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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:19 am 
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capital wrote:
Oh, and one final thought, I don't see any mention of weather sealing, too bad.
"from Nikon AF VR 80-400mm 4.5-5.6D ED review"

Would they have chosen for internal zoom? Have to read back up on the patents made what length the lens would be to have internal zoom, but indeed why no mention of weather sealing in the specifications, should be quite a selling point for birders and other nature photographers.

Also, this 80-400 is designed to be used with the 1.4x teleconverter, but how well will it still perform? Does it mean they improved so much on the optics that even with a TC you can have sharp enough images :o

I am surely keeping my eye out on the reviews, and will postpone buying a 70-200 lens till more is known about this little lens.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:56 pm 
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Ah finally, there it is: The long overdue successor to the venerable AF 80-400 VR.
See the information from Nikon's web-site: http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/zo ... /index.htm
It's over 200g heavier than the old version (1570g vs. 1360g) and more than 3cm longer (203mm vs. 171mm) and at 2700 EUR (incl. 19% VAT) certainly much more expensive.
This can only mean that the optical performance is superior to the old model and the MTF-charts seem to support this.
What I find remarkable: There's no word of it having the super-duper new VR Version 3 which claims to deliver 5 stops faster stabilization. The new 80-400 only claims to benefit from 4 stops stabilization. Still this should be clearly better than the 1st gen VR on the old 80-400.
---
What i didn't find out: does the zoom extend during zooming or does the length stay constant?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:09 pm 
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Btw.: The new lens focuses closer (1.75 m/5.74 ft (1.5m in MF) vs. 2.3 m / 7.5 ft) but it has a slightly weaker maximum magnification of 1:5.7x (1:5.1x in MF) vs. 1:4.8.
This can only mean that the new lens is shrinking more than the old design ("shrinking" meaning you need to get closer to capture the same frame than with a less shrinking design - it is like having a lens of shorter focal length when focusing close).
---
And the foot for mounting the lens on a tripod is included - other than with the 70-200/4.0. Well the lens is much heavier and I would never mount the camera-lens-combo by the camera-body.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:18 pm 
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Since the original thread is defunct, I'll reiterate:

I wonder if this will push Canon to come out with a 100-400 replacement now.

Out of interest, I looked at the MTF charts they have for the new 80-400 vs. the canon 100-400:

Looks like Nikon is doing better wide open. Oddly, Nikon have posted some pathetic "image samples" that are rather low resolution and not many are shot wide open... are they trying to tell us something?

Now for price... $2700 MSRP (original 80-400 is ~$1700 now), it is even more expensive than their "high performance" 70-200 2.8, not sure if they priced this telephoto zoom right, especially since it is so slow and heavier than the original. Does a single super ED element really cost $1000 more?

Oh, and one final thought, I don't see any mention of weather sealing, too bad.

Oh, and a second final thought, I wonder if a 70-200 2.8 II plus a TC-1.7X or TC-2.0X will challenge this new 80-400 for image quality, if it does, why buy the slower more expensive less versatile option. I would be really interested to know about this final point, since these high performance 2.8 zooms these days are really challenging conventional thought that you might sacrifice too much image quality by throwing on a TC...


Wide Nikon (80mm):

Image

Wide Canon (100 mm):

Image

Tele Nikon (400mm):

Image

Tele Canon (400mm):

Image


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:28 pm 
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Yeah the MTF-charts look really promising for a 5x zoom.
Btw. the current street price for the old version is below 1200 EUR.
unfortunately there is really no third party competition: The Tokina AT-XD 80-400mm 4.5-5.6 is almost unavailable now. But who knows what Sigma and/or Tamron are preparing.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:36 pm 
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Thomas wrote:
What I find remarkable: There's no word of it having the super-duper new VR Version 3 which claims to deliver 5 stops faster stabilization. The new 80-400 only claims to benefit from 4 stops stabilization.
---
What i didn't find out: does the zoom extend during zooming or does the length stay constant?

About your first question, maybe it is VR-III, but because it is 400mm, it doesn't get to 5 stops? It is quite a bit of magnification you get at 400mm. Perhaps it is just because they had this lens ready already before producing VR-III and kept it for announcement in case financially it would suit better?

As for your last question, I was asking myself the same, it seems like Nikon didn't really care to mention a lot of specifications on this lens (or it means it doesn't have them) :(

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:02 pm 
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ByThom indicates that it is an extending design: Getting physically longer when you zoom towards 400mm...

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:26 pm 
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Thomas wrote:
Yeah the MTF-charts look really promising for a 5x zoom.
Btw. the current street price for the old version is below 1200 EUR.
unfortunately there is really no third party competition: The Tokina AT-XD 80-400mm 4.5-5.6 is almost unavailable now. But who knows what Sigma and/or Tamron are preparing.

While I have no experience of either, Roger at lensrentals.com recently picked the Sigma 50-500 over the old Nikon when pricing up possible new systems to switch to.

From here: "I substituted the Sigma 50-500mm OS for the Nikon system because it’s both a better lens optically and a bit less expensive than the Nikon 80-400."

So, that may still be a lower budget option.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:07 pm 
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I've ordered one as the range 80-400 is even more in need on a FX-body than on a DX-body and the MTF-curves look really promising.
Plus the weight is quite "bearable" (as opposed to the price).
Hope to be first in the line.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:36 pm 
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The lens does indeed extend around 5-6 cm when zooming in:

Image

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:18 pm 
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I did some paper research and compared the new Nikon to the Nikon AF-S 70-200/2.8G VR II. Why? Well you could put a 2x tele-converter (TC) on the latter and get a 140-400/5.6G VR.
Ah, now you see: The first benefits of getting the new AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR if you need 400mm are already apparent: The new lens has the greater flexibiliy/zoom-range and it is brighter at least at shorter focal lengths than the 70-200/2.8 combined with a 2x TC.
Lets put together a little comparison table (80-400 vs 70-200):

Length: 203 mm (extending) vs. 208 mm (constant). Slight advantage for the 80-400 esp. if you add a 2x TC to the 70-200
Width: 96 mm vs. 87 mm. Advantage 70-200
Weight: 1570 g vs. 1540 g. Very similar, the slight advantage of the 70-200 is eliminated once you add the 2x TC
Minimum focus distance: 1.5 m vs. 1.4 m. Slight advantage 70-200.
Maximum magnification: 1:5.1 vs. 1:8. Clear advantage for the 80-400. But put a 2x TC on the 70-200 and it produces a magnification of 1:4.
Zoom range: 5x vs. 2.9x. Clear advantage for the 80-400. But you can use the 70-200 w/o TC and achieve a total zoom range of 70-400 = 5.7x
Maximum aperture: f/4.5-5.6 vs. f5.6 (with 2x TC). Slight advantage 80-400 at least with shorter focal lengths. But I suspect that the new lens is f5.6 from 200 mm onwards. W/o TC the 70-200/2.8 naturally has the advantage of a constant f2.8 aperture.
Lens construction: 20/12 vs. 21/16. That's interesting: the new zoom has a pretty low number of lens groups which means less glass/air-surfaces. This could be an advantage regarding flare/glare.
Price: 2700 EUR vs. 1800 EUR (incl. 19% VAT). Well, not really a fair comparison because the 70-200 shows its real street price while the 80-400 is still on its list price.

So if you ignore the slight advantages there is one (clear) advantages for the new lens: Zoom range that you can enjoy without putting the TC on or off. And 2 (clear) disadvantages: Width and price.
On the other hand: When buying a 70-200/2.8 with a 2x TC you get in fact two lenses: a 70-200/2.8 plus a 140-400/5.6 for the same price as the 80-400/4.5-5.6.

The one big question naturally is: How does the image quality of the 70-200 mm combined with a 2x TC compare to the image quality of the new 80-400 mm?
Well, my experience with the image-quality of the 70-200 with a 1,7x TC leads me to believe that the new 80-400 can beat that combo - and the larger magnification of a 2x TC puts even more strain on the 70-200.
But this is pure speculation. So let's wait until we have the real life images and comparisons to decide which approach delivers the better images.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:22 am 
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I would hardly call the different width a significant disadvantage.

Brand aside, the debate of a 200mm f/2.8 zoom + 2x vs. a 400mm zoom has been long raging. Generally it could be summarised if you regularly need 400mm, a native 400 will be better. But conversely there is also the question of good enough, especially for infrequent use, and the possible value of having f/2.8 if you restrict yourself to short range only.

Something like the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS could also be a contender in the ball park. It wont win size and weight comparisons, but the range and aperture are hard to ignore. The previous version street price is currently very attractive, but wont be around forever since the re-styled version was announced.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:21 pm 
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popo wrote:
I would hardly call the different width a significant disadvantage.

Brand aside, the debate of a 200mm f/2.8 zoom + 2x vs. a 400mm zoom has been long raging. Generally it could be summarised if you regularly need 400mm, a native 400 will be better. But conversely there is also the question of good enough, especially for infrequent use, and the possible value of having f/2.8 if you restrict yourself to short range only.

Something like the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 OS could also be a contender in the ball park. It wont win size and weight comparisons, but the range and aperture are hard to ignore. The previous version street price is currently very attractive, but wont be around forever since the re-styled version was announced.


I agree. I don't think that the difference really is a deal breaker at all. In my opinion you can't call one better than the other.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:12 pm 
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It was reported that the new lens becomes f5.0 at 135mm.
Not sure though from which focal length onwards it becomes f5.6.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:26 am 
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I followed the Nikon link from Thomas, looks like Nikon did not proof read their literature for the 80-400 mm. The first line reads:

Key Features
FX-format compatible, 5x telephoto zoom lens covering the focal-length range from 80 to 200 mm, hope the lens is better :roll:

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