The 800f5.6 is simply a spectacular lens! It’s the king of super telephotos in Nikon’s lens line up setting the mark for those lenses to come. The 800mm is one of Nikon’s first lenses to incorporate Fluorite elements along with ED elements. While not a first, the 800mm also comes with a matched 1.25 teleconveter producing a 1000m f/7.1 and spectacularly sharp images! Most who have heard about of the 800mm would expect no less because of its price. This is not a lens for everybody, in fact, it’s a very much a speciality lens. The 800mm is not just for wildlife photography but that is my primary use for this magnificent piece of glass.
This 10lbs hunk of glass has the very narrow angle of view of 2 and with the TC 1.25 attached, it’s just 1. In combination with this is the new VR which reportedly provides 4 stops performance. What is essential with this lens when it comes to getting a sharp image is proper long lens technique. Because of this very narrow angle of view, any movement in the lens, and we’re talking the smallest amount you can imagine will create an unsharp image. At the same time, when using proper long lens technique, the 800mm produces remarkable sharp images without or with the TC-25e. Keep in mind that when working with the 800mm, your DoF is remarkable shallow. This is especially true when shooting at the lenses MFD at 19′ (obtained manually focusing). If you’re shooting with this lens and a D4, be sure to have the most recent firmware for the D4 which has tweaks especially for this combo. Nikon did a top shelf job producing this lens, surely one of the sharpest telephotos (ya, sharper than my old 600VR2) I’ve even shot with!