Eyewitness report: New VR Zoom-NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED lens

Eyewitness report from someone that works for a major US authorized Nikon reseller - the rumors is that we will see a replacement of the AF VR Zoom-NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED lens soon:
80-400 VR lenses are getting incredibly scarce. I had a D700 customer today who wanted one and there are zero in our warehouse, and only a handful in the company. This rarely happens with the established prosumer stuff. Our Nikon rep said to sell what we have, because a replacement might be on the way. Keyword might, but he can usually tell us when shortages are due to the regular Nikon lens production schedules.
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  • Blog Admin
    I think “replacement soon” is obvious – at least in my rumors world. She could have told you that there are no plans to replace this lens soon.
  • Leif

    The Nikon sales manager for the North West was at my local camera shop on Friday. I asked specifically about this lens. She didn’t confirm or deny, but said that she would expect a replacement soon since the current version is so long in the tooth, with the old-style VR and AF.

    Essentially, she didn’t say anything nonobvious.

  • PHB

    I would think that this would be one of the most looked for updates, particularly for DX camera users.

    The main complaint on the 80-400 is the speed which is because it is non-AFS. Ken Rockwell thinks that a non-AFS lens can focus fast and its just a matter of the gearing, but anyone who thinks about it will realize that the reason the gearing is what it is is because there is too much mass to focus quickly using the built in camera motor.

    I have not seen an explanation of the difference between VRI and VRII to know if it is an issue. But every review of this lens has been ‘wow its great, except for the autofocus speed’.

    There are also folk speculating about an update to the 70-200 as it seems to have some vignetting issues that are now getting in the way with FX cameras. And that lens is also AWOL. Given that the Photokina launch seems to be about the FX cameras it looks most likely that a new 70-200 and some fast primes are in the offing there.

    Given that the only issue with the 80-400 is the lack of AFS, an update might be possible without getting in the way of other plans.

    Once it is updated the 80-400 becomes the natural first choice for a DX owner looking to supplement their 18-200 or an FX owner who is finding that their existing lenses have just got shorter.

    Now if they could only make it work with tleconverters as well..

  • eyrieowl

    i thought you had to actually see the lens to be an eyewitness to it.

  • ChrisL

    Thats the usual meaning, yes. ‘Eyewitness’ means you have seen it.

  • BG

    I guess for an internet rumor site, having heard of it or having read about it on a forum is enough to be an eyewitness. 🙂 Just joking…

  • Peter


    I live in Beijing. Went to my local Nikon dealer yesterday 10 August, 2008, to buy a 80-400. It was sold out, and they told me that there was impossible to order more of them. Out of production at Nikon. They think there will be replacement soon, without saying anything more. They are normally very updated. Talked about SB900 and D700 in a very early stage. Looking forward to the new 80-400!

  • davidthenikonuser

    I think if the 80-400mm had rear focus then the speed would be much faster. Why Nikon did not make it like this is a mystery. But a AF-S version would be nice.

  • Arvin

    Will nikon launch something like sigma 50-500 with VR ?

  • Blog Admin

    don’t think so

  • Didi

    If it only were true …

    Since years I am waiting now for a decent zoom in that range from Nikon. The old 80-400 is definitely no choice. The Bigma 50-500 might be a solution, but opinions on that are quite scattered. The Sony SAL 70-400 is commonly reargarded as THE ONE. I need such a lens and I am really thinking about getting the SAL 70-400 plus an Alpha 77.

    I really appreciate my numerous Nikon staff, but they unfortunately miss to deliver a widely desired and required lens ..

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