Showcase Nikon 80-400 VR ED f/4.5-5.6

Discussion in 'Adapted Lens Sample Image Showcase' started by Bimjo, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    I picked this up the other day and the kindly letter carrier delivered it today (Saturday), even though it wasn't due for delivery until Monday. Wasn"t that nice? Brown and FredEx could learn something here, but I digress. ;)

    Lens @ 80mm

    The lens is 8.25 inches long as its shortest setting when mounted on the NEX adapter (rear lens cap to front of filter ring) and 11.75 inches long from the rear lens cap to the front of the hood.

    Lens @ 400mm

    Lens @ 80mm w/hood

    Lens @ 400mm w/hood

    This beast weighs 3 pounds, which is still much lighter than my Pentacon 300/4 (which is now for sale cheap if anyone is interested). But, I probably won't be hand holding this one either.

    This first version of this lens has a rather checkered history for Nikon users from what I've read online. The major complaints seem to be slow/noisy AF (hardly an issue on the NEX) and a certain fragility resulting in the back portion of the lens breaking off. Speculation is that it is caused by a combination of a undersized casting and the weight of a heavy dslr creating metal fatigue to the point of failure (again, hardly an issues for NEX users).

    There are also numerous reports of less than stellar VR performance, but that seems to be an case (cases?) of over-expectation of the ability of the VR in my opinion. Also there are complaints off blurry pictures of a tripod. In my limited trials so far I believe this to be caused by holding the camera body and using your hand to trip the shutter. Using the wireless remote on the 5N resulted in much better results than shooting by hand.

    Here's a couple example pics until I can get out and really put the lens through its paces. No sharpening applied on the first 4 shots, usual sharpening applied because of resizing for the web on the rest. The chair is 8 inches in front of the strawberry and the picture frame is 16 inches behind it.

    Wide open (5.6) @ 400mm from about 20 feet

    And a 100% crop from near the center

    f/11 @ 400mm

    And the 100% crop

    These next two are about 100 yards @ 400mm f/11


    These are all shot off a tripod as there ain't no way in hell I can hand hold this puppy. The minimum focus distance is 7.5 feet (2.3 meters), putting my Canon 500D diopter (close up filter) on reduces that to about 20 inches from the front of the lens @ near 1:1 magnification. I haven't tried the extension tubes yet to see what that gets me as a minimum focus distance.

    All-in-all I'm happy with my purchase so far. I've wanted a lens like this for quite some time but being a Pentax shooter the options were somewhat limited. Now I don't have that problem. ;)

    More pics as I shoot them.
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  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Wow, what a range.

    Hope you get great results?
  3. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Me too, considering how much I'm in the doghouse at the moment. :(
  4. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    With long focal length heavy and unbalanced lenses you really need a good tripod and ball head. I have a Tair 3 that weighs 1.6 kg and my tripods (or rather their ball heads) are too flimsy for it. Tripod is quoite easy to test, look at live view and tap the lens gently. There should be no effect. With that Tair I have to use 10s self timer.
  5. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Yes, I have a very heavy Giottos CF tripod and both a large ballhead and a pan head and with both of them I need to use the wireless remote to get the best shot. I even set the lens foot on the table and tried a couple of shots and they were blurry without the remote. It's probably technique and practice needed on my part since this is the longest lens I've ever owned. :)

    Ok, I'm going to cross-post these pics just so they'll be here in one place. Apologies if you saw them in the other threads already.

    These are wide open @ 80mm, so f/4.5, from this thread





    And these are 400mm @ f/11, from this thread


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  6. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Since the weather is so clear and the moon is so available and I has this new lens…

    Full frame

    100% crop

    Tiny bit blurry, not sure if it's motion blur from the tripod or slightly misfocused. I need to hang some weight from the tripod next time I think.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Well, since I'm in a rut here I may as well continue with a first quarter moon shot @ 400/11. Why everything @ f/11? All the reviews and MTF charts say this is the best aperture for this lens @ 400mm, even though this one is at something less than that. I forgot to look at the focal length as I racked the zoom back and forth to get the tree in the shot. Oops! :blush:


    This one was quite a bit harder to focus as there wasn't much contrast between the blue sky and the bright moon. I got a decent shot after playing with the focus for awhile though. ;)
    • Like Like x 3
  8. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Jim, I absolutely love the color of the sky with the combination of the moon.

    On most classic moon shots (B&W), its looks like the moon just hangs up in there, but here, on this coloured example, it gives me the impression that the moon is coming off/extiting from the sky!!!

    Nice work ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Thanks Nick, it does look pretty cool.
  10. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Those are awesome pics, Jim. Love 'em all.

    • Like Like x 1
  11. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Thanks Tony.
  12. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Just to keep us working toward a full moon- waxing gibbous.



    I need to go shoot something else too I guess. ;)
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  13. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Opposite end of the spectrum, or from 251,000 miles lens-to-subject to 18 inches lens-to-subject. :D

    So, how do you get 1:1 macro with a 400mm lens? Use a diopter, a.k.a. a closeup filter. The one I use is a 2 element design, made by Canon, specifically the 500D. It comes in a couple of diameters to fit different lenses and there is a version that is made for shorter lenses as well.

    I originally bought this to use with a Sigma 70-200/2.8 on my Pentax dslr. I got a 77mm one (like most of my filters) and used step-up rings so I only had one set of filters for all my lenses.

    First up is a shot @ 400mm focus at minimum on the focus ring. I mounted the lens on my macro slider to fine focus instead of using the focus ring. This is the mm scale on the ruler, so it's pretty darn close to 1:1 magnification.

    Then I figured since I was all set up anyway I'd throw the extension tubes (26mm worth) on as well to see what happened. Very little as it turned out. Focus distance is about an inch less (17 vs. 18) and the magnification ratio seems to be about 1.2:1 or slightly larger than life size.

    The background looks different because I had to move the ruler closer to the lens as I couldn't get the tripod close enough to the rulers original position.
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  14. jvenard

    jvenard New to TalkEmount

    Sep 23, 2013
    So for those Nikon owners, I found using my 70-200 2.8 lens with. 1.4x tele adapter will give very similar results, but it may be more expensive.
    In like Tray Ratcliff I still use my D800
  15. BlueJack

    BlueJack New to TalkEmount

    May 24, 2013
    Here's another moon shot...

    with 2X teleconverter
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