8 out of 10 points and recommendedversatile
Like most of your reviewers, I am also a fan of the 70-200 2.8 lens, but the versatility of the “80-400mm VR” makes it a winner when I am in the field with just one body and one lens. Versatility and efficiency are the primary reasons that we all went to zooms in the first place. I like to travel light and carry the least amount of equipment as possible (but still get the job done). The “80-400mm VR” enables me to do just that. I travel with a MacBook Pro for those same reasons.reviewed July 21st, 2009 (purchased for $1,700)
I like the optics of the 80-400mm VR, although I recognize that they don’t quite come up to the level of some of Nikon’s 10-grand (and beyond) glass. Nor is it as bright as I need in a theater or auditorium, but the “70-200 2.8” and a couple other bright zooms are in my bag for those jobs.
We all wish that any particular piece of equipment would do a little more of this or a little more of that, but frankly, I’d like to see a better job done on the price tags. In 40 years of shooting, I have always owned nothing but the top of the line, but the digital wave has skyrocketed the top end stuff to the $8,000 neighborhood for Canon and Nikon and the Germans are well north of that. I long for days past and the prices of my old Canon F1, Nikon Ftn and F5 (I still own the latter two). True, I don’t miss the endless hours spent in the darkroom, but the cost of it all is overwhelming. I spent about $150 for my first Canon Ftb (with a 50mm 1.4 lens) How does a young photog even get started these days?