Aiming High

I recently purchased a new lens; a Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-6.6 ED VR.  I didn’t buy it because it was a zoom but because it’s maximum focal length is 400mm and this was the only Nikon lens I could afford with the 400mm focal length.

Zoom lenses are very convenient but their major drawback is that they typically are optically good in the mid-zoom range but not so good on either end of the focal length.  I read quite a few reviews for this lens and they almost all say that the optics stay very good out to 400mm.  A number of pictures I’ve seen support those assessments.

I took the lens to Blackburn Park to give it (and me) a test the first chance I had with a sunny day.  This was toward the end of March and there weren’t any flowers in bloom except for daffodils.  To get an interesting picture of these I would have had to lie on my stomach.  That wasn’t going to happen.  Because of snow melt and recent rain the ground was still very soggy.

Instead I aimed high.  Except for the photo before and after the robin, these were all taken at 400mm.  The other two were taken at 330mm and 350mm.  I’m pleased with the results, the lens produced nice sharp images.









Thanks for stopping by.



7 thoughts on “Aiming High

  1. Best at f8-f10 though. I use this lens, but honestly wish I invested more money. It has been good to me photographing eagles for instance, but much harder to focus it on small flying birds like hummingbirds for instance. I still am not fond of the VR either.


    • I limit my BIF photos to bees in flight and my Sigma 105mm macro and Nikkor 24-85mm are pretty good at handling these but I do have to do some heavy cropping with the 24-85mm. I want the 400mm focal length mainly for bison and elk in a 405 acre park about 20 min from my house; for fox, coyote, and smaller mammals; and for the occasional bird I may see in a tree. I would love to have a 400mm prime but both Nikkor primes are well beyond my price range.


    • Thank you. I’m sure I will if I get the time and the weather permits. Lately around here it’s been like living in a rain forest but with tornados and baseball size hail. Fortunately I’ve only experienced the rain so far.


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