6 March 2013

The new Nikkor 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 VR lens

Nikon has upgraded the first (!) VR (aka. Vibration Reduction, Image Stabilisation, Optical Stabilisation) lens.

While with proper technique and usage, the old Nikkor 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 lens was able to deliver awesome results, the lens had its faults. Probably the biggest being that it was quite slow to focus. When compared to today's standards and the use of high pixel density cameras, the optics where in dire need of an upgrade too.

People therefore had been “demanding” for an upgrade of this lens for quite a few years now.

Well, the wait is finally over and Nikon now has an updated version of this lens. From the specs and especially the lens quality tests I've seen so far, it looks as if Nikon have outdone themselves. Not only does the lens have all the new features one expects – AF-S, Nano coating, VRII – the lens's optics are really astonishing too, perhaps they're even better than that of the 70-200 f/2.8 VRII!

As more and more Nikon cameras are able to focus at f/8, Nikon also enabled the use of Tele-Converters on this lens, further extending the flexibility. Really nice!

The only disappointing thing, perhaps, about this lens is probably its price, at $2,699.95/€2699 it is more than twice as expensive as the old one. Probably well worth it, but still…


Mount TypeNikon F-Bayonet
Focal Length Range80-400mm
Zoom Ratio5x
Maximum Aperturef/4.5-5.6
Minimum Aperturef/32-40
Maximum Angle of View (DX-format)20°
Minimum Angle of View (DX-format)
Maximum Angle of View (FX-format)30°10'
Minimum Angle of View (FX-format)6°10'
Maximum Reproduction Ratio0.2x
Lens Elements20
Lens Groups12
Compatible Format(s)FX
FX in DX Crop Mode
35mm Film
VR (Vibration Reduction) Image StabilizationYes
Diaphragm Blades9
Distance InformationYes
Nano Crystal CoatYes
ED Glass Elements4
Super ED Glass Elements1
Super Integrated CoatingYes
AF-S (Silent Wave Motor)Yes
Internal FocusingYes
Minimum Focus Distance5.74 ft. (1.75m)
Focus ModeAuto, Manual, Auto/Manual
Filter Size77mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Dimensions± 3.8 x 8.0 in. (Diameter x Length)
± 95.5 x 203mm (Diameter x Length)
Based on CIPA Guidelines
Weight± 56 oz. (1570g)
including tripod collar
Based on CIPA Guidelines
Supplied AccessoriesHB-65 Lens Hood
LF-4 Rear Lens Cap
LC-77 Snap-On Front Lens Cap
CL-M2 Ballistic Nylon Lens Case

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