1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Nikkor 80-400 for birds

Discussion in 'Birds' started by John Wolaver, May 16, 2019.

  1. John Wolaver

    John Wolaver

    May 14, 2019
    I am considering the 80-400 and would like to hear from anyone who uses the newer version for birds. I will be using it on a D500. Thank you.
  2. I have used the 80-400 "G" for birds that were being worked by bird handlers, worked excellent as the were in and far as they were being worked, but if I were out scouting for birds then my 500mm comes out, and may even put a TC on that.
    my 2cts is best bang for the buck is Nikon 200-500, you can even find some good used ones.
  3. It’s a great lens for anything
    I’ll post a few bird shots when I get home from hospital latter today, YES
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
  5. I've got one that I use on my D810. Mine is nice and sharp (given my own limitations) and the VR is a big help. On the D810 it doesn't have enough reach unless you can get pretty close to your subject. However, on the D500 you would get the benefit of the crop factor so it would probably work out well for you. If you have any doubts, you could alway rent one and give it a try.
  6. ITEPfoto


    Jul 24, 2018
    St. Louis Missouri
    John M.
    I had the 80-400 and sold it and got the 300pf w/1.4tc. Better results every time. In my case a lot of that was due to the weight of the rig; the 300 is amazingly light and easily hand-holdable. Plus it is perfect for travel and you don't have the excuse "I would take it if it were lighter/smaller" you have with the 80-400 and the 200-500.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Oops -- sorry -- good for turtles and birds.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Hi John,

    for me the 400 is too short for wild birds as I cannot get close enough. the 300PF with TC 1.4 is faster focusing, sharper and lighter, but does not zoom. The 200-500 is longer focal length, cheaper, heavier and sharper at 500.

    You can do excellent bird photography with any if these lenses, it is the Photog not the Gear. Check out Randy's bird shots to see what a master can achieve with the 80-400mm

    alexis and Georgie Beagle

    " just wait, when I get my 500PF I will be the best photo-dog-rapher ever!!!" - Georgie Beagle
  8. I use one for birds... and bears, and moose, and landscapes, and....
    If you are asking whether it is a good choice to use exclusively on birds then there are better options. Some have already been mentioned. But if you have need for the entire zoom range, then it is quite adequate for also shooting birds. I have it in the kit for two reasons 1) travel when wildlife shooting is not the main purpose of the trip but there will likely be some opportunities and 2) using with a second body when shooting with a long prime from a fixed position. I always prefer shooting primes when possible but have no hesitation using the 80-400 on my most serious shoots.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. we tend to not simply answer the question but add more info
    there are some better choices than an 80-400 but way more not as good choices

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Wow, Randy, these are awesome shots. I really love #2 mom and babies!

    So can you use the 80-400 for birds? YES!!!

    alexis and Georgie Beagle

    " nice shooting Randy." - Georgie Beagle
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.