New Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4E ED VR lens rumored to be announced at the of 2017

Nikon is rumored to announce a new Nikkor AF-S 200-400mm f/4E ED VR lens towards the end of 2017. The lens will be equipped with a built-in 1.4x extender just like the latest Canon version. Optical quality is expected to be extremely high and so will be the price (the current models is priced at $6,996.95). The new lens will mainly be targeted at sports photographers. Shipping should start before the 2018 FIFA World Cup that will take place in Russia from June 14th to July 15th, 2018.

The 200-400mm has been on the list of lenses that will get updated with a fluorite element (FL). I will have more information on this in the coming months.

Two more Nikkor lenses are rumored to be announced this year (I expected 5 new lenses, 3 were already announced). One of them could be the Nikkor AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR full frame lens and the second should be the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4E ED VR.

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  • doge

    $8k. I bet it’s significantly lighter and smaller too.

    • Chris

      The Canon one is over €12k over here and the Nikon won’t be any cheaper.

      • doge

        damn. Easily over 10k for the Nikon then.

        • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

          quite exciting with possible optical improvement including use of FL elements and switching between 200-400 F4 to 280 – 560 F5.6 and vice versa

      • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

        probably the same or a bit more, expect the same with d820/50 the same price as canon 5d mk 4 or a bit more around $3999 / £3999

        • ITN

          D8x0 have always been less expensive than the corresponding 5D series models at the time, I would not expect this to change. It’s part of their competitive advantage. Canon have other advantages.

          • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

            Thanks hope so and £2999 upon entry code be a good launch price with the price to fall later.

            As D810 is still an excellent camera be good if Nikon can still produce this abeit slightly lower price until stock and supply, e.g., sensor runs out.

      • Brett A. Wheeler

        The Canon has a built-in 1.4x multiplier.

        • Chris

          I thought I read somewhere this rumoured lens has a built-in 1.4x multiplier as well.

        • Re-read the OP…

    • Bob Thane

      I wish… With the older Canon being more expensive, and Nikon’s FL lenses being pricier than Canon counterparts, could be anywhere from 10-14k. I’m a little scared, to be honest – but it should still be a great lens for those who can afford it.

      • ITN

        Since Nikon could make the current 200-400 for much less, and they have the 200-500/5.6 as well at a very affordable price, it is possible Nikon will try to compete with the Canon 200-400 on price and quality. They need a star performer which is price competitive to regain some of the lost market share from Canon.

        • Cm

          When it comes to this range of lenses they don’t have to compete , the 200-400 f4 they have now already is super fast and great quality , the people who are wildlife and some sports photogs will buy this either way as it is something new.

          • I won’t, I am a sports photographer with a glossy magazine, I shoot at most venues such as Silverstone, Brands, Donnington etc and I have never seen a pro with a 200-400, the days are gone where papers and magazines supplied gear, we all use our own, perhaps the top top new outlets may supply rented lenses/bodies but may pros are still using D300’s etc. I use my D4s’s and D810s but with the 80-400 and Sigma 150-600 sport, and the 200-400 range is far too limiting

            • Thom Hogan

              But the new version’s range is 200-560mm. That was what made the Canon version so versatile. I hate giving up the stop myself. I tend to shoot at 200mm f/2 and 400mm f/2.8 for most sports I’d use the 200-400mm at, but I can definitely see some wanting to use this new lens. I’d certainly try it out.

          • ITN

            It used to be that sports photographers could pick the long glass from the newspaper’s lens pool but today most staff photographer positions have been terminated and the photographers have to work freelance. This means they have to own their own equipment and they can’t use gear borrowed from the paper. The pay is not that great and they may have to do all kinds of jobs to make ends meet. Most of these photographers use the supertelephoto lenses they have had for a long time and aren’t going to upgrade to a new version without a very compelling advantage. I know several people who use first version AF-S Nikkors or their Canon equivalents as their long lenses and have no plans of getting newer versions simply because it doesn’t make financial sense to do that. Photography is a low income profession.

            In the end I believe that if Nikon prices their new 200-400/4 similarly to Canon’s 12k€ zoom, most potential buyers are not going to go ahead with the purchase. This is because the money is better spent on a faster prime lens. There will be some who rent the zoom but in many areas of the world, rental is not available. I think Nikon should price the new zoom at 8-9k€ and not 10-12k€ if they want to make a success out of it.

        • Bob Thane

          I really hope so. If this is under $10k and performs as well or better than the Canon it’d certainly make a statement, and you’d see a lot of them on the sidelines of sporting events (so hopefully it’s distinctive!). I’m not betting on it, as the trend lately has had prices increase dramatically with quality, but you do raise a decent possibility and I’ll certainly cross my fingers for it.

  • So no new 300/2. 8 this year? I should go and get a used one then.

    • I use the VR version, hell of a lens.

      • I was dreaming about lighter (at least a pound) version like canon’s

        • Gearsau

          Just take up some weight lifting for a while. It helps.

    • Mridul baruah

      Exactly my thought….

      • If the new one come out older versions will go even cheaper..

    • ambient_exposure

      still happy with my snappy af-s ii – always attached to a monopod in the field, but i support with my elbow on the grass when shooting outdoor dog sports – hellagood glass

      • Afs-ii doesn’t support tc-14e iii. I ha e to buy back by tc-14e ii 🙁

        • ambient_exposure

          🙁 don’t use it but thanks for the advice so i don’t future smack myself again – sorry

    • T.I.M

      try the af-s 300mm f/4G pf vr

    • Wilson

      I think there still will be a release of a 200mm f2 and 300mm 2.8 coming with the release of the new cameras this summer

  • Nice! It’s about time too, that lens needed an update. Just hope the price isn’t too insane (although I wouldn’t be surprised if it was pricier than the Canon version).

    • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

      probably on par.

    • Sadly its very much in the staring at it while its behind glass and dreaming price bracket. I can barely afford a 70-300! Nice to see Nikon updating their quality optics though.

    • Ryan

      Hi Steve, this morning I had 2 Nikon 300 f4 PF lenses with me and need to send back both 🙁 both have serial numbers 226xxx and 227xxx but still have the VR issues on my D810 and D750. Maybe this 200-400 may be the answer? Or should I try for a third PF? What do you think? This 200-400 will be heavy though!

      • ITN

        The 300/2.8 is really nice.

        • Ryan

          Thanks ITN, I’m trying to get a light option hence the 300 f4 PF, but it seems a challenge to find a good PF. I’ve tested 3 so far. I have an opportunity to buy a 300 f2.8D and seriously considered it but it’s almost 3kg! I workout 5 days a week so don’t think I need to workout more with this f2.8 lens ha

          • ITN

            Both Nikon and Canon 200-400/4 are heavier than the 300/2.8 …

            I enjoy the 300 PF even though sometimes it can be that one gets a blurry shot with the VR engaged and in that case one can try with VR OFF. I just try to stick to fast shutter speeds and don’t worry about it.

            • Ryan

              Yes this is true but considered the possibility the new 200-400 may be lighter. I guess that’s just called wishing! I got incrediblely sharp shots with the PF at 1/6 so it’s a shame it doesn’t work between the specific range as I like taking helicopter shots at times. Not sure I want to pay £1470 for a lens that has an isssue though. However it seems better shooting vertically but who wants to take all of that into consideration while shooting. You may be right about the 300 2.8, I’ll just give the PF one more try!

            • ITN

              Yes, when photographing helicopters it can be difficult to get a perfectly sharp aircraft with the right amount of blur on the rotating parts. I find that with some practice it is possible to get some sharp ones by shooting several frames, but if you really have a bad copy of the 300 PF then this might not work (if you see a double image every time then it has something wrong). My lens doesn’t give a double image. Despite its flaws it is one of my most used lenses. I think the solution if you want a better 300 is to buy the VR 300/2.8 or VR II. It is still hand holdable and one of Nikon’s very best lenses.

              If the new 200-400/4 includes a built in teleconverter and the chassis to hold it while not in use and the mechanical system to insert it and remove it from the optical path easily, then this adds weight to the lens.

            • Ryan

              Yes ITN, my 2 copies gave double images almost ever shot in this range. I thought it was me but got superb shots well under 1/80 hand held almost 100% so knew there was a flaw. Will test out another copy this Friday! Fingers crossed!

      • All I know is that the VR on the 300 PF is a bit odd. It seems to have problems with some configurations and not others (esp. gripped / non-gripped cameras – sometimes the grip helps, sometimes it hurts). Shutter speeds also seem to play a role, but that seems to vary by configuration a bit as well. I try to stay out of the 1/60th ~250th range. However, I also tend to shut off VR on that lens once I’m north of 1/500th and seldom use the lens at speeds slower than 1/60th – so it renders the VR more or less useless for me.

        As a side note, the VR went out on my 300 PF, sent it in for repair, all fixed – but still finicky as ever. I hate to say it, but I think it may just be the way it is for that lens. The next version of the lens will likely be the “fix” for it…

        • Ryan

          Thank you for all the info Steve! That’s a shame that the VR went out on your PF already! Says something about the quality control. My 70-200 f2.8 VRII has been through a lot and the VR still works flawlessly. I will have one more go this Friday at an actually store and if it works, then I’ll get it immediately. Thanks again!

          • I think my VR going out was probably just a fluke – I really haven’t heard of anyone else having a problem. I can be rough on my stuff to LOL.

  • Elbert Jan Achterberg

    This could be great lens I had the first version it was great for near objects (birds), not so great for things farther away (deer) but unbeatable for flexibility. Now I have a 300/2.8 and 500/4 and always have to decide which one to take (luxury problem)

    • An American in Canada

      I have the current version and have very similar feelings regarding IQ shooting distant vs. close subjects. Great for close up small subjects, even better for mid-range larger subjects (i.e. sports), and brutal with anything far away.

      • Thom Hogan

        As I reported in my review, both versions seem to have the same liability: a lack of acuity at distance. To some degree, all the Nikon exotics tip towards near versus infinity in acuity, but the 200-400mm just is–as you put it–brutal on fine detail at distance. But at close distances, the opposite is true: I’ve not seen a better telephoto optic from Nikon at closest focus distance.

  • paulski

    Isn’t the Canon version $11,000? Ouch…

    • Shutterbug

      It includes a built in TC too, but yes it is grossly overpriced.

      • paulski

        Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. The Canon version with built-in tc, is $11,000. The new Nikon version has a built in tc. Ergo…expect a significant price bump, kids.

        • Ray Justice

          Nikon will try to keep under the Canon version so look for $10,995.00…

  • sickheadache

    Dear Peter who runs this site…What Month and pert near date can I get excited about that D810 Replacement? Thanks

    • late July or August – I have a post coming on that, still no exact date

      • Hector Gonzalez

        What about a Full Frame mirrorles? maybe the DFII or DM any news would be appreciated

        • not anytime soon – late 2017 or 2018

          • Hector Gonzalez

            ; ( thank for the quick update
            keep up the good work, I really enjoy reading Nikon Rumors

            • thanks for being a reader!

          • animalsbybarry

            I am interested in the D820 or the mirrorless FF if it is high resolution too

            I will not however buy both

            I have to wonder what camera more NR readers would buy

            If these 3 cameras each had the same sensor (46mp, 60mp, 70mp ???

            Would NR readers prefer

            D820….SLR
            A9 alike FF high res mirrorless ( global shutter, flicker free EVF)
            Hybrid ( DSLR with EVF and OVF and full A9 alike functions in live view…..but more expensive than the other 2 alternatives ) ????

            • Thom Hogan

              Nikon isn’t foolish enough to launch side by side DSLR and mirrorless cameras that might target the same customer. They’ll maximize from one before introducing the other.

              So what’s going to happen is that you’re going to see a D820 and have to decide whether to buy. It’ll be a significant wait before we’d see a full frame mirrorless that might be competitive with that. At least a year, maybe more depending upon how Nikon targets mirrorless.

            • animalsbybarry

              I understand your point about not wanting to compete against thier own camera
              But…. launching the basically same camera in mirrorless and DSLR versions would reduce the development cost ( many of the same components and technology can be used) and allow Nikonto see what costomers preffer.

              Nikon is in an economic downside, and waiting “at least a year” to introduce a FF mirrorless camera may very well be a year that Nikon does not have and cannot afford

              Nikon needs to reverse its market share decline sooner rather than later

            • Thom Hogan

              I’ll tell you what my boss would tell me if I proposed such an idea (two versions and see which sticks): “you’re doubling R&D costs to achieve the same sales result.”

              Nikon is so tightly wound around accounting there’s no way they’d ever attempt something like that other than out of complete desperation.

              It’s ironic that I–who have for so long outlined Nikon’s product mistakes–find myself in the position of defending them on mirrorless.

              Simply put, Nikon has one chance at serious mirrorless. Putting something out before it is ready, before it is class beating, before it is refined, will kill Nikon faster than anything else. Being late with a really great mirrorless product is better.

              It’s better because the legacy lens overhang can and will win them back customers if Nikon does it right.

              The comparative here is the D1. Nikon got trounced by Canon in the 90’s and probably would have been the next film camera company to go underwater had digital not came. The F5, while a tour de force of engineering, was a market dud, and had launch issues that made the dud into a thud. The D1 completely reversed Nikon’s fortunes. But boy it was a close call, because the D1 had serious issues. Fortunately, Nikon very quickly addressed those with the D1h/D1x.

              But the D1 was “first.” This time around Nikon will be “last.” There’s no margin for error in that. If Nikon gets serious mirrorless wrong, all hell breaks lose for them.

              “Wrong” means anything less than an A7 in all aspects of performance. And not the original A7, but whatever is current when Nikon launches.

              So, what Nikon needs is an M1. An M1 that makes all us DSLR users go “wow.” That’s not coming in 2017. What does come, comes in 2018. Let’s hope it’s an wow M1.

            • Eric Calabros

              how a wow is possible from a company that has to buy sensors from a sensor maker that aims to wow with its own imaging department? I don’t know how that could be “current” sensor-wise in a Sony dominated sensor-tech space, and how could be current video-wise in Canon dominated video-tech space. We are expecting them do things for M1 that they could do for (at least flagship) DSLRs, but didn’t or failed to implement correctly.

            • Thom Hogan

              And yet Nikon has done exactly that multiple times in 18 years.

            • Allan

              Here’s hoping for 19 years.

            • I agree 100%, all previous mirrorless cameras were not perfect and they all had some kind of a disadvantage. Just in the past few months we started seeing mirrorless cameras with improved EVF, AF, battery life, etc. I can see why Nikon waited that long.
              I should make a separate guest post out of you comment Thom, people need to understand that.

            • Thom Hogan

              That’s the monopolist/duopolist advantage: you can let competitors churn through and prove what really works in the market shift. In essence, you get free research while milking your cow.

              Now, here’s the tough part: you need to understand what you learned and do it right, or else you will find yourself going from leader of the pack to back of the pack or worse. A lot of companies have succeeded in milking their old product but, despite seeing the shift clearly, missing when their products tried to shift. A few just denied the shift and then didn’t survive at all. If you look through the computer industry, you see example after example of these. Somehow, HP has just managed to stay relevant and large. Others, like DEC were absorbed by a competitor they underestimated.

            • pami

              …with one of the best OS ever (DEC)…

            • Allan

              You wrote what Nikon needs to do stay competitive today.

              I note that you didn’t speculate if Nikon will (not “can”) produce a “wow”.

            • Thom Hogan

              That’s an astute observation.

              I know for a fact that Nikon can produce a wow. As I’ve written many times, at the engineering level they have the talent, resources, and innovation to do so. A bit less than they used to due to retirements and even some personnel grabs by others. But plenty of what they need still remains in the building(s).

              It’s the “will they” thing that has everyone spooked. Nikon has made enough market miscues and waited long enough that even people who have faith in them are getting nervous. Many of us wonder out loud whether they could actual manage to market a wow even if they produced it.

              So what I say is this: I know enough to know that mirrorless NIkon is coming. I don’t see any technical reason why that can’t be great and keep me using Nikkors. The ball is in Nikon’s court, though. They’ve got a lot to do beyond just making a great camera.

            • Allan

              Thanks for your insights.

              I hope you have a restful July.

            • Thom Hogan

              Oh, it won’t be restful physically. But mentally, sure ;~).

            • Ushanas Trivedi

              Though I feel, Nikon may first try with DX Mirrorless as It will have lower implications if there are few teething issues. With that learning curve, they will have better capabilities to create Wow FF Mirrorless. I know they have some experience with Nikon1 but this is a different ball game. I believe that’s why they have few AF-P glasses out first for DX.

            • Thom Hogan

              That’s very possible. But that would put them two years behind Canon, basically. The odds are that Nikon would introduce a Nikon M into a Canon FM, which would generate just another series of Internet negativity.

              Moreover, the issue is very tricky now for Nikon. They’ve lost all momentum in the low DSLR line, so replacing that with mirrorless might help with that, but they’re being attacked now in the full frame line, currently by Sony and soon by a Canon mirrorless option. So this is one of those leaking dike problems. You can stick your finger in one hole but another hole pops up.

              What I wrote is what I believe: Nikon needs a “wow.” Anything short of that and the downhill slide is likely to continue.

            • Jason Joyce

              Between the N1 & CoolPix A Nikon has had all the tech to produce a mirror less DX/FX for years.

            • Peter

              I agree 95%. But Nikon is not last they were first to fail with Nikon 1. Hope they learned from their own experience…

            • This is true if they make the mirrorless a high MP camera. Somehow I don’t think they will do that. They will probably go with a 24MP sensor.

            • Thom Hogan

              As I note elsewhere, Nikon has to make a “wow” somehow. Using a 24mp sensor ups the wow ante, as that means they’re competing against the A7III and A9.

          • sickheadache

            While they are snoozing Sony is making …wait. never mind.

        • Shutterbug

          Consensus on the mirrorless is that both Nikon and Canon have plans for large sensor mirrorless in 1H 2018 – but still just a rumor.

          • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

            be good if it could be with the Df styled body

          • yes, that’s what I am hearing as well

            • br0xibear

              Let’s hope it isn’t using an XQD slot…

              “Micron, the parent company of Lexar, is announcing that the entire Lexar removable storage retail business is being shuttered.”
              https://petapixel.com/2017/06/27/r-p-lexar-memory-cards/
              https://www.micron.com/about/blogs/2017/june/micron-discontinuing-lexar-removable-storage-retail-business

              Sony are now the only company making XQD cards, that’s not good for Nikon or customers.

            • Allan

              Why doesn’t SanDisk make XQD cards?

            • br0xibear

              They never really gave a proper answer to that question, beyond wanting to concentrate on CFast, CF and SD. I’m sure if there was enough money in it they would have made them…but considering only a few Nikon DSLRs and Sony Video cameras use XQD, it probably didn’t make any financial sense ?
              It’ll be interesting to see if another company buys the Lexar brand.

            • I bet Sony asked for too much $$$

            • ITN

              Since Sandisk took part in the XQD specification design, I doubt they’d have to pay Sony anything to use it in a product. I guess the problem was the small expected volume of sales. This may have changed with the D500 and future D820.

            • Allan

              Thanks.

            • ITN

              CFast isn’t widely used, either. At the time Sandisk decided not to make XQD cards there was no mass market D500 which uses the format now. Perhaps someone will buy Lexar, or Sandisk could start making XQD cards if Nikon sell enough cameras to justify it. Nonetheless Sony keeps making XQD though the prices may go up a bit due to reduced competition.

            • Thom Hogan

              Almost certainly someone will try to pick up Lexar. The real question is what that does to the economics. Being one step removed from the memory source adds costs and complexity.

            • Thom Hogan

              True. But CFast was SanDisk’s response to dropping out of the XQD consortium. My guess is that they were spooked by Sony and got a willing partner in Canon. Sony still hasn’t committed their video gear to XQD. Meanwhile, Canon has done more adoption of CFast than Sony has done XQD.

            • Hans98Ko

              Too little cameras using XQD and none of Sony’s own cameras using it. What I meant is still camera like their very own so call sports camera A9 that jerks like a kangaroo while panning. Yes, they did advertised for no blackout but didn’t for no jerking.
              The next thing is even I have a D500 since the beginning of the year, I only have 1 miserable 64GB XQD just in case I need the extra space and speed, the rest is taken care of by 300MB/s Extreme Pro SDHC cards. So how is Sony or any other companies going to make money out of it?

            • ITN

              Sony uses XQD in a few of their video cameras and they would have done well to use it in the A9 which seems to take a long time to write a full burst on the card (and it does not give users access to menu while it is writing).

            • Eric Calabros

              CFexpress is likely compatible with that XQD slot. So its good to have it.

            • Scott M.

              Just purchased an additional D500 and extra Lexar 64 XQD card to go with it. I now have 4 of these great cards (440/2900).
              Maybe Lexar will just get purchased by another company? Or prices will drop and I will get them while they last. Never tried the Sony version.

        • I’m thinking two styles, s mount range finder for small and retro, and d800 like body mirrorless with f mount. That would cause a splash on the market, which surely Nikon needs.

          • Hector Gonzalez

            I would love a mirrorles retro look with an f mount that can compete with the A9
            Want silent shutter, great AF, speed (12 ips) dynamic range and low light capabilities with a 20-30mb FF sensor, great batery life and 2 memory card slots to shoot weddings. Fuji X-T2 almost nailed it.
            Mirrorles is the future in my mind, Sony is bringing the technology, too bad they make computer style cameras, Nikon can splash with a FF hybrid design, better custom buttons and orgonimics
            I am not the only one waiting for it Nikon, make it happen before it’s too late

            • Personally i think the retro style street camera only works with small glass hence my thought on the s mount with this tiny little lenses, small primes for street and portrait photography. That way nikon dont have to release too many lenses, the camera wouldnt be designed as a total focal length solution just wide to short tele.
              The f mount mirrorless could be big and beefy with a big grip for those big teles and use the entire lens line up.
              There are more advantages to loosing the mirror then just size(and disadvantages, I love a mirror personally). Interestingly cannon are getting heat about avoiding 4k in their new cameras again, so its not just Nikon getting flamed all the time!

      • Thom Hogan

        That’s what I hear, too. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an August announce, late September launch at this point.

        • Yes, this seems to be the plan for now.

    • T.I.M

      before August 21st

  • Shutterbug

    With how good the 200-500 is, nice to see this one getting an update too.

  • Nikos Delhanidis

    10k 280-560 F/5.6 ….

    • Thom Hogan

      Actually, 200-560mm f/4-5.6, with the ability to choose where the f/5.6 kicks in.

  • The 80-400 I’m using is so good that I’m not sold on paying 5x the price for a one stop improvement and much bigger size and weight …

    • Eric Calabros

      One stop is critical in some sport events.

      • Thom Hogan

        Absolutely. But so is flexibility.

        What I found with the Canon version of the 200-400mm with TC is that I liked it best with sports venues where I was in a fixed position (baseball, soccer), not nearly as much as when I was able to roam (football).

      • True, but I would think much less so than when the previous lens was developed. I get usable results up to at least ISO 25600 (sometimes even 51200) on my Nikon D5 and it would actually be cheaper to get a D5 than to buy that lens over the 80-400. Smaller, lighter and more flexible, too. Alas, the D500 doesn’t do nearly as well at ultra-high ISO and was a bit of a disappointment to me in that, so if you need the longer reach of 600mm equivalent and f/4, you would still need the new lens.

  • Mac

    Maybe Sigma and/or Tamron will eventually produce a lens like this at a substantially lower price. They’re good at that without sacrificing too much (sometimes not sacrificing anything) from a performance standpoint.

    • Spy Black

      ‘Po boys will be using the new Tamton 150-600.

      • Mac

        That’s me, though I’ll be using the Sigma Sport 150-600 instead. 🙂

        • Spy Black

          I’ll assume you already own the Sigma, the new Tamron is reportedly lighter, and roughly on par optically.

          • Mac

            I have rented the Sigma Sport 150-600 and liked it very much. I have not tried the Tamron 150-600 but maybe I should. I do like the fact that the Tamron is lighter.

    • Nikos Delhanidis

      sigma & tamron don’t have a reason to make a 200-400 F/4. Its a functionally weird or very specialized zoom range that is almost not zoom enough to justify its existence, not for the masses at least (which is the market of Sigma & Tamron). Having the much more usable 150-600s and 100-400, with image quality comparable to the VR1 & VR2 versions of 200-400 at a fraction of the cost (minus of course a stop) Sigmaron more than cover the needs of their audience leaving no space for a 200-400 even if its F/4 and costs 4000 (they would certainly skip the integration of a TC, to keep the cost lower, while the current 1.4 sigma TC is cheap and excellent) . Also the 200-400 F/4 was a possible choice until few years ago because of the lack of other choices for a decent quality glass in the range of 500-600 that wouldn’t cost 8000+

      This is most probably one of those “because i can” products Nikon (& Canon) are producing mainly for prestige anymore ?

      • Mac

        Yes, what you’re saying makes sense. Thanks.

      • Spy Black

        Sigmaron. I like that. Canikon need to move over and make some room…

      • sickheadache

        Coming Soon…Sigma 200-400…so much for your Gone With The Wind Explanation. lol

        • silmasan

          Hey.. let them do the 200 f/2 OS first!

          • Bob Thane

            They did a 135mm f1.8, might as well do a 200mm f1.8…

        • Spy Black

          Where did you hear of that? A quick search around the web turned up nothing. There’s an f/5.6 Tamron from some years back that turned up, but that’s about it.

  • Where is that damn 17-35???

  • An American in Canada

    Currently own the VRII version and adore the lens. I often shoot it with a 1.4 TC and it performs very well for a TCed zoom, although the distant subject issues are certainly exacerbated with the TC. I really hope the update will provide more consistent IQ throughout all uses/subject matter so it matches the flexibility of the focal range – as well as being smaller, lighter, and better wide open (although the current version is pretty stellar at f4). Prices on the VRII version are already plummeting in local used markets, and I can’t image what this update will do to that trend. I’m already out of the running as I just took mine in for a full overhaul this afternoon – not gonna be cheap!

  • Ben

    It’s Slightly smaller but each year the world is facing stricter and stricter airline regulations. One has to wonder what Professionals will be using in the future to travel to events such as the World Cup without having to jump through hoops.
    Maybe rental companies will make out but I just don’t see this stuff making the cut anymore as easily as it used to be.

    • T.I.M

      I just watched Star wars IV in bluray, 40 years later that movie still look great, special effects were ahead of time, incredible.

      • Ben

        I agree! I always have a soft spot for IV. I often think modern movies can be overkill in the special FX department. It’s amazing what they did back then.

        • Hans98Ko

          Hmmm…didn’t they make those movies using film? Even the very best of today’s digital video cam cannot compete with those film cameras on Large screen. Check it out with a 100″ or 200″ display, and look out for trailing residues and white noise for latest 4K video.

        • Ric of The LBC

          Indeed. The Transformer movies are a good example

      • Ric of The LBC

        but don’t the added scenes and FX piss you off? They do me. Jabba was a man!

        • nwcs

          Han shot first

          • Ric of The LBC

            Hell ya he did.

    • Hans98Ko

      So true about airlines restrictions.
      I’m traveling to Europe tonight for about a month and really having difficulty packing my carry-on gears. A couple of still cameras and a couple of video cameras plus all those stuff that one cannot check-in without breaking. This is why I dislike bulk and weight, but at the same time like equipment made with alloys. For the past year or so most of my cameras and lenses that goes into Nikon for repair are due to broken plastic motor gears causing jams, broken plastic lens barrels due to bums, broken plastic camera body parts, and that is why I am seriously looking for alternative gears from other manufacturers.

      • Ben

        I have come to grips with traveling and camera gear. You have to accept compromises for a smaller package. Cameras are good enough nowadays where you can pick and choose when to use certain gear. I currently use an Olympus for going small, light and fast. I tried an entry level Nikon DSLR but, in my opinion it’s too stripped down. It’s just not an enjoyable camera to use.
        Nikon needs this type of camera and they need it fast.

        • Hans98Ko

          I do understand what you meant by coming to terms with compromise, but for serious work like covering the 2017 G20 Summit in Frankfurt or doing product advertisements and tourism for billboards, can’t do it even if one have a mobile phone, pocket camera or Micro Four Third.

          • Ben

            Yep, those needs are in a different tier of gear requirement.

  • animalsbybarry

    I have the current version
    It is an excellent lens but very big and heavy

    I have been using it with the 1.4x iii and 2.0x iii

    I recently purchased the Tamron 150-600 f5.6-6.3 and the new Tamron 1.4x teleconverter

    The quality of the Nikon 400 and 2x ( 800mm f8) seems to be reasonably close to the Tamron 600mm and 1.4x( 840mm F9 ) giving me 1260mm equivalent on the D500

    The lens is much much lighter , smaller (and less expensive) so I have primarily been using the Tamron

    Here is a sample picture https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0d40670995e576309b2fc4f44bb4a14ab0e79d65fe477b01c2be5eec91ef62d2.jpg

  • Pablo And-Jennifer Gabetta

    I’m sorry to bring it up, again, but… (with caps on)
    WHERE IS MY D850!!!!!!!????????
    Thank you.

    • T.I.M

      on the ship in the Panama canal.

  • Ric of The LBC

    Will Trump get preferred WC tickets. 🙂

  • Charles

    Wow! That’s GREAT News. The current version was getting pretty long in the tooth and needed updated. I bet they got the long end fixed.

  • nwcs

    I’ve always liked the 200-400 except at distance. When it nailed a shot it was beautiful. After 4 years I said goodbye to it. Maybe this will call me from afar again? I’m open to it, Nikon. Wow me!

    • catinhat

      I don’t know what distances people are talking about here. This is meant to be a sports lens, and if you are shooting sports at over 40 or 50 yards, you should probably move into a better position. Otherwise the existing lens is entirely up to snuff although heavy and awkwardly long for transportation.

      • nwcs

        I don’t think it’s meant solely as a sports lens. It’s often used for larger animals, safaris, and for certain larger wildlife. What I, and others, have found is that when you’re looking at 75-100 feet or further the lens disappoints vs the extreme pleasure of closer targets.

        Yes, ideally being in a better position for any shot is good but that’s not always practical or possible.

  • animalsbybarry

    I just upgraded my equipment for this season, and neither the D820 or the FF mirrorless will be available before the fall

    Therefore I will not be upgrading again till next spring

    I plan to wait and compare the A7Riii/A9R(Sony) the D820(Nikon) and the FF mirrorless Nikon before deciding which new camera I will get next

    Naturally the availability of the lenses I want will also be an important factor in which camera I get

  • Brett A. Wheeler

    Let’s hope that Nikon fixes the softness at the long end. That’s ultimately what stopped me from buying one and opting for the 300 f/2.8G VR instead.

  • bobgrant

    This better be a GREAT lens since the sharper 200-500 VR is far less money and has replaced previous versions for some shooter (myself included).

  • saywhatuwill

    “The new lens will mainly be targeted at sports photographers.” Sports photographers using the Sony A9? LOL

    Well, I guess we definitely won’t be getting that 400mm f/5.6 after all.

    • Nikos Delhanidis

      Probably never from Nikon

    • nwcs

      That wasn’t going to happen with the 300 f4 PF here in any case. Now a 500 f5.6 PF would be nice…

  • Julian Shen

    Other than 1.4x bulit in, 200-500/5.6 is doing just about the same ….. /sigh

  • Aldo

    or buy the new 70-200mm E plus the 2x teleconverter @ f5.6 and save 5000 dollars

    • Nikos Delhanidis

      This will neither give the image quality of even the current 200-400 (by far) nor the AF speed someone who wants a 400mm needs . There are much more sense making choices for someone who wants a 400 (or zoom 400) but not the exotic price.

  • Ferdinand

    Pro-Sports lens means Pro Body next yeahh baby!

  • NikMan

    been waiting for this update, …. can’t tell you how many times I ran around with the VR2 and a 1.4x in my pocket, ….. I hate switching that thing out, ….. NICE!

  • Stephen Gatley

    Oh god I just don’t see the point in this lens existing grab a 300mm 2.8/4E & 200-500 5.6E this style of lens is redundant with ISO these days!

    • Maybe the advantage would be to have 200-400 mm with built-in Teleconverter but the aperture still f/4 wide open. At least Canon is having such a lens here:

      http://www.canon.de/lenses/ef-200-400mm-f-4l-is-usm-extender-1-4x-lens/

    • nwcs

      Suffice to say you’re not the target market.

    • Mike

      I was about to say the same. With D5 ISO abilities that extra stop is diminished vs the weight savings and reach of the 200-500. However, the built in teleconverter will be the selling point. Extra reach with zero time wasted or pixels wasted.

    • 200-500 is nice optically. But the AF walks like a snail. Besides 400/4 will give u much better bokeh..

      • bobgrant

        The AF of the 200-500 on a D5 or D810 is pretty good if the travel is not lock-to-lock and not much slower than the 200-400 I had for a while. The 200-500 is also light and small compared to the F4 zoom and bokeh is excellent. Obviously F4 has advantages, but I really think Nikon shot down some higher-end glass with the 200-500 VR. It’s THAT good. It sent my 200-400 packing and since I detest the focus breathing of the 80-400, it’s now my go-to long zoom.

    • Bob Thane

      If you shoot sports you’ll find that a 200-400 is much more useful than a 300mm + 200-500.

    • Shutterbug

      Then don’t buy it? For some, there is a big difference between F5.6 and F4 and also the AF speed when compared to the 200-500 (which is indeed a stellar lens). Exactly the same reasons someone might prefer a 500/4 over the long end of the 200-500/5.6.

  • ZoetMB

    DSLR is not dead. 2.37 DSLRs have been shipped for the first four months of the year and 1.36 million mirrorless. So if DSLR is dead, then mirrorless is also dead, although mirrorless is up 51% on the year and DSLRs are down 9%.

    • Thom Hogan

      The problem is that you built your infrastructure on making 25m cameras a year. Now you’re building 5m. In DSLRs for Nikon that would be something around 8m and 3m. By not participating in the mirrorless side, you’ve got unused infrastructure. When you have to write that down, suddenly all the negative financial indicators kill you as you now longer meet your loan requirements.

      Nikon is playing with a bit of fire here. They needed more camera volume, wherever it might have come from. They’ve done just the opposite in cancelling the DLs and retreating in KeyMission. I’m pretty sure that top management is looking at their dashboard and seeing a lot of yellow warning lights.

  • Thom Hogan

    The legacy lens lock is very simple: how much would it cost you to buy a completely new lens set (Sony FE)? If you have a serious Canon or Nikon lens set, it’s far, far less costly to just wait for them to build the camera body you need.

    Unfortunately, far too many people are impatient. I’ve already seen quite a few mirrorless jumpers who jumped back. Not as many as leaked permanently, but enough so that it’s clear that a lot of the “excitement” is just impatience, not need.

    • animalsbybarry

      I do not like to change lenses so I generally carry 3 cameras permanently attached to 3 lenses (although I do on rare occasions actually change lenses )
      So I am more concerned about a camera and lens than about a lens system… usually I only change lenses once when I buy a new camera or lens

    • Kevin

      Guilty. However, with the continuing improvements with the A9 and not a peep out of Nikon. The next jump, if it happens, will likely be permanent.

      • Thom Hogan

        What would that peep be? ;~)

        Sony’s moving target certainly makes the problem tougher for Nikon, but you’re still into a costly switch if you have to sell off F-mount and buy FE.

  • DSLR is dead? I thought you just bought one?

    • animalsbybarry

      Yes
      Both of your comments are correct

      And the D500 will probably be retired when the Nikon mirrorless comes out

      So by failing to to build a mirrorless camera Nikon is depending on people to buy a camera that they know will be replaced soon
      Not a good way to build market share

  • TwoStrayCats

    Now this I want. Of course I always want everything I can’t afford.

  • What is the speciality of such a lens if compared against the Nikon 200-500 mm f/5.6E and the Tamron and Sigma versions of their 150-600 mm?

    • Tony

      This has been covered in previous posts, but to summarise the differences will be:
      – f/4 against f/5.6
      – built-in teleconverter
      – faster AF
      – pro-build quality
      – (presumably) even better optical performance.
      And for all of that you will be charged a lot. Whether this is worth it or not for you will depend on your requirements (for me it is not). This is (or will be) a pro lens which will be normally be purchased with a clear objective in mind and for good business reasons.

      • JXVo

        Or bought by enthusiasts lucky enough to be able to afford it. The lens is a little short for birding on a FX body but is a great lens for medium to large wildlife. Quite popular locally as a safari lens.

    • RC Jenkins

      This lens is about stop faster than those lenses at the long end, meaning twice as much light per area from about 200-400mm.

      This also has much higher build quality and presumably better optics & AF speed.

    • JXVo

      Pro build quality, better glass and coatings, stiffer collar and foot, more powerful/faster AF, pro controls include programmable buttons on the lens for AF activation,AF position memory etc and the kicker is f4 across the full zoom range which offers you more leeway to shoot with lower ISO and faster shutterspeeds for better image quality. You can also use it with converters and retain AF.

      Problem is the current and previous versions are known for being a bit less than desirably sharp at longer focus distances.

      The 200-500 turned out to be very good for the price but is too slow to play nicely with converters. It will retain AF only with 1.4 converters on cameras capable of f8 AF and even then the AF will be limited to certain AF points and slower than normal.

  • Thom Hogan

    That depends upon the trend line. It’s not as if I can quit the company in your analogy ;~).

  • Jeffry De Meyer

    Wasn’t there like a worldcup in brasil last year?

  • If it’s as sharp as the 200-500mm (the old one isn’t!) then this is good news indeed! The 200-500mm is great, but it could focus faster.

  • borko61

    I owned 200-400mm lens 2years back…I was really happy with it twice…first when I bought it then when I sold it…
    Great lens for anything under 100 feet…past that image quality was poor..

  • AnotherView

    I’d be interested in this lens if the rumours are correct. Unfortunately I expect the price will be somewhere between “breathtaking” and “insane”, and I personally have no intentions of supporting Nikon’s Chapter 11 plans.

  • sickheadache

    According to SAR…sony has been working on that High MP camera for over 3 years now. Soon it will be released…and all will hail it…the mightiest of the mighty might cameras. All Hail Sony.

  • animalsbybarry

    I have been using my new Tamron 150-600 G2 with the new 1.4x
    To my eyes the image quality is actually BETTER than my Nikon 200-400 VR ii with Nikon 2x iii
    In discussions with some major camera retailers today, it appears that a lot of people are saying the Tamron is better ? Certainly it is lighter and less expensive
    Considering the price of the Nikon it should be a better lens than the Tammy
    Clearly Nikon needs to update its 200-400 to remain competitive

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