i've used my 80-400 on the d700 a fair bit - the d700 & d3 certainly put a lot more pressure on lens performance, but the 80-400 has done pretty well imo. i have not been bothered by vignetting but there is some CA visible at 100%. sharpness is a mixed bag so far - it has always been a reasonably sharp lens on the d200/d300. on the d700 all my images are softer than ever, so i won't blame this yet on the 80-400. it's more likely me!
>What about the autofocus performance ? Is the lens able to follow action and maintain focus ? Only if the action is fairly slow. The combination of f5.6 (2 stops slower than the 70-200) and low gearing of the AF drive rather than AF-s results in by action sports standards slow but very accurate AF.
Photography is a bit like archery. A technically better camera, lens or arrow may not hit the target as often as it could if the photographer or archer does not practice enough.
You have alot of options. I would stay with the 70-200 and get the 1.4tc. You can use this combination full frame or cropped. You only have 5.1mp cropped but you will will be out to 420 with the tc and cropped. I think you will still find this better then the 80-400.
>Thanks for the reply. What about the autofocus performance ? >Is the lens able to follow actiion and maintain focus ? > >Appreciate your feedback
i don't often shoot sports or other quickly moving subjects. as others have stated, AF is very accurate but slow-ish. it is as good on the d700 as it gets, which is good enough for me. i have occasionally used it to track birds which is doable once you're close to the right focal length. the problem is when you lose the target completely and it hunts.
I have both lenses and I also have a D300 and a D700. As other members have stated, the 80-400 is slower focusing but very accurate when focusing. I have not experienced any softness when combined with the D700 so far. I have seen some improvement in speed with both cameras as opposed to the previously owned D200. As always there is something to compromise. If budget is not a problem, then go for it. I did and I don't regret it.
I'm planning to shoot the races at Laguna Seca in a couple of weeks, and had purchased my D700 in mid-September in anticipation. Yesterday is the first time that had used the 80-400mm VR lense with it. Most of the issues were user set-up errors, but I have had similar problems when mounting on my D200. My opinion, see if you have a local dealer that offers rentals. If so you can try before you buy.
On the positive side, once you get the lens adjusted correctly, it's a hek of a lens.