Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR £1860, $2300

The mod­ern rein­ven­tion of a clas­sic

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

Nikon’s orig­i­nal 80-400mm VR was its first lens to in­cor­po­rate Vi­bra­tion Re­duc­tion. How­ever, the sta­biliser only gave a two-stop ef­fec­tive­ness and, worse, the lens had a painfully slow cam­era-driven aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem, which was far from ideal for ac­tion pho­tog­ra­phy.

The new edi­tion has up­dated VR, ring-type ul­tra­sonic aut­o­fo­cus, and up­rated glass that in­cludes four ED el­e­ments plus a Su­per ED el­e­ment. How­ever, like the Nikon 70-200mm VR, it lacks an elec­tro­mag­net­i­cally con­trolled di­aphragm. Its re­vamped four-stop sta­biliser still isn’t quite as ef­fec­tive as in the lat­est Nikon 200-500mm and 300mm lenses, and lacks a Sport mode. Out­right tele­photo reach also comes up short com­pared with the Nikon 200-500mm and the 150-600mm lenses on test.


Aut­o­fo­cus speed can’t quite match that of the 70-200mm lenses on test, and is marginally slower than in the Sigma 150-600mm S. Im­age qual­ity is very good, but no bet­ter than from the Sigma S lens.

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