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Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens announcement

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Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens announcement:

Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens MTF charts:

Nikkor-80-400mm-f4.5-5.6G-ED-VR-lens-MTF-chart

Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens design:

Nikkor 80-400mm f4.5-5.6G ED VR lens design

Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens specifications:

Focal length
80-400 mm
Maximum aperture
f/4.5-5.6
Minimum aperture
f/32-40
Lens construction
20 elements in 12 groups (including four ED glass and one Super ED glass elements, and Nano Crystal Coat)
Angle of view
30°10' - 6°10' (20° - 4° with Nikon DX format)
Minimum focus distance
1.75 m/5.74 ft from focal plane (1.5 m/4.92 ft in MF)
Maximum reproduction ratio
1/5.7x (1/5.1x in MF)
No. of diaphragm blades
9 (rounded)
Filter-attachment size
77 mm
Diameter x length
(distance from camera lens mount flange)
Approximately 95.5 x 203 mm/3.8 x 8.0 in.
Weight (Based on CIPA Guidelines)
Approximately 1570 g/3.5 lb (with tripod mounting collar); approximately 1480 g/3.3 lb (without tripod mounting collar)
Supplied accessories
77 mm snap-on Front Lens Cap LC-77, Rear Lens Cap LF-4, Bayonet Hood HB-65, Flexible Lens Pouch CL-M2

Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens features:

  • A 5x FX-format compatible telephoto zoom lens covering focal lengths of 80-400 mm
  • Four ED lens elements and one super ED lens element adopted for advanced optical performance
  • Nano Crystal Coat adopted to effectively reduce ghost and flare
  • VR performance equivalent to a 4-step increase in shutter speed (tested in accordance with CIPA guidelines at a focal length of 400 mm)
  • Equipped with an SWM for an AF system that is both quiet and one of the fastest in its class
  • Three focus modes: A/M, M/A, M
  • When used with a camera that supports autofocusing with lenses with a maximum aperture of f/8, AF is possible even when a 1.4x teleconverter is used

Press release:

Nikon Zooms In on Ultra Telephoto Versatility with the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens

Newest High-Power NIKKOR Lens Offers Photographers the Long Reach and Exceptional Clarity Needed in the Field and on the Sidelines

MELVILLE, N.Y. – Today, Nikon Inc. introduced the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, a versatile FX-format telephoto zoom lens designed to provide top-class performance and a long reach for a variety of shooting scenarios. Sporting a long 5x zoom range, the 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G is capable of capturing vivid colors with exquisite sharpness, whether shooting stills or HD video. Ideal for sports and nature photography, the addition of the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR reaffirms Nikon’s commitment to providing a stable of lensing options for all types of photographers.

“Nikon’s next generation of the 80-400mm lens gives advanced photographers yet another top-quality NIKKOR lens to help capture every precise moment with intense detail and exceptional clarity,” said Bo Kajiwara, Vice President of Marketing, Planning and Customer Experience, Nikon Inc. “It’s a one lens solution that combines a versatile 5x zoom range, long focal length and core Nikon technologies to help create beautiful stills and HD video.”

High-Performance, High-Power Zoom
Nikon’s newest telephoto zoom lens features a versatile 80-400mm focal length (5x zoom equivalent) that offers photographers a high-power FX-format lensing option to help capture stunning stills and HD video. Whether birding or shooting from the stands, the lens is also compatible with DX-format bodies to extend the maximum reach to 120-600mm (35mm equivalent). Additionally, alongside a 1.4x teleconverter, the lens can be expanded to an f/8 aperture to retain compatibility with the AF system on the most recent Nikon D-SLR cameras.

The AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR is loaded with essential NIKKOR technologies to help ensure top performance for the advanced photographer, including Vibration Reduction (VR) allowing for up to four stops of image stabilization while Auto tripod detection VR allows for effortless stabilization when mounted on a tripod. The lens sports Nikon’s exclusive Nano Crystal Coat to prevent ghost and flare, a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) to ensure fast and quiet AF operation, and two focusing modes including M/A (AF with manual override) and M (manual). A new optical formula features 20 elements in 12 groups and includes one Super ED Glass Element and four ED glass elements for maximum clarity in a wide variety of shooting environments.

Price and Availability
The AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR will be available in early April 2013 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $2,699.95.* For more information on these and other NIKKOR lenses as well as other Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/KRDiesel Steve Cox

    Nice, Was hoping that the price was closer to 2k though

    • IdahoJim

      Yeh $2,600 is above the mark in my mind. Will have to wait and see what it actually lists at here in the states.

    • KJ

      So what the $1K price premium over the previous generation net you?

      • David

        A lens that isn’t horrible.

  • Zinchuk

    I expect they will have both this and the 200-400 F4 at WPPI next week in the NPS room and on the floor. It will be interesting to compare the two, and to see if one stop – f5.6 to f4, is worth the $4000 or so difference. I generally believe you get what you pay for, but man, that is a big price difference.

    • Global

      The current 80-400 is $1500. They couldn’t just ADD -VR 3- to the old design and charge $1800? They need to add another $1000?? Ridiculous… they will not lose money on this lens at $1600. They are just fleecing us at $2600.

      • Dave

        Have you used the older one? I certainly wouldn’t touch it if it’s just the same optics (of course not) plus VR3.

      • http://twitter.com/_thelonius_ christopher smith

        your main concern is vr 3?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692619298 Sunil Gupta

        Sorry to be harsh, but you obviously didn’t read the press release. The lens is an internal focusing lens with more ED elements, SW motor, etc.. not just VR3 on the old lens.

        It may be high priced, but there isn’t any other alternative for some of us. I tried 3rd party lenses and even with all its flaws, the Nikon 80-400 was better than any of them. Plus, I can’t put on and take off a tele-convertor for what I like to shoot.

    • peterw

      perhaps they also improved the tripod collar… oops, not.

    • peterw

      perhaps they also improved the tripod collar… oops, not.

  • desmo

    this lens is for the Birds

    • s.dunn

      Kinda slow for chasing birds… maybe for chasing kids? Uber mom SLR lens, though maybe not at that price.

    • AlphaTed

      why do you keep posting the same comment?

    • neversink

      This lens will probably be better than the original 80-400, but it is not my cup of tea. For the money, you are better off buying the 70-200 f/2.8 and shoot with all available TCs for Nikon lenses. But that’s my opine only. Never really understood the excitement over owning this lens. For the birds, is quite correct, but you will do better with the 70-200 and a TC2.0iii

  • GlobalGuy

    This looks like it has……. VR 2 (4 stops)…. not VR 3 (5 stops). How come the 70-200/4 has VR 3 — but this one, which can benefit from it more, does not? Does the price reflect this downgrade? [In other words, is this replacing the consumer 70-300 VR, with the same weaknesses in the long-end, or is it a truly higher-end lens?]

    • GlobalGuy

      Oh.. god… they’ve got to be kidding: $2,699.95. lol Does this have VR 3 or not??

    • http://www.facebook.com/cosplayshots Max Archer

      For me, the price and the type of VR are secondary to the AF performance and optical quality of this lens. I think Nikon realizes that a lot of this lens’s market is people who are interested in this lens as a more portable and somewhat more affordable alternative to a supertele for pro or semi-pro use. I’d be using it for auto racing, which is a mostly daylight sport, involves a lot of travel, and doesn’t pay enough to justify owning an $8000 lens, but $2600 is only a little more than five weekends of renting the 200-400 or 500/4 I currently use for events.

      • King of Swaziland

        Maybe for you, but for the amateur birder, not including VR III at that price point is a colossal FU from Nikon to that segment.

        • Global

          Exactly. Its not a matter of VR 2 vs. VR 3 being such an amazing difference (although 1 stop is pretty huge, and in terms of ISO very critical for dark lenses like this). But since the COST of this lens is DOUBLE the current lenses price, and well over the cost of its Flag-ship consumer lens (the 70-200 VRII), you would have to think that it should include the most advancements possible, including VR 3…. not the least because the lens is so dark to begin with. It needs it and could definitely use it. Maybe it does have it. Just seems like it doesn’t by the specifications Could be wrong. Let’s see.

          • asdfasdf

            why do you idiots insist on VR3 for a wildlife lens? If anything, you’ll be turning VR off because you’ll have high enough shutter speeds to freeze motion at that range.

            Good luck getting good BIF or other wildlife shots if you need to use the VR at all!

            • desmo

              in the modern hi res,
              can you say more megapixels, digital age.
              VR is important

      • Daryl

        Max, there will be a stampede of buyers at this price if the optical quality is there and can exploit the sensor in the D800. Good glass cost money, let’s hope the optics are much improved over the the last version. The mtf curves looks very promising. Let’s hope Nikon doesn’t listen to all the price people, there’s certainly enough crap out there for them.

    • D5100 owner

      It might have VR 3, but at 400 mm it only gives 4 stops. At larger focal lengths, there is a greater magnification and therefor greater shake. same stabilization at 2X the focal length, won’t be affective. Simple physics.

      • Global

        You could be right, but I feel doubtful. If anything, VR helps a lot more the longer the lens (because the angle of shake is wider, which means that any compensation by the camera is much more helpful). Compare that to a wide angle lens, where the wider you go, the less shake is noticeable, and therefore the less that VR can help you get any stops closer. Just my theory; there is obviously a point of diminishing returns in either direction, but I suspect tele benefits the most — that’s why the VR is on the tele lenses to begin with.

        • patto01

          He’s not saying it isn’t beneficial; just that the same technology yields a smaller affect.

  • DonD

    Well, they are certainly proud of it and not giving it away. How do these MTF charts compare to the 70-200?

    • desmo

      good but not that well

  • Photoretouchpro

    I’m in, but will likely wait for a instant rebate. Looks good and I’ve been waiting a long time for this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cosplayshots Max Archer

    Not sure what people expected for the price. There’s been over a decade of inflation and material cost increases since the old one came out, not to mention a massive increase in the value of the yen. That’s not to mention the higher cost of AF-S (look at what the 80-200 D cost vs even the original non-VR 80-200 AF-S) and the fact that the 80-400 was always built to a similar quality and MSRPed for a similar price to the 80-200/70-200s.

    FWIW I bet we’ll see a substantial rebate on this thing pretty quickly, as we have with the 70-200 and other similarly priced lenses.

    • King of Swaziland

      An ultrasonic ring motor probably only costs a couple of dollars for Nikon. Yen, glass, assembly steps, etc… all probably dwarf the cost of an ultrasonic ring motor as components of the price (it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if AF-S lenses were easier to assemble and cheaper this way than screwdriver lenses).

      • RC

        This is all speculation, and whenever people make posts like this, they seem to leave out all the development costs, and the cost of the machinery. Making a lens isn’t like slapping a car together. You have to make sure elements are aligned properly and adjust them after assembly to make sure all measurements are within specification. Of course, this is just my speculation but something tells me that the end-user is the one getting the good deal here. There’s a lot that goes into lenses these days, and we’re getting quite an improvement in performance. Just think about who Jansen had to turn to when he wanted a good lens.

        I also don’t think this is a high-demand lens, so maybe that’s why it costs relatively more.

        • desmo

          speculation it may be,
          but right he is

        • http://twitter.com/podperson Tonio Loewald

          Slapping a car together is probably a wee bit difficult too ;-)

          The MTF chart for this lens is pretty impressive.

    • Greg

      I was starting to think I might jump on this lens, but it’s just not worth that price to me. I was expecting a pump from the old rev, and was secretly hoping that Nikon figured out how to build a more modern lens for the earlier price. Doubling the price is a non-starter for me.

      It’s got to get down under $2k for me. It looks like a nice piece of glass, but I’ll wait. In other words– I won’t be helping Nikon make their numbers this quarter… Maybe sometime in 2014.

      • St.

        I would pay $1000 over this price if it was f/4 lens
        Now, I will probably not buy it.
        My 70-200mm f/2.8 and the TC-III 2x will do the same job.

        • preston

          That is not a realistic hope. Since Nikon’s 200-400 f/4 sells for $6,700 there is no way they were going to give another 400mm f/4 option for $3,700.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692619298 Sunil Gupta

          How is 140-400 f5.6 the same as 80-400 f4.5-5.6?

          • Lardinio

            It’ll do the same job is the user is shooting between 200-400mm @ f/5.6 (approx). Clearly, if the user is shooting between 80-140mm or at f/4 it won’t!

            • Arthur

              Sorry Lardinio, hadn’t noticed you already replied to Sunil’s question. I still don’t get this comment board completely…

          • Arthur

            Well, it is both 400 f5.6. Most people buy a tele mostly for the tele end :)

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692619298 Sunil Gupta

              no, most people buy a tele for the tele range :) Otherwise, what’s the point? – just buy a prime.

            • Arthur

              Agreed Sunil Gupta, perhaps it’s a matter of personal taste. Personally, I would love this lens to be a 200-400 f5.6 (and cheaper) and use another lens for the wider range. I don’t see the need for a 80mm on the same lens, especially with regard to its minimum focus distance. But I guess many people will think differently, this lens is a classic of course.

          • Sean

            I think the point is that you can get to 400mm f/5.6 for just the price of the TC-20E if you already have a 70-200. Much cheaper and more versatile.

            • Arkasai

              I don’t really buy this argument, I see what you’re getting at but no teleconverter provides you the convenience of a 5X zoom range.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692619298 Sunil Gupta

              “versatile” depends on your point of view I guess. For me, it’s far more versatile being able to zoom out to 80mm to grab a large object and then zoom into 300-400 range without having to stop what I’m doing, take apart the camera, dig out the tele-convertor and slap the whole thing back together (all the while getting dirt and dust onto my sensor)… not to mention missing my shot :)

              Case in point: The following sequence would be impossible with the TC+70-200:

              400mm: http://lockonaviation.net/html/showphoto.php?id=8930

              120mm: http://lockonaviation.net/html/showphoto.php?id=8931

              PS, the price diff is only $200 for the TC+20-200 vs the new 80-400, but for that $200 I get that versatile zoom range :)

        • Richard

          Precisely!

          • KnightPhoto

            As has already been pointed out, Nikon’s 200-400 f/4 sells for $6,700. And BTW Canon’s announced 200-400 is expected to retail for the eye watering price of $11,000.

    • Global

      “Inflation” — yet you don’t explain how the 80-400 VR 1 has been $1500. If that was true, it would have been selling at $2,000 for years now. The fact is that Nikon is milking $1,000 per lens on top of profits out of this lens, if the $2,700 price tag stands.

    • scottmcc

      the yen is now trading in the mid 90s, ie much weaker than it was a year ago, when it was in the low 70s.

    • desmo

      What people expect for the cost?
      both the 70-200 f2.8 and f4 are cheaper (the f4 approx 1/2 the price)
      Both 70-200 ‘s are better performing lenses
      this is not fixed aperature, the mtf although decent is not on par with 70-200 f4 or 300 f4 (so need to mention f2.8 glass) and at f5.6
      it is slow this is despite the gold ring a prosumer lens and should be priced as such($1400-$1800)

      • desmo

        so long awaited,
        but this is a waste

      • preston

        I see a LOT of assumptions in there since this lens hasn’t been released yet, and therefore are no actual tests on it yet. This might very well perform better at 400mm than a 70-200 f/2.8 with a 2x teleconverter.

        • Alex

          It should! As 70-200 + tc20iii results are just about allright to me…

      • Pat Mann

        Actually, the MTF is better than that of the 70-200 f/4 at the wide end. However, the 70-200 gets better toward the long end, and I’m sure it beats it handily at 200mm.

        This looks like a good MTF improvement on the current lens, pretty good for a 5:1 zoom with this focal length. It’s not on par with any of the primes, however. Based on the MTF, I’m guessing that this lens will equal or better the results with 70-200 with 2x TC, though I suspect focus will not be as quick as that combination. A shootout with the 100-400 IS USM Canon that has been selling a lot of Caon DSLRs to birders on a budget should be interesting.

        • desmo

          Better?

          at wide,

          the 70-200f4 red line starts at top stays at top well beyond 15(useful info ,not BOKEH, will be inside this point)

          this lens(80-400) starts high but sags and splits

          (bigger the vert/horiz split the more the diffraction)

          the blue line resolution 70=200f4 starts .89 sags linear to .72 at 15 mm small split low diffraction

          80-200 blue line

          starts ..86
          one line at 15mm is .78 good,the other is

          .65 bad

          the split means diffraction

          diffraction = poor resolution

          So

          get your facts straight

          • desmo

            Don,t get me wrong
            this lens has good MTF,
            but its not better ,
            and it cost’s almost twice as much
            and is slow ,
            not fixed aperature.
            price it the same as 70-200 F4 (as it should be)
            and its a good choice.

            as I said in the beginning,
            it’s for the birds,
            if that’s your application

    • Elton

      For that price I expect a good tripod collar. I hope this one measures up. It looks suspiciously like the old one. I also expect it to be sharp at 400mm on a D800, otherwise there isn’t much point. I sold my old 80-400 because I felt it was soft in the 300-400 range, and if the best I can count on is 300, I’d rather have the 300mm f/4.

      • Reimar

        I wonder if my collar for the 70-200 VRII (by RRS) will fit this lens?

    • neversink

      Nikon needs to charge a lot to make up for their lousy quarterly report….

  • http://twitter.com/hoodlum99 Stephen Hood

    Notice that it is 200g heavier that the old lens. Was hoping it would loose some weight.

  • Cndlpwr

    It appears to be just the second, that’s right, the SECOND lens ever to boast a SUPER ED element. Maybe that explains the cost..

  • Brian

    Out of their minds…$2600? Canon a 100-400 and a straight 400 for 1/2 of this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/cosplayshots Max Archer

      Wait for the MkII and then it’ll probably be the same as this, just like the 70-200 and 24-70.

      • http://www.facebook.com/muganhorse Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

        Agree with max a replacement for the 100-400 L and 400 f5.6 expected in 2013, look at Canon’s price of the 70-200 F2.8 mk 2 and 24-70 L f2.8 on launch – best to wait for price to fall a few hundred $$/££.

    • RamesesThe2nd

      Canon and Nikon BS their customers this way. Canon used to be much cheaper than Nikon, but all their new lenses are 20 to 30 percent more than Nikon. Label it mark II and have slightly better IQ and that’s about it. Look at Canon’s new 24-70 f/4 L; it sells for more than perfectly fine 24-105 f/4 L.

  • http://twitter.com/_thelonius_ christopher smith

    preordering this one!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joegeske Joe Geske

    On one hand if this lens is a big improvement over the old version then I can easily see this being worth the price difference. On the other hand the Canon 100-400 is a pretty decent lens and costs 1000 less than this lens. While the canon is a much older lens, and a push pull design, it still performs very well optically.

    The long and the short of it is this, in the day and age where a D4 can produce amazing results at ISO 12800 people need fast telephotos less and less. So Nikon has probably been contemplating how to position this lens for awhile. If the AF is truly much improved (I have a feeling it will be almost as good as the 70-200) and the sharpness is improved (the MTF graph is better than the 70-200) then as sports lens on a D4 this thing would be a beast. So why buy a 400 2.8 or 500 4.0? Yes those lenses are still better and have their specific purposes, but their need diminishes significantly with the introduction of this lens. So why price it at $2600? Because if they didn’t then they would completely cannibalize their super tele market, which they will be doing no matter what price this lens fell at.

    • Greg

      I don’t think selling this for $2k would make a difference to the sales of their $8k+ lenses. The MTF chart on this looks better than the last rev, but compare it to the 400mm f/2.8G and you’ll see why those lenses command the price they do.

      Nikon knows there’s pent up demand for this lens, and they’re going to start high and scrape all the cash they can out of the market.

      • Global

        Exactly. And its the WRONG thing to do with the way that Sigma is coming out swinging these days. Based on this news, I’d expect an update to the Sigma 100-500, to fall in line with their “Artisan line” newly established this year, in no time.

        • s.dunn

          I hope they do! I would also like to see the 100-300 (or is it 120) brought to the Art line. What they have done with the 35 1.4 is amazing. Im waiting to do a side by side comparison!

    • delayedflight

      Because your 400 2.8 and 500 4.0 offer much improved image quality over it and the extra stop/two stops of light means you can avoid shooting at silly high isos.
      It won’t cannibalise the super telephoto market this is squarely aimed at the enthusiast market. Plus you actually need a D4 to start with, if you can afford a D4 you should be able to rent or buy the supporting lenses.

      In a sense this line of logic is comparing your cheap sports car to a high end super car. Two fundamentally different markets.

      • Silly MPS

        In fairness, his point is that “silly high ISOs”, in one or two generations, is going to be EXCELLENT and nearly perfect. In fact, this may be why Canon and Nikon are still chasing PIXELS (MPs) instead of high ISOs. They very clearly are trying to avoid negating the value of their “premium lenses”. Otherwise, can you explain even why there isn’t at least ONE camera maker trying to come up with a 10MP DSLR with 102400 standard ISO? Instead, we have 24-36MPs for entry-level to consumers(!). We have silly MPs, not silly ISOs!

        • Eric Duminil

          +1

      • http://www.facebook.com/joegeske Joe Geske

        How is a very very useable ISO 12800 or even just 6400 silly? If ISO 6400 looks like ASA 400 film, and a sports shooter could reduce the weight of his gear by half then its not silly at all. Also I am sorry but sharpness is not the biggest concern of a sports shooter, yes its important, but AF speed and versatility are what counts when you prints are going into a news paper or as a 800×600 image on a blog. So yes the super teles will still be better for image quality, just like my original post said, but this lens just became a very viable alternative.

    • desmo

      my eyes saw the mtf graph differently,but I looked at the f4 version (good edge to edge) the f2.8 version is real sharp where it counts (you don’t need the edges at f2.8 they are in BOKEH)

      at this price this lens sucks

      80-400 makes it a DX lens(they won’t see the edges anyway)

      to truly be of value to me an FX user with a 70 – 200 it should have been a 120-500

      but then the price for a f5.6 lens(little capability with TC despite new gen autofocus(F8 is still dicey on these cameras AF wisr)

      • desmo

        my comment on DX I know this lens has an FX image circle, but 400mm on Dx gets you somewhere on Fx not really
        I can acheive that with 2x Tc on my 70- 200 and still get IQ similar to this lens
        on FX AFs 400 F4 or 500 F5.6 would be of more value/use

      • s.dunn

        People always want longer lighter better and free. 400mm is A LOT OF REACH. Most of the world has been happy with reaches of 800 mm for a long time. Until the most recent generation of autofocus, 800 mm’s didn’t use telecovnerters. (Yes the manual crowd, I know). Most people never saw reaches above 400mm. It is a great focal length. So for this new lens and a TC 1.4 to get to 700 mm on FX for around $3000 is rather impressive.

        Also keep in mind that many of the super zoom aftermarkets begin to dip into f6.3 territory to get there. To have a 500 f5.6 requires bigger elements.

        As for 2.8 being in BOKEH, that is really subject to your distance to the subject. I would still rather have a lens that is corner to corner sharp. Lenses with poor corner sharpness tend to have nervous bokeh (In my experience) though I stand to be corrected.

    • http://www.facebook.com/muganhorse Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

      Canon’s lens is over 10 years with out of date optics and 1st gen IS and only slight improvement over the Nikon 80-400 (i’ve shot with both of these) Canon will address this year with Mk 2 version of 100-400 and
      400 f5.6 but expect the price to be in the ball park of Nikon’s 80-400.

  • Ajabani Belonduwaji

    This lens is what I call a “perfect conditions” lens. Still it’s not a lens that anyone serious about their photography would buy. Reason!! For that price you can get the 70-200 f2.8 and just get closer…. a lazy man’s lens

    • Eric Calabos

      Get closer to the flying bird?

    • IdahoJim

      Truth be told there are many millions more of us that can’t be like Art Wolfe with a huge entourage to pack our gear and huge travel budgets for private guides. And, come to think of it I’ve seen Art Wolfe using the Canon 100-400mm on few occasions. Is he not a serious photographer?

      Also for wildlife especially dangerous game, one often simply can not get closer. Example: Mother Grizzly with cubs out of frame behind her. I was on a drift boat in the middle of a river. While I had a 200-400 F4 in this case, the point remains I could not have gotten the shot with any 200mm lens.

      I do agree though it is a great lens for the lazy photographer. Or, the traveling photographer, or the photographer in a tour group, or the photographer on a tight budget, or the photographer working in a tight space, or the photographer who needs a lightweight kit, or…..

      • Eric Duminil

        Great picture!

      • peterw

        sure
        Imagine, You and this lens on a D800 in Serengetti for two weeks. And a D600 with a 16-35 mounted. Off course you brought 13 Sandisk 64GB cards. And a load of battery chargers.

        if you don’t imagine, I will.
        :)

        • IdahoJim

          Amen to that Peter. As luck would have it that dream will become a reality in October. Have a two week safari booked for Kenya and Tanzania. Given the weight restrictions and other factors I most likely will rent this lens for the trip.

    • Polar Bear

      Walk right up here
      reeeaall close

    • http://photokaz.com/ Mike

      Are you serious? I guess anything over 200mm is a waste? Why not just buy a 50mm and save a ton of money? Get closer. What about Nikon’s big glass like 400mm f/2.8, 500, 600, 800. I guess guys on safari with those lenses must be REALLY lazy.

    • zoetmb

      Aside from nature photography where you can’t get closer, I shoot a lot of music shows and I’m usually fairly restricted where I can shoot from. So I can’t get closer either. Having said that, I can’t afford this lens either, but I’m not complaining about the price. It is what it is. Buy it or not.

    • Brian

      The old get closer. Well let me know when shooting a bird across a marsh you “get closer”

  • james

    is it made in China or Japan?

    • Thallyho

      Don’t forget Thailand.

      • desmo

        who cares
        Nikon quality is Nikon quality
        besides critical bits i.e the glass come from japan

        • Alwyn Smit

          Who cares yes! Nikon quality is Nikon quality alright. Only thing is their quality as of late has been piss poor

    • http://twitter.com/bcnaturetweets Dave Ingram

      Looks like the 70-200mm f4 is made in Thailand so it’s possible this might be the same … doesn’t look like they added the new 80-400mm to their list yet: http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html

  • G. Curt Fiedler

    The yen is now somewhat deflated – ¥93 per dollar. Sure it’s not ¥130 from 10 years ago, but it’s not ¥70 yen from 5 years ago.

    • Expensive

      Right. So they need to start lowering prices, not doubling them. With all the news of Japan wanting more EXPORTS, the worst way they could do this is by doubling the price of every lens they make without bringing forward alternatives at a lower price point.

    • desmo

      I am somewhat deflated
      the price of this lens is $1000 too high

      • http://www.facebook.com/muganhorse Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

        Agree – expect prices to tumble after few months especially when not as many people buy the lens at the full rrp / price of $2699

  • jake

    looks like a nice lens but a bit too huge , I prefer 400f4 or 5.6 with VR2.

  • Eric Calabos

    Nikon resizes the 36mp image to 200kb file and expect us to see the huge details :-)

    • Duh-kon

      Nikon always does that. They think we are stupid sometimes.

      • desmo

        they are right
        lol

  • GlobalGuy

    This lens better focus lightning quick. If its slow as mud, I’d rather put a 2xTC II on the 70-200 VRII, which pair great, by the way, and have nearly exactly the same lens.

    • desmo

      right
      at f5.6 it is essentially 400 with no TC
      200 with 200TC will cover its range less cost less weight same or better IQ and AF

      • PAG

        200 w/ 2x TC will cover less of its range (140-400), will only cost $130 less than the initial price (which will fall), will weigh about 10 oz more, may or may not have better IQ (remains to be determined), and may or may not have better AF (remains to be determined).

        • patto01

          And to expand on that, you can add the 1.4x TC to the 80-400 to get an f8 560mm. How are you going to get there with your 70-200? Maybe the IQ won’t be great but we don’t know that yet. AF will be slower and probably iffy but you have to give up something for the zoom range.

          • PAG

            With f/8 AF focal points starting to show up, I expect this combo to work quite well in future bodies.

        • s.dunn

          EXACTLY… and looking at the MTF charts, I would guess that unless you had the best sample of the 70-200 and the best sample of the TC20EIII you likely wont rival the average sample of the 80-400 AFS.

          • neversink

            When I don’t want to lug the 500 f/4 to certain photo shoots. I take the 70-200mm f/ 2/8 and the TC 20EIII. I get incredibly sharp pics – and at high ISOs also. I just shot a hockey game using that setup. Beautiful IQ and still incredibly fast focus on the D4. You really don’t need the 80-400, which I am sure will be sharp, but certainly not tack sharp like the 70-200 f/2.8

            • s.dunn

              In fairness, I’m not convinced that this lens is really aimed at the D4 crowd. Many people rave about the sharpness of the 70-200 TC20eiii combo. I don’t see it in mine. I know that my sample of the 70-200 (II) is great and the tc20eiii does work very well with my 300 2.8 (I consider it useable). It would thusly appear that all my gear is at least of average sample quality. So Im not sure where the disconnect is for me. But I would put my money on the 80-400 g over the 70-200 TCE combo. In fact I liked the old 80-400 very much at 400; the downfall of the lens for me is the slow focus and instantaneous manual focus overide.

              Don’t get me wrong the 70-200 TC20eiii is fine just not as good as it gets. It wouldn’t be my choice for how to get too 400mm

  • SERAS

    YEAHHHHHHHHH

  • Goker

    If it is aimed for tele-lens users such as birders, why coming up with a zoom ? Just make a prime 400mm f/5.6 af-s vr. This mtf looks good but not perfect, from what I see, it is slightly worse than that of 70-200mm f/2.8 vrii. Also, Nikon claims that it can be used with tc-14e, where think that tc-14e is out of option due to further image degradation.

    Still a nice lens with good mtf especially for lens with this much zoom range.

  • Radu

    I only want to say this..at this price point I’d be much happier with 70-200 even though this is an amazing lens,but the 70-200 2.8 fells more pro like,and the focus speed omg

  • Alwyn Smit

    70-200 F2.8? Sure why not. Now hold still Mr. Lion whilst I get just a tad bit closer.

  • anon

    this price really makes me worry what the price of a 300 f4 replacement and the rumored 135mm 1.8 will be

  • Brad

    Not sure what the point of this update is, still f/4.5-5.6 Something i am missing. Images won’t look much different on my D50?

    • anon

      what aperture are you expecting? f4 at 400mm is already done.. it’s the 7000 dollar 200-400… The updates are the lens coatings, better vr, faster focus, you can be sure (at least we hope) that this will have infinitely better image quality at 400mm on the high Mpx sensors.

  • Ken Elliott

    Once again, I’ve proved that it is better to be lucky than smart. I just sold my old 80-400. This one looks pretty nice. Yeah – the price is high, so I guess we need to wait and see what the lens is capable of before we pass judgement. Considering what our choices are for reaching 400mm, it is nice to have this as an additional option.

    I should point out that we have been asking Nikon for a pro-grade version of the 80-400. Surprise! It comes at a pro-grade price.

    Looking forward to testing it with the D800 and seeing what it will do.

  • MyrddinWilt

    It is going to be an impressively big lens… I couldn’t see any dimensions but it looks like it is like a very fat version of the 70-200.

    I expect the old model will be around for a while as well. They kept the 80-200 as a lower cost option to the 70-200 that replaced it. Nikon lenses seem to have the opposite design priorities from the model that preceded it. The old 70-200 breathed at the long end, the new one at the short. So I expect they have optimized focus speed this time and made IQ a priority over weight.

    As far as price goes, don’t think of it as an overpriced 70-200, think of it as a cut price 200-400 if it makes you happy.

    I probably won’t be buying at that price but knowing what the 80-400 is going to be helps me decide between that and a 70-200. In fact at that price I might even look at any 80-400s going cheap if they appear.

    • PAG

      According to the specs above, it’s going to be 3.8″ x 8.0″ compared to the 70-200mm which is 3.4″ x 8.1″. The weight will be 3.5 lbs compared to the 70-200mm which is 3.4 lbs. For those who want to add a 2X TC, add another 11.6 oz.

  • loki989

    Does it have the new DNE elements? I was reading that Nikon is working on those. “Dust Negating Elements” to counter the effect of excessive sensor dirt.

  • dty

    Was thinking of getting the Sigma 50-500 OS is it worth waiting for this 80-400 lens? I mainly would use it for birding etc. Do I go for 500mm reach or go with the 80-400 as nikon might be better quality?

    • Boosh

      I got the Sigma 50-500mm OS and and the auto focus failed in the middle of a 3 week safari half way around the world. Is great when it works. Had to use my backup Nikon 70-300mm lens as backup the rest of the trip.

    • neversink

      Don’t waste your time with the Sigma…. Garbage…. I had trouble with the 150-500. The AF died on Safari just a few weeks after purchasing – was a stupid lens to take anyway. Serves me right. I’ll never buy another Sigma again, nor will I buy a cheap third-party lens. There are all sorts of horror stories on the internet concerning Sigma lens and the AF motor failing.

  • Dreams&Visions

    What’s that third AF mode for? It’s called A/M never heard this before w/ nikon?

    • s.dunn

      It’s common on the big pro lenses. Changes how the auto focus reacts, makes the focus skip small inputs at user whim of course

  • preston

    Wow, for the hundreds and hundreds of whiny posts begging for a 80-400 update, you guys are sure thankless when it comes! All I see is complaints. I’ve been a regular at NR here for over 3 years now but I am finding it more and more annoying. So many users just come across as entitled little brats.

    • http://photokaz.com/ Mike

      No kidding. Everyone screaming ‘give me a better lens’, then when it shows up they lament ‘not that good…’.

      • Greg

        As progress marches on, people expect more for less. Improvements in technology mean we should be able to get more capability for the same price, or the same capability for a lower price– and after a decade, probably both.

        What we have here is a modernized version of the 80-400 which brings an old lens up to date. I think a lot of us don’t see this as an advance, we see it as staying abreast of the curve. As such, we’d have expected the price to change little.

        Yes the MTF has improved, but you’d expect a decade of improvements in optics design to do that. We’ll see how it works out in practice. Nothing about this is revolutionary yet the street price essentially doubled.

        • s.dunn

          Ok… but lets call it what it is. Had they just simply modernized the old AFD you would be correct. The old lens was a 17 elements in 11 groups design, the new one is 20 elements in 12 groups. That is a lot more glass for one.

          Nikon was making the old AFD up until a short time ago and pricing it at what they did. Yes the design was old, but the costs for them to produce it was the cost it was to produce it. So now we have a new design, with new coatings, new glass and new technology. So can they make a new higher quality VR for the same price that they made the old one, likely. Are the new coatings better than the old ones, yup. I dont know if they are cheaper (but lets argue that they are). But glass on the other hand is not the same. You cant produce more glass today than what you did yesterday and say it should be cheaper because the LENS is a new design. Its still glass, the Nikon factory used to produce x glass (likely capacity) and now they have to produce X+3 glass for the new design. Combine that with a much more intricate design and the assembly time goes up and so does the cost.

          Now if your making the argument that they should have been able to do more with the glass, let remember that a lot of what we have in optics are bound by physics. You can only do so much with so much. And while Im certainly not an expert, I dont think that glass has changed that much.

          Where as your argument holds very true for silicone in computers, chips get smaller and faster, glass is not the same.

          Do I agree that the lens is a LITTLE high? Yes. Will it settle down eventually? Yes. Is it a complete RIP? Looking at the MTF charts, Im guessing NO. It appears it will be substantially better than say a 70-200 2.8 with a 2XTCE. So its really not that far out.

          But maybe that’s just me.

        • Richard

          This long overdue update is just that and not much more. Nikon have fallen behind others in a number of product refresh cycles. Whether you think this lens worth the price or not, the fact of the matter is that Nikon are reducing their potential market every time they jack up the price and further marginalize the brand. It really is not good news in that regard.

      • KnightPhoto

        I love this comment ‘not that good…’ ;-)

    • 拓海

      total agree with you
      and most people complaining on the Internet don’t even use or own the products
      they are all stupid and naive imagining they can have some toys for free

    • nikonian

      I have always wanted an update and now they have one I am happy as a clam. Too many whiners tho I agree.

    • desmo

      Preston,,,
      Stop The Whining!!!
      lol

      • preston

        Sorry! To my credit I don’t whine about the whiners on every post – I’m usually more on topic :)

    • WH Mitty

      Amen Preston!!

  • Rick

    wow $2700…for a f/5.6? It better be sharp (unlike the old 80-400 is just soft), otherwise most users prob benefit from the 70-200 f/4 or f/2.8 better for less money. VR is little help with shooting things in motion, losing a lot of light at f/5.6..but it is indeed about half the price and weight of a 200-400 f/4…

  • lorenzo

    Unless I misread, it is a VR II (4 f-stops) not a VR III (5 f-stops) like the newest 70-200 f/4.
    Sounds like Nikon had it done a while ago and now it comes out as they need to round up their budget.
    Disappointingly there is no discount on it.
    They can keep it then, I may use a TC-20E on my 70-200 f/2.8 and get the same results.

    • s.dunn

      I dont think people really understand VR naming system. Maybe Im wrong in this but I spoke directly to my Nikon rep regarding the VR system in the 800 f5.6 (which is very good by the way).

      ANYWAY… his response was two fold. Firstly that each VR system for each lens is engineered for that lens its not a generational system. So while they may have similar claimed stop advantages, they are not infact the same system. (As someone pointed out above, stabilizing 4 stops at 200 and 4 stops at 400 is VERY different). Secondly Nikon has confused the masses with their naming scheme of lenses. He told me that the lens should read as (for example) “70-200 N ED VR” Version II not the “70-200 N ED” VR version II. While in many cases the VR has improved from the previous version that is not what the naming system is trying to imply. It is rather trying to imply that it is a new version of the lens, not the VR system.

      • lorenzo

        I agree with you about the lot of confusion on this issue. I don’t remember where VR-III come out, was it from NR?
        I also buy the fact that reducing vibration at 200 mm is much easier than at 400 mm, so each lens must have its own VR.
        Actually if you look at the 70-200 (both f/2.8 and f/4) their official names has just the word VR, as you said.

        Hover the confusion is even greater than this:
        Once I sent my 18-200 to Nikon for cleaning, it was one of the first batch, and in their invoice there was a line saying “Upgraded from VR-I to VR-II” that made me think there were a VR-I and a VR-II. Mystery! Then on lenses there is a VR in gold and one in red… wish Nikon would unveil all their coding.

        Anyway, IMHO this lens is too expensive to replace the old one and would buy it only if Nikon made a deal with me: I return them the old cr@p and pay no more than $1,200 to have the new lens. What do you think Nikon? LOL.

  • PAG

    As a bird photographer, I’m very interested in seeing how this lens performs. I love my 300mm f/4 + TC 1.4 combo but there are specific situations where I could really use a good zoom that goes longer than my 70-300mm. If the performance sounds good, I’ll be buying.

  • Davel

    $2700 ? ?

  • Rock Kenwell

    More of the more expensive lens. See for yourself if it is worth it? It is suddenly not cheaper than 70-200mm f2.8 where all your experienced excellent shots were taken, nikon wants more money for f5.6 lens? I am not buying for any review.

  • anon

    so i looked at the list of supplied accessories and quickly skimmed the write up.. i don’t see where it says the tripod collar is included, which will basically add another 250 to this price. so for this lens we are up to 3000. it will be interesting to see how sigma 120-300 os II does as far as focus speed and sharpness. if quality is anything like the sigma 35mm 1.4 they just came out with, Nikon (and Canon) could have a problem. Ignoring weight/size, you’ll probably have something as sharp, and a stop faster even with a 1.4x. for only 600 difference in price. 600 not a tiny amount of money, but when it’s 3000 to 3600, it’s not quite as drastic.

  • John

    Well, I am glad I picked up a Sigma 150-500 at Christmas… less than 1/2 the price of this one, and maybe I am just lucky but mine is optically very good at 500mm stopped down 1/2 stop.

    I was worried that Nikon would release a killer lens right after I bought, but at nearly $3000 I am happy to let this one pass!

  • xb897

    Since Nikon didn’t use the optical design of the old 80-400, they could have made it a 100 (or even 120)-400mm zoom, to make the lens smaller, lighter, less expensive and maybe with even better IQ. With a max. aperture of 1/4,5 at the wide end the lens certainly isn’t made for the pro photoreporter, and amateurs & enthousiasts have more interest for the 400mm or 560mm with a TC. Otherwise it’s seems much better than the old lens, but we have to wait for a reasonable streetprice.

  • 120-300 for nikon

    Sorry Nikon to late was waiting aboput for years and now what a price i am not changing to other brand never but this price a little overkill about 800 – 1000 overkill

  • Brad J

    Let’s put things in perspective- I can buy a Canon 7D and 100-400mm with IS and a focusing motor for the same price (OK, $10 more). Yes it is old technology, and a push pull zoom, but it is certainly better than the old non AF-S 80-400mm. For the price, I am considering having Nikon for wider shooting and Canon for telephoto. For my aviation photography, I need a lot of mm on the long end, and not terribly wide on the short end, as the aircraft do come close enough that 150mm would be too long.

    • Brad J

      To clarify, that is $10 with the current rebates.

    • KnightPhoto

      Absolutely. For less money you can buy a Canon 7D noise machine with outdated sensor characteristics (see DxOMark) and middle of the road AF (19 point with tracking issues) that is best not allowed above ISO400 for critical work. And to go with that, get yourself an ancient push-pull, with out of date IS, modest AF speed, no teleconverter capability, and modest sharpness.

      Yes for less money you can buy a lesser tool.

      Or you can get a great sensor (D600, D800/E, D4, and to come D7100 and prob D400), great AF, f/8 capability, and what looks to be a very good lens with Super-ED, ED, nano coat, TC compatibility, etc. and not piddle around running two systems with all the headaches that entails.

  • Kirk

    I think the Sigma 50-500 sound better

  • http://twitter.com/ottbreezes Steven

    $2600 for (yet another) do-it-all zoom. I ask the question: what is it about the construction of this lens that warrants such a price? Nikon sells the full frame 70-300 AF-S f/3.5-5.6 VR lens for approx $550? I know that I’m comparing apples and oranges but $2600 seem like too much this shiny waxed apple.
    I have yet to see the test results but I’m willing to bet that this lens will be soft at the 400mm. Hopefully someday Nikon will bring out a razor sharp 400mm f/5.6 VR or 300mm f/4 VR.

  • Brian

    I think the 300 F/4 with a 1.4 TC will be a sharper 400 F/5.6 option. Cheaper too!

  • teddy

    Hope you full-framers are happy. Where’s my D400?

  • John

    I am sure this lens is very nice however many people cannot afford the price……. You could save money and purchase the 300mm F4 lens and use a high quality 1.4 teleconverter for a total of 420mm ….. I know several photographers that use this combination and get excellent results with their wildlife pictures.

  • Lamousis

    I think Nikon show us the future of photography with this lens. It is not a lens for 4-5 years but more! I believe that 3 production lines for photocameras (FX, DX, CX) are useless. My opinion is that DX bodies will disappear in the future and CX will remain for entry level photo and FX for mid-range an professional photo.

  • Pabhakorn

    About Time!!!!I use to have the old one and it was good and compact.

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