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  Reviews by: M Rogers  

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Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR AF

Review Date: Apr 27, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: VR works!!!. ED Glass
Slow AF

I bought this lens when it first came out in Jan 2001. I tell people that you will have a love-hate relationship with this lens. The key IMHO is to know "How" and "When" to use it. To cut down on focus hunting do not use full, use the limit switch feature. This will solve a lot of problems. Second if shooting moving objects try and pick them up before depressing the shutter. The more time you allow the lens to pick up focus the better the chance of locking on and holding. Forget birds for the most part. I use this lens exclusivly at Air shows and have wonderful results. I try to pick up the jets (Thunderbirds or Blue Angels) as they are approaching and pan when they pass. No problem with hunting. If you are concerned with the tripod collar you can get a Kirk colar for this lens that works as it should. I bought this lens for hand holding however and the VR really works. One thing that I dislike is the stiff zoom ring. I have checked this on many other examples and found them all to have a stiff zoom ring. Unlike the silky smooth ring on the 70-200 VR which you can move easily, the 80-400 makes zooming while shooting an adventure.