Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

Lens Summary

Brand: Nikon

Also Known As: Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G VR

Lens Type: Zoom Lens

Format: Full Frame / FX

Focus: Autofocus

Lens Mount: Nikon F

Release Date: 2013-03-05

MSRP Price: $2696.95

Made in: Japan

Infrared Rating: Good

Production Status: In Production

Lens Description: Travel light and shoot with confidence. Capture beautiful portraits with softly blurred backgrounds, then zoom in with super-telephoto power and capture nature, sports and more. Nikon\'s second generation Vibration Reduction (VR) enables shooting at shutter speeds up to 4x slower than would otherwise be possible and makes a tripod optional; but when one is needed, the lens automatically delivers specialized VR correction for tripod shooting.

Photography Life Review Summary: At its current price of $2,699, I struggle to see good value with this lens. Yes, it is better than any other zoom lens in its class overall, but lenses like Sigma 50-500mm OS typically go for almost twice less that amount and give you a much better value. Read the full Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Review by Photography Life.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Specifications

Lens Specifications
Lens TypeZoom Lens
Focal Length80-400mm
Mount TypeNikon F
FormatFull Frame / FX
Compatible Format(s)Nikon FX, DX, FX in DX Crop Mode, 35mm Film
Compatible with TeleconvertersYes
Zoom Ratio5x
Maximum Reproduction Ratio1:5
Vibration Reduction (Image Stabilization)Yes
Aperture Information
Aperture RingNo
Maximim Aperturef/4.5-5.6
Minimum Aperturef/32-40
Maximum Angle of View (APS-C or smaller format)20°
Minimum Angle of View (APS-C or smaller format)
Maximum Angle of View (Full frame or larger format)30°10'
Minimum Angle of View (Full frame or larger format)6°10'
Optical Information
Lens Elements20
Lens Groups12
Diaphragm Blades9
Extra-Low Dispersion Glass Elements4 ED, 1 Super ED
Nano Crystal CoatYes
Super Integrated Coat (SIC)Yes
Focus Information
Built-in Focus MotorYes
Silent Wave Motor (SWM)Yes
Internal FocusingYes
Minimum Focus Distance1.75m
Focus Mode SwitchAuto, Manual, Auto/Manual
Distance InformationYes
Filter Information
Filter Size77mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Physical Characteristics
Weather / Dust SealingNo
Mount MaterialMetal
Tripod CollarYes
Dimensions95.5 x 203mm
Other Information
Available in ColorsBlack

Lens Construction

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens Construction

MTF Chart

Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR MTF Short Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR MTF Tele

Sample Images

Nikon 80-400mm Sample (27) Nikon 80-400mm Sample (16)

Nikon 80-400mm Sample (17) Nikon 80-400mm Sample (2)

Nikon 80-400mm Sample (3) Burrowing Owl - Nikon 80-400mm + 1.4x TC

Nikon 80-400mm Sample (12) Nikon 80-400mm Sample (32)


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Could you please make a review of this lens?

Felix Staub

When I saw the MTF chart for this lens I couldn’t wait to buy one. Sadly, I have been quite disappointed with what I got. The AF at first was rather pedestrian. However, changing the setting to Active AF improved this considerably to the point where I am actually quite satisfied with the AF.
My real problem is the optical performance. Despite fine tuning my D800E, and using all the other tricks that I can think of, I have never managed to get a really sharp image from this lens. The optical performance is generally no better than that of its predecessor (that cost a lot less) and has severely dented my faith in Nikon’s ability to consistently produce top lenses for top dollars.


William Jones

I waited to purchase (in case of launch failure, like with the D800 and D600), and finally bought. However, I either got a bad copy anyway, or I am asking too much of the lens (due to distances involved in polo). I shot over 4,500 pictures in two days of polo action, on a D800E, and had a hit ratio of less than 40%, even in cases of slow moving action (an instructional session for children). Both days were bright light, shutter speeds of 1/2,000th or 1/2,500th, all at f/5.6, with auto ISO. All shots were done handheld, some while standing, and others while sitting in a chair. Focus was set at AF-C, and I tried both Single Point and 9 Point Dynamic. Have used same camera with a 300mm f/4 and a 70-200 VR II, and gotten better hit ratios (same settings), so I don’t believe is either me or the camera.

In testing, it seemed to me that if I used the AF Fine Tune feature, and set up the focus for distance X from me to the subject, then when I shot at that distance I had a better hit ratio. Hower, since I am using for sports, and the distance varies constantly, only a low portion of the shots are at that distance, and the hit ratio drastically dropped the further from distance X the subject was at. I tried shots both with and without VR on (at the above shutter speeds, VR should not be needed).

Having used the old version of this lens on a D3X, and getting a 90%+ hit ratio with that combo (until I wore out the old lens), I am not happy with my copy (sending it back to Adorama today).

Sample shots (unedited/uncropped) can be posted to my website if anybody wishs to see. Note: Will be at a photo shoot for few days, so could not post those samples before May 22nd or 23rd.

Any comments or suggestions are welcome.


Tim Davis


I have the lens and had problems with focus and found that nearby objects weren’t a problem but further items were. Suspected it may be the filter and swapped it out for a Carl Zeiss T* UV Filter and it’s performed to my expectations. I’m unsure if this advice is applicable.




I know, it’s expensive! But WOW,the IQ is truly superb. Bought mine Mar14, have shot over 1K images so far on both D600 and D7000. As a prior owner of the 80-400D for 12 years, the AF-S in continuous focus at 5FPS is tack sharp, CA is gone and mechanics flawless. AF is dead-on up to f8 and it is an absolute joy to use. Just stunning images. The best money I have ever spent. Congrats Nikon! (An advanced amateur).