Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm f4.5-5.6G

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Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm f4.5-5.6G

Postby Ian Gains » Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:49 am

Hi. Does anyone use this lens for aviation photography, & how have you found its performance, especially at the 400mm focal length ? If you do, what did you use before obtaining the Nikkor, & what are it's pros & cons in your opionion.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm f4.5-5.6G

Postby nfarmer » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:37 am

I don't have this lens (Nikon 80-400 f4.5-f5.6 G ED VR AF-S), however people who do on Fred Miranda's site say it is very good. Strengths are very good sharpness (better than Canon's 100-400L), AF speed and accuracy, VR works well. Weaknesses are the tripod collar and foot are weak, the lens is big and heavy for carrying around all day and it is expensive. All four reviewers opinions were consistent. The lens's strengths should make it ideal for aviation photography provided the size and weight are no problem for you. Hope this helps.
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Re: Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm f4.5-5.6G

Postby Ian Gains » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:14 am

Thanks for your feedback. I'm a Canon man myself, but have a mate who has one of these. He uses it on a D7100, so we adjusted the back focusing & it seems to have helped with the image sharpness.
It is a heavy mother though, but the focal length range is useful for this hobby.
From what I have seen, I wouldn't recommend it's use on a body that can't be back focused as I'd be surprised if it was spot on straight out of the box.
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Re: Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm f4.5-5.6G

Postby nfarmer » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:15 pm

Ian, I agree with your opinion on adjusting focus on each lens in camera. My 100-400L always seemed a touch soft until I adjusted for it's slight front focus. Very sharp now. Strange all my Canon lenses needed moderate adjustments but my venerable 2001 model Sigma 70-200 EX needs none. I would not buy a camera without the facility.
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Re: Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm f4.5-5.6G

Postby Ian Gains » Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:22 am

I fully concurr. At the end of the day, fine tuning the focus will ensure that a much higher proportion of your photos make the first rejection criteria of being 'in focus'. There isn't a great deal you can do post processing if this basic necessity is compromised.
Modern cameras are amazing, but, like all scientific optical instruments, they require calibration to reach their full potential.
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