The original version of this lens was the first Nikon lens to feature Vibration Reduction (VR) and offered an excellent zoom range, especially when coupled with a DX format DSLR. The main complaints against this lens were its very slow focusing and the occasional lack of sharpness at 400mm. Nikon has seemingly addressed all of these issues. The new Nikon AF-S VR 80-400mm includes Nikon's lightning fast autofocus (AF-S), one Super-ED element, 4 ED elements, and NANO Coating, usually reserved for their highest end offerings. Based on the MTF charts provided by Nikon, expect this lens to be razor sharp.
If you’re looking for a compact, versatile telephoto zoom lens that handles portraiture as well as it handles long-distance wildlife and action photography, look no further than the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR. With the broadest focal length range in our super-telephoto zoom line-up, it reduces the number of lenses you need to carry into the field; and expands your handheld shooting capabilities, thanks to Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) technology. Create spectacular photos and HD videos in nearly any light, from nearly any distance.
The AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens is scheduled to be available in April 2013 at authorized Nikon Canada dealers at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $2,799.95.