Sign up for our newsletter
Stay up to date on all the latest photography gear!Subscribe
Photo Of The Day By Robert HendersonToday’s Photo of the Day is...
Photo Of The Day By Max FosterToday’s Photo of the Day is “The...
Photo Of The Day By Ross StoneToday’s Photo of the Day is “Mobius...
5 National Parks For Summer
They’re not too hot, not too crowded and they offer tons of summer-specific photographic opportunities.
Rafting Grand Canyon
For a new photo perspective on this iconic landscape, take a trip down the Colorado River.
Into The Wild
Behind the scenes with David Yarrow and his unconventional approach to wildlife photography.
Choosing A Tripod For Your Style Of Photography
Contrary to what you might have heard, you do not need a tripod that can’t be moved without a forklift. Here's what to consider when choosing a tripod and head.
Pumas Of Patagonia
Private lands adjacent to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, now opening to photographers, provide an unparalleled opportunity for observing wild puma behavior.
Lake Of The Clouds
Best times and locations to photograph in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan.
This is the 1st of your 3 free articles
Become a member for unlimited website access and more.
FREE TRIAL Available!
Already a member? Sign in to continue reading
Three Cheers for Nikon
Fur Seal inside wave, San Miguel Island, CA
I’ve been burned before. A decade ago, Nikon came out with its first VR lens – the original 80-400 zoom. Like Nikon wildlife shooters everywhere, I was thrilled since it seemed to offer a great focal-length combination with real hand-held capability. (I had the old manual-focus 200-400 at that point – a beast of a lens, albeit sharp). However, my enthusiasm evaporated when I first tested the lens in the field. On a gray whale expedition in Baja California, I grew increasingly frustrated with the slow autofocus, and the astonishing lack of sharpness. What’s worse, Nikon made the lens incompatible with a 1.4x teleconverter. What were they thinking? I came back from that trip with a lot of soft, useless whale pictures; I couldn’t get rid of that lens fast enough.
Now, jump ahead to this year, and the release of the long-awaited version 2 of this lens : the Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S NIKKOR Lens. I was interested, but, to be honest, a little less than optimistic after my horrific experience the first time around. Still, the first reviews were good, and seemed to justify the purchase (especially with a lot of overseas travel scheduled for this year).
Now, three months later, I can’t imagine being without this lens. Not only did Nikon update it completely, they knocked it out of the park! It is everything Version 1 was not: razor sharp, with fast and accurate AF-S autofocus, and a vastly improved VR mechanism. It is also of tougher construction and is compatible with the TC14x. Simply said, this is a great lens, and one that now goes with me everywhere. I used it this past week in the Channel Islands to photograph the marine mammals at Point Bennett on San Miguel Island.
Nikon shooters don’t have look enviously at the Canon 100-400 anymore – this one is a winner.