This post is an abridged version of an article that I had written for Nikon Rumors, a leading source of information about Nikon related news, articles and rumours. Since then, I have found nothing to change my initial impression about this lens.
I like shooting predators, I am not a birder. I have shot with the new Nikon 80-400mm AF-S, the Tamron 150-600mm and the Nikon 300mm f/2.8. I wanted more reach than 400mm, and always felt that the new 80-400mm AF-S was a little overpriced. The Tamron seemed a little front heavy, and I was not that comfortable with the AF or shooting at low shutter speeds. The 300mm f/2.8 is a fantastic lens, but I prefer a long zoom for the flexibility it gives me. I have not shot seriously with the 200-400mm f/4, but have taken casual shots with it. I wouldn’t carry it on an Indian safari because it is too heavy and unwieldy for my style.
Before buying the Nikon, I had been considering the Sigma 150-600mm Sport. But I like shooting handheld, and after shooting with the 300mm f/2.8 + TC (that combination weighs close to the Sigma S, 3 kgs++), I decided that I didn’t want to carry such a lens when sharing a vehicle with others during safaris, hiking in the mountains or shooting from a canoe. Moreover, the Sigma was 40% more expensive than the Nikon in India.