Canon 100-400 vs. Nikon 80-400

Started Sep 28, 2003 | Discussions thread
Token Senior Member • Posts: 1,857
Re: Canon 100-400 vs. Nikon 80-400

Gareth wrote:

I haven't used the Canon 100-400 lens but currently own and like
the Nikon 80-400. Has anyone used both lenses? Is the canon
comparable to the Nikon. Not trying to start a Nikon vs. Canon
debate just want to know if I can expect similar or better usage
and image quality. Any other comments like problems focusing
(hunting), etc would be appreciated.


At work I use the Nikon 80-400 ED VR on a D100 and a D1X, at home I use the 100-400 L IS on a D60, and have been using a 1D a bit. The 1D is a loaner, but I am really thinking about picking one up, it has spoiled me I think. In general I like the 100-400 L IS better, and I chose the Canon at home after using the Nikon at work.

Number 1, I think the Canon IS system is more effective than the Nikon VR system. I have not done any kind of side by side test (not a bad thought though) but I seem to get more keepers, regarding camera motion, from the Canon IS.

Number 2, even on my D60 with its supposed AF issues, the 100-400 L IS focuses faster for me than the 80-400 ED VR.

Optically I really do not see a difference between them. Maybe a resolution chart, or some kind of measurement can tell the dif between them, I do not know, but in practical use I don't see anything one way or the other.

I do not like the way the front elements of the Nikon extend out and stand free, kind of reminds me of the 28-135 IS a bit. Now, I like the 28-135 IS, but I think they could have done it a bit better on a lens the caliber of the Nikon.

Now, the Nikon does have a couple things in its favor. The zoom action is one. A bit more contemporary to modern lenses, were the 100-400 L IS harks back to older designs I think. And, the 80-400 does not "creep" when pointed straight up or down. Yes, the 100-400 can be set to not creep also, but it requires an extra action on the users part, set the lock ring. As I always keep a hand on the lens (for support if nothing else) unless on a tripod, I have never found this last to be an issue, but I feel I should mention it anyway.


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