The Nikon 80-400 AFS

The Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6 AF-S is supposed to be an update of their older model.  However, this lens is much more than an update.  It is seemingly a full redesign on the inside with only minor tweaks to the outside.  If you are looking for a reasonably priced telephoto lens that will allow you to reach 400mm then this is the way to go.

Pros

  • Fast focus system - not as fast as my 70-200 f/2.8 but faster than initially expected.
  • Sharp - especially at f/6.3 or smaller aperture.
  • Vibration Reduction is a must when hand-holding zoomed out to 400.  It does its job well.
  • Much lighter than the Nikon 200-400 f/4 and 1/3rd the cost.
  • Size is not much different than the 70-200mm f/2.8

Cons

  • The tripod collar is just awful.  It is flimsy and not up to the production value of the rest of the lens. 
  • Sharper at f/6.3 than it is at f/5.6 - sometimes that 1/3 of a stop can make a big difference when shooting in very low light.