Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens

Started May 23, 2013 | Discussions
sjprintz
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Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
May 23, 2013

I bought this about 1 week ago to use for wildlife on my D800e.  The reviews I read were quite good and I was looking forward to replacing my 70-200mm F2.8 + 1.7 TC with this lens.

I did some comparisons and the 80-400mm is a little sharper than my combination.  At 5.6, the 80-400mm is quite sharp and at F8, it's even better.  When I use the 70-200mm VR + TC, I usually stop down to F2.8 as well.

Unfortunately, the 80-400mm was just a little better in my opinion. Only when I pixel peeped did I really see the difference.  However, it was not enough of a difference to justify the $3000 cost of this lens (BTW I am saying $3000 because you need to buy a new foot for this lens.  Nikon should really give us a good support rather than a nice carrying case).   The lens is also quite wide and hard to hand hold for long.

I think if the lens were priced below $2000 it would be worth it to me.  It just seems overpriced for my needs.  Just my 2 cents.

SJPrintz

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paulski66
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to sjprintz, May 23, 2013

I'm not sure how Nikon is supposed to keep costs down if people buy their products and, despite being satisfied with overall performance, return them for no good reason.

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fPrime
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to paulski66, May 23, 2013

Agreed.  There's something about buying a lens just to compare it and then returning it that's a bit sickening.  If you do this, don't brag about.  It's bad enough that you don't exercise enough research and analysis before ordering a lens and returning it fully functional.  That only raises the buying costs for the rest of us and exposes the lens to potential shipping & handling damage before a more forthright buyer gets the lens.

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Mark den Hartog
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to fPrime, May 23, 2013

Let's not forget that the 70-200 will probably be sharper in the 70-to-200 range, it's the TC that takes down the quality.

the OP doesn't talk about that... but I am quite interested to hear how it holds up.

any links to trustworthy reviews?

btw I don't see how returning a lens makes it more expensive for everyone?

I think you should check when you buy and if it doesn't deliver return it.

On the other hand you should only buy if you are really interested.

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fPrime
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to Mark den Hartog, May 23, 2013

Mark den Hartog wrote:

btw I don't see how returning a lens makes it more expensive for everyone?

Consider the time and money wasted by the vendor to process and ship the lens and then the time wasted again to RMA, inspect, and return the product to inventory.

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trend1
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to Mark den Hartog, May 23, 2013

On the other hand you should only buy if you are really interested.

Agreed, I could never purchase an expensive lens, play around with it and return it, if it was defective yes return it. Call me crazy.

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TeamTQ
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to sjprintz, May 23, 2013

I believe if you buy something with a return policy and you are not happy with your expenditure you should return..... He did feel it was worth the money... I hope this does not sicken anyone???

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I bought this about 1 week ago to use for wildlife on my D800e.  The reviews I read were quite good and I was looking forward to replacing my 70-200mm F2.8 + 1.7 TC with this lens.

I did some comparisons and the 80-400mm is a little sharper than my combination.  At 5.6, the 80-400mm is quite sharp and at F8, it's even better.  When I use the 70-200mm VR + TC, I usually stop down to F2.8 as well.

Unfortunately, the 80-400mm was just a little better in my opinion. Only when I pixel peeped did I really see the difference.  However, it was not enough of a difference to justify the $3000 cost of this lens (BTW I am saying $3000 because you need to buy a new foot for this lens.  Nikon should really give us a good support rather than a nice carrying case).   The lens is also quite wide and hard to hand hold for long.

I think if the lens were priced below $2000 it would be worth it to me.  It just seems overpriced for my needs.  Just my 2 cents.

SJPrintz

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Mark den Hartog
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to fPrime, May 23, 2013

fPrime wrote:

Mark den Hartog wrote:

btw I don't see how returning a lens makes it more expensive for everyone?

Consider the time and money wasted by the vendor to process and ship the lens and then the time wasted again to RMA, inspect, and return the product to inventory.

Ok I hear ya. but doesn't every vendor run into this?

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bflood
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to Mark den Hartog, May 23, 2013

Walmart sees it all the time. Just not at $3,000 per item.

In the 1990s, my wife worked for a few months in a store that sold what I call fine breakables - upscale dishes, glassware, etc. It was common for local women to buy pieces on Wed or Thu and return them on Monday - following the party. Some didn't even bother to wash them. Lots of people buy things with no real intent on keeping them.

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Mark den Hartog
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to bflood, May 23, 2013

bflood wrote:

Walmart sees it all the time. Just not at $3,000 per item.

In the 1990s, my wife worked for a few months in a store that sold what I call fine breakables - upscale dishes, glassware, etc. It was common for local women to buy pieces on Wed or Thu and return them on Monday - following the party. Some didn't even bother to wash them. Lots of people buy things with no real intent on keeping them.

that's bad indeed...

Walmart still cheap though 

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overniteman
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to paulski66, May 24, 2013

paulski66 wrote:

I'm not sure how Nikon is supposed to keep costs down if people buy their products and, despite being satisfied with overall performance, return them for no good reason.

+1

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yray
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to fPrime, May 24, 2013

fPrime wrote:

Mark den Hartog wrote:

btw I don't see how returning a lens makes it more expensive for everyone?

Consider the time and money wasted by the vendor to process and ship the lens and then the time wasted again to RMA, inspect, and return the product to inventory.

To buy, try, and return is simply a modus operandi for a lot of people, no matter whether they buy clothing, electronics, or anything else. The US retail industry is pretty much built on the premise that anything can be returned. Why? -- because they end up selling more this way as buying becomes "risk free". Think about it.

Besides, in some cases restocking fee is charged, so those companies that feel strongly that they should directly recoup the extra handling cost are already doing it.

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sjprintz
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to yray, May 24, 2013

My post was not intended to be bragging about testing a lens and returning it nor did I buy the lens with the intent to return it.  I purchased it based on the good reviews with the hope that it would add a tool to my lens collection . However I was merely pointing out that, in my opinion, the value was not there for this lens.   It is a very good lens but I did not feel the value was there after testing it for several days.

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BassFisher
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to sjprintz, May 24, 2013

sjprintz wrote:

My post was not intended to be bragging about testing a lens and returning it nor did I buy the lens with the intent to return it.  I purchased it based on the good reviews with the hope that it would add a tool to my lens collection . However I was merely pointing out that, in my opinion, the value was not there for this lens.   It is a very good lens but I did not feel the value was there after testing it for several days.

Your lucky that your not in Australia as to return something to a retailer it has to have a fault, not buyers remorse or just don't like it.

Personally I feel sorry for the shop owner now with lots of unboxed 'second hand' equipment. No wonder your having a hard time over there.

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BillD
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tiko
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to sjprintz, May 24, 2013

While user and site reviews are great sources of information I find that sometimes an item just doesn't live up to the hype. If based on my research I have built a certain expectation and I decide to go out and buy it with the intention of keeping it but then it doesn't meet that expectation, then I don't see why I wouldn't return it. That's one of the reasons return policies exist. And companies/brands that don't want to see buyers doing this would either charge a restocking fee or offer no returns on opened/used products. I would not consider that poor judgement on my side, buyer's remorse or failure to research. However as many of us have experienced that real world use of an item may reveal aspects that were not covered by reviews.

And that's what I think the OP is trying to point out, assuming he intended to keep it rather than just test it and then decide.

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@AT

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jjnik
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to tiko, May 24, 2013

tiko wrote:

While user and site reviews are great sources of information I find that sometimes an item just doesn't live up to the hype. If based on my research I have built a certain expectation and I decide to go out and buy it with the intention of keeping it but then it doesn't meet that expectation, then I don't see why I wouldn't return it. That's one of the reasons return policies exist. And companies/brands that don't want to see buyers doing this would either charge a restocking fee or offer no returns on opened/used products. I would not consider that poor judgement on my side, buyer's remorse or failure to research. However as many of us have experienced that real world use of an item may reveal aspects that were not covered by reviews.

And that's what I think the OP is trying to point out, assuming he intended to keep it rather than just test it and then decide.

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@AT

Or you could rent one to do your testing...

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Leonard Shepherd
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Re: It depends how you look at it.
In reply to sjprintz, May 24, 2013

I am sure the new 80-400 cannot quite match my 70-200 f2.8 II and 200-400, but it is smaller, lighter and costs 60% less (UK prices) than buying the 2 faster aperture lenses.

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Leonard Shepherd
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nunatak
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to jjnik, May 24, 2013

jjnik wrote:

tiko wrote:

While user and site reviews are great sources of information I find that sometimes an item just doesn't live up to the hype. If based on my research I have built a certain expectation and I decide to go out and buy it with the intention of keeping it but then it doesn't meet that expectation, then I don't see why I wouldn't return it. That's one of the reasons return policies exist. And companies/brands that don't want to see buyers doing this would either charge a restocking fee or offer no returns on opened/used products. I would not consider that poor judgement on my side, buyer's remorse or failure to research. However as many of us have experienced that real world use of an item may reveal aspects that were not covered by reviews.

And that's what I think the OP is trying to point out, assuming he intended to keep it rather than just test it and then decide.

-- hide signature --

@AT

Or you could rent one to do your testing...

but that would cost the consumer money — doh!

it's much better to dump buyers remorse on the retailer and back up the chain.

btw, to date, there have no official (IMATEST) reviews i'm aware of — only informal KR style opinions. i still prefer the IQ of my 300mm f4 AF-S better at 300mm. however, performance and convenience are to me just as important as IQ. especially if i miss the shot while changing out the glass. currently, there is no better safari alternative. if one is going to buy a lens in the first place, it's more efficient to know why one wants it before they buy it. people who collect lenses simply on the basis of their IQ musrt do a very limited range of shooting. still, as long as these retail rentals remain risk free — let the retailer beware.

i'm less sympathetic to the double standards of an argument where someone whines about the price of the same merchandise their own behavior helped inflate. they're selfishly making it more difficult for people that follow behind them to afford the next iteration of glass.

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design guy

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Geomaticsman
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to sjprintz, May 24, 2013

Sorry to hear the 80-400VR didn't meet your needs, but I can understand why you wanted to try it. For me, the 80-400VR is good enough to replace my 70-200VRII -- mostly because I need to shoot longer than 200mm most times and don't need f2.8. IMO the 80-400VR IQ beats most 70-200+TC combos, and at half the cost of a used 200-400VR, the 80-400VR provides good value.

But don't pay any mind to the "detractors" about your decision to return it. No lens is perfect and no matter how many reviews you read it's almost impossible to know whether a lens will meet personal expectations until you get it on your camera.

Good luck!

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ScottRH
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Re: Just returned my 80-400mm VR AF-S lens
In reply to paulski66, May 24, 2013

paulski66 wrote:

I'm not sure how Nikon is supposed to keep costs down if people buy their products and, despite being satisfied with overall performance, return them for no good reason.

+1

People buy things and can't afford them.

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