Nikon 80-400mm AF-S Lens

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Alaskan Bears: One safari, one camera, one lens: Life with the new Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR Lens

_djc5685Every July I return to Alaska to photograph the amazing Coastal Brown (aka “Grizzly”) Bears. Over the course of 15 years I’ve used over a dozen different cameras, and at least that many lenses to capture images. Typically at least one of my lenses would be a massive telephoto (400mm f/2.8 or 200-400 f/4, or 120-300 f/2.8). This year, as part of my ongoing effort to identify lighter, less expensive alternatives to large and extremely expensive lenses, I decided to shoot for the entire two safaris with “just” a Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR lens attached to my Nikon D610. My hope was to see whether this new, sub-$3K lens could do a good job of subbing for larger, more expensive alteratives….


Lightening up your photo kit: Lenses I no longer travel with…

The Sigma 300-800 is an excellent and unique telephoto zoom, but it is huge & heavy -- no fun to travel withI’m often asked what lenses I recommend for various photo subjects – typically right before a reader or client is about to head off on a trip. What often goes without saying is what lenses I don’t travel with. In many cases, these were my “go-to” lenses for many years, but a combination of industry trends has helped me lighten up my traveling kit substantially. The changes aren’t for everyone, but they are worth considering for anyone who has begun to dread traveling with all their gear. Before I plunge in, please remember that I’m not saying these lenses aren’t still some of my favorites, or that you shouldn’t rely on them anywhere and everywhere, just that it is always worth thinking about what you are traveling with and why…


New Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR Lens adds fast focus to arsenal

_djc6688 as smart object-1I’m continuing to enjoy shooting with the new Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR Lens.  I’ve already written about how pleased I am with its sharpness, and how effective it is for capturing sports from the sidelines. To evaluate its focus capability further, I took it down to the Baylands – our local birding hotspot – and gave it a bit of a workout. Read more »

New Nikon 80-400mm AF-S Lens: Ultimate optics for safari-goers and soccer moms

936121No lens has been more eagerly awaited, or for longer, than the replacement for the aged Nikon 80-400mm zoom telephoto. After well over a decade Nikon has finally rolled out its successor – the Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR lens, with massively improved VR and focusing speed, as well as completely redesigned optics. While it is a technical marvel, its high price and large size may mean it isn’t for you. We’ve got a review unit here in the office, and will be posting more over the next few weeks, but we wanted to get our first impressions out to those of you curious about the new lens… Read more »