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Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II announced

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The possible announcement date and the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED VR replacement rumors just materialized two hours ago. Here are the main features of the new 200-400 lens:

  • A super telephoto zoom lens supporting Nikon’s exclusive range of focal lengths from 200 to 400mm
  • Nano Crystal Coat significantly reduces ghost and flare
  • Built-in vibration reduction (VR II) offering camera shake compensation equivalent to a shutter speed increase of approximately four stops
  • Four ED glass elements minimize chromatic aberration for higher optical performance
  • Three focus modes are available — A/M, M/A and M
  • Available: late May 2010
  • Price: $6,999.95 (the old model sells for around $6,000)

Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II MTF chart

For comparison, here is the MTF chart for the old version (look identical to me):

MTF chart of the old 200-400mm lens

Specifications:

Focal Length 200 - 400 mm
Aperture Maximum: f/4
Minimum: f/32
Camera Mount Type Nikon F
Format Compatibility Nikon FX/35mm Film
Nikon DX
Angle of View 12° - 6°
DX Picture Angle: 8° - 4°
Minimum Focus Distance 6.6' (2 m)
Magnification 0.27x
Maximum Reproduction Ratio 1:3.7
Groups/Elements 17/24
Diaphragm Blades 9
Image Stabilization Yes
Autofocus Yes
Tripod Collar Yes
Filter Thread 52 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 4.9 x 14.4" (12.45 x 36.58 cm)
Weight 7.4 lb (3.36 kg)

Full press release after the break:

MELVILLE, N.Y. (April 27, 2010) – Today, the evolution of the super telephoto lens continues as Nikon Inc. announced the new AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens which delivers optical excellence and stunning image quality for professional photographers. Ideal for bringing to life exquisite detail for sports, nature and travel photography, this new lens affords a constant maximum aperture of f/4 and rugged construction for maximum versatility. Continued refinements and new technologies such as Vibration Reduction (VR) II, Nano Crystal Coat, and optimized autofocus (AF) modes enhance functionality and improve performance for discerning FX and DX-format photographers.

“The AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm lens builds upon a proven design for professional level optics by incorporating the latest Nikon lens technologies to give photographers the edge in the field, and the ability to capture the most intricate of details with extraordinary fidelity,” said Lisa Osorio, general manager of Marketing at Nikon Inc. “As both camera capabilities and the roles of photographers expand, NIKKOR enhancements will continue to meet demands and exceed expectations to remain the pinnacle of optical excellence for all types of photographers.”

Whether photographing the decisive play at home plate or predators of the Serengeti, the 200-400mm f/4 lens is an essential tool for photographers who require long focal lengths and maximum versatility without sacrificing image quality. The 200-400mm lens benefits from the addition of Nikon’s proprietary Nano Crystal Coat to reduce instances of ghosting and flaring. The result is unparalleled clarity and sharpness in challenging lighting environments typical to sports venues or harsh sunlight.

Additionally, this new NIKKOR lens features Nikon VR II image stabilization, which is specifically engineered for each lens for maximum performance. VR II is a valuable asset to those shooting photos or HD video, as image blur introduced by camera shake and telephoto magnification is significantly reduced. Users are able to shoot up to four stops* slower than otherwise possible, overcoming many of the challenges of handheld shooting with such extreme focal lengths. VR functionality is further augmented with Automatic Panning Detection and an Active VR Mode to help compensate for movement from an unstable position such as a moving vehicle. Additionally, VR is always engaged when shooting in the D-Movie mode on select Nikon D-SLRs, helping to stabilize HD video capture.

The new 200-400mm f/4 lens features a host of professional focusing features to further enhance functionality. Photographers can now select from three focus modes to match shooting conditions, including manual mode (M) and autofocus with manual override (M/A) mode, and new A/M mode which is used to avoid cancelling the AF setting by unintentionally moving the focus ring while shooting. The M/A and A/M focus modes enhance AF control with fast, secure switching from automatic and manual focus to adapt to personal shooting preference and techniques. Additionally, photographers can activate the AF Recall Mode at the press of a button that allows for instant return to a predetermined point of focus to confidently capture anticipated shots.

This professional lens is constructed of die-cast magnesium for maximum durability and is sealed to resist dust and moisture, with protective Meniscus glass to safeguard the lens’ front element. The optical formula features four Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements for superior sharpness, color and image quality, while minimizing chromatic aberration. The lens also features Nikon’s exclusive Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology, which enables high-speed autofocus performance with exceptional accuracy and powerful, super-quiet operation. Nikon's Super Integrated Coating further suppresses flare and offers superior color consistency throughout the frame.

Price and Availability

The AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens is scheduled to be available at Nikon authorized dealers in late May 2010 with an estimated selling price of $6,999.95**. For more information, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/belrobplace BRob

    Great news… not so great price! :)

    • http://www.google.hu fork()

      I believe that everyone wants a review of this lens as soon as possible. I humbly step forward to take the job. Quick, someone give me 6,999.95 so that I can fulfill my contribution to the world

      ;)

    • Anonymous

      …where’s my 200-400 f/4 DX????
      …this is crap.
      …I’m moving to

      • hah

        a professional DX lens is an oxymoron.

        • Anonimouse

          How is that so? Up until a couple of years ago, DX was all that was available, and was widely used by professionals (besides medium format of course). take the 17-55 2.8; a DX lens, and a professional lens. FX doesn’t always mean better.

          • Anonimouse

            But, I’ll definitely agree that DX equals less expensive :-D

          • mike

            The 17-55 (along with the 10.5mm fisheye) was the last goldring DX lens, and it came out nearly 7 years ago. I doubt there will be another.

          • http://micahmedia.com Micah

            There has only ever been one real “Pro” Nikon DX lens: the 17-55/2.8. It’s a great lens. Good build, great image quality.

            The 12-24 is gold ring, but it’s a piece of crap optically, when compared to the 17-55. It’s like comparing the 24-120 to the 24-70/2.8–different league. Not really a Pro lens, and I think it was just a stop gap for FX. The 12-24 came out in 2003, and by that time I’m sure FX was under development, since the D700 was in beta by 2/2007. Nikon new FX was coming so they didn’t want to throw a lot of money at DX. We got the 17-55 and that’s it.

            So with one pro lens for DX ever, and the introduction of FX several years ago now, I wouldn’t hold my breath for any “Pro” DX lenses. Wait–no–DO hold your breath. Hold it until you pass out so we won’t have to hear any more whining about a lack of PRO DX lenses.

            I shot the 17-55 when I owned a D2x. I tried the D300 for a couple months and realized there was no valid reason to stay with DX kit. Sold my DX gear and went FX. Paid for itself almost before it was even shot.

            Pro lenses are for PROS. Pros are people who make money at it. Yes, I have a d90 and I still make money on some stuff shot on DX. Plenty of other people still do. But they aren’t the majority of buying power for pro gear. I’d be pissed if Nikon came out with a true Pro grade prime for DX before they come out with a fast FX 35mm lens. I don’t expect to be pissed off. We aren’t going to see a 35mm/1.4/DX built like the 24/1.4.

          • Dr SCSI

            @Micah,
            +1 “I’d be pissed if Nikon came out with a true Pro grade prime for DX before they come out with a fast FX 35mm lens.”
            I totaly agree with your well written assesment. For all you others out there, if you make money with DX, congradulations. If you make money with FX, congradulations. If you make money with your point and shoot, congradulations. You are all pros!
            Now, as far as I know, a pro lens sets itself apart from a non-pro lens based on build quality and workmanship. I own several FX lenses and a DX Kit lens. I like them all. But if I were going out on a paid job in harsh environments where my equipment would get banged around, I would definitely leave the DX gear at home. Unless of course the risk of breaking a DX lens didn’t matter to me. The FX lenses are just built with a solid feal that you don’t worry about them so much when you plop them into a carrying case or backback. As for my DX lens, I am always afraid the plastic will crack with the off axis forces being applied as I bang it around. Yes, if you didn’t notice, I am hard on gear and I am by no means a pro who goes to the coldest and hotest locations on this earth. So if you shoot DX, and you make money at it, you should at least consider backup gear, otherwise one day you may be facing a lawsuit from one of your clients if that DX lens just happens to break. Ask any Pro wedding photographer how critical backup gear is required, and they could probably tell you horror stories about failed flashes, batteries, etc. Even those shooting FX on someone elses budget will have backup gear to the backup gear. With FX Pro gear, there is a greater sense of security and peace of mind.

          • PHB

            Oh not again. All the FX lenses work on DX. Many professionals still shoot with DX today, particularly if they want to take shots of distant objects handheld. Relatively few professionals shoot with DX alone though, or entirely rule out the possibility of needing/wanting to acquire an FX body in the future.

            There is little point to a DX version of the 200-400, it would be almost exactly as big, bulky and probably have to cost more as demand would be split between the FX and DX versions.

            The only point where DX lenses offer major savings over the FX versions is at the wide end. The 35mm f/1.8 is stunning and amazingly cheap. It does not qualify for a gold band because its built to a $200 price point. But its still a great lens to have.

            Nikon does in fact still make a no holds barred full size body DX camera in case you hadn’t noticed. Its called the D3x. (Ok you get a FX mode free). I don’t think we will see another full body DX camera but only because 12MP is enough for almost all applications which means that a 24MP can do double duty. If you really need more you will probably want to be going for the bigger lenses anyway.

            At the wide end, the 10-24 would have to cost at least as much as the 14-24 to be as good. And what would be the point? The absolute best optical quality is only sometimes the best lens. The 14-24 is great for everything except for weight, size and the ‘scratch me’ front element.

        • Ronan

          Really? You do realize all the pro’s were shooting DX before FX came out… Some still do. Nikon 17-55mm 2.8 is a pro lens also.

          • http://bb-bob.smugmug.com/ Bob Wilber

            I know a pro that up until very recently made a very good living selling prints from his $350.00 SONY POINT AND SHOOT.

            A VERY, VERY GOOD LIVING.

        • http://bb-bob.smugmug.com/ Bob Wilber

          hah wrote…

          “a professional DX lens is an oxymoron”

          He should know, he’s a moron.

          (and I use a Nikon FX, but what an absolutely stupid statement)

      • Meh

        Canon.

      • shivas

        you have a 70-300 VR for DX, lol!

        Or you can get the 70-200 VR2, slap on a TC 2.0 and you’ll be sort of there. . .

        • Dr SCSI

          @shivas,

          “Or you can get the 70-200 VR2, slap on a TC 2.0 and you’ll be sort of there. . .”

          Been there, done that, no fun…
          You get 140-400 f/5.6, so you get a larger zoom factor but you lose a stop of light. Not to mention the optical quality goes to sheit real fast, especially in the corners.

          Now I have never shot or seen the 200-400 in person, but I am certain it is a HELL of a lens. I am just not certain how useable it would be. It weighs 7 pounds, tie that to a pro fx body and you add another 2-3 pounds. Try lugging that thing around for any length of time, it will wear you out. Heck, my 70-200 hardly gets used because it is too short in focal length, and too damned heavy. I prefer the D300 and the 18-200 kit lens I have over the D3 and the 70-200 in most cases.
          The reason I bought the TC-2 was to extend the 70-200 for birding use, and I discovered you can forget it! You need like 600mm and greater to do decent bird shots in the wild. The lens I am looking at now for birding is the Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6. No image stabilization, but this will be used on a tripod with a gimbal head anyway, so I.S. loss is no big deal. Plus the zoom range is more useable than any of the current Nikon pro super telephotos offer, and it costs the same as the 200-400 from Nikon. Something to think about….

          • http://micahmedia.com Micah

            Aaaactually, the TC20E drops you down TWO stops. And focus ain’t great in low light. Oh, I see what you’re saying…one stop of light versus the 200-400. Righto. The 70-200 with the TC14E is wonderful! But yeah, the TC20E is not great with that lens.

            Besides being a stop slower, the DOF and bokeh are different. Bokeh and isolation on the 200-400 are AWESOME!

            The 200-400 is indeed a great lens. Wonderfully sharp. Not THE sharpest, but better than anything else in this range. The only thing that might compare to it at the long end would be the 200/2 with a TC20. But you don’t have zoom with that combo. Although it’s easier to hand hold than the 200-400. It’s technically possible to shoot handheld with the 200-400…but not for very long! Pics come out great handheld, but it’ll tire you out right quick.

      • Rob

        Buy the 200-400 and put it on your D40. I’m a newb but that would work eh?

  • getanalogue

    Specs: filter size 52 mm ???? I am not an April fool

    • disco

      filter doesn’t go up front.

      want!!!

    • Harry Angel

      Yes like all pro tele-lenses from Nikon it uses slip-in filters.

    • Anonymous

      Lens is 124mm in diameter. Since the front element is just about the widest part… it’s gotta be about 124mm.

      • Mikael

        From being a fool, to being a tool. The filter doesn’t attach up front. It uses a slip-in filter.

        • Anonymous

          I wasn’t talking about the filter. I was talking about the front element, which is why I chose the words “front” and “element” and put them in that particular order.

  • Anonymous

    Nikon rumors is the best!

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      As I said many times before – the [NR] rumor rating is very important: this lens rumor was rated @ 90%, the possible announcement date was @ 40% because I think this time Nikon did not have any scheduled press-conferences in advance.

  • John

    http://scholarship.sigmaphoto.com/view.asp?search=john&stat=&x=0&y=0#topm

    Maybe I’ll be able to buy one of these if I win this scholarship.

  • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

    This announcement also means: “do not expect anything else in the next few weeks”

    • amunk

      who are you quoting from here exactly?

    • another anonymous

      we expect precise full review ;)

    • broxibear

      Do you think that’s it then?…no new dslr this quarter or do you think there will be a further announcement ?
      People just want to know if they should buy now or wait a few months…nobody likes wasting money especially in recent financially crippling times.
      i don’t want to buy a D700 only for nikon to announce a D900 a few weeks later that’s not only better but causes the D700 price to plummet ?
      We just want some help to choose ?

  • jørgen

    Nikonrumors rules! You all read it first here.

    • Rusty

      Yea, where are all the complainers? Nobody even thought about this lens being replaced and NikonRumors got it right again with the exact release date. Where were all the dpreview “gurus”? From what I’ve seen here, NikonRumors’ record at predicting upcoming releases has been 100% accurate.
      Keep up the good job admin!

  • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

    As I said in the previous post (as a comment), I will stay late tonight to see if something is announced (sorry for the small delay posting this online) .

  • eru

    Why either useless suky DX lenses or Godly $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ monsters?
    nothing for pro-sumers?
    where is the much more due 80-400 replacementent and the 300 f4 VRII ?
    How many will spend 6900$$ for this beauty?

    • http://www.domenicomorrone.com Domenico

      I fully agree. Replacing Already amazing lenses with VRII versions at the $3,000+ range makes no sense. Where is a 50-150mm ƒ/2.8G DX, 70-200mm ƒ/4G VR, 24-120mm ƒ/4G VR, 300mm ƒ/4G VR, and a 10-17mm ƒ/2.8G DX? Lenses people can afford and actually put to use on a daily basis.

      If you shoot planes or birds on a daily basis and actually complained about the 200-400mm enough that Nikon decided to make this update, you’re all fools. Such a waste of time and effort.

      Seriously, Nikon need to think about it’s market. This lens and the new 300mm ƒ/2.8 VRII are pointless updates.

      • Lee Kay

        Both this lens and the 300 f/2.8 VRII will be great hits during this summer’s soccer games in SA. It’s the same as introducing the D3 for the Beijing olympics, and the same rationale for Canon to introduce their 1D/IV in this time frame.

        • Injured Gonad

          Spot on, except the game to which you refer is called football. Nikon are right on the ball to showcase the best of the best on the world stage. Whining DX consumers can (and will) wait for the scraps. How many 18-XXX plastic zooms do you really need?

          • Ronan

            Bingo.

          • iamlucky13

            I didn’t notice him say anything about wanting another 18-xx zoom. He seemed more interested in lenses like the 80-400 (still not AF-S) and the 300mm F/4 (currently not VR). Others have asked about updated 35mm and 85mm lenses while a few have suggested that a 70-200 F/4 would do well. Almost all of those get mentioned every time a new lens thread comes up.

            As for the 200-400, however – is anyone going to switch from Canon to change the ratio of white to black lenses in the press boxes because this got bumped to VRII and nano-coating? Are more than the heaviest users going to upgrade from their prior versions for these features?

            I’m not going to fuss about it, but Nikon’s priorities seem a little puzzling.

        • nikkor_2

          Lee Kay is correct here; this release is geared towards World Cup action in SA this summer.

    • onion

      professionals will. if you think this lens is too pricy then it isn’t for you.

    • Hey-nonny-mouse

      Updating their models is also a nice way to update their margins without making it an official price hike.

      • m35g35

        Bingo! Thinking the same thing. You must be in marketing/sales. lol

  • amunk

    Never heard of “autofocus recall” before. There’s a new feature! Good to know nikon is still innovating – even if this is a lens I’m completely disinterested in

    • R!

      yes we need afordable tele;and no Its not new recalling autofocus,Its been on the first 70 200 VR I then they took it outfor VrII sadlly,I m glad they kept it on that one!!

      • Mikael

        Did the VR1 have recall? I thought it only stopped AF when you pushed them.

        Anyhow… The previous 200-400 had focus recall as well, check out Thom Hogan’s review. He didn’t appreciate it due to focus shift when zooming, so unless you don’t zoom while using it, it works.

      • Paul

        Incorrect, the 70-200mm VR1 had focus lock button but no focus recall.

    • Paul

      That has been in pro telephotos for years now. Nothing new.

      • Lou

        Yeah – it was even a mechanical feature in some pro MF lenses, like the 800/5.6 AI-S, which let you lock down a specific focus point and be able to come right back to it by using the second focus collar.

    • http://micahmedia.com Micah

      Yeah, it’s also on the 200/2.

  • http://synthetic.se Daniel

    That is NOT the new MTF for the new lens.
    Those are the specs for the current (2004 release) 200-400mm lens;
    http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/lens/af/zoom/af-s_vr_zoom200-400mmf_4g_if/index.htm

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      I posted both MTF charts for comparison – the new chart was taken from here:
      http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/lens/af/zoom/af-s_nikkor200-400mmf_4g_ed_vr2/index.htm

      • Lee Kay

        You can also post the lens diagram with the optical construction- it looks exactly the same to me, except the new diagram shows the front protective element and the rear slip-in filter.

        Bet you can do a photoshop comparison and find out they are actually the same.

        • Anonymous

          This update looks almost completely superfluous. The MTFs are identical and the construction looks identical. +2k is the only difference I can suss out at this time.

          • Paul

            Agreed, on paper it appears that Nikon only updated to VR II and put in some Nano coating. Hopefully there are other improvements than those two.

          • http://micahmedia.com Micah

            Great! That means deals on the already kick ass old one!

      • David

        What are the differences with the old version? Is this the same optics + nano coating with a better VR system? Is it the same AF or did they maybe improve the performance of that as well?

  • R!

    new is VRII & Nano crstl,that’s all but that’s a lot!!

  • Anonymous

    Another budget lense! I love this company more day by day. Now we have a lense for approx 10k people. It seems to me that Nikon forgot about people who cannot rob a bank. :-) Nice lense though

    • another anonymous

      yes, that’s also mine lens of dreams, but hopefully i’ll save so much untill the lens will be replaced again ;)

    • Jesus_sti

      This is a Pro lens… so this is for pro…

      • http://micahmedia.com Micah

        Nah, pro means you get paid. So yeah, you could be paid to do real work and still not know how to use this lens. The build and price are geared at people who need this to make large sums of money. Also this is the type of kit that gets bought by a shop and rented out.

  • R!

    I ‘m robin one tmrw you in???

    LOL!!

    • santela

      one

    • joebee

      two

  • nonbeliever

    As many professionals already stated – 200-400mm is too short for FX format. For birds you need up to 600mm. So why bring this lens back which was originally targeted on DX cameras. Why didn´t they listen an build a 5.6 200-600mm like in the old times of the 1970´s.
    That would have been REALLY interesting.
    By the way, I own this lens (VR I) and it´s superb.

    • Injured Gonad

      Have you heard of the world cup? It’s the second biggest sporting event in the world.

    • Paul

      Many professionals don’t shoot birds…

    • Pdf Ninja

      It is excellent for safari (larger mammals), air shows, and sports. It’s not a birding lens. Buy an old 500mm (non VR) for that.

    • iamlucky13

      Instead of another super telephoto zoom design, they can just push teleconverters. Nikon says autofocus isn’t possible with the 1.7x or 2x on the 200-400, but as far as I’ve heard, that really means it’s not reliable in low light, as some users have testified that AF works in many, configurations where Nikon says it doesn’t. The 1.4x is supposed to be fully compatible with the 200-400.

  • faiz

    Does no one here recall that the FIFA world cup is in 6 weeks??? You can be sure that every single sports photographer there will be interested in this announcement, Its a perfect range for them.

    This lens is a very good seller for them within the target market, and thom’s survey also reflects that, they are doing the smart thing here.

  • Dirk

    Okay, who needs that? There are so many other lens to replace. Did the old one have any qirks? VR I so bad? I dont think so.
    Waiting for 80-400mm replacement! Come on Nikon!

  • f-stop

    hmmmm yeah I’ll pass of this…..lol like I have a choice lol..

  • http://fotografstuttgart.de Hochzeitsfotograf

    resolution can as well be same since existing one is perfect but i believe it will be more consistent under bad/opposite light situation or just chart is not yet official (and they believe it will not be worse)

  • Anonymous

    I think Nikon clearly sent a message again to its userbase to f_ _k off and start looking at canon (or even sony) products. It is a said day for those who expected something that an enthusiast (or hobby) photographer can afford. At least we know now with physical evidence since the new Nikon CEO admitted that they are clueless.

    • mike

      When did Canon update it’s own 80-400 and 24-105 f/4 ? – both of which could well do with a significant upgrade.

      Canon still doesn’t have a good quality 24-70 f2.8 standard fast zoom lens let alone the ability to replace some of the f/4 or variable aperture lenses……

      move over if you want but the grass isn’t greener over in soft-focus land.

      • Anonymous

        Mike, I guess you did not understand what I really meant. I have no problem with Nikon upgrading the old lenses. The opposite is true, I am glad that they do it since they have lenses that are from the stone age.

        OTOH, they do not pay attention to the group of enthusiasts who cannot afford to spend 7k on a lens. Not to mention the camera front where you have virtually no option of buying something more than 12MP with video. (Ok the no video D3x but again this is out of reach for many while others offer something in that area even … though its not perfect but they do offer something)

        I can see a very arrogant pattern from Nikon here which is nothing else than a communication failure with the userbase.

        • TheIncredibleUlk

          What exactly should they update?
          Most amateurs are satisfied with 18 to 200 range and any other ranges are not easy to manufacture and as a result pricey.
          And of course it’s a bit about their image too. For the last bit of quality, for this very teeny weeny bit you have to pay. Like everywhere else. Food, cars, housing, you name it.

          If you’re still complaining, try the new sigma 150-500. It’s cheaper, still good enough for consumers, but no Nikon sign on it.
          Otherwise use a 70-200/2.8 and a converter. Good photography with a tele never was cheap. Never will be.

          And to any Nikon-is-so-shitty-i-ll-go-to-canon-switchers. Canon has a superb 200-400/4 too.
          Oh, wait. They don’t.

          • Chris

            Yeah, instead they have the much more affordable and very excellent 100-400mm F/5.6 a lens I would much rather own, and a price that is not HOLY F BALLS crazy.

    • bho

      not only clueless but then they have set their priority all wrong…

      • Injured Gonad

        Au Contraire my light-pocketed friend. You’ll get your crappy plastic lenses, but not before the Pro’s.

        • bho

          Pro??..a true Pro would not call that crappy plastic lenses…only ignorant would do that…

    • onion

      canon users drool for something like this. just be glad nikon makes it.

      • Paul

        I’ve had a few Canon sports shooters comment on how they wish they could get this focal range from Canon.

  • optimaforever

    http://www.nikon.co.jp/news/2010/0427_nikkor_01.htm
    they say : available 28th may in Japan

  • Simon

    The MTF of both the old and new ones look identical so the only improvement with the new lens is the 4 stop VR which probably only 3 stop in field use.

    • Injured Gonad

      And?

      • Simon

        Which means no real improvement

        • Injured Gonad

          you’re looking in the wron place for your ‘improvements’…

  • D40-owner

    I always laugh inside when I look at these super lenses MTF graphs from a DX point of view. In DX, the MTF graph ends around 12. Just perfection.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyarmstrong tony armstrong

    There is nothing wrong with (what is now!) the old 200-400mm. Have a look at my Field Mouse image taken from 30 feet away with this lens, a D3 and 1.7x teleconverter.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyarmstrong tony armstrong

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyarmstrong I should have added to above post!

  • Vladi

    I follow NR rumors on twitter, but this time got to this article through (surprise surprise) Canonrumors, cause they tweeted about this and posted short article on their web.
    Do you (NR admin) always tweet about all your new articles or just now and then? Cause i stopped visiting NR every day in hope of new rumors and just follow you on twitter and then click on any links you post there.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      Every post on NR get automatically pushed to twitter (not full text of course). In addition twitter followers get some extra info on interesting stuff I find online:

      http://twitter.com/nikonrumors

      Sometimes there is a slight delay when updating twitter – this post for example is not on twitter yet.

    • moro

      why don’t you just add NR to your live bookmarks or any RSS reader?

  • low

    okay im back to nikon again! sold off all my canon, oh yeah!

  • El Aura

    If Nikon were to follow all those complaining, it would not been allowed to release any lens over $3000 until it had satisfied all lens wishes of of those below the $3000 threshold.

    • GlobalGuy

      Or at least NOT raise the price by ANOTHER $1,000. Its not like they didn’t already adjust for the economy…

  • bob

    great lens for my d3000.

  • Jack

    price too high … excessive even with actual value of manufacture

    • mike

      How much exactly does it cost to manufacture ?

      Oh and don’t forget to add in the R&D costs…

  • Trad

    Really … Nikon rumors is the best!

  • Leaking Starfish

    I’ve been waiting for this. I’m gonna strap one on my D40 and become the World’s greatest duck shooter!

    • GlobalGuy

      I believe in you! lol..

  • David

    Glad for those that can afford the 200-400. I can only drool. What I was REALLY interested in before summer vacation time starts is not lenses for my D300, but whether they were going to come out with the replacement for the P6000 (whether it retains the P&S format or goes EVIL) that has basic HD video capability (I don’t need video in my DSLR yet, but I do need it in my P&S). I guess I sadly need to pull the trigger on a P&S, which sadly is going to be non-Nikon now (really wanted something I could bring into Capture NX2).

  • Zorro

    This would be a great lens for the rumored D40s.

  • Zorro

    Hopefully the next lens announcement will be DX AF-S 24mm 1:2.8.

    • disco

      too slow

      • http://www.kampus.ro Laurentiu Ilie

        As a DX shooter, I’ll really appreciate a DX AF-S 24mm f/2 or f/2.8.

        I even plan to buy the current AF-S 24mm f/2.8, but it seems to be too soft wide open comparing with the 35mm f/1.8.

        If it will be sharp and fast focusing, with no distorsions or huge vigneting, the DX AF-S 24mm f/2.8 would be just great. It could have 52mm filters.

  • Injured Gonad

    Then don’t buy it, oh wise one. However, I think you’ll find all the Pro’s who are covering the world cup this summer will be all over it, like stink on sh*t.

  • Bob

    I think this is just the introductory price. The final price could be closer to the older version.
    I am happy Nikon is upgrading their lenses and I am sure they will update their prosumer lenses in near future but I am not so happy about their new prices.
    I still think ( and correct me if I am wrong) that Nikon is charging us too much for too little.For instance, I strongly believe Capture NX should be a free software ( Like Canon DPP or Sony SR). I love Nikon and their products but they will lose market if they do not rethink their pricing strategy. People who want to buy their first SLR (buying into a new system) will consider these little things as a negative.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • http://www.truphotos.com gnohz

    Admin do you think there is a slight possibility that there’ll be another announcement in the near future without a press conference (since this announcement was also the same)?

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      I would say there is a low chance that we will see another product announcement in May. Of course this is just an opinion based on previous release patterns. If Nikon has another product ready, they would group them together and organize a press event. They have done back to back announcements in the past, but only with Coolpix and DSLR/lenses.

      The case with the new 200-400 lens is a bit different since this lens will probably be produced in limited supplies and the demand will not be as great as other lenses. I noticed that some major websites did not get a notice from Nikon on this new product – dpreview still does not have the new lens listed on the their main page. This explains also the lack of more detailed rumors before the announcement.

      • http://www.truphotos.com gnohz

        Thanks a lot for your personal opinion. Appreciate it :)
        I agree that this 200-400 lens is a little different than past announcements. It was here all of a sudden with so limited rumours.

        Since this was a rather unusual announcement, hope that Nikon still has something up their sleeves! :D

  • KSPGM

    Didn’t Nikon just do exactly the same thing with the 18-200 ? . . . and not even a VR upgrade?

    • Paul

      Nikon is quoting a VR improvement of 4 stops instead of 3 on the old one.

      • m35g35

        that is what VRI offers 3 stops. VRII four stops. There was no change in the 18-200 when it came to VR, it was VRII.

        • KSPGM

          Exactly ! I did not have the 18-200 VR but recently bought the 18-200 VRII . I think that that little switch on the side (which is pretty useless as the lens does still creep!) cost me £100. Clever Nikon – but it does ‘piss-off’ their loyal customers. Can they not see that?

  • http://www.shortfingerphoto.com Nubz

    $5000 I’d buy one, $6000 I’m on the fence, $7000 NO WAY!! guess I’ll wait for the 80-400 and hope it focuses faster than a snail.

  • NikorRyan

    I just got an announcement email from Nikon on this.

  • Anonymous

    It is funny how a lot of you complain as if you can afford this lens.

  • b33g33

    “Nikon’s exclusive range of focal lengths from 200 to 400mm”. I didn’t realize Nikon had that focal range locked up exclusively :)

    This will make a nice Safari rental for me. I don’t have $6k of disposable income for a purchase.

    Now, where’s my 70-200 F4?

    • woble

      Nikon are the only one that have a 200-400mm f/4 lens. Hence the exclusive bit.

  • SNRatio

    This is mostly an update for the pros, and I wouldn’t take this as any kind of indication about what else they are about to release and when. Actually, when you see the response here, it would seem that they should rather NOT announce this together with less expensive cameras/lenses, as the very high quality, low novelty factor and prohibitively high price would tend to make everything look worse to a lot of people.

    This announcement is timed for the soccer WC tournament, and a reminder that Nikon is catering for the pros. Which might otherwise easily be forgotten in a rush of consumer/prosumer announcements… I’m sure Nikon tells those who are seriously interested in the 200-400/4.

  • Todd

    I’m confused, please help. I’ve owned the 80-400mm and the 200-400mm. The one that DID NOT need an upgrade was the 200-400mm. Are you serious Nikon?!?!? How have you not upgraded the 80-400mm after 10 YEARS!!!? 100-500mm, upgraded 80-400mm, whatever. Wow, wow, wow.

    • Ronan

      Upgrade a demanded PROFESSIONAL lens or a plastic wanabe zoom lens? With the upcoming sport season too? HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMm

    • amunk

      because the upgrade from the 80-400 IS the 200-400.

      I’ve come to realize what people mean by “upgrade” on this forum. Upgrade means, give me that $6000 lens for $500 somehow!

      • Todd

        Amunk,

        Upgrade as in VR II and fast focus abilities. The 80-400mm is 10 years old with terrible focus. I’ve had the 200-400mm and it’s superb of course. I do a lot of hand holding as do many wildlife photographers. Yes a tripod and monopod are often used in wildlife photography. Hand holding; however, is paramount in many wildlife captures. The 200-400mm is no good for that. A top company like Nikon needs to have a compact, fast focusing x-400ish lens in their line up. Many many people agree with me. Upgrade as in refine and add current technologies. Not neglect a huge demand in a certain niche.

        • El Aura

          I think if you make a poll, there will be about 20 lenses that a ‘top company’ needs to have in their line-up.
          But I guess, similarly to Apple being doomed (TM), any company that offers less lenses than the company with the most lenses is doomed.

  • http://www.cesarkoot.nl Cesar

    Buying it as soon as it comes out! NOOOOT!

  • Todd

    Hey Ronan,

    As stated tough guy. I’ve owned both. Nikon will get way more revenue from an upgraded 80-400mm or 100-500mm versus an upgraded 200-400mm. Fact. The 80-400mm is a great lens and many many many pros own one. It’s a superb compact zoom lens. Focus sucks though.

    I know of two very legit pros that one. The kind that have galleries all over the world. Again, fact. Do they have a 600mm F4 also? Yes but don’t discount the 80-400mm. It IS a good lens and the optics are very good. Do you have a 200-400mm or 600mm f4 Ronan? If you say yes, you lie.

  • shivas

    i know everyone is poo-pooing the lack of “new features” and minimizing the VR2 and nano-coating. . .

    but have you actually compared a NON-nano coated Nikon lens to one that is? Take for example the 24 2.8 prime and compare it in terms of flaring/ghosting/etc to 24-70 2.8 with coating. . .UMM, light and day.

    Before I used the 70-200 with VR2 I thought it was all marketing hype, but let me tell you – it’s well worth the price in gold, has IMMENSELY increased my keeper rate when using the lens hand held; I can’t imagine at the 200-400 END HOW MUCH more it’ll help if you’re hand holding that lens.

    For $900, well worth it to the PRO that needs it; if you’re a hobbyist, you’re also in luck, because a bunch of pro’s will dump the older versions on ebay for CHEAP!

  • GLC

    Just ordered one with a deposit paid. After working with the VRII on the 600 f4, I did not really want the older version of this lens.

    For those who are upset about the price increase, just remember internationally the value of the dollar is a lot less than just a year ago. The 600 f4 now cost $1500 more than I paid for it, but I would still recommend it if you need that kind of reach.

  • bonzo

    I think 300mm f/4.0 AF-S VRII Nano is coming soon this decade!

  • Cowbell

    AH, Slap a “II” on it and charge even more for it! Nice job Nikon.

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