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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

8. Vignetting

While working on the small sensor of the Nikon D7000 the vignetting won’t be bothersome almost at all. In order to see the proof let’s glance at thumbnails below.

Nikon D7000, 80 mm, f/4.5 Nikon D7000, 80 mm, f/5.6
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting
Nikon D7000, 200 mm, f/5.3 Nikon D7000, 200 mm, f/5.6
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting
Nikon D7000, 300 mm, f/5.6 Nikon D7000, 300 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting
Nikon D7000, 400 mm, f/5.6 Nikon D7000, 400 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting


At 80 mm, already with the lens wide open, you might have problems with noticing any vignetting at all as that aberration reaches just 6% (−0.20 EV). Similarly at 200 mm the vignetting amounts to 7% (−0.20 EV). At 300 mm the result we got is not much higher, that of 10% (−0.30 EV). The highest level of that aberration can be seen at 400 mm, where, at the maximum relative aperture, it amounts to 16% (−0.50 EV), but by f/8.0 it decreases to an imperceptible level of 6% (−0.17 EV).


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Now let’s check the vignetting on full frame.

Nikon D3x, 80 mm, f/4.5 Nikon D3x, 80 mm, f/5.6
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting
Nikon D3x, 200 mm, f/5.3 Nikon D3x, 200 mm, f/5.6
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting
Nikon D3x, 300 mm, f/5.6 Nikon D3x, 300 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting
Nikon D3x, 400 mm, f/5.6 Nikon D3x, 400 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR - Vignetting


The Nikkor surprised us very nicely here. Its diameter, bigger than its rivals, helped with the vignetting control. Even on full frame that aberration remains nicely limited; overall the results are better than those of its competitors.

At the combination of 80 mm focal length and f/4.5 aperture the brightness loss in the frame corners is 24% (−0.81 EV) and it decreases to 17% (−0.52 EV) by f/5.6. By f/8.0 the problem disappears almost completely - we got a result of just 8% (−0.25 EV).

Very similar values we got at the 200 mm focal length. By f/5.3 the vignetting reached 24% (−0.78 EV), by f/5.6 it got to 21% (−0.67 EV), and by f/8.0 we saw a value of 11% (−0.32 EV).

When you progress to the 300 mm focal length nothing changes much. The results by f/5.6, f/8.0 and f/11 apertures were respectively 27% (−0.92 EV), 14% (−0.45 EV) and 8% (−0.26 EV).

The highest vignetting level can be observed at the maximum focal length but even there its values are not especially big. By f/5.6 that aberration reaches 31% (−1.05 EV) only to decrease to 17% (−0.54 EV) by f/8.0. The problems end by f/11 and f/16 where the vignetting amounts to, respectively, 12% (−0.37 EV) and 7% (−0.20 EV).

Below you can find a function graph of an averaged light fall-off presented in concentric circles, depending on the distance from the frame centre. The percentage value in every of the pictures states the size of an area limited at the top and on the right by the 100% value and at the bottom by that curve. It indicates how much light is overall lost due to the vignetting. Please, do not mix those percentages with the ones you saw at the beginning of this chapter; these two values are not connected in any direct way.

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

80 mm f/4.5 200 mm f/5.3 300 mm f/5.6 400 mm f/5.6

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

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

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

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