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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:26 pm 
Hey Thomas,

I stumbled across this forum while searching for places to photograph in Queensland. I know this post is old, but I was wondering what you thought of this lens now? I am a wedding photographer (self taught) and would love your input.

Thank you in advance,
-April


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:43 am 
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Hello April, and welcome to the friendly Camera Labs forum!
To enjoy your stay here please have a look at the house-rules!
----
As to Nikon's current 80-400 VR zoom: There is still little competition, only the Sigma 120-400 OS came out after my test. For a review of that lens look over here. The Sigma is cheaper than the Nikon and larger, the OS did not convince me and bright light produced visible haloes around dark edges. The other lens that comes to mind is the Sigma 100-400/4.0: unfortunately my copy was heavily decentred (see my review there), but it is pretty bright with a constant f/4.0 aperture (which also helps subject isolation) an could have been sharp if Sigma QC were better.
And this is one of the recurring themes all over the internet: If you go Sigma make sure you buy at a dealer where you can swap the lens w/o a prohibitive restocking fee because there is quite some risk that your first copy is a lemon.
So all in all even today the Nikon 80-400 would be on my recommended list because it's sharp, not too heavy/bulky and zooms back to 80mm which gives you quite some flexibility in the middle of a wedding shooting.
On a more personal note, as I have no experience with weeding shots myself, I'm a bit sceptical whether you really need 400mm or even 300mm focal length on these occasions. Because as an invited photog you normally can get close enough to the action. That in turn would lead me to recommend Nikon's fabulous 70-200/2.8VRII, my review of which is here.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:16 am 
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Oh, and btw: I haven't seen any new rumors as to the update of the Nikon's AF 80-400 VR to a AF-S 80-400 VR II.

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:12 am 
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Hi April.

I'm fairly new to Dslr so can't help too much re the techy side or even weddings, Thomas (& others) on here are the people who can help you there, but as an owner/user of the 80-400 I can give you my opinion of it.

I really like its range & in bright light it's great & sharp, but it's slow(ish) at focussing in dimmer conditions.
I don't know whether anyone would consider it a `wedding lens`. It's fairly heavy too, so carrying it around all day needs consideration.

I've taken some decent pics of the family/kids, it's great for those candid moments. :wink:
There are a few pics in the `sample` gallery here; http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3620

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Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:21 pm 
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Well it looks like the NEW 80-400mm could be announced this week & on sale within 2 weeks!

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Image btw,He who dies with the most toys, WINS!
Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:52 pm 
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We have an official new thread for the new lens over here.
Please continue any discusion about the new version over there.
If you have any questions regarding the (now) old AF version, feel free to ask it here.

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 3:00 am 
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Thomas, from the kite on the beach photo the IQ looks good, although you mentioned the AF was slow can you expand on that on how slow it is. Because of the price of the now old lens is down, I was considering it for surfing shots where the board rider was moving away or towards me. Do you have an opinion if once focused will the AF-C keep up the focus on a surfer.

Carlos, did you try this lens on the D7000 and do you have an opinion on the above.

The new lens is nice but if I surf shoot around 12 times a year it would cost around $225 per shoot for the first year if I bought it at the US price, camera stores here add $400 – $600 on the US price. I would surf shoot more than I do now with my 18-200 mm which limits me where I can shoot. My 70-300 mm non VR is only good for recycling the plastic and glass, the non VR is not a problem but the IQ really disappoints me and I would never use it again.


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 7:44 pm 
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Yes, I did have the lens for a while & used it with the D7000. I actually really liked it. Sharp enough pics & good range.

It was a just tad too slow for most birding, (which is 80% of my interest) especially as most birds are small & twitchy here + it's not that often we get good light! :( but for your intended use, I wouldn't think you'd have any problems at all.

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Image btw,He who dies with the most toys, WINS!
Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:07 am 
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Thanks for the comments Carlos.


Cheers

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Nikon D7000, Nikkor 80 - 400G, Nikkor 18- 200 VR II, f3.5-5.6.


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