Further readings for the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR
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The Nikon D750 is an affordable 24.3Mp full-frame DSLR with attractive-looking specs for both the enthusiast and the professional photographer. It’s capable of producing outstanding pictures, but the quality of the lens used has a bearing on image quality. We’ve analyzed the performance of 105 lenses on the Nikon D750, and in part one we bring you an analysis of the top three zoom lenses in six different categories.
In this second installment of lens recommendations for the Nikon D810, we’ve been analyzing the best performing models for landscape and wildlife photography. Admittedly when it comes to fast-paced photography there are better choices in Nikon’s range but there’s always a case for high-resolution imagery but the Nikon D810 also serves to highlight the best performing models, and particularly in the longer focal lengths where it’s more common (and often more practical) to use cameras with lower pixel densities.
Aimed at professional studio and landscape photographers, the full-frame 36-Mpix D800E with its modified AA filter effectively increasing resolution over the standard D800 model is the closest 35mm full-frame camera yet to rival larger formats in rendering fine detail. If you’re undecided over which of the two models to choose, we’ve analyzed the image quality of the Nikon D800E with over 100 different lenses to discover how well this groundbreaking camera performs.
We’ve tested the new 24-Mpix Nikon D3300 with more than 140 Nikkor and third-party prime and zoom models to assess image quality. Read onto find out which of these lenses have the best image quality when paired with the new camera.
Sigma are well known for their accessibly priced models and at just under $1,100 the 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO seems like a promising alternative to the premium offerings from the camera makers. Although one of the older models in the firm’s range now, does it still have what it needs to compete with more modern rivals?
Following the lens recommendations for Nikon D7100 and entry-level D3200, we’ve now turned our attention to the new mid-range D5300. We’ve tested the camera with more than 140 Nikkor and third-party prime and zoom models to assess image quality. Read onto find out which of these lenses have the best image quality when paired with the new camera.
We’ve now had the opportunity to assess the entry-level 24-Mpix Nikon D3200 with a wide range of lenses. We’ve analyzed a total of over 140 Nikkor and third-party prime and zoom models to assess image quality, and to discover which of those models perform best on the camera. Read on to find out the models you should be looking to use and which ones you should try to avoid.
Following on from the lens recommendations for the earlier full-frame Nikon D600, we’ve now had the opportunity to assess a wide range lenses with that model’s replacement, the 24-Mpix D610. We’ve analyzed a total of 95 Nikkor and third-party prime and zoom models with the D610 to assess image quality, and we’ve come across some unexpected results. Read on to find out more about that and which lenses perform best when paired with the camera.
Following the recommendations for Nikon D7100, we’ve had the opportunity to assess another of the firm’s 24-Mpix DX format cameras – the mid-range D5200 - with over 120 Nikkor and third-party prime and zoom models to assess image quality. Read onto find out which of these lenses perform best when paired with the camera.
This is the third part in the series of our lens recommendations for the Nikon D7100 where we’ve analyzed nearly 46 Nikon and third-party telephoto prime and zoom models to assess their optical quality. Read onto find out which of these lenses are the best performers when paired with Nikon’s ultra-high resolution 24-Mpix APS-C format semi-pro model.
Having used this lens on a D610 with and without the version 3 1.4 converter from Nikon it is incredibly sharp with a lack of aberration and fringing throughout the zoom range. The biggest problem I encountered was from putting a protective filter on the front of the lens which caused severe ghosting and lateral fringing at 400mm as soon as I removed the filter all the images are clean, I have now removed all filters from my other lenses which has resulted in a noticeable improvement in the photo's taken on the D610. Using the hood which comes with your lens is protection enough. The problem I have found photographing wildlife with this lens and teleconverter is movement, at 550mm you really need to use a mono pod or tripod because of the drop in light and speed on the camera. Dropping the camera down to DX mode gives you 825mm and on a bright sunny day you can get some respectable photo's with a very small softening of the image. This is a very versatile lens and is sharp where it counts... through the centre of the image. When you consider the price of a 500mm or 600mm lens the 80 to 400mm with the new teleconverter is very respectable alternative.
We are waiting to compare the AFS 80-400 performance against the new super-teles, like nikkor 200-500, sigma 150-600 (sport and Cont.) and Tamron 150-600 for nilon mount. When the DxO are going to make it?
I am surprised that this lens got a DxOMark score of 22 and a sharpness of only 14 P-Mpix with the Nikon D800 (36 Mpix), but got a DxOMark score of 21 (lower and expected) and a sharpness of 15 P-Mpix (higher, but not expected) with the Nikon D610 (24 Mpix) when all the other lens metric scores were the same. Could you explain?
D800 score vs D7100 with this lens (Nikkor AFS 80-400 DX)
<div id="linkdxomark">This a comment for <a href="http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Lenses/Nikon/Nikon-AF-S-NIKKOR-80-400mm-F45-56G-ED-VR">this page on the website</a></div>D7100 has a smaller pixel pitch compared to a D800 and the sharpness of the lens is implied as 9 Mpix. The D800's score is an implied 14 Mpix.
Why would a sensor with smaller pixel pitch that uses only the sharpest portion of the full frame image have an implied sharpness value less than a sensor with a larger pixel pitch?
Shouldn't the 24 Mpix D7100 show a sharper score than the 36 Mpix D800 because the pixel pitch is small and thus more pixels are on target with similar framing?
I'm struggling with this lens and want to know if it's my camera, my copy of this lens, my ability, or if I should move to full frame for sharper images.
I just can't get very sharp images with this lens and the D7100....even after AF Fine Tune.
Any information on the DX test procedure that result in a 9Mpix sharpness score for the D7100 vs a 14 Mpix sharpness score on the D800 would be greatly appreciated.
Re: D800 score vs D7100 with this lens (Nikkor AFS 80-400 DX)
Hi kconfer, Thanks for posting your question on this forum. Please keep in mind that we do not take into account pixel pitch or image sensor size when we normalize our data. The only important matter is the number of pixels on your final images. In the end, two criteria explain the difference between the D800 and D7100: - pixel count difference: 36 Mpix on the D800 and 24 MPix on the D7100. - lens limitation: the 80-400mm is not sharp enough to take the full advantage of the D7100 very small pixel pitch.
Re: D800 score vs D7100 with this lens (Nikkor AFS 80-400 DX)
When you test both sensors do you maintain the distance to the subject or do you adjust distance to fill the frame. For example would you move closer with a full frame sensor vs a crop sensor with the same lens.
I am disappointed in the refresh of this lens. Nikon doubled the price of the old lens. But the biggest issue I have is that if you want add a @x teleconverter you will be at F11 and no camera body is going to give you autofocus at this aperture. I prefer the Nikon F4 lens which allow me to have autofocus at least with the D600 and D800 bodies as well likely as future Nikon body releases. The 300/4 and 70-200/f lens give more flexibility that the new 80-400mm.
I use this lens just fine with the 1.4x TC-14E. Fast focusing, adds only 1 stop which at the long end is f8, not f11. I have even used the 1.7, which surprislingly worked better than expected. My use has been both on the D800 and the D7100. I have not tried with my TC-20E, but that is not the purpose of this lens. Looking at the price of the 70-200 f4 and 300 f4, it is pretty much a wash money wise. Use the lens on a D7100 where you can also use 1.3 crop mode for a 2x FOV factor and I would argue that this is a more flexible option than the pair of f4 lenses.
What made you expect anything different? Obviously the refresh of the 80-400 4.5-5.6 is going to have a similar aperture range. Otherwise it'd be a whole new lens. And if it were constant f4, it'd be more like a super-successor to the 200-400, which is in a completely different league altogether (at least in terms of price and weight). I'll concede the new price is hard to stomach, but it's still many thousands of dollars less than the next & last tier, of the 200-400 and the super-telephoto primes.
In any case, the quality with the 2x teleconverter is going to be marginal. The new 80-400 is impressive at 400 even wide open, but it's not working miracles. The 1.4x or maybe 1.7x are much better options (and this is true in use on almost all lenses) w.r.t. balancing reach with image quality.
FWIW, I've used the 1.4x myself on this lens and there's no obvious image quality degradation (or autofocus impact). Though I haven't pixel-peeped.
I've been using the 80-400 for a couple of months now and am very happy with it. I've favoured it in practice over the 70-200/2.8 VR II when light allows (I haven't tried the 70-200/4). Not always sure why, though at least sometimes it's because of the extra reach and narrower depth of field (200/2.8 vs 400/5.6).
Good to see it compared against Sigmas, since they have quite a few big zooms at value price points. It'd be interesting to see a comparison against the 50-500 and 150-500 too, as they're popular alternatives to the 80-400.
I caution that the 300/4 isn't an equivalent alternative, though. In my experience the 300/4 is a pretty sharp lens - certainly better than your low-end zooms like the 55-300, but it's not as sharp as the 80-400 and has a lot more distortion (plus the lack of really useful features like instant manual focus override and the ability to zoom). Fingers crossed it gets a refresh soon, though - could be amazing.
It seems evident, however, that your chromatic aberration test is only evaluating lateral chromatic aberration. The 80-400 is indeed awesome in this regard. But it does have a sadly large amount of axial chromatic aberration. I don't know if it's better or worse than similar super-zooms or high-telephoto primes - which is why it'd be great if you'd consider testing for that in future. :)
You say that maybe the 70-200 plus the 300 F4 might be a better combination but what do you know that we don't? ;-) The 300 F4 has not officially been tested by DXO and thus isn't there to compare. Would be nice if you added this popular, affordable lens to your database.