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300mm f4 vs 80-400VR

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by sbuttrick, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. I have a 70-200mm, but want more reach. I have heard here at the Cafe' that the 300mm f4 is a very good lens, but I don't know much about the 80-400. Is the 80-400 as sharp as the 300mm? It would be much more versatile, but at 400mm on a D2x can I expect the same degree of sharpness. Any comments would be helpful.

  2. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I miss my 80-400 for versatile use for sure. I got the 70-200 VR.

    My gallery is full of 80-400 shots if you want to look. Only a few 24-120 VR mixed in.


    Both lenses are great for thier own use.

    300 use TC and tripod. Excellent lens. For chasing those birdies.

    80-400 hand hold.

    Tough choice.
  3. I do have the 300mm f2.8 lens and have used it handheld on numerous occassions. I don't do much bird photography but many of those that I have done are with the 300mm handheld. You can check those out on my Pbase gallery. It is a sharp lens and with the D2H body focuses rapidly. Sorry that I am not any help with the 80-400.
  4. Francis


    May 7, 2005
    I just bought the Nikkor 80-400 today so I can't say much about it yet. I noticed though it's a bit soft at 400mm but not to much to make great shots. One thing there you should know, it's not a fast lens and not for fast indoor actions. Outside, it's a dream to work with and the VR of course is fantastic.

    If you want to use the 300mm and need more range...is an extender 1.4 or 1.7 not possible?
  5. kjoosten


    May 1, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I had the 80-400 for a while, and while it is a very good lens, I found it a bit slow to focus and a bit soft wide open 350-400mm. I sold it and got the 300mm f/4 AFS and consider it a marked improvement. This tends to be my birding lens, so I didn't really miss the zoom (I was always racked out to maximum focal length with the 80-400). It is absolutely tack sharp wide open and works very well with the TC14E.

    Sure, VR would be nice, but I always use this lens with a monopod, so I don't really miss it. Here's my avatar:

  6. Thanks everyone for your comments. I will be using the lens primarily for wildlife and like Kent probably be shooting at the max focal length. I am leaning towards the 300 because sharpness is critical to me.

    Thanks again,
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