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Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

4 August 2015
Arkadiusz Olech

5. Chromatic and spherical aberration

Chromatic aberration

In the case of the tested lens the longitudinal chromatic aberration wasn’t bothersome. The photos below show that defocused images have only slight colouring which means that aberration is controlled in a satisfactory way. What’s interesting the stopping down of the aperture doesn’t cause any noticeable changes in the colouring of the blur.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration


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Two graphs below show the performance of the lateral chromatic aberration, depending on the focal length and the aperture. The first one concerns the APS-C/DX sensor and the second one concerns the full frame.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration


The lens should only be praised here. Even at its weakest point, observed at 80 mm, the aberration reaches at the maximum 0.08–0.09% - these values are situated on the borderline between low and medium levels. At bigger focal lengths the aberration is almost no problem at all. The Nikkor fares slightly better than the Canon 100-400L which, at 100 mm, exceeded a level of 0.1% in some places. The Sigma S 150-600 mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM also exceeded that level but only at the 600 mm focal length.

Nikon D3x, 80 mm, f/16 Nikon D3x, 200 mm, f/5.6
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration


Spherical aberration

The tested lens didn’t have any ‘focus shift’ effect and the images of light points taken in front of and behind the focus don’t show any significant differences. It makes us think the spherical aberration is corrected in a proper way.

Nikon D3x, 300 mm, f/5.6, in front of Nikon D3x, 300 mm, f/5.6, behind
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration