New Nikon AFS 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 G ED VR Lens – A Great Lens That I will Never Own

Today Nikon announces a replacement to the old and less-than-stellar 80-400f/4.5-5.6 VR lens. You may recall me giving Nikon a hard time back in January for announcing an 800 f/5.6 lens, which cost as much as a new car, instead of addressing the pleas from the Nikon faithful for something in the 100-400mm range. Well, Nikon, I apologize for that little tirade. But I’m afraid now I have another beef with you.

Nikon 80-400mm lens

Nikon AF-S 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 lens.

The new AF-S 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 G ED VR lens looks to be an impressive lens. It’s a totally new design from its predecessor, with lots of ED (extra low dispersion) glass, Nano crystal coating, a new VR system, and built-in autofocus motor. (The old 80-400 has a screw drive that mates with the motor on the camera body, making it less responsive.) On paper, at least, the new lens is impressive.

So, what’s my beef and why won’t I be buying this lens? How does a suggested retail price of $2,700 sound to you? Are you kidding me? Canon’s popular 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L lens goes for a grand less. Maybe the Canon lens isn’t as sharp, or maybe the autofocus is slower, or maybe… But a grand more?

I couldn’t afford the 80-400 even if it was the same price as the 100-400, but I could trade in my 70-300 and some other gear to swing it. But if I were going to pay $2,700 for a lens like this, it had better come with a D800 camera body attached to it!

Oh, if anyone out there would care to take pity on me and slip the new 80-400 into my camera pack when I’m not looking, I’ll gladly eat the words in this post’s title.

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