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Nikon 180-400mm Review: A First Test and Sharpness Comparison


So, here’s the story: Nikon announced its new 180-400mm f/4 lens, and I’ve been more than a little curious about it. However, I’m not 100% sold on it just yet, so I decided to rent one and give it a whirl for a few days and share what I’ve discovered with you.

In the video below, I’ll tell you what I think about the lens overall, performance, and sharpness. There are a number of sharpness comparisons including with the Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, 300mm f/4E PF ED VR, and 600mm f/4E FL ED VR.

After watching the video, check out the images below if you want to give the sharpness test photos a closer inspection. I have included both center and corner crops. Please watch the video first, though, because there’s more to the sharpness tests than just what you see below.

Also, keep in mind that this is not a full field report. If I do decide to get the lens later this year, I’ll do the full review after I get to use it for more than just a few days.

I was only able to use the lens in the field for a few hours, but I did want to include a couple of images from it. Based on my preliminary usage, I think this can be one heck of a nice lens for wildlife photographers.

Below are the images from the video for closer inspection. Click each one to view them in their full size.

200mm Tests

300mm Tests

400mm Tests

500mm+ Tests

About the author: Steve Perry is a nature photographer and the owner of Backcountry Gallery. You can find more of his work, words, photos, and videos on his website, Facebook, and YouTube channel. This article was also published here.