
1-20 of 36 reviews
New 80-400 lens, nice but not perfect

Customer review by malley

4.0 stars 12/17/2013 by malley
by malley

overall great lens, very sharp images once you understand how to work with it. It does have a very distracting feature when using continuous focus, which is my primary mode in shooting sports. As the lens set moves around as it focus on moving objects, either with or without VR on, the movement of the lens groups causes the image you see in the view finder to jump around as well. I've tested this with three camera bodies - D300, D40, and a new D7100, and also tested a second copy of the lens at the store, and it is very evident in all combinations of equipment. If I was ok with using the 70-200/2.8 and a 2x converter, this may have been the better way to go. Working with Nikon support to describe and check out the issue, so we will see if this is just the way the lens works or if I have a problem. Build quality is great, images are great, a blast to shoot with, but the jumping around is annoying for sure.

Indianapolis, IN, USA
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
A solid replacement still in a packable form

Customer review by Dogpilot

5.0 stars 6/10/2013 by Dogpilot
by Dogpilot

I bought the first version of this lens back in 2000, but I had issues with its VR system and the D100. So I went for the 200-400. Unfortunately, that lens is huge. So when I have to hike way back in the field, I again got the original version of this lens. It was too slow to focus on quickly moving wildlife. Well, when this came out, I pounced on it. It focuses fast, still has a similar compact size. I have found that while it can work well with wildlife, it focuses relatively close, so it works on flowers and small objects, where a narrow field and focus works well to isolate it from the background. The bokeh with a lineated background is pleasing. So all in all I am very pleased with this lens and am contemplating a little sell off of some of my other lenses this overlays. It is heavier than the original, but not overly so. I look forward to spending a great deal of time in the field with this one.

Flagstaff, AZ, USA
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
An amazing, versatile lens

Customer review by BirdwatcherPro

5.0 stars 4/23/2016 by BirdwatcherPro
by BirdwatcherPro

This is a great lens for anyone who wants to be able to get stunning photographs of wildlife. The ease of use is fantastic. Easy to understand user manual, and the lens does what you need it to do, first time, every time. 80-400mm is a nice, wide range; out at 400 lets you get incredible detail of small and distant subjects. I use a D90 camera with this lens, and everything works, all functions supported. I love the two settings for autofocus, so that if you know your subject is out at greater than 20 ft., set it to the 6m-infinity setting and it autofocuses very quickly. Great for fast-moving birds. It's still very fast autofocus on the "full" setting, too. This lens is really worth the price.

Northville, MI, USA
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Awesome lens!!

Customer review by Bruiser

5.0 stars 5/3/2016 by Bruiser
by Bruiser

I bought a refurbished unit from Nikon. When I received it the lens I was quite surprised of the size and weight. I'm pushing 70 and carrying this around is very tiresome. BUT the images are astounding and when you view them on your computer you forget how heavy it is. I'll post a few images so you can see. The egrets and blue herons are approximately 75 feet from where I was standing. The eyes are tack sharp!!

Ocala, Florida
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Excellent Execution

Customer review by An anonymous customer

5.0 stars 2/14/2015 by An anonymous customer
by An anonymous customer

Let me start by saying I own this lens and the fantastic 200-400 f/4 VR. The 80-400 is ideal for travel, and hiking, whereas the 200-400 a bit cumbersome. The 80-400 is nearly half the weight, but similarly impressive in terms of optical performance. Beautiful, color rendition and sharpness at all focal lengths. The build is strong and competent and quite capable of withstanding hash environments. The collar works, but I would consider it an overall disappointment on an otherwise fine lens. I swapped my collar out for one by RRS, which is much better. The VR is amazing! I have handheld at 400mm and 1/3 sec., on my Df, and produced images that are quite usable. The price may seem high to some, but I believe it is worth it. I recommend this lens without reservation!

An anonymous customer
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Worth Upgrading from the First Version

Customer review by AustinMan

5.0 stars 7/5/2013 by AustinMan
by AustinMan

I purchased the first version of this lens second hand and was pleased with the results. The down side was the speed of focus, so I took the plunge, paid the extra money and purchased this lens. Buyers remorse has yet to kick in, which I take as a good sign. While this lens may be heavier and larger than the original it feels more balanced in my hands, reducing the need for a mono/tripod. I should point out I have large hands, so others may not agree with me. The speed and precision of the auto-focus is in a different league to the old lens. No more hunting around trying to focus. This alone is a great reason to upgrade. I have yet to use the lens with fast moving subjects, in particular sports events under artificial lights, and the relatively slow F stop may be an issue. That said, the newer cameras and their improved high ISO performance help. This is a great lens, but it is not for everyone. If you don't need a 400mm lens on a regular basis, your money may be better spent on a 70-200mm 2.8 lens with a tele-converter. If like me, you use long focal lengths on a regular basis, this lens is justified. If you use the old version of this lens, trade it in, pay the extra money and you will be a happy photographer.

Austin, TX, USA
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Great portable option for birding

Customer review by MO

5.0 stars 2/10/2014 by MO
by MO

I bought this lens with a D7100 to replace the older model and a D300. Although the new combination is far superior to the previous one, I realized that it is mainly due to the camera and not to the new lens. On a DX format, I could not find any noticeable difference in image quality between the new and the older model. That does not mean that the new model is bad, just that the older one appears to be as good at the center of the field. Nevertheless, the new model has important advantages : it focuses much faster and the VR is far more efficient at all speeds. As the lens is relatively chunky and heavy and I use it handheld, a nice carrying option is a double shoulder strap connected to the lens and to the bottom of the camera/grip.

Would recommend to a friend? Yes
VR is amazing

Customer review by Librarian7

5.0 stars 10/25/2015 by Librarian7
by Librarian7

Got this lens to replace (supplement) my 70-300vr and I am amazed at the sharpness and the VR capabilities. I took it out in the evening for a trial and took a couple of frames in crazy low light just to see if it would work -- I was shocked. I was shooting at 1/3 second with my D610 at ISO 3200 with lens zoomed out to 400mm. You can see the result- (other than tiny back-focus, my bad) no camera movement. Have also done a few nature/bird snaps - so sharp. Only drawback is the size and weight- what you would expect from a professional super-zoom - but still massive.

St. Louis, MO, USA
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Very versatile lens. Sports. Stop Action. Portraits. Great resolving power. Pairs very well with FX body. Love it.

Customer review by Daddio

5.0 stars 10/5/2014 by Daddio
by Daddio

Been using this lens for over 1 year now. Can't say enough about it. It's been fantastic with D7100, D610 and D750. It's become the goto portrait and pet around the house lens, too. Didn't expect that. It started as a 2 kids in soccer lens. We have a 28-300 FX VR lens on the camera all the time. And a quick swap to this lens for games was the plan, and works very well for that. As I said, portraits and pet shots (handheld or tripod from 15 feet) are AWESOME. It was a big purchase but FX glass holds its value much better than camera bodies. I can freeze action and see my sons faces clearly from the other corner of the field in daylight game shots with an FX body. I'd do it again in a second.

St. Louis, MO, USA
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Big Lens, small package

Customer review by Torchman 310

5.0 stars 4/22/2013 by Torchman 310
by Torchman 310

After using the original 80-400 MM for some years now, all I can say is wow with this new model. Quicker, more accurate auto focus, sharper and more vibrant photos. Easily hand held. The VR in this model is spot on. I used my TE 20E III 2X tele converter on my D 200, brought my subject up to 1200MM in DX format. This lens is great for Nature, Wild Life, and Sports. The only downside is that it is heavy, therefore best results are tripod mounted or, like I do, A monopod. Also NIKON went cheap by using a foldout chart as opposed to a booklet. But hey, it's a great lens. But it's not F2.8 therefore a 2X tele converter will bring your subject up close and personal, but auto focus will not work.

Torchman 310
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Worth the wait

Customer review by CarlDT

5.0 stars 8/9/2013 by CarlDT
by CarlDT

It feels like I waited ten years for this lens to be released. It was worth the wait! Photos have been extremely sharp and even though the lens is a bit heavy, with the VR it can be hand held with good results. Used the 28-300 prior to this lens and while it was "good enough" at the time, it's no contest now. Tested both just prior to a trip to Hawaii and there was no question which one was making the trip. Took one hand held shot from a lookout high above a rocky beach and you could see the grains of sand and extremely clear and sharp gradations in the rocks surrounding the swimming area. This lens completes the set of lenses I need for almost any situation. Worth every dollar.

New York, USA
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Bonafide 400mm Super Telephoto Lens

Customer review by Scripps23

5.0 stars 10/8/2014 by Scripps23
by Scripps23

This Nikon 80-400mm second generation lens is a significant improvement over the original lens (Nikon's first VR lens). Not only is the auto focus on this newer lens faster, due to the introduction of the AF-S function, the optics are redesigned as well. The size and weight of this lens allow one to conveniently walk around with a very powerful focal length. Attached is a photo of an unsuspecting sidewalk entertainer in Las Vegas, Nevada, taken on "The Strip" (South Las Vegas Boulevard) near the Bellagio Hotel. The shutter speed is 1/250, the aperture is f/5.6, the ISO is 125, and the focal length is 330mm, taken with a Nikon D800 camera body.

San Diego, California
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Great addition

Customer review by wildlife shooter

5.0 stars 3/24/2013 by wildlife shooter
by wildlife shooter

I pre-ordered this lens with some hesitation because of the limitations of the previous version. Not to worry! This is a great lens. Autofocus is amazingly quick(comparable to the 70-200 2.8) and quite sharp. The VR is so good I can shoot hand held at 1/30 and still have amazingly sharp images even at 100% on a D800.Perhaps low light action might be a limitation with the max aperture being 5.6 at 400mm but with the low light capabilities of most modern DSLR's this is less of a problem than you might expect. Even the tripod collar and foot feel like an upgrade over previous. Great addition to the Nikon arsenal.

wildlife shooter
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Outstanding safari lens

Customer review by danb

5.0 stars 1/6/2015 by danb
by danb

I debated long and hard between the new 80-400 (which had just been released) and the 200-400 for my D800E before leaving for an East African safari. I had the chance to try out the lenses side-by-side at the camera store, then went home and compared at very high resolution on a large monitor. With each lens stopped down one stop, if there was a difference in sharpness, it was beyond my ability to see, even at maximal pixel-peeping resolution. The major advantage of the 80-400 was its being half the weight and size (and, of course, much less expensive). In the field, the lens did not disappoint. I used a bean bag for most shots, but also did some hand-helds and was very impressed. I used it on a D7100 body to gain the extra DX reach, and even used it on both bodies with the TC-14 II teleconverter. The only thing you give up with the 80-400 is being able to shoot at 400 mm at f4. Since the best time for game viewing is often during early morning or near sunset, this was a minor inconvenience. However, with the fantastic high-iso resolution of modern DSLRs, this was easily compensated for. One piece of advice that also helped me decide was to get whichever lens I would feel most comfortable using, not just on safari, where you spend most of your time in a vehicle, but for my other pursuits, e.g. hiking. No question that the not having the extra 4 lbs to carry around made the difference. This is an awesome lens.

Palo Alto, CA
Would recommend to a friend? Yes

Customer review by Nikon Fan

5.0 stars 3/30/2013 by Nikon Fan
by Nikon Fan

Being a prior 11 year owner of the 80-400D, and having bought this lens Mar 14, I have shot over 1K exposures with stunning results. Sharp, sharp, sharp even at 400mm! A major improvement over the D. AF-S, even in continuous focus @5fps on my D600 and D7000, is superb. Contrast, brightness and color @400mm equals my 300mm prime! CA is gone and mechanicals are excellent. Being a product designer/engineer myself, I can only imagine the effort that went into the design decisions and execution of this product. Nikon, big congratulations for bringing this lens to the world!

Nikon Fan
Would recommend to a friend? Yes

Customer review by Photophanatic

5.0 stars 4/29/2013 by Photophanatic
by Photophanatic

Having owned the original version of this lens, I can only say that Nikon has hit a home run with this new version of the 80-400. Focus hunting is a thing of the past - this one locks right on to your subject - and the optics are superb considering the focal length range - outstanding at 400 mm even wide open. The VR does it's job and although I have used the lens mostly on a monopod or tripod, I've been able to get tack sharp images hand held when mounted on my D800. If you've been waiting for the original 80-400's replacement, it has definitely arrived.

Saginaw, MI, USA
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Rock Solid

Customer review by Blues2cool

5.0 stars 5/1/2014 by Blues2cool
by Blues2cool

Very well constructed sharp at close to 400 mm. I consider this a must have lens for wildlife and day light sports. It focuses fairly quickly on my D 700 and I don't consider it a soft focus. At 46 oz it requires a monopod or a tripod to keep it steady. When possible I shoot at higher shutter speeds 500 and above. If your wondering should I buy this lens or should I spend the really big money for the F2.8 200-400 if you have 6000.00 by all means get the F 2.8. But this lens does a great job I feel like with a little care it should hold up just fine.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
An outstanding lens for Nature Photographers

Customer review by BLNature

5.0 stars 8/21/2015 by BLNature
by BLNature

I've owned the 80-400 mm F:4.5-5.6 VR Nikkor telephoto zoom lens for well over a year. And all I can say about it is that it is a fantastic product. As anyone who takes wildlife photos knows, it's wonderful to be able to shoot handheld. Also, with a rapidly moving subject far away from the camera, it's great to be able to find the subject and zoom in on it, and then follow it. This is especially true of birds in flight. It's also nice to be able to shoot wider images without having to change lenses in a dusty or rainy environment. This lens does all that without difficulty. It is exceedingly sharp, with brilliant color and good contrast resolution. It's fast enough and long enough so that with the D800 it gives sharp, low-noise images of distant subjects, while allowing a shutter speed that avoids motion blur. Although it is a wonderful wildlife telphoto, it can also be used a a distance of a few feet as almost a macro lens. And at the wide end, it's sharp and decent for architecture and some landscape work too. This lens is very lightweight for the quality of the build and the optics. Although there are plastic elements, I am able to take it everywhere, and there has never been a problem with dusty, wet, hot, or cold environments. I often go to wildlife refuges where there are other photographers using longer prime lenses. The images I get from this lens and the D800 are at least as good as those obtained with much more expensive (and much heavier) gear. Without a doubt, this is a pricey lens, but it's well worth the cost, and has optical quality and reach you could easily pay twice as much for. You won't regret owning one!

Georgia, USA
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Great Lens!

Customer review by natphoto

5.0 stars 3/25/2013 by natphoto
by natphoto

Nikon's AF-S Nikkor 80-400 VR G ED lens is solid, sharp, and silent! Just got mine last week and spend a few hours at a local nature park trying out these new lens. A bit heavier than the older model, but still able to work with it handheld. I have cropped some of the images up to 50 percent and they are still sharp. Will do more testing later and will be interested to see how it works on a tripod with the VR turned off. Hats off to Nikon for a job well done on this one. Great addition to my nature photography toolbox.

Leesburg, VA, USA
Would recommend to a friend? Yes

Customer review by PeterSaiGon2020

5.0 stars 6/15/2015 by PeterSaiGon2020
by PeterSaiGon2020

Very fast autofocus, the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR delivers outstanding results every time, and brings an exciting new frontier to portrait photography. Very well built, and can easily be hand held for portrait work. Combined with an AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III, I have an excellent 160-800mm VR lens. Be prepared to manual focus when using the TC-20E III.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
1-20 of 36 total reviews
1-20 of 36 reviews