Nikkor 80-400 Lens Review

Nikkor 80-400 Lens Review

“This Dog Will Hunt”

nikon nikkor 80-400

I bought this lens after reading many reviews. So, I went into the purchase already knowing that this lens wasn’t perfect. I own multiple cameras in several formats and have been a Nikon shooter since the 1980’s. I guess you’d call me an “advanced amateur”. However, I was slow to enter the digital world and have a lot to learn after about two years with a D70s and an 18-200 Nikon VR zoom.

I found the 18-200 very versatile, but wanted the greater reach that the 80-400 VR offers. After a few weeks of shooting small desert wildlife, birds and cactus flowers in our yard, I think I have a feel for the performance I can expect. While certainly not a fast lens, it produces very sharp photos when the lens is tripod or monopod-mounted. The VR function works well, but at the long end of the zoom I have experienced some blurring with this lens when it was hand-held. As noted by many others, this lens tends to “hunt” if the lighting is not strong or the contrast is low. While this is a bit frustrating, I knew this would happen. I just got tired of waiting for Nikon to announce an AF-S version and made the plunge.

Considering the price I paid for this lens versus what I would have to pay for a faster Nikon lens with a similar zoom range, I was willing to accept its weaknesses. Overall, I think this was a good purchase – not perfect – but good. I recommend this lens as a good value for serious amateurs.

More Nikon 80-400mm Reviews from Amazon:

Check out Amazon.com for more reviews of Nikon’s 80-400mm, it has more consumer reviews and reports than any other site online:

reviews of nikon 80-400mm

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Nikkor 80-400 Lens Review By Big Reader "Curtis" (Desert Southwest)
- More Reviews from Amazon.com

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1 Comment »

  1. 1
    Jovan Says:

    Nice review — but the lack of AF-S has nothing to do with why this lens is slow. There are plenty of non-AF-S lenses that are fast. It has to do with the gearing ratio Nikon chose for the lens.


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