D7100 & 80-400 Old Version Question -- New Images Added.

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Aug 25, 2012
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Does anyone have this combo of the D7100 & Old Version 80-400mm f4.5-5.6 and is this a lens that will work great with the D7100 body? I have an opportunity to pick one up at a good price, but I would like to know before I get it if it is a nice match. I see the images in the other thread with the new version but that would take me about a year to save the rest of what it would take to pick up the new version.

Thanks in advance for your help!
 
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How well the old lens performs is a question of what sorts of things you typically shoot, your expectations and your self-discipline.

I owned the old lens and used it with the D200, D300 and D700. The lens is capable of exceptional images if used within its limitations. From 80-300, my copy was as sharp as any lens I ever used. From 300-400, the lens was sharp enough for me if stopped down a bit. The AF was slow and often cranky. You need to learn to love the focus limit switch and accept that in lower light or low contrast situations (for instance, BIF against a grey sky on a cloudy day) or complex contrast (again, BIF against a complicated background of trees or the like) the AF will not perform well and your keeper rate will be very low.

I had no problems with the lens tracking larger moving objects (cars, motorcycles, kids) in good light and panning/tracking was not an issue.

Bottom line is that the old lens is very capable and, contrary to some reports, is very sharp (I suspect many reports of unsharpness are due to missed focus which IS an issue with the lens). Whether or not it is a good lens for you depends largely on..... you.

Sample images can be found here: https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=217612
 
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Now that I have played with it a couple of days. I was shocked by how good this combo is. The focus is not slow at all. For comparison I put the lens on my N80 to see how it would work, and on that body it is slower than slow. On the D7100 it focuses pretty quick. Much quicker than I expected.

Here is a Common Tern in flight.

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Robin (Wisconsin's state bird)

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Tree Swallows.


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Seems like a nice combo for sure!
Thanks. I am enjoying it. Here is one from Horicon Marsh with this combo.

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Here is a wide shot with the kit lens.

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I used the older 80-400 lens for quite a while on my D300 with very good results shooting motorcycle road racing---if you pre-focused on the spot where they were coming from, it would keep them in focus nicely while panning. I am sure the new one is even better---I might have to pick one up in the future...
 
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Another trip to Horicon Marsh, Wisconsin today.

Here is a Killdeer with eggs.

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and a butterfly

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