Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED AF-S VR II

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The Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED AF-S VR II

The Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED AF-S VR is the long overdue and welcomed update to the original Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED AF VR. Like its predecessor, the 80-400mm AF-S is a do-in-all telephoto zoom that’s ideal for shooting wildlife or anything that’s far away. This lens is compatible with Nikon’s entire line of F-mount DSLR cameras and features a 4-stop VR system, a big improvement over Nikon’s very first VR system that was in the original 80-400mm.

There’s also optical improvements, with the addition of one super ED (extra-low dispersion) and four ED glass elements to help minimize chromatic aberrations, providing sharp, high contrast images throughout the zoom range. You have three focus modes to choose from: A/M (Auto-Priority Manual Mode) enables an easy transition from autofocus to manual during AF operation, M/A (autofocus with manual override, MF priority) allows switching from AF to MF with virtually no lag time by turning the focusing ring, and straight Manual focus mode. It includes a tripod ring for use with a tripod / monopod, and a removable hood to help prevent lens flare.

Roger's Take

We’ve waited for years for Nikon to update the 80-400 and they finally have, with a new optical formula, their best VR system, and silent wave motor. It’s noticeably more expensive, larger, and quicker to autofocus than the original 80-400. The VR system is noticeable, too, which is a good thing because this lens has probably the worst telephoto collar in the history of lenses and noticeably wobbles on your tripod.

It’s a nice sharp lens, though, resolving better than it’s predecessor and better than a 70-200 f/2.8 VR II with a teleconverter. That’s what you really wanted to know, isn’t it?

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