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Old Jan 21, 2007, 4:40 PM   #1
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I'm looking for a zoom telephoto lens for my D80. I have the 18-200 VR and I am very pleased with this lens. The lens will be used mainly for still shots, but will occassionally be used at sporting events and outdoor nature shots. I'm having problems deciding between the 70-300 VR and the 80-400 VR. I have heard the 70-300 VR is faster focusing and the barrel of the lens does not extend when focusing. I have heard the opposite is true with the 80-400 VR. Which is the sharper lens? Since I already have the 18-200 VR; will the 70-300 VR give me much more reach, or not? Does it make more sense to get the 80-400 VR? Which lens is better in low light shooting(with and without the SB-800 speedlight).
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Old Jan 24, 2007, 1:30 AM   #2
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Both the 70/300 and the 80/400 are f4.5/5.6 apertures so there will be no difference in low light situations between one or the other - they'll both be virtually useless without the flash unless you crank up the ISO so high that the picture is full of noise. You must remember that these are consumer lenses and as such are inherently slow to focus since the focusing is done by the camera with no separate motor in the lens. I've tried the 80/400 for motor sport and gave it straight back to the dealer. Of the two though I'd go for the 80/400 since you already have the 18/200.

If you want to read more on the lenses from an independent evaluer go here:-

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Old Jan 24, 2007, 11:29 AM   #3
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Unlike some recent consumer zooms from Nikon, the lens does have a focus scale. But the big additions are VRII (second generation vibration reduction) and AF-S (silent wave, internal focusing motor). The promise of these two additions is a lens that focuses faster while being more easily handheld.

Here is a quote from the web-site, if i read this correctly this lens does have its own motor? Anyways, I got this lens about 1 week ago and have been very pleased with results, low light zoom, etc. I'll try and post some pics.

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Old Jan 24, 2007, 5:03 PM   #4
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I have a D80 and a 70-300 VR. The lens focus happens really fast, doesn't "hunt" and appears spot on. I've even panned some flying bald eagles and it focused without a problem. The lens barrel does extend when zoomed, about the length of the knurled part of the barrel (about 3"). It's been very gloomy and dark here since I bought it, but it seems to focus and take a sharp shot even at full zoom and hand held. I'm really impressed and have some very sharp full zoom shots. I wouldn't go bigger as even this is not really comfortable to walk with. I'm surprised I've gone this big as I swore I'd never lug a "heavy" camera again. I know there are faster and bigger lenses, but this is big enough and fast enough for me.

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Old Jan 24, 2007, 9:46 PM   #5
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Thank you for your responses. I decided to order the 80-400 VR. I realize that it is heavier than the 70-300 VR and does not focus as fast, but I hear it is the sharpest of the two. I probably will not be shooting many actions shots(sports, auto racing, etc.) I have seen the 80-400 VR, and I don't think it's that big. I should have it in a couple of days. If for some reason I don't like it, I will return it and go with the 70-300 VR. If I didn't already have the 18-200 VR, I probably would have gone with the 70-300 VR. Thanks again for your input.


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Old Feb 16, 2007, 5:10 AM   #6
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any feedback on the 80-400 yet???
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