June 05, 2014  •  2 Comments

When I first took the new Nikkor 80 - 400 VR lens out of its box, my first thought was are you really going to carry this thing all over the Canadian Rockies? I knew it would be cold and snowy there and that meant at times I would be climbing over and through frozen snow. I also knew that I would be holding my camera bag and a tripod (yes even with a VR lens). Why a tripod? Mainly because when I photograph landscapes, I like to compose and recompose my image in camera. I like to fine tune until I am satisfied that I have checked my edges and the horizons are straight. Yes, I know that I can fix that in Lightroom but if I can do it in the field, I will have the image I want, not the image I need to settle for. As I lifted the lens, it weighs 3.5 lbs. All I thought was this better be worth the money and the energy. Was it?  I have my opinion so much so that I thought I would write my first review of any equipment.

Lets start with the specifications;

Focal Length Range 80-400mm

3.8 in.
 (95.5 mm)
 x 8.0 in.
(203 mm)


John Middleton(non-registered)
Great review, Jim! It sounds like the VRII works as promised. How did you find the AF accuracy and speed of the lens? How about close focusing; ant attempts at that with it yet?

It's one I hooey to add someday. My current telephoto setup is the Nikkor 300mm f4 with Nikon's 1.4 teleconverter. I give up the vr, but it's half the price. I almost always use a tripod with that setup; another trade off of weight and convenience for sharper images, but it obviates moving subject photography (like flying birds etc.)

Thanks for your post - makes me wZnt that lens even more.
Susan Faulkner Davis(non-registered)
Could't agree more with your well written review, Jim. I love my 80-400 lens and now my husband loves his as well!
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