Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens could be released next

Several readers asked me about the replacement of the current Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR lens. I searched trough my old emails and I found this list of lenses that was sent to me back in October of 2009. I did not publish this online, but it seems that everything was spot on, except the AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6:

  • AF-S 24mm f/1.4
  • AF-S 35mm f/1.4
  • AF-S 85mm f/1.4
  • AF-S 16-35mm f/4.0
  • AF-S 24-120mm f/4.0
  • AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6
  • AF-S 200-400mm f/4

Based on this list, I can speculate that a new Nikkor AF-S 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 will be the next lens to be announced by Nikon.

Few months ago, Nikon filed for a patent on a new 80-400m f/4.5-5.6 lens:

FYI: Nikon already announced a record number of lenses this year: nine,ย compared to six lenses per year from 2007- 2009.

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  • Bart

    Nice , i’m looking for a fine sport lens without the 6000 euro tag…

    • Roger

      Look elsewhere, optimal results for sports are not achieved with F/5.6 lenses.

      • Hdgdyd

        Donn’t expect it under eur6000 when nano and vr 2added

        • WoutK89

          no way adding nano and vr2 will make this lens more expensive than 2000-2500. otherwise it will not sell, people will buy prime lens or 200-400/4.0 insead

      • Joe r.

        Really? I’ve had great success shooting at f/8-f/16.

        I’d say it’s hard to make that call with knowing what he’s shooting. Golf? Bocce? Tee-Ball?

        I shoot surfing. Bright sun, fast shutter, small aperture.

        It very well could be a fine sports lens. It may be soft greater than 300 and faster than f/8 but it’s still possible.

        • robert

          Compare photos done by sports photogs shooting at 2.8/4 and quickly realize what your pictures lack. It’s because the razor thing DOF that lets him isolate the subject. You can’t get that shooting from f/5.6 onwards. At 400mm yes, although I doubt it’s a true 400mm when set at 400. I can image what the photos look like when shot at f/8-11 ๐Ÿ™‚ fine sports lens..?
          I guess it depends who you ask. Me personally, no way. There’s a reason why those prime monsters cost that much. IQ tells it all.

          • PHB

            I would rather have a lighter, $2200 lens than the $6000 200-400mm f/4 monstrosity or the even larger zooms.

            Yes, you are unable to do the shallow depth of field isolation thingie. But does every single shot have to be taken that way?

            If you are taking pictures of birds against cloudless skys, the DOF thing helpeth not anyway.

            • Ronan

              Better start saving up or charging more.

              You NEED one of those ‘6000 euro tag’ prime lenses to shoot sport.

              If i didn’t, i wouldn’t own them…

              Amateurs those days… geez.

            • Roger

              Depends what you’re shooting.

              If football is your sport of choice, then the 80-400mm lens is money wasted. What one needs is either 300/2.8 or 400/2.8.

            • PHB

              It is not the price of the lens that stops me, it is the size and weight. With Nikon, cost translates pretty much 1:1 to weight with their gold band lenses.

              I would rather have a 300 f/4 which is half the weight of the 200-400. Even the 300 f/2.8 is a little bit lighter.

              I would expect a VR version of the 300 is also on the way at some point. But the lack of AFS on the 80-400 is a much more urgent deficiency.

            • PHB


              Problem with that size of lens is that you can often only take it to a sports event if you have press credentials.

              It would be difficult to use a 400 f/2.8 from the stands.

            • jk

              are you for real?

              Better start saving up or charging more.

              You NEED one of those โ€™6000 euro tagโ€™ prime lenses to shoot sport.

              If i didnโ€™t, i wouldnโ€™t own themโ€ฆ

              Amateurs those daysโ€ฆ geez.”

              You are those types of wannabe “pros” us real pros make fun of…

            • Bart

              I’m not a sport shooter but I do it sometimes. So I’m not looking into a pro prime sport lens which I almost don’t use. If I really need one of those , I rent one.

      • robert

        Not really true. If he uses it outdoors and has the proper exposure then it’s not an issue. But f/5.6 is limiting. I get what you’re saying though. I myself wouldn’t buy a lens like this for sports, let alone for anything. I’d rather have a 300 AFS f/4 VR or 400 5.6 before I’d consider this which I wouldn’t. But for the average non pro it should be ok. It would probably suit PJ’s as well. Not for me though. Looking at the 24-120 I realize expecting Nikon to deliver an exceptional lens with such a large focal range is out of the question.

        • st r

          80-400mm starts tele and ends tele.

          24-70mm starts wide and ends tele.

          I don’t know anything about optics (e.g., what is “retrofocus? does a 24mm lens need to be “retrofocus”? and what is a zoom anyway?).

          But I think this might make a difference.

          • st r

            > 24-70mm starts wide and ends tele.

            I mean, 24-120

  • I just recently bought me the 80-200 F2.8. ’97 model lens, works great.

    • ShutterMonkey

      I had the 80-200 2-ring version for while, and I was very pleased with it — ok, I thoroughly enjoyed every session with it. Very sharp from around f4 onwards — I usually shot within 1/2 stop of that when I had the choice. The minimum focus distance, and occasional frustration with the AF under more difficult conditions were my only beefs with it. (that and the plastic AF/MF ring — what were they smoking when they put that into the design?)

      Why’d I ditch it? Not quite long enough for wildlife, a little too big & conspicuous for me to use travelling (eg. markets, street scenes). But for a pro lens in that focal range, it’s a hell of a bargain.

  • SBGrad

    Look at the related posts, this has been rumored ‘any time now’ since 2008 and even earlier. I would’ve gladly bought a new 80-400 but I got tired of waiting and picked up a used 300mm f/2.8D II to go with my 80-200 and TC17.

    • hah

      back then there was no patent filed. now there is. HUGE difference pal.

  • NikonFF&DxUser


  • safeg

    80-400 price is around $2500?
    I want more 70-200F4 VR for $1000 ๐Ÿ™‚

    • max

      the one from 97 is 1600 on amazon.

      Probably this one will cost 2000.

  • nobody

    Now this sounds really interesting! A source that got 6 new lenses right, with time left for the seventh one. Not bad at all!

    Since it’s October again now, is there any chance that you ask this source about predictions for 2011?

    • Based on the past 2 years, Nikon likes to make late November, early December announcements. I have no info that this will be the case this year.

      • PHB

        Even if the source was the Nikon CEO, plans change over a year. A lens that is planned for 2010 is not necessarily ready in 2010. And plans can change in response to demand.

        The reception of the fast primes was phenomenal. All it takes is for that demand to tie up the grinding machines for a few months longer than expected and the 80-400 slips out to 2011.

        Nikon has clearly taken a decision to phase out their AF lens line for an all-AFS lineup. Based on that premise, I predict that by the end of 2011 we will see:

        80-400 replacement
        105 f/2? DC?
        135 f/2? DC?

        We might also see the 10.5 and 16mm fisheyes updated and possibly some of the macro lenses. Nikon has nothing to really compete with the Canon microscopy lens.

        Those changes would leave only the 20mm and 14mm primes as AF lenses without an AFS equivalent. I can’t see those as a priority as the 14-24mm zoom is better.

        A better use of the time would be to make some more DX wide primes.

        • ShutterMonkey

          “Nikon has clearly taken a decision to phase out their [almost affordable pro] AF lens line for an [unattainably priced pro] all-AFS lineup.”

          Just thought that needed a little markup, to fill in what we were all thinking anyway :p

          “A better use of the time would be to make some more DX wide primes.”

          I wholeheartedly second that motion.

          • PHB

            The AF line will still be available on EBay and the AFS prices are simply what you would expect for a brand new Nikon lens design as opposed to an older one.

            But yes, the DX line is much better value and vastly more important to Nikon’s bottom line.

            I think that the rate of new lenses is about to slow to a crawl as they have addressed most of the issues with the F-mount lineup and the mirrorless lenses are going to have priority going forward.

            After the AFS conversions are complete and maybe a few more f/4 lenses are brought out, I expect that the rate of F-mount announcements will slow to mostly DX lenses at the current rate of one or two a year plus a completely mad exotic every now and then.

  • gt

    so what else did that guy email you? I’d bump that source’s reliability up to 90% at this point

  • Chris P

    I had very little interest in replacing my D700 with its successor to start with, now if we are really going to see this 80-400 introduced early next year, I have none at all. If it does happen does anyone want to buy a secondhand Sigma 120-400?

  • Kevin

    It’s about time. Hope 400mm performance is better than the last one!

    • WoutK89

      don’t get your hopes up too high, they have a 8000 lens to sell, if the zoom gets too close to that some people will think twice if they NEED the prime. Or the 200-400zoom.

  • Joe

    Finally? Looking forward to buy a nice travel-friendly long tele-zoom!

    • hah

      are you kidding? get the 28-300 then. this thing is big and certainly NOT travel friendly.

      • I would get the 55-300 and a DX body ! (if 200-300 is not too bad, I’m waiting for the tests). Or better, if they could make a 80-400 *DX* that would be even better ! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • SGN

          THAT WOULD BE A GREAT IDEA ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€


          • robert


            • SGN

              Sorry, was just feeling a bit too strongly on the issue ๐Ÿ™‚

            • SGN

              And I was not sure if Nikon could! ๐Ÿ˜›

      • Joe

        We’ll see. The current 80-400 is lighter and more compact than direct competitors. I tried the current 80-400 once, and I was quite pleased by it’s dimensions and focal range.
        The 28-300 could be an option, depending on how it performs, though I’d prefer something longer for my FX camera.

        • Global

          The 28-300 performs wonderfully. As does the new 70-200/VRII. There are no comparisons. These lenses and their VR simply perform and perform well (for what each of them are).

          I don’t really think an “80-400” can be expected to be perfect optically (to those other guys’ comments). Maybe a 100-400 would make more sense, and if they wanted to stretch things, then a 100-500 just for the long end option.

          The VRII/III and new AFS speeds alone will make this lens incredible. If they sharpened things up a bit in the glass, its just that much better.

          • WoutK89

            what about 150-500DX? I know fx users will hate it, but doesnt such a lens belong to dx anyway? Travel light, compromise in quality, but its a nikon…

  • Kerni

    Using the 70-200 II + TC2.0e III with a much better AF speed and the possibility to use f2.8 up to 200mm, I think that this lens is not that important any more when you own the 70-200 anyway.

    • Ronald

      +1 This is also the combo I’m thinking of.

      • Global

        -1 : I believe you’ll lose an extra stop of light. And the weight of the 70-200/2.8VR + 2xIII is extremely, extremely heavy. I don’t know the weight of the new lens, but for an extra stop of light and a reduction of weight, the 80-400 might be a better choice.

        I have tested the 70-200VRII with 2xIII and the combo is not perfect. The focus speed slows down TREMENDOUSLY. And the VR doesn’t work as effectively at the 400 end, not by a long shot (so to speak).

        I would hope that an AFS 80-400VRII/III would be speedier and the VR tailored to its native long-end.

    • Mock Kenwell

      Agreed. I couldn’t wait and picked up the 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-S and the TCE-17. That’s all I need for long range.

  • dino

    I gave a look to the patent.
    The document is dated Aug. 26th, 2010, the several tables spread all across it are quite cryptic but I did see the overall lenght of the whole zoom seems to be within the 256-270 mm range; besides at page 105 (or what is called 105 of 106) there’s a figure which looks much like a SLR, not an evil….

  • Barbie Rokwel

    Should this lens be regarded as the tele zoom to complete the f4 16-35, 24-120 set of lenses? Or might we see something like a 100-300 with constant f-stop (5.6)

    • Hochzeitsfotograf

      i would rather have 35-105 f2.8

      • LGO

        Absolutely! ๐Ÿ˜€

      • robert

        I would even accept a 28-80 f/2.8
        Yes, Tokina had one but it wasn’t stellar..above regular performance, nothing more.

        • Eric

          if you will accept 28-80 2.8 then why not 24-70 2.8. I would want a full frame 35 – 135 F2 zoom for portraiture, but that isint happening, besides primes are better anyways.

          • robert

            Having the WA is much more useful than tele on a lens like this. I had the 35-70 AFD and it was too limiting. 70mm was decent for half body shots, but a little more and it would be perfect.
            35mm was not enough though.

            The point is, asking Nikon to deliver anything more than a 2.8x lens is asking for too much. Looking at the sample images the 24-120 isn’t anything special, but it’s too early to tell. I would rather have Nikon design a 28-80/90 f/2.8 with excellent IQ than to have a 35-105mm which would have decent IQ. It would be another meh lens..there are enough of those. That’s Sigma’s job, not Nikon.

            I won’t buy the buy the 24-70 because 1, it’s overpriced 2, QC issues 3, performance on the 28-70 is phenomenal and I’m not missing anything, and 4, @24mm it has issues. Even if the price came down I wouldn’t buy it because I don’t need it. The 28-70 is an amazing lens.

            The Canon 24-105 isn’t such a great performer either but from what I see it will be better than the Nikon. It’s just asking too much to deliver large focal length range lenses from Nikon and Canon as well. I would love a 28-105mm f/2.8 But I’m being can’t be done..Done well I mean. Tamron did it, and it’s was a total failure.

  • design.matters

    such lens is really a market requirement – probably not any relevant for me

  • Plug

    Any idea of dimensions? If it is relatively lightweight then I am very interested.

  • dino

    I tried to reread the patent but at first sight I found no weight indication, only optical measures, data and distances.

    • nobody

      According to this patent it should be about 26cm long, that is about 25% longer than the 70-200 VRII. Diameter should be about the same, so I would expect it to weigh in a bit but not much below 2kg.

  • is this lens going to be compatible with d7000?
    sorry for the noob question…

    • Antonio Rojilla


      You need a Canon FD to Leica M adapter to mount this Nikon lens in a Nikon camera.

      • Dan


      • robert

        He did apologize for being a noob..

    • fork()

      Carlo, disregard the (albeit funny) comment made by Antonio. At least I’m willing to help the newb’s here ๐Ÿ˜‰

      The 80-400 will be fully compatible with the D7000, but remember that this lens also supports full-frame, which means that you only use the center part of the image circle. In other words, this lens is bigger than it needs to be on a crop-size (DX) camera like the D700. Why not look at the 55-300 instead?


      • SGN

        Well, the 55-300 is supposed to be good, the 70-300 VR even better, but the current and (hopefully soon) future 80 400 are in a different class price/size/intended use wise. For example, for birding 300 on DX is hardly there, very frustrating, while 400 is a lot better.

      • thanks Fork. the 55-300m is on my wishlist already, but i need better focal length so im thinking of copping the 80-400mm for surf shots. Are the two redundant lenses?

  • xxjrgxx

    lovely, first moment i thought:

    GOOD, now those weekend-shooters can happily go birding and stop QQing about that lens.
    SECOND thought: oh noes, now they will discuss and QQ about the new lens for AGES!

    hrmph. iยดd love to have a filter that keeps “80-400” out of my vision….never understood what ppl liked about that kind of lens anyway…

    • dpnsan

      The appeal is that the 80-400 is the most affordable way to get to 400mm, with the added flexibility of a zoom. If you need/can afford the 200-400mm, this lens is not for you.

      • Kenji

        Additionally, the 80-400 is lightweight and easy to take with you, the 200-400 is much less so, Some of us carry our cameras and do things like go hiking, where a lens like the 80-400 is PERFECT

        It also calls relatively LESS attention to you

        • SGN

          Finally some sense spoken!!!

    • Ant

      Why do some “non-weekend-shooters” look down on amateurs? Not everyone can be a pro, some people have to earn the money so they can employ the pros, and/or sign off those commercial POs. Not to mention buying the all the consumer kit that funds the development of the D4 and D800.

  • Steve

    Forget the zoom – give us a 300 F4 with VR Nikon!!

    • +15.000.000 (for 15 years of neglect) ๐Ÿ™‚

      and while you are at it, please also include

      zenk you!

      • alfredo

        give me a 400mm f5.6 or a 500mm f6.3 and i will jizz in my pants ๐Ÿ˜€

    • robert

      Well said buddy..add to that a 400mm f/5.6 VR as well for choice.

      • Sebastian K

        yes. 400 f/5.6 VR could be done for less than $1500 and not much heavier than 2 pounds. But Nikon chronically neglects long primes.

        • Roger

          Everyone neglects long and slow primes, even Canon does these days. They have a very limited use, sell in low numbers, and I believe they will be phased out completely in favor of the zooms like 80-400mm.

        • robert

          THey don’t sell enough so for them to upgrade them so early would be lost profits. That’s why products runs are longer than those lenses that sells who know how many times more.

          I think Canon just announced new tele’s no? Those are specific lenses designed for those that can afford the equipment and who make money using that equipment. A premium cost for a premium lens.

          Even if I had beast lens like those I wouldn’t use it. Photographing birds/wildlife just doesn’t interest me. I enjoy food photography, weddings and some fashion. No nature stuff for me.

  • AlexV

    I wouldn’t be surprize to read an annoncement with a D400 or more likely a D800 as companion product, but this could delaying it to the next spring.

  • Eric

    Interesting lens. Would have been handy on my African Safari.

  • gonzalo

    With cameras that can shoot at high iso’s with no problem… would this be the poor’s man telephoto?
    If it is sharp… i want one!

  • PAG

    This would finally be the answer to the Canon 100-400mm. Go to any location where there are birders congregating (and there are millions of us in the U.S. alone) and you’ll see that lens popping up all over the place.

    A fast focusing 80-400mm and a new 300mm f/4 with VR would cover the majority of the general birding market, i.e. the one that doesn’t consist of a lot of people willing / able to cough up $6,000 for a lens. Add the new D7000, and you’ve got a very capable setup for under $4,000.

    • Wim

      Couldn’t agree more. Nikon does not even have a toehold in this market. Amateur birders and the like need a carriable and affordable lens that, under these restrictions, is as powerful as possible. If you’re traipsing through the fields for hours or if you’re on a boat, a tripod is not an option so VR is a must.

  • Daniyar

    Either 80-400 or 300 F4 will have to be next. These lenses are just begging for an update. I personally would rather see 300 F4 VR next, but if 80-400 is good I might pick one up instead. Problem is that both will be around $2000 and that is still expensive. If they could get 300 F4 with VR for $1500 with current IQ, I will be first in line.

  • Bruce Little

    They just released a pretty decent 28-300mm… why wait for an 80-400mm unless it’s going to be Nano and VRII? If it has those features then expect a much higher price also probably in the $1400-$1900 price range. The 70-200mm/2.8 VRII works pretty good with a 2x converter as an alternative.

    • PAG

      For birders, the 70-300mm is less expensive and highly capable, so no need to buy the 28-300mm for the long end.

      The 70-200mm with a 2X comes certainly gives the same reach, out at a little over $2,600 it’s a bit on the high side for that market. I think closer to $2,000 for a lens is probably the reasonable limit.

    • Daniyar

      70-200mm + 2x TC is fine for non-textured subjects, but it isn’t good enough for feather or fur detail. You can’t even compare it to 300 + 1.4tc, it’s that bad.

      • PAG

        Thanks for that tidbit. It’s very good info to have.

  • ZoetMB

    “Nikon already announced a record number of lenses this year: nine, compared to six lenses per year from 2007- 2009.”

    Going by release date, not by announce date (and assuming that all announced lenses will appear in 2010), Nikon released 11 this year, still a record. The number of lenses by release year is as follows (Nikon introduced AF in 1992):

    Lenses by release year:
    2010: 11 (16-35, 24-120, 28-300, 200-400, 24, 35, 85, 200 VRII, 300 VRII, 55-300DX 4.5-5.6, TC20EIII)
    2009: 5 (70-200 VRII, 35DX, 10-24DX, 18-200 VR II DX, 85 micro DX)
    2008: 9 (50 1.4, 500 VRII, 600 VRII, 16-85 DX, 18-105 DX, 60 AF-S micro, 24TS, 45TS, 85TS)
    2007: 5 (14-24, 24-70, 400 VRII, 18-55 VR DX, 55-200 VR DX)
    2006: 4 (70-300 VR, 18-55 G ED II DX, 105 micro VR II, 18-135 DX)
    2005: 4
    2004: 5
    2003: 5
    2002: 3
    2001: 9
    2000: 4
    1999: 4
    1998: 5
    1997: 2
    1996: 4
    1995: 8
    1994: 9
    1993: 9
    1992: 7

    From 2007-2010, Nikon released (or is planning to release) 30 lenses. During the same time period, Canon released (or is planning to release) 19 lenses + 1 already announced for 2011.

    • Kenji

      Makes me sad to be a Canon shooter ๐Ÿ™

      • well not really, as canon already have all lenses needed.
        sad but true ๐Ÿ™

    • ZoetMB, you are right – I was going by Nikon’s website, the 300 f/2.8 VRII was announced in 2009 and they don’t consider the TC a lens.

  • If they can improve the AF speed and image quality (better 400mm than the Sigma 50-500) this is a winner..

  • Charles

    It seems to me that email could be a fraudulent attempt to keep us coming back for our rumor fix.

    • Charles, I have said that many times in the past but actually have never done it – let’s talk about this few months from now. Many people did not believe me on the D700o ISO performance, and on the AF during video and… the list is very long, why would I lie? I have a mailbox full of emails and tips, I can post a new rumor everyday till the end of the year just based on that, but that’s not my goal – I want to provide reliable information and I do believe that this lens will be released next from Nikon. Could I be wrong? Of course, but I can assure you that I do not make up stuff here.

      • Global

        Admin — you don’t need to defend yourself against these kinds of statements. Just ignore them and let it roll off like water on a duck’s back. Part of the fun of a rumor site is that you don’t know whether its true or not, even if the admin is perfectly truthful. So its just a secondary game to play in the minds of some people: 1.) is the rumor going to pan out, 2.) is the admin truthful — but this can go ad nauseum.. 3.) is the rumor-giver lying, 4.) is the manufacturer deliberately putting out misinformation, etc etc.

        But we only need to concern ourselves with the first point. The critic/troll isn’t really expressing anything about you, but rather about his/herself. Since the critic/troll must be addicted to rumors and had hopes up and down, then he/she must assume that no one can be consistent or good, because not all rumors come true. It doesn’t matter if this rumor comes true or not, he/she will always think the same way as soon as the next rumor doesn’t pan out.

        So i suggest forgetting about these kinds of comments and focusing your attention on more healthy minded readers who read the site just for entertainment, but buy according to their need. For those people, this site only helps with their decisions of purchase — it doesn’t radically affect them. And the guys who say “darn, i just bought the 85/1.4D or the D90 or whatnot” those are the healthy minded ones, because they are the ones doing photography whether or not your rumor timing or info is dead-on. The above troll/critic is just someone who can’t believe you can be as good as you are, and who will never believe that anything is just for fun, instead of out to get them.

        • I know, but every once in while I have to remind some readers. I am in no rush to push content – on several occasions in the past I have gone almost a week without posts and will probably do it again if there is nothing interesting to report (like today for example).

    • Mock Kenwell

      Charles, don’t be a putz. If Peter posted everything he received, or “made stuff up,” his record would suck and people would give up on the site. That would be pretty stupid of him.

      But I would love to e-mail this source back and ask him about the FX bodies!

    • robert

      Unnecessary comment Charles. I tell you I don’t mind if it’s a rumor or fact so much. The excitement is what I enjoy. Don’t take things so personal. I highly doubt The Admin would post info just to get people to the site. People come as they wish. I enjoy coming to the website. Maybe you should apologize and lets move on.

  • Todd

    Best lens news I’ve heard in years. Very excited!

  • Kendall Curtis

    I am confused. This person “predicted”/leaked all of these lenses back a whole year ago and it took till now to mention his listing of a last lens? Gosh how much of a sure thing does something have to be before you will release it as a rumor. This guy/lady gets 6 out of 7 right in one email and only now are they legit? Was 5 out of 7 or even 4 out of 7 not good enough to make the cut?

    • Yes, because I did not have any previous records of this tipster – back in 2009, this list looked too good to be true. I do not just blindly post any email I get.

      • Digitalux

        Create “NikonManiac” to blog the unpublished stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I understand Admin. It’s better to be sure rather than post every single rumour/email you get ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep up the great work!

    • Charles

      See Kendall Curtis gets it; I’m not here to fixate on the heresay of what the admin puts out for us. Nor do I really care how he gets his info, but im sure its tedious work and some bias has to go out into what is eventually made public. Though it seemed odds that everyone on the edge waiting out the 80-400mm train and poof “i have an email with an exact list and it must be next” In all likelihood the admin had a slow day and decided to pick though possibly 100’s if not 1000’s of emails and pull this hat trick out of someone’s wish list. As for the future, hey its open; but what happens when we tap out and are satified? What happens when we get our 80-400mm, our 70-200mm f4.? Our D4, D400, D800? And what not. Eventually we’ll have to go out and shoot, and be satified, at least I hope for some of us.

  • steve

    This looks like it will be comparable in size to Sony’s 70-400mm G lens that goes from 18cm to 28cm when extended. But the nikon lens seems to be a more complex design. Hopefully they have improved the IQ and keep the price around $2k. Sony’s 70-400mm is quite good and currently retails for $1500.

  • Fuck, Nikon, return back DOF scales and IR-focusing mark on your new AF-S lenses! If you think nobody uses other focusing methods than automatic, you looking not at horizon โ€” on your feet! And there still some people, using digital and film cameras with high-density infrared filters, so they’ll pleased to use such simple dot, a drop of fuckin’ red farbe, showing where to focus in invisible-to-eye world. Why to economize on everything with your G-series? WHY?

    • well because they are nikon, they can get away with that.
      They got away with removing of apperture ring
      they get away with not releasing Alpha 850 equivalent for three years
      people just follow them whatever they “not ” do

  • The Man from Mandrem


    Out of curiosity, do you have any visibility of DX prime lense plans?

    When Nikon’s 35mm/1.8 DX was released, it sounded like more prime lenses for DX would follow. I’m specifically interested in reasonably priced and smaller wider angle lenses, but curious their overall commitment to DX.

    • I have not heard anything on new DX prime lenses, this of course doesn’t mean that Nikon is not working on them.

  • Mikael

    That list doesn’t contain the 200 f/2.0 update. Did the source mention that?

    • no, the 200/2.0 lens was not mentioned

  • Gary

    Nikon has released an amazing set of new lenses this year, and left Canon in the dust.

    • nobody

      Well, you could as well say, Nikon has finally delivered what Canon already had for a long time. Like the f4 zooms, or the fast primes.

      Similary, a 100-400 with AF-S or a 300mm f4 with VR have been available for Canon shooters for ten years.

      I would be very happy if Nikon finally makes a new 80-400 with AF-S because I have been waiting for that lens since I moved to Nikon. But I would rather call it catching up with Canon than leaving Canon in the dust.

      • Kenji

        Indeed, I am a Canon shooter (Formally Nikon) and switched because of the 20D and the 100-400L…

        I do miss Nikon, and heaven knows I’ve come close to switching several times now (Most recently after the D7000, Not because i think it offers better IQ or anything, but because it offers a cheap way to get equivalent capabilities to what i have, which makes switching a bit easier on the wallet)

        In the end i decided not to for fear that my preferred long lens solution (Sigma’s 50-500 OS) was not up to my rediculous standards.. Nikon has few other options in their own lineup (The 70-200 +TC combo was suggested a lot, and while i want the 70-200 f/2.8 VR II i just am not sure using it with a TC a lot would be the proper solution)

        If Nikon had a new 80-400 it might be the last straw of why im staying Canon….

      • Gary

        Nikon leapfrogged Canon in releasing lenses that are superior to the Canon equivalents. For instance, the Nikon 24 1.4 beats every other 24 lens out there; it’s the new standard. Canon has a 24 1.4 but it’s not in the same league.

        The new Nikon 85 1.4 G beats out the Canon 85 1.2, which is big and slow.

        I would venture to say that the new Nikon 24-120 f4 beats out the Canon 24-105 f4.

        Most likely the new Nikon 35 1.4 will be superior to the Canon 35 1.4.

        So sure in some cases Nikon was filling in a gap that Canon already had, but in doing so they have surpassed Canon.

  • studio460

    The AF-S version of the 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G has long been “wished” for. Sure, it’s an older zoom, likely for updating at some point, but it’s a good lens at an affordable price. I bought an AF Nikkor 80-400mm refurb in mint condition for only $1050. It’s sharp as heck, and at 400mm @ f/5.6, it isolates subjects pretty well at head-and-shoulders sized frames.

    Suppose the AF-S version does come out, wouldn’t it be likely that the older version would be then discontinued? I know many of us want an AF-S version of the 80-400mm, but I bet that’s going to be pretty pricey with the included VRII and Nano-whatnot. What’s everyone’s guess on a selling price, if such a lens were to be released?

    • nobody

      I suppose it will come with a MSRP similar to the 70-200 VRII.

      • Chris P

        Quote “I suppose it will come with a MSRP similar to the 70-200 VRII.”

        Personally I hope so, as that would mean the same internal zoom/focus, some weather sealing and nano coatings. More importantly it will also mean that it has been produced up to a standard and not down to a price.

    • PAG

      The 200-400mm f/4 upgrade added VRII and caused an over 10% bump to Nikon’s ESP. The 300mm f/2.8 had a minor upgrade and caused an over 7% bump to ESP.

      So my guess is that AF-S and VRII will add at least 20% and maybe more like 25% to the ESP for the 80-400mm. A 20% bump would put it at around $2,200 and a 25% bump would put it a bit over $2,300. Maybe toss in a waiting time premium of $100-$200?

      I haven’t been at this long so I don’t have a good feel for what, if any, discount you can expect on the street for a new lens as compared to Nikon’s ESP. Right now the older 200-400mm is discounted 10% at B&H, but the new 200-400mm is only $100 below Nikon’s ESP.

    • Joe

      “Sharp as heck”? Well, I don’t mind a slow autofocus, but whenever I look at fotos taken by the current 80-400 I always think “that is pretty soft even at f/8”.

      Maybe I’m cosseted by my Zeiss lenses, but when a foto taken by a Zeiss MP 100/2 f/2 and cropped to 400mm-equiv is similarly sharp and detailed as a pic made by this lens at 400mm and f/8, this 80-400 doesn’t make much sense to me.

  • DaveyJ

    I have tried the current Nikkor 80-400mm quite a few times and each time decided not to buy it as the 70-300VR was just so much better by my standards. If Nikon upgrades this lens I do expect that this time they will get it right. I also think they’d better do what they can do to keep the price reasonable and the weight very close to the current lens or it will have missed the field tell lens market completely. I think the D7000 and the D3100 upgrades bode well for such an upgrade and achieving both quality and price points. This if designed and built right could become a fantastically big seller for Nikon. I have used the current 200-400 and other Nikon bigger teles and they are just plain to big and awkward in the field. The focus has to be pretty fast. The 70-300VR is good enough to make me amazed when I use it which therefore gets very regular use by me. It is my go to tele lens. But I would note that MOST 70-300VR users who admire that lens tell me they often want it at the 300 (and up!!) side, so if the 80-400 VRII is a success it will be extremely welcome. I also know many post they would rather have a 300mm, etc. I think the zooms are far more effective in the field as there are many factors which require an adjustment to zoom up or down. If you were in a Land Rover on safari or in the wilds of Alaska I think you would be safer and happier with zooms than primes. I also think this is one of the best NR topics I have ever seen!! Thanks NR Admin!!!

    • PAG

      I use both the 70-300mm and the 80-400mm on a D90. The one thing I have trouble with on the 70-300mm is that if I lose a bird in flight or I have a tough busy background, it defaults to running all the way back to close focus and then racking back out to find the target again. This often causes me to lose my subject.

      The 80-400mm is slower to focus, but I find it to be much better at holding its target. The focus limiter switch is also really useful so when it does hunt, it doesn’t go all the back to minimum focus. I personally think Nikon should add a limiter switch to every lens of 300mm and above.

    • I agree with DaveyJ. A recent trip to Alaska convinced me that my longest lens is never long enough, and my wide angle is never wide enough ๐Ÿ™‚

      At that time, I had a 70-300 on a DX which translates to 450mm, and a 12-24 f/4.

  • Mark

    I think this is nice and all..and its bound to be a great lens. But, with a price tag of $2k+, I think Nikon should probably be focusing more on the middle-class photographers. Im not saying produce lenses of lesser quality, thats fairly expensive..

  • Nikon Canon

    Looking at the design of an internal zoom with no barrel extension, it could be as pricey as the 70-200 VR2, or even more. Even then, I still would want one becasue of the SWM.

  • lolcatmaster FTW

    It is natural they are introducing so many lenses, with high resolution sensor cameras planned and being released they need to update their line of lenses (at least the most popular for proยดs and enthusiasts) because if not they would be having sensors outresolving lenses! Besides some of those lenses screamed for an update!.

  • Does anyone know, how would we know if a certain lens is able to be used on a certain camera body with no outresolving problems? Just test it out for sharpness? By the way, what’s the maximum resolution that DX lenses such as 12-24 f/4 can go?

  • BenS

    Interesting question. I am no sensor or optics expert. What do you mean by ” a sensor out resolves a lens ” . What is it that makes a sensor out-ressolve a lens ? is it pixel density of a sensor ?

    What do the manufacturers do on a lens upgrade so that a sensor does not “out-resolve” it ?

    THANKS ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anton

      Sensors resolution is determined by the pixel size (density of pixels on the sensor). Lens resolution is judged by it sharpness (blurring effect), which is determined on it’s construction.

      If the resolution of the lens is higher then the sensor, you will get the moire artifacts. To solve this, the manufacturer ether uses a low-pass filter
      or a blurring lens.

      If on the other hand the resolutions of the sensor is much higher then that of the lens, the blur effect will the very noticeable — the lens that is considered to be sharp on one sensor will not seem to be as sharp on the other sensor.

    • He just mant that sensor can resolve more lines per mm then lense could project upon it. basically it is pixel density.

  • DaveyJ

    @gnohz I had the exact same lens in Alaska. I also shot some with the 200-400 Nikkor. The 80-400 Nikkor which MAY be updated would be most welcome. I do find the 12-24mm Nikkor DX is pretty sharp. It is my favorite underwater lens in Alaska. I used the D700 with an older 20-35 Nikkor and that was exceptional on FX. The upcoming D7000 should answer some of the problems I have had there and especially in Acadia National Park in Maine (which I have visited many times) with video. The D90 is just not much of a HD video camera. I always use my D300 most in a setting like Alaska due to the 1.5 magnification factor. I also find the D300 (and the D300s I have used) to be slightly better for my uses. To PAG I use a work around solution all the time for eagles, etc. with my D300 and 70-300VR……I prefocus if possible at about the distance the action is going to happen. If that isn’t possible my D300 set on Cl (continuous low and tracking) usually will allow me to keep the focus grid (camera set on Program and 800 ISO) I can usually get a razor sharp image with that lens without the unacceptable searching. I own lens with focus limiters on them and I do not use them as I find the procedure I mention is superior for my own use. I have had other people in Alaska shoot my D300 with the 70-300VR lens and their images with my rig they said were the best images they got in Alaska for their whole trip. I do find the D90 is quite good. The D300 is simply better for me. But the D300 has no video so I use the D90 and the 18-200VR for a utility camera. I shot stills and video of a racey boat on an Adirondack Lake last evening and the photos and video were quite good! I still would have no objection to Nikon putting a focus limiter on this new lens. I did not see it on the patent details but it may be there. I am certain this next 80-400 VR will way outpace the older model!!

    • PAG

      Just picked up on your comment. Thanks for the advice. I’m hoping the tighter focal points of the D7000 will work a bit better for me also.

  • patrick

    is there any one testing the new and upcumming 80400 nikon ? thanks

  • Ramonline

    I’m saving already…

  • Mock Kenwell

    Zero interest in a lens like this. Although there seems to be a clamoring for it.

  • DaveyJ

    When the lens gets announced there will be quite a few eager to try it. It will not be for everyone. I will be testing the lens as soon as I can get a lens from B&H. I will try to share my reaction on NR when it happens.

  • 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 ..

    Is there any news on that ????

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