If you are deciding between the Nikon 80-400 and the 200-500 read on for the full rundown and which is worth investing in.
Nikon 80-400 Review
The Nikon 80-400 is a high quality lens that delivers excellent image quality. It is fairly light and compact and can be used with Nikon full frame or cropped sensor cameras. The lens has a constant aperture of f4 which is both good for low light shots but also for stopping motion. With the Nikon D700, I was able to fire off six frames in one second at ƒ/8 with an ISO setting of only 100 and still get clear images.
Who Is It For
Because of its relatively small size, it is a great lens for wildlife and sports photographers who need to be able to move fast. It is also a great lens for outdoor portrait photography or weddings where you need to be able to shoot quickly while on the move.
The Nikon 80-400 comes with an AF-S motor which means that it can focus as close as 1.4 meters which is great if you are shooting wildlife in their natural habitat.
Nikon 200-500 Review
The Nikon 200-500 is a professional quality lens that will deliver the highest possible image quality. The lens is excellent for portrait and wedding photography and can also be used in the studio with good results. It is very light and compact, which makes it great for carrying around when shooting on location.
Who Is It For
The Nikon 200-500’s image quality will be superb so this is a perfect lens to add to the collection for professional photographers and those working in high volume wedding studios where they need to get shots quickly.
The Nikon 200-500 lens has a constant aperture of f4 which is similar to the 80-400 but it also focuses as close as 0.95 meters with the AF-S motor.
Which One Should You Get
If you don’t need to be able to go as quick as the above Nikon 200-500 or want to use a different camera body with it, then the Nikon 80-400 would be a great choice.
Because of its smaller size, this lens is great for those who want to travel light and shoot quickly. If you have an older Nikon full frame DSLR camera (D100 or earlier), I would suggest getting the Nikon 80-400 as it will also work with these cameras. For weddings and portrait photographers, I would suggest the Nikon 200-500 because of the increased reach and because you’ll get great images. It’s also a bit cheaper than the 80-400.
The Nikon 80-400 has a bit more telephoto reach then the 200-500. The Nikon 80-400 has a constant aperture of f/4.5 and the Nikon 200-500’s constant aperture is f/5.6. I would suggest getting the Nikon 80-400 if you want to shoot people as it will give you more continuous shooting time (six frames per second at ƒ/8).
The main difference between the two lenses is that the 80-400 has a faster maximum aperture than the 200-500, which means that subjects such as humans might be slightly blurred.
The Nikon 80-400 is lightweight and compact. If you are looking for a lens that is just right for sports, wildlife or even portraiture, the 80-400 would be my pick.
The Nikon 200-500 is a high quality telephoto zoom lens that delivers excellent image quality and can be used with almost any newer camera body. If you need a long zoom and exceptional image quality for portraits, weddings or studio work then this would be my choice.