Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens now shipping in the US


Several readers informed me that they have received shipping notifications from B&H for their pre-ordered Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens that was announced on March 4th. The new lens is shipping few days before the official release date of March 19th which is part of Nikon's effort to push inventory before the end of their financial year that ends on March 31th, 2013.

If you are in New York state, you will be getting your lens tomorrow.

A reader sent me a sample image from his new Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens (credit: John Rogers Photography):

Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens sample picture

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  • How do retail sales affect Nikon’s end of quarter data?

    • Thom Hogan

      Nikon is one of the few Japanese companies that give fairly specific forward projections. They’ve stated and re-stated the number of lens units they think they’ll sell in the current fiscal year (which ends at the end of this month). Given the likelihood that the 80-400mm will almost certainly be a first-shipment sellout, that number will get added into this year, and coupled with the lens rebates in effect I’d judge it likely that they’ll make their forecast number.

      The real question is their next fiscal year. Nikon announced 7 interchangeable lens cameras and 9 lenses last year and had soft unit volume overall (they lowered their original projections). So far already this year they’ve announced 3 interchangeable lens cameras and 5 lenses. They still have twelve months to go before the end of their NEXT fiscal year. So how do they maintain or increase unit volume? Going to be interesting to watch.

  • AM

    Any rumors on rebates on this lens before the end of this month? Only then I’ll be interested.

    • St.

      how about exclusive $300 off till the end of march

      • I doubt that.

        • Pat

          it took the 70-200/2.8 VR2 a year or so before it got on the instant rebate list. and the pent up demand for a new 80-400 is probably even bigger.

  • I got my shipping notice and tracking number from B&H Photo tonight on my copy of the 80-400mm. It is scheduled to arrive in Atlanta on Monday.

    • Sue

      Same here. I’m in NYS so it is scheduled for delivery tomorrow, that confo made my day!

  • Redlance

    I got to play with this lens at WPPI, and my two impressions were that it was bigger than, but about the same weight and handling as the 70-200/2.8. However, in shooting it on a D800 and D4 I was really surprised how fast it focused. They let me take some shots on the floor and whether I was at the wide or the long end, it snapped to focus very quick. Even faster than my 24-70/2.8 or 35/1.4.

    • fred

      I’m wondering If you put it on a D300s instead of D800/D4 would it focus as fast at f5.6 (at 400mm)?

      • DonD

        Fred, to answer your question, yes. I did it tonight on a D7100, and it was just that snappy fast even at 400mm. So, I imagine the D300s would be the same.

    • Pat

      That’s a very very good news indeed. 24-70/2.8 is one of the fastest AF monster in Nikon’s line up. If it indeed is as good Nikon probably put in some of the most powerful AF-S motors they have and it help to explain the huge diameter.

    • MyrddinWilt

      It will be interesting to see focus speed vs the 200-400. If there is less mass to move it should focus faster…

      There will always be a place for the big zoom, but the 80-400 is going to be a lot more hand holdable.

      What it is all going to come down to is bokeh. If the new lens has stellar bokeh it will justify the price. If its meh then it won’t. The MTF chart shows that chromatic aberration should be very small. I don’t much care about distortion (which looking at the optical path will probably be moustache), that can be fixed in software easily enough and should be small for a telephoto lens anyway.

      • AlexV

        Usually good MTF has good chromatic abberation control since these lenses are more expensive to produce the company will put the best inside it, but chromatic abberation can’t be read from MTF.

  • Syco

    Nice to see Nikon finally upgrading to mid mount focus (ala canon) the 70-200 f4 and the 80-400 being the first two.

    not surprising its much faster at focusing! and best of all no chance of hitting the damn switches when shooting in portrait mode (as i have done on my d4 with 70-200 f2.8 VR2 so many times i’ve resorted to taping the fn switches)

  • fred

    I can’t wait to read the reviews. I already own the ‘old’ 80-400 and I’m pretty happy with it. Action-wise It is good for panning birds that are broadly circling you.
    Only once the price comes down will I think about buying it. It has to compete (money-wise) with a new 70-200 +new 2x teleconverter which many owners report work very well together. The MTF chart looks promising.

  • David

    Mine should be here tomorrow end of day. Nikon is really getting stuff out fast now a days. Pre-ordered it last Friday and getting it this Friday. Sweet!

  • Jose

    FYI, my preorder with Adorama shipped today, Wednesday delivery to the West Coast.

  • Jer

    I see this lens is not on Nikon’s AF-S teleconverter compatibility chart and the old 80-400 isn’t listed there either. Does anyone have information about the new lens for sure being able to use teleconverters. Maybe it’s just a case of not being listed yet because of how new it is.

    • JonasHärter

      The lens has got 10 connecting pins for the elektronic between body and lens, newer Nikon bods have only 8 contact-pads, the suplementary 2 pins are only for AF-S telekonverters. The mount should also be keyed, but with the only 2 photos from Nikon you kann not see much,
      Every lens on the list has 10 pins.

    • fred

      I read that it could take a Nikon teleconverter (search

  • RWJ

    Do we know where this lens is made yet?

    • Pat

      I believe it is Made In Japan, hence the price.

      Nikon Thailand did a fantastic job on the 70-200/4 VR. But we have not seen anything $2000+ coming from there yet.

  • Jose

    The Nikon press release states compatibility with the 1.4x TC-E and current Nikon bodies which focus as f8.

  • Jose

    As this lens became available today, I’ve been scouring the net hourly for reviews/first pictures. Finally find someone that has shot this new lens on the D7100; comments were “ust came back from lunch to find a brand new D7100 with an AF-S 80-400 VR waiting for me.

    The increased rez and the lack of an AA filter do make a marked improvement on the 7100. More testing needed.

    the new 80-400 is amazingly sharp for such a zoom range. You can’t see on this low rez post but it’s there”

    Also posted a pic of brick wall without any further info, Assume this is 400mm and hard to tell from a low-rez web post, but the pic looks pretty damn good compared to similiar shots from the old 80-400.

  • Jose

    Meant to include a link with the previous post. Here it is, first pic from the 80-400 + D7100

    • fred

      2 house bricks in wall.
      Looks more like a ‘joke’ post.
      Don’t waste time looking.

  • Neil

    I’ve got the 200-400 VR2 already but I’m seriously thinking of adding this lens as a portable addition once the price goes down. Obviously they priced this with an eye to currency fluctuations and the ability to rebate it if needed. In a few months I expect this bad boy to get lower in price. Will be great to see some more real world examples with it, too.

  • 5DollarFootlong

    Very nice lens, BUT the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 is the same price (200 rebate now) and IMO is a gem of a lens. Works wonderfully with TC’s also!

    This 80-400 would be a terrific buy at $1899. Would be only interested at that price!

  • piahi

    A year ago I almost got a used 400/2.8 AF-I for $3500. Should have jumped on it! Two stops faster, only $800 more than this bad boy.

    • preston

      Completely different animals. .

  • hoglundtw

    Seems Amazon is behind B&H and Adorama on this – haven’t heard anything re ship date on my Amazon pre-order

    • Pat

      same here. I would guess Nikon want to compensate BH/Adorama a bit for the D800 pre-order fiasco.
      Or it is NPS members getting their pre-orders from BH/Adorama again?

      • FF

        I can confirm it is not NPS people getting their orders fulfilled.

  • la

    got mine today. just shot a bunch of birds at the feeder. very sharp at 400. good contrast. AF fast and silent as expected. Bigger than old 80-400 but so far seems easy to handle. A/M mode is great. Needs lots more testing but out of the box it was sharp for such a lens and much better than the old version which i have been using as a workhorse for over a decade!

  • DonD

    I held the new 80-400 in my hands tonight mounted no a new D7100. The thing that impressed me most is the speed of the AF. It literally snapped into focus instantaneously. I tried to make it hunt but was never successful. How I’m jonesin’ again.

  • Spy Black

    That’s a DX lens? Or is he deliberately shooting that bird in crop mode? There’s some funky stabilizer-based junk going on in the left side of the image in the principle focus area. It’s not in the center or the right of the principle focus area. Certainly doesn’t bode well for crop mode, never mind FX.

  • Ralph

    Found a very nice set of photos from the National Zoo taken with the new 80-400 and D7100.

  • Fritzimages

    If interested, I’ve posted videoBlog and feathered critter image on the 80-400

    • Mike

      why are you lying??? The name of the image is 80-200mm_Sparrow!!! Not only you are a liar, but you are pretty dumb liar!

      • Fritzimages

        Hi Mike, thanks for the feedback. I mislable the images when I ingested them into photomechanic. I have corrected that as well as posted camera EXIF info. Sorry that you thought I mislead you. My error. But the image is shot with the new 80-200

        • Spy Black

          Hey just curious, do you have in-camera correction for CA and stuff like that turned on for this lens? So far images I’ve seen of this lens look either super fantastic, or still really nice but with a good chuck of CA. Just curious. BTW, I tried to post this on your site, but the human identifier seemed to not register that I put the golf ball in the hole, ice and lemon in the drink, etc. I gave up.

          • Fritzimages

            Hello Spy,

            I’m using the D3s for my posted image, so my standard settings are to only have picture control set at the Nikon preset of standard, sharpness at 2, AWB: auto…nothing else……There would not be much CA in the light I was shooting in, it was very flat. I’ll keep an eye on it. There was no post processing and I just double checked that my NX2 (v 2.3.5) settings were set to off. Hope that helps…thanks a lot for tip on the human identifier ! I’ll check into that right way…all the best.

      • Fritzmages

        Hi Mike,
        I mislabled the files name when I ingested them in photomechanic. I have relabled. I also posted the EXIF info for the shot. Sorry for the misinformation. My mistake. However, the shot is with the new 80-400.

        • Mike

          OK, if so, I apologize, but would be nice to see that image with full EXIF. Is it possible? 🙂

          • Fritzimages

            Hi Mike,
            I posted a download link of the RAW NEF for the Image. You’ll be able to pull the full EXIF now

            • Mike

              Thanks a lot for the image and huuuge apologize.

            • Fritzimages

              Hi Mike,

              I know the feeling, lots of posers out there, but I try to be the real deal. I learned a few postive things about how to post up infomation….good experiance.

      • Jan

        I,m reading this in the Netherlands, shame this has nothing to do with a coversation!!! Respect please.

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