Nikkor 80-400mm F/4.5-5.6D ED VR, etc

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Monty Bonner, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. Monty Bonner

    Monty Bonner Guest


    I have the D70s, and my girlfriend has the N80. We are able to share
    lenses, and so we want more than a 200mm because she has used one on a
    previous camera and was not able to zoom in close enough for wildlife shots.
    We go camping a lot and wildlife pictures or nature pictures are what we
    like to shoot. We are not into sports at all.

    We checked out the above lens, and (yes it's a hefty bugger) because we have
    different cameras is this a good one for us to share. I will use it some
    and she will use it some. My concern is that for my D70s, it will get right
    out there zoomed out all the way (600mm). I think I might like that ability
    so some time I can try to take night shots of Mt St Helens in Washington
    state, to catch the lava glow. However, I wanted some experts opinions.

    And in previous posts, several members here have got into a match about
    dissing a particular brand of camera, and the discussion has degraded from
    there. I am asking for information on what issues we might run into using
    this one on our two different cameras. I will have to carry it, and the
    tripod, so I know I it's a weight thing as well.

    I cannot remember which lens she has on her camera, but I think it is the
    Nikkor 24-85 F/2.8 IF. I have the kit lens, which I still think is pretty
    good all around lens. I am still learning about using it, and taking
    pictures. Will attend some classes over the winter, have a video, and most
    likely will purchase a good book as well.

    At any rate, your comments please.

    Monty Bonner, Oct 15, 2005
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  2. An alternative suggestion - get a third camera! A camera such as the
    Panasonic FZ5 or FZ20

    will give you the telephoto you need (36 - 432mm f/3.3 image stabilised
    zoom), cost and weigh a fraction of the Nikon lens, and perhaps get your
    girlfriend moving towards digital photography.

    David J Taylor, Oct 15, 2005
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  3. Why are you concerned? I don't follow you. You can always zoom out if it's
    to great a focal length. However she needs the full fl if she wants 400mm.
    A good site for lens reviews may be found at:
    The lens you are considering in particular:

    Something to possibly consider is how much do you thing you'll be using the
    full fl of this lens? If you think you also might have a need to a bit
    faster, light wise and focusing, shorter fl lens you might consider a
    combination of the stellar AFS 70-200 mm f/2.8 G ED-IF VR and a TC-201E 2x
    teleconverter. It's a bit more $$ and the 70-200 isn't much smaller than
    the 80-400 you are considering. I find the combo more flexible for me.

    A review of the AFS 70-200 mm f/2.8 G ED-IF VR is at:

    You can see photos I've taken with this lens and combo at:
    Another use for the fast 70-200 f/2.8 was here:
    My nephew's Christmas Recital last year shot with ambient light at higher
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Oct 15, 2005
  4. Monty Bonner

    JMW Guest

    I bought an 80-400 VR three years ago and have since used it on an F100,
    an F80, N80, a D100 and a Kodak 14N and an 14NX. Outstanding in every

    It's worth noting that the price of these used seems to have gone up a
    bit - which is a good hint as to how the photographic community as a
    whole regards it.

    As to the cameras, the N80 is the basic platform for some Nikon film
    cameras, the Nikon D100 digital camera, the Fuji S1 digital, and the
    Kodak 14n/nx/n-pro. I know of no other camera that has ever been the
    base for different technologies, formats AND for at least three
    different manufacturers!

    Personally, I think you're following a good strategy.

    JMW, Oct 16, 2005
  5. Forgot to mention in my other reply, if buying new be sure to buy from a
    authorized dealer, so you can take advantage of the rebate.

    Don't be fulled by the name of the PDF, the form is for the Fall 2005.
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Oct 16, 2005
  6. Monty Bonner

    Monty Bonner Guest

    "David J Taylor"
    Thank you for your suggestion, but she is happy with the N80 she has. I
    have the digital, and she knows she is welcome to use it any time she wants

    Monty Bonner, Oct 20, 2005
  7. Monty Bonner

    nightwryter Guest

    I got my 80-400 about four years ago, and I love it. Some folks dissed
    this lens when it first came out back then, but you can't prove it by
    me. I have no complaints at all about sharpness with this lens and the
    wide zoom range makes it a really fun piece of glass for outdoor work.
    The VR feature does work as advertised. I've had reasonable results
    handheld at 1/30s at 400mm and my hands ain't as steady these days
    as they once were. The "hefty" part can be a concern. I wound up
    getting one of the 70-300 ED zooms as a smaller, lighter, decent
    subsitute for the 80-400 when I want to travel light.

    If you don't already have them, you might want to think about using
    battery grips on your cameras. This really helps on the N80,since it's
    a fairly small body. It will give you a place to put that third finger
    and give you a better grip purchase when hand holding a long lens.
    Ditto for the D70, although there's no Nikon battery grip accessory.
    There are a couple of third party grips, however.

    nightwryter, Oct 24, 2005
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