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by E.J. Peiker on Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:40 pm
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Nikon has finally modernized the old screw drive 80-400VR with a new AF-S version that will focus much faster.  Like it's predecessor it is an f/4.5-5.6 optic and now has 4-stop VR (tripod sensing) and a new, improved optical design including nano-coat.  It is also designed to work with a 1.4x.  the original's marginal tripod collar has been replaced as well.  A hefty hefty price though at $2700 - that's a full $1000 more than the lens it replaces.  Available in 4-5 weeks:
http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Product/Camera-Lenses/2208/AF-S-NIKKOR-80-400mm-f%252F4.5-5.6G-ED-VR.html

Also a new 16mp DX sensor compact with a fixed 28mm equivalent f/2.8 lens:
http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Product/Compact-Digital-Cameras/26423/COOLPIX-A.html#tab-ProductDetail-ProductTabs-TechSpecs

by E.J. Peiker on Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:59 pm
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Note that published MTF curves on the new lens are substantially better than the old. At least on paper, this will be the best lens on the market in the 80-400 or 100-400 genre so far, and at that price, it sure better be :)

by Griggs on Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:23 am
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Sounds like it's going to be a great lens. Pair that with the new D7100 and it would be a stellar combo. I don't like to Nikon keeps jacking up the prices points though

by E.J. Peiker on Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:37 am
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Griggs wrote:
Sounds like it's going to be a great lens. Pair that with the new D7100 and it would be a stellar combo. I don't like to Nikon keeps jacking up the prices points though
It's not just Nikon, they are all doing it - dramatic prioce increases on replacement products.  Sony's 500/4 is $13K more than double the Minolta 600mm lens it replaced. Canon's new plastic consumer grade wide angle f/2.8 primes are more than 3x the price of the lenses they replaced.

by isseu on Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:27 am
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great news, would be great if the lens would work with a 1.4 TC (however I missed the information on te nikon web page)

by Neilyb on Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:56 am
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Question is have they made the tripod collar sturdier.

by Giulio Zanni on Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:47 am
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Yes, finally, it could take the place of my 200-400 for travelling lighter

by 06Honda on Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:12 am
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May be time to replace my 80-400VR, it seeved me well but the update may be enough to warrant a purchase.
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Last edited by 06Honda on Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

by Bill Lockhart on Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:22 am
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This looks like the perfect safari lens. I would like very much to try it out in Africa come May. But, I sure would like to read some reviews first! The other issue is when it will be available. April sounds great if Nikon gets the lenses to vendors.

by Scott Fairbairn on Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:18 am
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Pair that with the mythical D400, and Wow!

by Steve Cirone on Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:26 am
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Focus wise, the old Nikon 80-400mm was a bit of a dog. If this makes focusing faster and can be used for BIF, it will be well worth the price jack up.

Coupled with either a D 800 or the new D 7100, this set up will cover myriad opportunities in a relatively light package that will work hand held.

Where is the new Canon 100-400? The new Canon 70-300 IS L is epic, but I miss the last 100mm.
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by E.J. Peiker on Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:43 am
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Bill Lockhart wrote:
April sounds great if Nikon gets the lenses to vendors.
Nkon has a very good track record over the last few years on shipping when they say they are going to.  If they are introducing the lens now and say it will ship in April, they are already producing the production version.

by RoyH on Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:29 am
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How do some of you feel this will compare to the 300mm F4 with 1.4 teleconverter? I have been looking at expanded by telephoto capabilities over the last couple of months and was just amount to pull the trigger on the 300mm F4 with 1.4, which with current prices can be had for just under $2000. While this new 80-400 would certainly be more flexible and have newer technology, I wonder if it will match up to the 300mm F4 in performance and sharpness in the 300 to 400mm range since it is a zoom.

by E.J. Peiker on Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:30 am
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We'll have to wait to answer that Roy :)  Certainly at slower shutter speeds due to VR, you have an advantage with this lens but the 300/4 is an insanely sharp lens (less so with a 1.4x but still good).

by Greg Downing on Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:41 am
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Exciting news for Nikon shooters. Time for Canon to announce a new 100-400! To say the existing 80-400 is "a bit of a dog" is an understatement! ;)
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by Mike Ogle on Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:21 am
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
Griggs wrote:
Sounds like it's going to be a great lens. Pair that with the new D7100 and it would be a stellar combo. I don't like to Nikon keeps jacking up the prices points though
It's not just Nikon, they are all doing it - dramatic prioce increases on replacement products.  Sony's 500/4 is $13K more than double the Minolta 600mm lens it replaced. Canon's new plastic consumer grade wide angle f/2.8 primes are more than 3x the price of the lenses they replaced.
These prices are over the top...but nothing new.  That Minolta 600 mentioned was 8900 back in the 90's, so Sony didn't double with the 500.  By the way, I own both, but sleep with the 500.

by E.J. Peiker on Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:27 am
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The Coolpix A I think misses the mark slightly.  At f/2.8 the lens is slow compared to the competition and a bit wide for a single focal length street camera.  I think Fuji hits the mark more squarely with the X100s which has the same megapixels but no AA filter and a 35mm f/2 lens and a real viewfinder for essentially the same price.  Plus the Fuji can accept a filter like a polarizer with an accessory filter ring.  Nikon's doesn't.  Bottom line, to me, the Fuji X100 would be the better camera than the Coolpix A.  And why the heck name it a Coolpix which conjures up cheap low end Point and Shoots.  It's AF system also appears to be inferior to Fuji's.

Here's a table comparing them:
http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/nikon-coolpix-a-black/4505-6501_7-35626828.html

by E.J. Peiker on Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:28 am
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Mike Ogle wrote:
E.J. Peiker wrote:
Griggs wrote:
Sounds like it's going to be a great lens. Pair that with the new D7100 and it would be a stellar combo. I don't like to Nikon keeps jacking up the prices points though
It's not just Nikon, they are all doing it - dramatic prioce increases on replacement products.  Sony's 500/4 is $13K more than double the Minolta 600mm lens it replaced. Canon's new plastic consumer grade wide angle f/2.8 primes are more than 3x the price of the lenses they replaced.
These prices are over the top...but nothing new.  That Minolta 600 mentioned was 8900 back in the 90's, so Sony didn't double with the 500.  By the way, I own both, but sleep with the 500.
Towards the end you could get them for $6900 - that's what I was referring to. ;)

by Kerry on Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:50 am
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
At least on paper, this will be the best lens on the market in the 80-400 or 100-400 genre so far, and at that price, it sure better be :)

This was my reaction exactly when I saw the announcement.  I just about gagged when I saw the price; I think this is the most expensive variable aperture lens I've ever seen, by a wide margin.

Given the cost, I'm going to need confirmation that this is a huge optical improvement over the original version of this lens (which I've owned for nearly 10 years) for me to put it on the proverbial wish list.  I'm sure the AF is night-and day better, but given my shooting proclivities that's nearly irrelevant to me.  The original 80-400 has been my primary telephoto landscape lens; I'd guess I use it for about 20% of my shots (considerably more if I'm shooting from overlooks), but it's optical shortcomings have really started to show up with the D800E.  If this is a major step up optically, I'll have to consider what it would take to make the purchase...
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by Baywing on Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:05 am
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If you read Thom Hogan's comments on the price, it seems as if everything coming out of Japan is due for major increases.  Time will tell, there may be some rebates/drops later if low volume doesn't give Nikon the sales numbers it wants but it looks like photo gear is going to cost us more from here on.

Well, just went back to re-read the yen comments and they were gone, sorry.  They were there a few hours ago, really!

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