Nikon Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Nikon Inc. AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED

Nikon Inc. AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED

This versatile, compact and lightweight zoom is ideal for wildlife and action photography, and includes Nikon’s VR image stabilization technology.

Average Customer Rating:
4 out of 5
4
 out of 
5
(80 Reviews) 80
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot 80 reviews
5 stars
35
4 stars
25
3 stars
10
2 stars
5
1 star
5
64 out of 80(80%)reviewers recommend this product.
Customer Questions & Answers:
44 Questions | 61 Answers
Customer Reviews for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Review 1 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Extremely useful on the move

PostedNovember 25, 2011
MO
Most reports on this lens indicated slow focusing and average image quality, and my first hand-held shots of flying birds confirmed it at relatively high shutter speeds (1/800 and more) with VR on.
I then took a series of hand-held shoots of still subjects at 400mm from my balcony and I discovered that the images where very sharp at relatively low shutter speeds (around 1/400 and no more than 1/600). That appears to indicate that the VR system needs such a time window to average its effect.
On the other hand, this lens does not have a built-in focusing motor, and autofocusing relies on the camera (only Nikon cameras with a focusing motor are compatible with the feature). Autofocusing is indeed slow. Nevertheless, the lens allows for the selection of autofocus ranges, and I found that, with the proper range, and when it has little tracking to do (for example, following a bird that took off from a standing point), the success rate is surprisingly high at 400mm, with very sharp images (DX format).
Around 200mm, the images are comparable to best obtained with my other lenses.
Although not light, this lens is very well balanced for hand-held shots on a D300 with its power grip, it offers a 12x magnification in the DX format, and the whole set can be comfortably carried, ready to use, in a backpack with a 18-200mm zoom and a flash unit.
+49points
Review 2 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

good

PostedAugust 15, 2011
carterml
Location Minnesota
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Landscape
Nikon Family 6-10 years
Experience More than a year
Role Semi-professional photographer
I like this lens it's range is great. Only thing I would like to see is to make it a bit faster to focus faster.
+11points
Review 3 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Awesome Lens and a great price

PostedJuly 29, 2011
BAKravitz
Location Massachusetts
Age 45-54
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience More than a year
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
I just added this lens to my stable of Nikon lenses. It is a great all around lens. I do wildlife photography as well as sports photography. I have found the lens to be a fantastic addition.
+11points
Review 4 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

The Best

PostedJuly 1, 2011
Versatile Long Zoom
Location Idaho Falls, ID
Age Over 65
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience More than a year
Role Semi-professional photographer
I have owned the 80x400 zoom for several years
now and still find it to be an outstanding lens.
Its versatility in focal length coupled with VR makes
it my pick for wildlife photography. I cannot tell you
how many elk, moose, RM sheep, deer and birds
I have shot with it and all came out great!
+22points
Review 5 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Excellent lens

PostedJune 23, 2011
talented_amateur
Location New York, USA
Age 35-44
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 2-5 years
Experience More than a year
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
This lens, for the price, is absolutely outstanding. The stabilisation makes it a cinch to use hand-held for wildlife, and put on a camera with a high ISO (to compensate for the f/5.6 at the maximum zoom) you can get shots in a huge range of environments. On safari I think there are few better lenses. Being able to shoot down at 80mm without swapping lens, but still have a 400mm lens for the long shots is fantastic. Shooting wildlife under canopy the 70-200mm f/2.8 is a better lens, but for general purpose wildlife it is hard to beat this lens. I was shocked by how good this lens was in this role.
-14points
Review 6 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

A great, very sharp lens, a bit slow to focus

PostedJune 4, 2011
Shootsalot
Age Over 65
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience More than a year
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
I have owned and used this lens extensively for the past several years. It is one of the first VR lenses and in some ways shows its age. It is slow to focus compared to the newer lenses but it is tack sharp and built like a tank. I have used it successfully for birds in flight with excellent results. Considering the prices of lenses I feel this one is a bargain.
+18points
Review 7 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

I'm in Love

PostedApril 18, 2011
Lexie
Location St. Louis, MO
Age 18-24
Favorite Subject Sports
Nikon Family 6-10 years
Experience 1-3 months
Role Professional photographer
I am completely in love with this lens. It not only gives me a great deal of length but is amazingly fast. I love shooting sports and nature with this lens. It is clear and sharp.
+2points
Review 8 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

This lens works best when it has a lot of light.

PostedApril 16, 2011
Ben
Location Augusta Ga.
Age Over 65
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience More than a year
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
I have had this lens for over 3 years and it never lets me down. I use the lens on a D300 and a D700 with equally good results with both cameras.
+8points
Review 9 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

PostedApril 16, 2011
nikon man
Location miami,fl
Age Over 65
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience More than 20 years
Role Semi-professional photographer
I have owned this long telle zoom for 6-7 years & it is exellent in every way .Used in Alaska shooting whales in the lite rain and no problem at all.
blue angles air show came out supberb at 9 frames a sec.
+6points
Review 10 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

80-400mm Wide Zoom Range, Can Hand Hold

PostedApril 15, 2011
Sailor
Location Captiva Island, FL
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience More than a year
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
User submitted photo
I have been using my 80-400 VR for about 5 years now, shooting sailboat racing from on-the-water chase boats, SW Florida native and migratory birds along shorelines and at a National Wildlife Refuge, and frequent trips to a coastal fishing village in Mexico. I like the lens for the wide range of focal lengths and the fact that it can be hand-held for the sports and birds-in-flight images I go after. There is a learning curve, and a few points are: you need light as it is soft wide open; depress shutter part way to get the VR stabilized before you need it for those quick moving shots; shoot fast shutter speeds at the longer focal lengths to avoid lens movement when hand held. Practice and study your results. Learn the lens and it will do well what it was designed to do!
+16points
Review 11 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

dynamite zoom lens, extremely versatile

PostedApril 14, 2011
LA Riceman
Location Rayne, LA
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience More than a year
Role Semi-professional photographer
User submitted photo
In the course of my job I often need to document wildlife present in agricultural settings. This means shooting when the opportunity presents itself without the benefit of tripod or blind to set up. The vibration reduction feature is absolutely essential in this type of use and is one of the great advantages of digital photography. This is coming from an old Kodachrome 64 guy who never thought he would use much less like digital photography.
+1point
Review 12 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Versatile and sharp lense.

PostedApril 14, 2011
Jamie
Location Glendora, CA
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience 1-3 months
Role Semi-professional photographer
I wasnt' sure quite what to expect at first due to some other failed lenses. Mostly my fault for not buying Nikon, but this one did not let me down. I have only had it for a few months but the results are amazing. This is a quality lens with a wide variety of uses. If there was any drawback at all it would be the weight. But that's ok, I've been wanting to get back to working out anyway.
+2points
Review 13 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

I just love this Lens!

PostedApril 1, 2011
Joan
Location Saluda, Va.
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Sports
Nikon Family 6-10 years
Experience More than a year
Role Professional photographer
User submitted photo
I use this Lens most of the time! Love it. It's my Lens of Choice. I shoot with it at the Horse Shows and it brings in Crisp Clear action shots.
It's good for the Candids I often do and it did an Outstanding Job in taking pictures of the Wildlife on Merrit Island, FL. Sometimes wish it had a lower f stop though. But outstand Lens anyway.
I'm going to use it for a wedding, indoor, on April 16. Can't wait to see all the realy nice pictures I'll get with this combo. Thanks for a Great Product!
+3points
Review 14 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Nikon classical products, which I know how to use

PostedMarch 9, 2011
Yevgen
Location Watertown, MA, 02472
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Sports
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience 6-12 months
Role Professional photographer
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
I was looking for that lens for a couple of years, waiting for the new Nikon’s update of that zoom lens range, but 6 month ago I decided not to wait and get it in my Nikon lens collection.
I used it with a D300 and D700.
There were a lot of discussions about that lens, most sad that AF is too slow, ….
Or, yes this is a “Dad’s Lens”, it is from the first generation of 5 times zoom range 80-400mm with VR.
I am not only photographer, I am optical mechanical engineer, and I know that at the time, when this lens was designed, no one can do better.
I go throw a several tests and find the way, how to use this lens with such body’s like D300 or D700.
All the images were done during less than 5 minutes on D300.
All of them were made near my house, on the busy road 20 (speed limit 35 miles/hour).
The first 3 images with the 400mm and the rest 95mm.
I can say that that lens pass my test, thank Nikon for the lens and the Pro Bodies, which can be adjusted for the old generation of the lens and make them be comparable with new generation.
Thanks again.
+2points
Review 15 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

One of the best Nikon's classical products

PostedOctober 30, 2010
kikiruku
Location ISTANBUL
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Travel
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience More than a year
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
Since about 2 years I am using this lens with my D300 for nature photos and all kind of ships passing thru Bosphorus in Istanbul.
Excellent working VR and excellent picture quality. It is also fast enough for sport if there is sufficient light available.Easy to carry ,because not that heavy and small in size compared with telephotos similar range.
+13points
Review 16 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

So glad I had it with me

PostedOctober 1, 2010
Ex_SoCal
Location Chicago
Age 45-54
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 11-20 years
Experience 1-3 months
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
Just came back from a 12-day safari. This lens stayed on my D-300 90% of the time. A bit slow during late afternoon game drives but the other shots were amazing!
+3points
Review 17 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Super quality

PostedAugust 18, 2010
Sagebrush
Location Brooks, Alberta
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 6-10 years
Experience 3-6 months
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
My wife and I have been using this lense for wildlife photography. In a word it is "outstanding". Absolutely great for everything from antelope to marsh wrens and humming birds. Takes a bit of practice to get use to its operation but the quality is there if you do your part.
+12points
Review 18 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Excellent for butterflies and airshows

PostedAugust 4, 2010
Bob
Location Wilson, N. C.
Age Over 65
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience More than a year
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
I like to go to a local lake to shoot photographs of butterflies and dragonflies. Ideally, I would use a macro lens, but the butterflies and dragonflies land on bushes that hang out over the water, making it impossible to use one. So I use the 80-400 mm zoom lens on a monopod, zoom out to 400 mm and focus on a butterfly about 8 to 10 feet away. With VR and the monopod, I am able to get some really sharp images. I call it my "long-distance macro lens."
My only complaint is that the tripod mounting collar does not rotate smoothly, as it does on other Nikon lenses.
+14points
Review 19 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

I didn't know what sharp was...

PostedJuly 31, 2010
Hal
Location Utah
Age Over 65
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 2-5 years
Experience More than a year
Role Semi-professional photographer
...until I used this lens. I learned way late how important quality glass is. If I had it to do over, I would have spent much more, much earlier on lenses. This lens captures detail I never imagined possible. I use it not only for far distance, but fill the frame at near distance for incredibly detailed shots, and it makes me money. Thanks, Nikon, for making it affordable.
+4points
Review 20 for AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great lens, though a bit heavy.

PostedJuly 31, 2010
fld90
Location Tampa, Florida
Age 45-54
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 6-10 years
Experience 3-6 months
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
I bought this lens after my 70-300 finally bit the dust and I am very happy with it. The VR feature allows more handheld shooting opportunities than I would have thought possible considering it's weight.
+3points
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