Nikon announces a new Nikkor AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens

Nikon announced the Nikkor AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens priced at $11,999,95 (the previous version costed $8,999, a $3k price increase). The new lens has the same size as the old version but is almost 29 oz/820 g lighter and would be a perfect match for the new Nikon AF-S TC-14E III teleconverter. Here is everything you need to know:

AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens product photo

Lighter and more rugged than its acclaimed predecessor, the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR frees professionals and passionate shooters to capture the thrill of sports, action and wildlife with staggering clarity and precision, even when shooting handheld in challenging lighting conditions. A fast f/2.8 maximum aperture paired with Nikon VR technology delivers exciting new low-light capabilities and beautiful bokeh, while a specialized diaphragm maintains consistent exposure during high-speed shooting. Pro-grade dust- and moisture-sealing and a fluorine coated front meniscus glass element protect the lens' superb NIKKOR optics on tough assignments while Nikon's advanced lens technologies give you every advantage for catching the shots that matter.

Fast f/2.8 400mm prime lens

When it comes to capturing sports or wildlife where the action is fast and the conditions are rarely favorable, lens speed can mean the difference between a great shot and a miss. At f/2.8, the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR gathers maximum light and renders beautiful bokeh. Nikon VR enhances that speed with up to 4 stops* of blur-free handheld shooting, including a new mode specifically for shooting Sports and Action, while a specialized electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism achieves remarkably consistent exposures when shooting at high frame rates. You might not be able to predict the spontaneous, but you certainly can prepare for it.

Lightweight, rugged and reliable

Thanks to lightweight fluorite lens elements and a magnesium alloy die-cast lens barrel, the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR is nearly 2 lbs. lighter than its predecessor, AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR. Anyone who has spent time in the field with a large super-telephoto lens knows every pound counts. And since wildlife and action often mean harsh conditions, it features professional grade dust- and moisture-resistant sealing and a fluorine coated meniscus protective glass element at the lens front. Wherever your assignments or passion take you, the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR is ready.

Every advantage for landing the shot

The AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR is an advanced lens designed to draw peak potential from high-resolution Nikon D-SLRs. The lens' ultra-fast, ultra-quiet Silent Wave Motor (SWM) provides outstanding autofocus performance with seamless manual override (just spin the lens barrel). Two fluorite lens elements (FL) provide superior optical characteristics while minimizing overall weight, while two Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements nearly eliminate chromatic aberration, even at f/2.8.

*Based on CIPA Standard. This value is achieved when: FX-format compatible lenses are attached to an FX-format digital SLR camera.

Supplied Accessories

  • Slip-on Front Lens Cover
  • LF-4 Rear Lens Cap
  • HK-38 Lens Hood (don't loose it because it costs $1,000)
  • 40.5mm Screw-on NC Filter
  • CT-405 Trunk Case
  • LN-2 Lens Strap
  • Monopod Collar

MTF chart

Nikkor AF-S 400mm f:2.8E FL ED VR lens MTF chart
Lens design

Comparison with the old version


Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 old version


Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 new version

Additional information

Press release

Go Further with Superior NIKKOR Optics: The New AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Super-Telephoto Lens and AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III

Nikon Announces Newest Additions to Legacy of Professional Precision Glass

MELVILLE, NY – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the new AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens and AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, engineered to give professional and passionate photographers optical excellence and exceptional telephoto capabilities. The new 400mm f/2.8 lens is lighter and more durable than its acclaimed predecessor, inviting professional and passionate shooters to capture the thrill of sports, action and wildlife with staggering clarity and precision, even in challenging light. The new TC-14 E III Teleconverter is an ideal companion for many NIKKOR telephoto lenses, offering users a focal length boost while maintaining clarity and sharpness.

“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.” 

The New AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR: Superior Optics, Superb Handling

The new 400mm f/2.8 super-telephoto lens delivers upon the NIKKOR promise of uncompromising performance, thanks to overall enhancements to the optical characteristics of the lens, which go beyond simply enhancing image quality. With a refined optical formula, those who shoot fast action sports from a distance or rapidly moving wildlife will appreciate the improved autofocus (AF), exposure accuracy and speed. The lens now contains two fluorite elements that, together with two Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements and Nano Crystal Coat, helps ensure outstanding performance with minimal chromatic aberration and flaring. The internal construction of the lens comprises 16 elements in 12 groups, and features an electromagnetic diaphragm, similar to that employed in the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6 lens.  Denoted by the “E” designation, this feature allows for stable exposures during high speed shooting, such as the 11 frames-per-second (fps) possible with the Nikon D4S HD-SLR. Additionally, the lens employs a nine-blade rounded diaphragm that creates a circular, natural looking out of focus area – a requirement for action and wildlife shooters who need clear separation between the subject and the background.

The refined construction of this lens has additional benefits, creating a beautifully balanced instrument for professionals that is nearly two full pounds (816 grams) lighter than its predecessor, tempting the user to shoot handheld when needed. Whether trackside or courtside, photographers will value Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) technology with up to four stops of image stabilization*, and the addition of the new VR Sport Mode. When shooting action, especially on a monopod, the VR Sport Mode recognizes a panning motion to provide accurate compensation for camera shake, resulting in super-sharp images, with motion blur where the photographer intended. For working in challenging environments, the lens features a protective front meniscus element with a fluorine coating, which resists dirt and moisture on the front of the lens. Other pro-minded features include the addition of a rotating tripod collar for seamless switching between compositions, and buttons on the lens barrel compatible with the new AF functions of the Nikon D4S.

AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III

Nikon’s long legacy and expertise in optical engineering is substantiated with this new 1.4x teleconverter that retains the lens’ image quality, even at wide-open apertures. This new teleconverter effectively multiplies the focal length of many NIKKOR lenses by 1.4x, while resulting in only a one-stop loss of exposure. Especially useful for nature and sports photographers, the enhanced optical system reduces chromatic lens aberration, while preserving the accuracy of the AF system.

The construction of the teleconverter has been significantly upgraded for both durability and optical brilliance. Comprised of seven elements within four groups, the outer elements feature a fluorine coating for enhanced resistance to dirt and water droplets. For added durability, the lens barrel has been designed for increased moisture and dust resistance.

Price and Availability

The AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens will be available in August 2014, and will have a suggested retail price (SRP) of $11,999.95**. The AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III will also be available in August 2014 for an SRP of $499.95.

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  • Sifor

    I’ll take two.

    • Rau Muống Xào Tỏi

      Such a deal from Nikon, I think I’ll take three.

  • Garth Muller

    looks more like a beefed up 300mm f/2.8

  • Noor

    99% of people who will complain about the price couldn’t afford 1% of the lens.

    • That’s a big increase tho.

      • Eric Calabros

        still not much higher than Canon

  • itcrashed

    Looks like the TC-14E III is announced with it! Finally!

      • Spy Black

        To bad Nikon didn’t “me too” this one and included the teleconverter right in the lens.

        • Theodoros Fotometria

          Best comment… I used to own 400mm f2.8 D (first version), I sold it for 3600 Euro just before the London Olympics… I did so, purely because of the bulk and the improvement in ISO performance of recent FF DSLRs… However, I have to mention that the combination of the lens with TC-14Eii and TC-20 Eiii was PERFECTLY USABLE at full aperture… Heck, even (my old) TC-Eii and even TC-Eiii STACKED with Kenko 1.4x DGX was usable at full aperture… (f-11). In reality, when one buys a 400 F2.8 it is the IDEAL long telephoto lens, he TRULLY buys a 560mm f4, 800mm f5.6 and even 1120mm f8 with it… No bullshit…

    • lorenzo

      Is the TC-17E III ever been announced after rumors that it was discontinued?

  • FredBear

    m4/3 + Nikon 70-200 VR less than half the price and 140-400mm.

    • Fred Phelps

      At the expense of image quality.

      • RMJ

        and depth of field

      • FredBear

        Then why are people shooting Nikon anyway?
        There are better cameras out there than DSLR’s with superior IQ.

        ‘Quality’ is fitness for use. Thus there are those who will be satisfied with m4/3 as adequate for their use.
        Those who print billboard size won’t be happy – but then again they’re in the vast minority.
        Most images never make it past the computer screen.

        • umeshrw

          “Most images never make it past the computer screen” You are right in case of common lenses. Not for these. These are mostly used by pros.

          • peterw

            think of this: pro’s shoot so much, most of these images never make it past the computer… ;).

            The art being: finding that one great image between hundreds or thousands of allmost equal images. And finding it fast.

            (I threw away these weeks 2000 D800 files. 1400 to go. from the remaining 600 photos at most 30 will apear in a book, but only if I write it myself and write it good enough for the publisher…)

            • umeshrw

              Think of this…. You are proving my point. And does anybody care about those excess images which are a waste. We always speak about that one or a few number of perfect images which APPEAR IN YOUR BOOK. These lenses are meant to help in increasing those perfect and usable images. If ione shoots with subpar combo of m4/3 and 70-200 that ratio drastically reduces as does the quality of final image which is NOT to be used for internet applications.

            • peterw

              Talking about ratio.

              The decrease of allmost a kg is a very important factor here: it increases the chance of bringing the lens – and thus making the picture. I don’t think the increase of IQ is not nescessary for the plain lens, nor for the lens with TC14 EII or EIII, but it will help when using the lens with TC20 EIII.

              (I stick to my 500 thought. I need the reach 99,9% of the time and the ‘ratio’ is quite satisfactory, looking at the pictures I am throwing away at the moment.)

              By the way, I just sold a 2005 D70 photo with an 80~400 AF-D. It was cropped to vertical and printed in a book filling a page of 28×20 cm. To my surprise it looks satisfactory. On screen it looks…, well, I just didn’t have a better picture yet…

              (My bad pictures are the only ones selling 😉 ).
              A long story to state: photos from this m4/3 70-200 combo might appear more than expected.

            • umeshrw

              Like fredbear said in next post ” ‘Horses for courses’ is perfectly right. And like you said , what works for you is right for you. For the unforgiving pros MFT with medium teles can never replace this 400.

        • Fred Phelps

          If I could shoot sports with the image quality you get from medium/large format I would but alas it just isn’t possible. DSLRs still rule the roost when it comes to shooting sports.

          • Guest

            You aren’t trying hard enough then.
            I’ve shot sports with a Speed Graphic and a Linhof Technika 4×5 cameras. It’s actually a lot of fun but difficult.

            • Fred Phelps

              I rely on sending my images to news outlets within minutes of the event finishing, otherwise I’m not going to be able to eat! When I was still in school (a long, long time ago) we’d often get sent to shoot sports with all sorts of weird and wonderful cameras so I know it can be done (and I can do it) but it doesn’t fit my workflow these days. I rely on my photography to put food on the table, I can’t afford to handicap myself unnecessarily otherwise my family is going hungry!

          • FredBear

            Then a DSLR is the right ‘quality’ for your purpose.
            For climbing mountains or on an on-foot safari a m4/3rd might suite better.
            ‘Horses for courses’.

  • HibikiRush

    I’m a Nikon user obviously but for that price I think I would prefer Canon’s 200-400…

    • Remedy

      You do understand the difference between f/2.8 lens and f/4 one, right?

      • HibikiRush

        Yes I also understand the benefit of 200-400 with built-in TC for the same price as this, with 3k increase and no purported innovation.

        • Brian

          I have a pro friend that bought the Canon 200-400 for his recent trip to Africa. Upon return he told me he couldn’t get a sharp shot of the lens.

          • peterw

            perhaps the air was trembling. Sometimes I don;t get a sharp shot at 5 m distance with my 500 F4.

    • Pier

      Ithat is stupid statement, the 200-400 and the 400 are two different lenses. I have the 200-400 and have used the400 many times it is all about practical versus getting the shot in the dark…bokek is also different… Plus jump ship if you get one and update all your lenses and bodies…at least you would not visit this forum anymore

  • Bob L

    Unfortunately too pricey for me (unless I win the lottery …LOL)! Beautiful lens though!

  • John Doe

    damn beautiful lens…but for that price maybe i will bear with 2 additional lbs and save $6k for a used previous 400mm

  • itcrashed

    Ok, so FL stands for Fluorine. But what the heck is 2.3E (as opposed to 2.8G)???

    • PB PM

      E stands for electronic Aperture, just as it does on the 800mm F5.6.

    • Keith Homan

      I would guess electromagnetic diaphragm

    • d400

      it means that it has and electronic diaphragm.

    • Spelling Nazi

      And it’s called Fluorite. Fluorine is the stuff they put in the toothpaste.

      • umeshrw

        Isn’t it fluoride? Nikon itself has used both these words in different contexts. Maybe mistake. I’ll have to google for correct usage.

        • fjfjjj

          Fluorite is the lens. Fluoride in the toothpaste. Fluorine is the element. Google before you post.

          • umeshrw

            Please read before you post. Rather read the post that I responded to.

      • itcrashed

        You’re absolutely right. LMAO good catch.

    • sperdynamite

      The 2.8E is a lovely Rolleiflex model that does not have interchangable finders. They were produced in the late 50s in Zeiss Planar and Schneider Xenotar variety. Conventional thinking is that neither lens is superior but the Zeiss is more desirable due to the reputation. I have that that I have refurbished and I feel like I can take it anywhere.

      • guest

        10/10 sir

  • sperdynamite

    Who doesn’t have 12 grand to see shit that’s real far away? Perfect plan, Nikon! Between a shite mirrorless camera with no market and a 400mm that no one can afford except Sports Illustrated and God, they should have no problem making up those losses.

    • neversink

      Waaaaah! You sound like a bratty kid. Don’t buy it, but don’t complain please. It’s very bad form. Should Admin not report this development because the lens is high priced and aimed at the pro market. Grow up.

      • sperdynamite

        I’m in the pro market buddy. Nobody wants a 400mm for 9 grand except show off rich dudes and the 6 guys that shoot the super bowl every year, who rent their gear from SI. Still no 300mm f4 VR, old 135 and 105 f2s, fast primes that are being out performed by Sigma, a joke of a mirrorless system that should have been thrown out with the whole Coolpix line… I’m quite grown up enough to see the forest for the trees.

        • neversink

          Hi Buddy. I’ve been in the “pro market” as you call it, since 1976 when I sold my first photos for an annual report. And I am still working. If you are a pro, it baffles me how you can actually state that “Nobody wants a 400mm for 9 grand.”
          NIne grand divided over the life of the lens is not that expensive. I have made my money back from my 500 f4 v2 investment. And it is less than two years old now. I love that lens for many reasons.
          You buy your Sigma lenses if you want to, but when they break down, don’t start whining here please. I will stick with Nikon
          Many businesses cost much more to enter than photography. I need wide angles to super tells for my work which very varied. Do I enjoy paying 9K or 11K for a lens. No! But I will buy it if I need it for my work. I never purchase a piece of equipment unless I need it for an assignment. I use my 500 f/4 last year on more than a dozen assignments. So i am very interested in this supposed superlative lens. I probably won’t purchase it because I have the 500 f4 and have enough purchases for awhile. However, If I can justify it in my work, and it will enhance my business and my art, then I will purchase it. If you are professional, then you should understand why these lenses are needed. It seems you hate Nikon products, so why are you here?

      • fjfjjj

        Rarar! You sound like a dick. You might not like the comment, but don’t complain please. Telling people they sound “like a bratty kid” is very bad form.

        • neversink

          I’m not the one who cursed. When you curse like sperdynamite did, he sounds like a child. No sense of propriety or understanding that there are different needs for different folks. I’m just tired of all the complainers. And calling someone a “dick” is fairly offensive. Much more so than calling someone “bratty kid.” He does sound like one. Sorry if you are offended. But is Admin supposed to keep quiet about this because the price is high. Why do people complain.

  • AlphaTed

    Does anybody know the current market rate of kidneys?

    • lorenzo

      I guess that for this glass one has to sell both 😀

  • Nick

    Admin, there is also a new TC-14EIII. I found it from this page:

  • lorenzo

    8.2 lbs vs 10.2 of the previous one is really a lot less, however, the current one looks more robust – I will never able to have either one.

    • Jeff Hunter

      You can always rent one for a few days. I probably will at some point. Even if I owned one, I doubt it would get used very often, beautiful lens though.

      • lorenzo

        You are right; Lens Rental in the Bay Area has it (the old one) at $268 for 4 days (probably without insurance?), not that bad, I’ll keep that in mind.

        • Over It

          Yeah, and, in a year or so these things will pop up all over the place as failed birders or spec shooters sell off their copy under financial duress. Not to mention the early adopters who dump them on ebay in a month because their pictures aren’t any better. Until the shakeout starts renting is a good idea.

  • Chris Weller

    Awesome lens, but I’m disappointed, but not surprised, at the price. I’m perfectly happy with the optics of my current generation 400 2.8, so I won’t sell my current 400 and upgrade if I have to spend 4500 -5000 more for this lens just get get the 2 lb weight savings.

    Equally concerning…I’ve been waiting for 3 years for them to come out with the FL lens in a 500 and 600. Now it looks like those lenses (whenever they are announced) will likely be $2,000 – $3,000 more as well. I really, really wanted a 500 f/4 that is truly hand hold-able (6 ish pounds). I’d even consider the 600 at 7-8 lbs, but not if they are going to be that much more.

    • Morris

      im afraid the new 300 f4 price will boost eavily

      • rt-photography

        whats wrong with the current 300 4 AFS? no vr? im waiting for them to release a new one so I can pick up the current one

        • JXVo

          Nothing wrong with the current one. I picked up a beauty 2nd hand recently and very impressed with its sharpness and close focus capability. You can work around the VR issue. If a new one comes out it would be nice to see VR, faster AF-S and a rear protective element to prevent possibility of dust and moisture getting all the way up past the aperture diaphragm to where you can’t clean it.

        • Morris

          nothing wrong 🙂

  • lorenzo

    Is the tripod collar pointing forward any better? To balance these lenses does one have to mount them on a D4 or even a D800 is sufficient?

    • Chris Weller

      I can tell yo that the current tripod collar placement is bad. Touch to know for sure until you hold the new lens and see the weight distribution, but I’m guessing it will be better

    • peterw

      1) I don’t know about the back or front foot. My 500 has a back-foot and… it is expecially much to high. I replaced it with a Wimberley-foot. In a few months they will have one for this lens.

      I’d like the ring to be a little bit more to the front, at the place of the buttons. The lens kind of hangs heavily in the ring. Best would be two attachement rings to the lens.

      2) Solution:
      – add a power pack (preferably with heavy AA accus) and an arca-swiss lensplate or camera L-plate to the D800/D300/D700/D7100. It makes a difference of about 1~2 cm which is enough.

  • Erick

    I don’t understand anything about why they can’t produce top MTF’s on all lenses, but did you notice a constant 1 and a great .9? Is this the sharpest lens that ever existed?

    • saywhatuwill

      I think the 800mm f/5.6E is the sharpest.

    • Eric Duminil

      I don’t know much about optics, but I think it has to do with the fact that all incoming rays are almost parallel to each other. The longer the lens, the easier it is to have great MTF. You “just” need a lot of good glass.
      In comparison, rays almost come in opposite directions on ultra-wide-angle lenses, and it’s hard to optimize for all of them.

  • Chris Weller

    I wonder what the deal is with the new “sport mode” on the VR. I never use the current VR for sports. In my experience VR screws me up when shooting at 10 fps and I’ve read that anything over 1/500th of a second it actually degrades the image (per Thom Hogan).

    • lorenzo

      Other lenses have VR switch positions: OFF, Normal, Active. Is Sport = Active?

      • Coloretric

        I would understand that Normal is now used in three dimensions (yaw and pitching the optic as well as shifting it). Sport probably utilises a gyro in the lens to work out which orientation the lens is and applies a less sensitive movement to the horizontal axis of yaw & shift so that panned shots are less ghosty.

      • Aports

        Active is when YOU are moving while shooting.

    • RGB man

      It stablizes the viewfinder image, allows you to keep the focus point on the subject.

  • Beso

    Well, I wasn’t expecting quite that big of a jump in price. I will wait for some testing but if the MTF chart is any indication, this lens will be exceptional.

    • rt-photography

      and the current one was not? overpriced

  • Spy Black

    Perfect for LOLcat pics…

    • Morris

      selfies better 🙂

  • Morris

    did they boost the price because one who might get the 800 5.6
    might just go this way new 400 2.8 + newer (more expensive) 2.0x

  • Spy Black

    With any luck, Sigma will come out with a killer 400mm F/4 that you can actually afford….

    • rt-photography

      fingers crossed. ill even take a stellar useable at open aperture 400 5.6

      • peterw

        second hand: +/- 250 euro.
        rare though and AF-D type

        • Spy Black

          Yeah, I keep looking around for that. Obviously those who own one don’t want to art with it. Macro, no less.

  • Spy Black

    The old version looked better balanced…

    • Beso

      This version is 20% lighter so my guess is the repositioning of the foot is due to weight distribution change.

    • RGB Man

      Balance is less front heavy due to flourite in the front group.

  • saywhatuwill

    Well, now the 800mm f/5.6 lens price of $18,000 is starting to look more in line with the price range that Nikon is moving to since the new 400mm f/2.8 is $12,000. I expect a run on the older 400mm starting…NOW!


    $3k price hike.
    What did I tell you?
    I hit that one right on the head.

  • Julian

    Really could do with a prosumer 400mm f/4ish as $12K is outside of my price range, although I could probably stretch to $2K (which means sigma only I guess…)

    • Frank

      A 400/4 from Canikon will be the same price as a 200/2 (same diameter front element) so it will be around $6k. You are realistically limited to f/5.6 if you want a 400mm and are limited to $2000.

      • Julian

        I can accept f/5.6 as long as its sharp.

        • peterw

          buy the zoom

          • Julian

            But why is there not a Nikon version of
            Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens? Zoom is the only option, and then TCs are close to unusable.

            • JXVo

              300 f4D AF-S + TC-1.4E-II gives 420mm f5.6. This is Nikon’s 400 f5.6 equivalent. Same ballpark price and image quality with the advantage that you can remove the TC to gain a wider view and an extra stop

  • CGU

    What’s the problem with these lens? The FIFA World cup starts at June and there are lot of pros who waiting for these kind of lens – IMHO it is very similar to the Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM now, incl. the price level – but the really disappointing thing for me: the EUR price will 12.379,- – if I convert the current US vs EUR normally the price should around 8.735 EUR

  • NikoFanBoy

    Hi Admin,

    Thanks once again. I think its about time you have comparison of 400 2.8 with VR and the NEW FL VR lens?

  • Graeme

    Perfect fit for my V1

    • Remedy

      Some might think it’s a joke but in fact it REALLY is a perfect fit. 1080mm f/2.8 FTW 😀

      • neversink

        With much less image quality than you would have if you just cropped an Fx pic down to the same magnification. Ridiculous to put this lens on your V1.

  • Remedy

    The old version was so much prettier.

  • rt-photography

    WOW what a bargain ripoff price what thieves. they need to recoup from the floods.

  • Bavarian

    I don’t understand why people always claim the price? If you could buy the old version 7 Years ago – you can buy this one right now. If you could not – maybe you can afford an used “old” one now. This is what i am looking for – the old version is one of the sharpest Lenses ever made – and hopefully i find an used one for an affordable price right now. If not – i go on playing lottery

  • Oliver

    I do not understand why they moved the bracket for the monopd/tripod backwards to the camera… it was perfect to have it where it is with the “old” VRII-lens…
    When i tested the new 80-400 (which has the bracket near the camera too) this was the major issue i did not like to have, because of a worse balance and worse handling when shooting.

  • I think I’m just going to stick with my 600/4 (non-VR AF-S) Thank you very much. At least I got IT for $6500.00 as opposed to $11,999.95 for a 400mm f/2.8 with fluorite glass. I’d hate to see what a new 600mm VR FL ED would cost. Probably somewhere in between the 400mm and the 800mm? $16,999.99?

  • ActionJunky

    Let’s face it; if you cannot afford or justify the cost of this lens, you are most likely not a professional photographer. More specifically, you are not a professional sports or wildlife photographer. Photographers that take these pictures, have expense accounts, or spend thousands to travel to remote areas will eventually justify the cost if they use it on a regular basis.

    For everyone else, including hobbyists, there is the rental market. If $9,000 was somehow in your budget and $12,000 is not, why is $300 for a weekly rental not in your budget? I have recently rented the 400mm f2.8 (old version) and it was worth the expense for 10 days. I only need such a lens 2-5 times a year. I could rent it for a decade before approaching the purchase cost. You also have to remember that lenses hold their value quite well. Purchase the lens for $12,000 today and you will be able to sell it for $9,000, used, five years later.

    If you are trying to photograph your local little league match, parents are not that discriminating when it comes to quality. Get a Nikon 1 V2 or V3 and a 70-200mm for a reach of 540mm and over 10 frames per second.

    It is pricey, but this will actually help the rental market. They may lose some hobbyists to other mirrorless systems, but that is a different market that needs to be addressed differently by the Nikon 1 system.

    • Chris Weller

      That is why I choose to buy the lens instead of rent continually. I use my lens 15-20x a year. Even if I only used in 3-5 x a year, I would end up spending over a thousand dollars a year on rental and have nothing to show. These lenses generally retain 70-80% of their value over a 5-10 year time window. So your really just putting your money down as collateral against the lens. You can get 70-80% of it back any time you choose.

      Plus this outgoing generation will retain a better portion of it’s value now given that it’s replacement is 33% more expensive. $7,500 for a used 2.8 vs. $12k new. It will keep it’s value.

  • Anoop

    2 pound less weight is well worth the 3k price increase for the people who can afford it.. sadly, i can’t.

    waiting for the new 300 F4 VR .. combined with the weight saving the price might be 2.5k to 3k … still worth it if the weight is less than the current 300 F4’s weight of 3.17 pounds…

  • Laszlo

    I don’t have money for this… I guess I’ll buy an ice cream instead…

    • Morris

      better half icecream… maybe!

  • neonspark

    ok so Nikon is going to update their telephoto line with the FL glass. *facepalm* really? there are so many other lenses that could use it instead of the already near perfect telephotos. for example, a 70-200 FL, or 200 2.8 FL or heck anything.

    • Would you pay $3599.99 for a 70-200mm? I sure as heck wouldn’t. And I also have a 70-200mm VRII.

      • neonspark

        I hate to break it to you but that is how much it will cost you buddy, and you’ll pay it because there are two things you can count on:
        -weak dollar.

        • I think I’d much rather utilize the 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII that I already own than “upgrade” the lens that I have. But thank you. And frankly, I tend to use my 600/4 more than I use my 70-200mm as of late. Wildlife photography being my focus, mind you.

          • neonspark

            ok. well, get used to paying more on every upgrade either way 🙂

  • ANDY

    I bought a mint used 400mm vr lens 6 weeks ago for $6800. I thought it was expensive. It seems now that I got it for free if compared to $12,000.
    My lens looks much better too. Very well balanced with a tripod color closer to the front. Images it produces are stunning as well. I could not find a tele converter anywhere here in Toronto 2 days ago. I figured new tele converters were coming out.

  • fjfjjj

    This isn’t on the D800 list of recommended lenses. It must not be very sharp.

    • D700guy

      It will be.

    • andy

      …Or maybe the D800 is not sharp enough for this lens?…..

      it is great on my D4 and D3s for sure.

  • D700guy

    Could I afford this lens? Well, I was able to afford the 300mm f2.8, a D4 and a D088e, you tell me.
    But do I want this lens? Hell to the NO. I almost was able to convince myself that a $9000 price tag was do-able for a 400mm f2.8, but $12,000 is just absurd.
    I think I’m folding my cards. The only big investment I’m considering at this point going forward is a Sony NEX FS700R, simply because Nikon refuses to pull their heads out of their asses and realize that Canon is kicking their butt in the video needs department. That is, unless the D5 happens to include RAW video, but that’s 2 years out and I seriously doubt Nikon will do anything someone out there actually wants in the way of providing what the market demands.
    For those who rent lenses, this would be a wonderful experience, especially if it has similar optics to that of the 800mm f5.6 (which I’m guessing is the case, hence the 3K increase). Anyone else would more than likely not get their money’s worth out of this thing if they held it for 3 generations.

    • D700guy

      Typo (D800e)

      • Exactly, D700guy. When you ultimately look at the lenses, you have to do a cost-analysis. Will the expenditure give you the shots you want (can you get in close enough to the subject that you’re shooting with that lens)? The reasoning behind the 800mm is that the lens hadn’t been updated in near 3 decades – the 800mm would be worthwhile (addition of the AF-S and VR as well as FL glass (significantly improved optics) + the dedicated TC) purchase – however outside of a lotto win, that lens isn’t in my financial budget. My next purchase will be the 300mm f/2.8 VRII and that’s the extent of my super-telephoto purchases (I’ll concentrate on a 2.8 wideangle and superwide for landscapes). I’m resisting the urge to become a gearhead which would not be financially possible unless I won the Lotto.

        • D700guy

          That’s the lens I bought. The 300mm f2.8. It’s a fairly usable lens for all around photography. I do portraits, I dont shoot sports or wildlife. But the 300mm is a focal length that you could use it for all the above, and with a teleconverter it becomes a 420mm or a 600mm.

    • peterw

      Sony doesn’t sell a 400 F2,8.
      What is your point about this lens? You have no use for it, or you would have the lens allready.

  • Danny Hernandez

    What was wrong with the original? I see no measurable improvement, to warrant the cost increase… How about something different for once? Waddabout a 400mm f5.6 VR lens, Nikon? A nice light, sharp, fixed focal length lens for those on the go… You can even charge more than Canon does and I would buy one in a heartbeat.

  • DMT

    It appears that the entire super-tele line is being refreshed with the tech that’s in the 800 VR…and trust me it’s a BIG upgrade. Fastest AF of any Nikkor, better and also *silent* VR, electronic diaphragm (for exposure accuracy), fluorite glass for less weight, better weather resistance, much improved balance and physical design, optimized for the new teleconverters (with virtually *no* quality drop-off, and even sharper/better optics (including the corners wide-open). The D4S with the 800 performs like no other Nikon camera/lens combo. My only hope is that this will eventually be incorporated into all the pro zooms as well.

    Those that don’t appreciate/understand these very significant improvements (or think the price is absurd) are simply not in the target market.

    Huge home run here for Nikon (along with the pros using this new equipment) and very clever marketing strategy that will help shore up their bottom line. Nikon’s product line, especially at the pro level, continues to get more and more exciting.

    • <—- Well, I guess I'm not in the target market then. Because I can think of quite a few other lenses I'd rather have than a FL VR 400mm f/2.8.

      • DMT

        Like a 500 f4.0 FL VR in the coming months? Or 300 f2.8 FL VR? These are all specialized and expensive lenses for sure. Again, hopefully the new tech trickles down to the pro zooms. The 400 makes the most sense for Nikon to start with for the pro market.

        Disclosure: I’m in the target market but did not order the lens…did order the new TC 14E III today to replace my TC 14E II, however, and already recently replaced my 500 and 300 with the 800 and 200-400 VR II. An FL version of the 200 f2.0 would probably hold the greatest interest for me at the moment….especially with reduced weight and improved balance.

  • MB

    One of the best lens just got better, lighter and it seams with improved tripod collar … what’s not to like … maybe the price is a bit steep but if you need one this is it …

  • Colin Robinson

    In the USA the list price is $11,996.95, or in UK currency £7158 at today’s exchange rate.

    UK list price £10399!! ( $17433 !)

    Even importing it legally from US and paying customs duty at 6.7% and 20% Value Added Tax, it works out at about £8367 ($14029) leaving an EXTRA £2032 ($ 3045) profit over what Nikon already make per lens in the US .

    Don’t suppose anyone from nikon will justify this?

    • broxibear

      The difference doesn’t just go to Nikon, the retailers and the taxman also take their share. The UK is fairly small market so the economies of scale for Nikon UK aren’t as favourable as they are for Nikon USA. This is a lens aimed squarely at professionals though so the only UK users who will pay full price will be rich amateurs, professional users will be able to reclaim the VAT which reduces to price to around £8400.

      Unfortunately electronics manufacturers all sell their products cheaper in the US compared with Europe. This isn’t a problem that is confined to Nikon, sadly it is something that we have to live with in the UK!

      • broxibear

        Just to point out that this poster is pretending to be me…I didn’t post this Colin.

        • I deleted it.

          • broxibear

            Thanks…I wonder if it’s the same fool from before, lol.
            What was he/she/it saying last time ?…that the D4s wasn’t coming out and we were all talking garbage ?, lol.

            • broxibear

              No, I’m broxibear! Mon the Gers!

            • broxibear

              No, I’m broxibear!

            • broxibear

              No, I’m broxibear!

            • broxibear

              We’re all broxibear at heart!

    • Nike Rumours

      You can knock 20% of that price straight away, reclaim the VAT as a business expense.

  • Tony

    No Lens Hood? No Buy!

  • koenshaku

    The 70-200mm 2.8 can use a refresh now also with the VRIII and the new fancy fluorite elements.

  • Photobug

    I see a new replacement foot coming from RRS. Boy is that going to cost an arm and a leg!

    Just think what the 300mm F2.8 is going to cost.

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