Do Nikon Owners Need a Nikkor 400mm Lens Refresh that Sells for Over $11,000?

June 30, 2014 Donald Scarinci 0Comment

Nikon recently unveiled the Nikkor AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens. While it is considerably lighter than its predecessor, it comes with a hefty price tag of $11,999.95.

Do Nikon Owners Need a Nikkor 400mm Lens Refresh that Sells for Over $11,000?

In its product release, Nikon touted the new lens as the natural companion for its new Nikon AF-S TC-14E III teleconverter. It retails for $499.95 and will also be available in August.

“The new AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR has been evolved to meet the needs of today’s sports, wildlife and multi-media photographers, well beyond the premier precision optics; it is much lighter, and has well thought-out controls and features that aid in creating super-sharp images even from extreme distances,” said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “Together with the AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, the new 400mm lens and many other NIKKOR lenses will help photographers go the distance to get their shot.”

Here are a few things you need to know about the new lens:

  • The lens does weigh considerably less than the older version: 134 ounces vs. 163 ounces (a difference of roughly two pounds). Since the lens is designed for taking sports, action, and wildlife shots, size does matter.
  • The new version contains two additional fluorite lens elements, as well as two Extra-Low Dispersion elements. Together, they deliver superb performance with very little chromatic aberration and flaring.
  • The improved model offers a new VR Sport Mode, which is designed for sports and action. It recognizes panning motions and makes automatic adjustments, resulting in clear, crisp photos.
  • The AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR is a bit more rugged. For instance, it features a protective front meniscus element with a fluorine coating, which protects the front of the lens from dirt and moisture.
  • The lens contains new features to improve usability, including a tripod collar ring utilizing bearings ensures smooth transitioning between horizontal and vertical shooting

So should you splurge? The Nikkor AF-S 400mm is undeniably a great lens, but if you have the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR, you may want to literally “weigh” your options.