Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC 1.4 FL ED VR lens officially announced


The previously rumored Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC 1.4 FL ED VR full frame DSLR lens is now officially announced with Nikon's first built-in teleconverter. The US price is $12,399.95, UK price is £10,999. Pre-orders are now open at B&HAmazon and Adorama.

The new HK-41 lens hood for the 180-400mm is priced at $579, while the LC-K103 lens cap is $64.95, so don't lose them.

Primary features:

  • Super-telephoto zoom lens with coverage of a broad range of focal lengths beginning at 180 mm and extending to 560 mm when the built-in 1.4x teleconverter is used
  • Built-in 1.4x teleconverter which can easily be activated/deactivated while looking through the viewfinder:


  • Tripod collar ring that enables smooth switching between horizontal and vertical orientation
  • Zoom ring that is easily operated while holding onto the tripod collar
  • Adoption of a fluorite lens element and magnesium alloy has achieved a light weight of approximately 3,500 g/7 lb 11.4 oz
  • Dust- and drip-resistant structure that prevents dust and drops of water from entering the lens
  • Nikon's exclusive highly durable fluorine coat that effectively repels dust, water droplets, grease, and dirt
  • The latest optical design that includes the use of one fluorite lens element and eight ED glass elements for extremely sharp and detailed rendering that is compatible with high-pixel-count digital cameras
  • The latest optical design and the use of Nano Crystal Coat enable clear images in which ghost and flare are effectively suppressed
  • High maximum reproduction ratios with close-up shooting at telephoto positions (0.25x when the built-in teleconverter is not used, 0.36x when activated)
  • The exclusive design of this lens with a built-in teleconverter ensures optimal optical and AF performance
  • Electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism that enables stable exposure control
  • The VR mechanism offers camera shake compensation equivalent to a 4.0-stop increase in shutter speed in NORMAL mode; users can choose from NORMAL and SPORT modes:

Sample photos:

Lens design (without and with TC), weather sealing, MTF charts (click for larger view), technical specifications and full press release:

Mount Type: Type E AF-S lens with built-in CPU and F mount (1.4x TC built-in)
Focal Length Range: 180 - 400 mm With built-in TC 252-560 mm
Zoom Ratio: 2.2 x
Maximum Aperture: f/ 4 With built-in TC f/5.6
Minimum Aperture: f/ 32 With built-in TC f/45
Format: FX/35mm
Maximum Angle of View (DX-format): 9°
Minimum Angle of View (DX-format): 4°
Maximum Angle of View (DX-format) with built-in Teleconverter: 6°20'
Minimum Angle of View (DX-format) with built-in Teleconverter: 2°50'
Maximum Angle of View (FX-format): 13°40'
Minimum Angle of View (FX-format): 6°10'
Maximum Angle of View (FX-format) with built-in Teleconverter: 9°50'
Minimum Angle of View (FX-format) with built-in Teleconverter: 4°30'
Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 0.25x (at 400 mm)  0.36x (at 560 mm)
Lens Elements: 27
Built-in Teleconverter Lens Elements: 8
Lens Groups: 19
Built-in Teleconverter Lens Groups: 5
Compatible Format(s): FX DX
VR (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization: Yes
Diaphragm Blades: 9
Distance Information: Yes
Nano Crystal Coat: Yes
ED Glass Elements: 8
Fluorite Elements: 1
Fluorine Coat: Yes
Super Integrated Coating: Yes
Autofocus: Yes
AF-S (Silent Wave Motor): Yes
Internal Focusing: Yes
Minimum Focus Distance: 6.6 ft. (2.0 m) from focal plane
Focus Mode: Manual, Manual/Auto, Auto/Manual
E-type: Yes
Filter Size: 40.5 mm
Accepts Filter Type: Drop-in filter
Compatible with Nikon AF-S Teleconverters: Yes
Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 5.0  in. (128.0  mm)  x  14.2  in. (362.5  mm)
Approx. Weight: 123.4  oz. (3,500  g)

Nikon Announces New AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm F/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR Super Telephoto Zoom Lens at CES 2018

LAS VEGAS – Today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Nikon Inc. announced the new AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR super-telephoto zoom lens, which is ideally suited for photographing sports and wildlife with astounding speed and clarity. This professional level FX-format lens is more versatile than ever, and has been updated with the newest NIKKOR lens technologies including Nikon’s first ever built-in teleconverter and an advanced optical formula to enhance performance and minimize weight.“This lens is a great example of how Nikon continues to push the boundaries of innovation and what’s possible with pro-level optics and high-end imaging equipment,” said Kosuke Kawaura, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc.

Popular Pro-Level Lens Gets Even More Versatile

This new NIKKOR lens is a professional super-telephoto zoom lens, which is even more versatile with an extended wide range of 180-400mm, and a constant f/4 aperture to easily isolate a subject from the sidelines, even in challenging light. This is also the first NIKKOR lens to include a built-in 1.4X teleconverter, allowing photographers to seamlessly swap to a 252-560mm1 (FX-format) focal range. The teleconverter is engaged at the flick of a switch, and is easily operated with a single finger while looking through the viewfinder. When used on the Nikon D500 and other DX-format DSLRs, the focal length is the equivalent of 270-600mm (378-840mm with teleconverter engaged).

Whether capturing fast-moving winter sports on the slopes or elusive wildlife at a distance, photographers can shoot with confidence from this high performance NIKKOR lens.  The new 180-400mm f/4 is optimized for high-speed capture, and features an electromagnetic diaphragm, helping to create smooth and consistent exposures while shooting high-speed bursts of images. What’s more, the AF tracking algorithm controlling the motor drive has been enhanced to increase tracking performance of fast moving subjects. When using cameras equipped with Nikon’s advanced 153-point AF system (D5, D500, D850), the outer row of AF points are activated as cross-type sensors to significantly enhance the AF coverage throughout the frame.2

Enhanced Performance with the Addition of New Technology

The lens now uses a fluorite element, which contributes to improved balance while minimizing weight. To further enhance handling and agility, the lens has adopted a new ball-bearing tripod collar ring to create a seamless transition from shooting horizontal to vertical composition.  The VR mechanism offers a normal and sports mode, with up to four stops3 of compensation to help create sharp images, even when handheld.

The lens construction includes the use of durable magnesium alloy for weight reduction, while the lens is also sealed against dust and moisture. A fluorine coating is also used to help repel water droplets and dirt.

The optical formula of the lens uses eight Extra Low Dispersion (ED) elements, doubling the amount of ED elements used by its predecessor, the NIKKOR 200-400mm. These help to provide extremely sharp and detailed images and 4K UHD / 1080p video, and is ideally mated to high resolution Nikon DSLR cameras.  Nikon’s exclusive Nano Crystal Coat is used to effectively suppress instances of ghosting and flare.

Price and Availability

The AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR lens will be available in March 2018 for a suggested retail price of $12,399.954. For more information on this NIKKOR lens and other Nikon products, please visit

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  • Mehdi R

    OMG $12k 🙂

    • About the same as Canon’s 200-400…

      • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

        True on that score, interesting again how many sales does Canon generate on this lens and could they generate same income and increase no of sales if the price was say £nnnn less than it is.

        Why are camera makers putting a mark up on all their newer models ? is it because of greed, their customer base is becoming smaller and smaller and as the prices are ever increasing people are buying cheaper systems, second hand items, doing with what they’re got.

        What is the justification for Nikon to charge £12,000 on a 180-400 F4 inc 1.4 tc a £6,000 increase over their previous model ? a 50% markup in price..

        • akkual

          Probably those who feel the need for such lens will still buy it. +6k lenses will never sell like peanuts. On the other hand, most of +6k lens buyers are not that limited on money. I am pretty sure the leasing deals that major players use, will ensure that Nikon gets its money out of it, thus, they couldn’t care less about missing those 100 or so hobbyist who would buy one if it would be sold with lower profit.

          • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

            True on that Akkual – it’s a shame that camera and other manufacturer makers think in this way especially in a declining market and with ever increasing price pressures being faced by people, e.g., inflation, job loses, negative economic growth then the prestige / attraction to do sale with a company is further tarnished / damaged / customer confidence is eroded. One example of outrageous price is the MB-D17/8 grip price and D5 battery charger. But like you say manufacturers like Apple, Microsoft, Canon, Sony, etc doesn’t care at all now as long as it can fleece the customer as much as possible.

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              Again still wonder why Hornby ( train model maker ) has the justification in charging £140 / $180 for a train locomotive over a price that it charge £25.00 for a model back in 1990 ?. If we take as an example the inflation rate was on average 4% and the difference in years is 20 then the inflation accrued would be £29.00, making the lowest price charge to be £55.00. (

              Still only a small part of that £85.00 markup in price could be explained by currency devaluation, increased R&D costs and the majority of these increases could be stemmed down to CEO running these corporations in returning as much back to the shareholders and possible corporate greed.

            • PhilK

              I would guess that train models are a very low production item at this point, and continuing to decline, so that’s one part. Costs increase when you cannot benefit from economy of scale.

              And if they have not moved production to a typical low-wage neo-slave-labor state, likely the cost of building them has been increasing progressively as people expect higher wages to cope with rising cost of living.

              I live in San Francisco. The cost of everything here these days is absurd.

            • Hornby manufactures in southern China. I suspect the story here is a declining market for this product. Also, labour costs are increasing in China now.

            • PhilK

              True, which is why there have been a number of companies moving production to places like Vietnam, which are cheaper, even Mexico is cheaper than China in many cases now.

              China’s manufacturing industry is maturing, for sure. (Which also makes it a bigger native threat to companies like Nikon. They have built a massive manufacturing infrastructure there. Now about all those pollution and health hazards… 😉

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              Good points although soon Vietnam and Mexico wages + living conditions will increase as well over time so will come a time when there are no viable countries left and with jobs being lost and wages stagnant + increasing living costs in west – meaning that the consumer punter will have less free money or putting more on credit to spend on items that are being manufactured. A crazy world that we are living in at the current time and the absurd cost of items + cost being accrued.

            • PhilK

              These problems can be addressed but the political will (cough, cough, wealth and political donations) is not there to change it.

              Until the most wealthy and influential geopolitical entities stop pushing for ever-higher, higher, higher consumption…. because that is in their corporate/state DNA – nothing will change.

            • PhilK

              Regarding Nikon specifically: they compete in a challenging industry and have also made a number of business mistakes and suffered from bad luck with natural disasters so they are struggling financially. So they appear to be trying to price the headline items competitively (or else they won’t sell anything), and make up a bit of margin on the accessories.

              At the moment I’m more interested in Nikon remaining a going concern than saving 10 or 20 percent on accessories, and I’m not buying a lot of photo equipment these days anyway, so I don’t mind it so much.

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              True on your excellent thinking but on the flip side if they priced things less they could increase no of x sales, generate more uptake of their items and still have the same amount of sales and less ^^%%^ of customers with their ever inflating prices.

              Must say that this is not only restricted to Nikon nor to other camera manufacturers but most businesses now.

              Again I am buying as little photo equipment now and doing with what I’ve got, buying second hand – this translates in to declination of Nikon market and increasing their financial struggles by multiplying this factor by X amount of people by X amount of countries.

            • PhilK

              I don’t think many buyers of this kind of stuff actually have much knowledge or experience in the manufacturing field, or they wouldn’t be throwing out ideas like “lose money on every widget sold, but make it up in volume!” 😀

              I’m fairly sure that Nikon is not likely making an outrageous profit on this stuff, and the real reason(s) for the high prices (particularly on “exotic” items) are something like: Nikon has a high cost structure, so they have to sell products for a little higher than competitors in order to reach the point of profitability. And they seem to be pushing that envelope a bit more with some accessories, eg power grips and lens hoods for $12,000 lenses. 😉

              Let us not forget that when it comes to the high-volume stuff, Nikon equipment is actually a relative bargain these days. (Well, except for certain export markets like Australia, which they seem to be gouging at the moment) Those are the items that if Nikon really wanted to make fabulously fat profits, they’d be overcharging for. But for example the D850 here in the USA is a relative bargain. (At MSRP, anyway)

              My personal hope is that Nikon will stabilize their business to the point where they won’t feel the need any more to fatten the prices a bit on some of these accessories to support their higher cost structure. I’m fairly certain that Canon for example can produce lenses significantly cheaper than Nikon can, which I suspect is due to a combination of higher volume production cost efficiencies, more manufacturing innovation and access to certain better components that have been perfected via longtime volume production in other product divisions. (Eg with Canon, things like WiFi subsystems, ethernet subsystems, etc etc… all of which they build into a plethora of other consumer and commercial products)

            • Bob Thane

              It would be *very* hard to reduce the price of the 180-400 to the point where it would be a big seller. People who can afford an 8k lens can afford a 12k lens – and it’s unlikely that Nikon would even be able to make such a big price reduction, more likely the cheapest they could do would be 10k which certainly won’t entice lots of new buyers.

              Instead they offer lenses like the 200-500 for people on a budget – a lens that could have sold for $2000 if they really wanted to mark things up, but they sell for $1400 since in that market a price reduction really does get you a lot more customers.

            • ITN

              I believe you are exactly correct: the price reduction from the current $13k to significantly increase sales volume would be so great that the product would have to be manufactured at a loss.

            • ITN

              I believe the MB-D10 was popular as it increased the fps rate of the cameras which themselves sold well. However the MB-D12 (for the D800 and D810) did not offer FX mode fps increases and probably as a result sold fewer copies and aftermarket products took opportunity of the situation. I think Nikon assume now that accessories such as vertical grips have low demand and users want generally smaller cameras. Notice that the D7500 cannot accept any kind of vertical grip. This suggests Nikon is concluding the demand is low and thus they are not willing to reduce the price of a product which they must develop but will sell only a few copies. Most cameras are sold when the camera is new and third party accessories only come in later, so for a brief time Nikon can set the price.

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              On the D7500 they may have taken out the grip connection, memory card too differentiate between D500 and D7500. What would be the harm including both and including a grip connection like they had from D7100. Researched and found that MB-D15 was compatible with D7100 onwards, so if a punter brought at great expense the MB-D15 with their D7100 / D7200 and then want to upgrade to D7500 this grip is redundant. Because of these unexplained omissions the punter is confused why Nikon knocked these features off from an earlier model and may deem that D7500 is a backward step along with being cheesed off that they may take the decision that D7500 along with a high price tag is not worth it and won’t upgrade.

            • ITN

              I believe the idea is that the upgrade from the D7100 or D7200 is really the D500, and not the D7500. Nikon don’t want people to stay with the same level of product, but go to the next higher level one as they upgrade and evolve as photographers and as their requirements change. Clearly the D7500 is not an upgrade to the D7200, but an upgrade to the D5600 or D3400.

              Nikon didn’t want to make the D500 in the first place as they felt that high end users should go with FX, and those who want to stay with DX can get a more affordable product, which is the D7000/D7100/D7200. However, persistent users forced Nikon to make the D500 and to guarantee sufficient sales of this new model, the D3400, D5600 and D7500 were all demoted to lower standards in order to differentiate the D500 sufficiently and make space for it in the lineup. If the D7500 were featured too well, D500 sales would suffer and there might be a discontinuation yet again of the “pro DX” camera.

        • KnightPhoto

          Clearly David, Nikon AND Canon have done that math and market analysis and the decision is the exotics got priced quite a bit higher. This is a DONE deal and first started well more than 5 years ago when Canon introduced their “II” line of exotic telephotos and priced them substantially higher than the lineup they replaced.

          Upshot for us TOGs is, pay the freight for the exotics if you want to get in the game. I don’t see this changing, ever, due to the camera market has changed substantially, as you know.

        • ITN

          Canon increased the requirement of performance and focal range and their offering is similarly expensive. Nikon don’t want to get into a price war; both companies need to seek opportunities to make money.

          Matching the teleconverter to the primary lens so that the combination performs like a prime lens without TC would, is very difficult and probably they need to do a lot of adjustments to each individual lens to make them match perfectly. Development of the precise mechanism to insert and remove the TC must also have cost something.

          • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

            Good points on above although horses for course. Canon, Sony and Nikon do have cash back schemes that temporary lower prices of their stuff down by up to £150 recently. If Nikon makes money on items they could reduce their prices and possibly get more punters to purchase their items and increase market share ?.

            At moment see that they are trailing other manufacturers like Sony in Digital compacts, Mirrorless (Only go NK1) and according to this article Nikon trails both Sony and Canon.

            Very interesting what strategies they could develop to be competitive and to grow including increasing market share ?.

            A very interesting article on pricing strategies I stumbled on ( bit naive on Business Economics) as follows:-

            • ITN

              It is typical that the price of a product is highest at introduction and after demand at that price level is satisfied, the manufacturer either temporarily or permanently reduces the price of the product, which then allows some more people to purchase the product and so it goes. When a new product is introduced, the price goes back up and so they can make money from the impatient but wealthy people who need to have the latest devices. There is no crime in asking money for a new item as there is a lot of used market, but still excellent products available so there is something available for every budget.

              However, if Nikon’s DSLR and lens sales are reduced by 50% or 70% from their best years, it is clear that if Nikon want to continue their high spending on research and development, the price also will be increased out of necessity to compensate for the reduced sales and to pay for the R&D. I believe Nikon have concluded that they cannot regain profitability by lowering prices (as the market share is not sufficiently increased when they’ve done that) but had to go on a path of increasing prices and I believe they are profitable again, at least their camera business is, after a bad 2016.

              Nikon have a strategy now to focus their efforts on the high end and I think it is the right thing to do as Nikon have produced a series of spectacularly good products in the latest few years, and eventually it will also have to turn their tide and cause an increase in market share, even if it is only affecting the high end products.

              I believe Nikon have concluded the compact camera and entry level DSLR markets have crashed, perhaps never to recover again, and they are trying to save ship by excelling in the high end, which has still some steady demand.

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              True but why is Sony introducing newer models of Sony Rx10, Rx100 and Canon G series ( large sensor compacts) and also introducing low end DSLR and mirrorless cameras like M100, M5 into the market if there are little sales in this area. Was it a mistake for Nikon to admit defeat and did they make mistakes, like canning the DL series ?.

              Could they still produce the DL series but charged more and admitted we had to do a price correction up to make a healthy product.

              Will be interesting to see where the pitch their Nikon 2 Mirrorless Aps and FF and whether they will produce several models with each with sliding features increasing as price goes up.

            • ITN

              Sony make excellent products in this segment (the RX100 V is just crazy good) and it is possible that Nikon concluded that the DL is not as good and might cause more money to be lost if they had started to mass manufacture it. They probably thought if they had successfully launched it in spring 2016 it would have made money but while Nikon were investigating the problems in the circuits and trying to make it work for such a long time, they decided Sony was too far ahead and only a few DL units could possibly be sold. It could also be that Nikon investors looked at the Keymission launch and were afraid that the DL would be more of the same, and given the rapid decline of sales in compacts in 2016 it could be that the owners told the directors that we will pull the funding of the DL project now.

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              True not sure how much engagement Nikon carried out, e.g., customer polls, etc with sites like this, Dpreview,, Camera shops, branches, etc to gauge the size of potential market, even iby the delayed stage of Jan 2017 and had to admit that they raise the price by £200 to make a profit – could do being more open with sites like this one / experts like Thom Hogan and to conduct more customer votes / survey to get the data / information fed back rather than taking an internal decision by the board to cancel it.

              Taking one significant person as myself was ok to wait and would have been prepared to pay the same I paid for the Sony’s RX10 and Rx100 last Summer – £2500 lost of sale from Nikon to Sony excluding what I brought as extras like chargers, spare batteries, etc.

              Probably meant at 2017 there was more of a market compared to now in a declining market but they would have generated sales, more brand awareness and more market share, more positive kudos at that time and potentially more customers in upgrading or buying more Nikon stuff like accessories.

            • ITN

              Yes, it’s impossible to say what the demand would have been now, we’ll never know. I think maybe Nikon have internally difficulty in predicting what the demand of a particular product is. For example they should have realized that Keymission was going to fail because it was controlled by an application which doesn’t work (Snapbridge 360). They should never have launched it like that. I think DL fell a victim to Snapbridge’s and Keymission’s failures.

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              100% agree with you

          • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

            Good Point;would it matter if Nikon offered products cheaper than Canon as long as they make a profit ? – although Canon may follow suite with the cost of camera equipment and the prohibited cost of switching now what would be the dangers ?. Would boost their own sales – one example is the grip prices what is the business justification of charging a high margin of certain accessories like the grip fleecing customers even further and customers going to Oem versions to save money which mean Nikon looses out sales. What is the price of R&D, manufacturing the MB-D18, how much margin do they make on each one and what are their price margins and models, If MB-D18 cost to make is £100, if they sell it for £199 how many extra sales could they anticipate to get over a higher price of £369 and do they take account of the general mood of their customers ?, e.g., not to cheese them off with a high than expected price for a mundane accessory as an example.

            • ITN

              I don’t feel like I’m being robbed by the cost of the Nikon grip. The money goes to Nikon who use it to keep their investors happy and so Nikon can continue to develop and manufacture their excellent cameras and lenses. If they don’t make money for their investors they will have to close shop. Nikon had an unprofitable 2016 and so I feel that it is in my best interest to not purchase the aftermarket grip which (when followed by other users doing the same) might lead to additional years in the red and perhaps closing Nikon factories and the company might eventually have to cease operations.

        • Andrew

          David, raising the price from £6,000 to £12,000 is actually a 100% increase. Reducing the price from £12,000 to £6,000 is a 50% decrease.

          Any quantity or number when represented in percentages is recorded as 100%. It means to simply divide the quantity or number into one hundred equal parts; the value of each part represents 1%. If you have 200, 100% is simply 200, 100% of 300 is 300, and 100% of £6,000 is £6,000. So a hundred percent means that the number has its full hundred parts (i.e. it has not been divided, increased, or reduced).

          Now 1% of 200 is 2 (200 divided by 100), 1% of 300 is 3 (300 divided by 100), and 1% of £6,000 is £60 (£6,000 divided by 100).

          If 1% of £6,000 is £60, what is 2%? It is 2 x £60 = £120. Then, 50% of £6,000 is 50 x £60 = £3,000. Therefore, if you increase the price of £6,000 by 50% all you need to do is to add £3,000 (i.e. 50% increase) to £6,000 = £9,000.

          So then, £6,000 marked up by 100% = £6,000 (original price) + £6,000 (100% price increase) = £12,000.

          • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

            Sorry about my bad maths and you’re 100% correct, probably the bad news about price rise (another one) got up my shackles too much.

  • JJ168

    What is the weight?

    • Mehdi R

      3500 gr/7 lb

      • Bill Ferris

        Closer to 8 lbs.

    • BPhoto

      About the same as a sack of gold!

  • NYkon

    Linked with upcoming firmware upgrades for D5, D850, and D500….

  • Mark Loh

    I rather get the 600mm for that price.

    • Gary Hu


    • Kind hard to go to 400mm if you need to.

    • photomanayu

      It aims for different audience. Typically 200-400 are use by sports journalist and 600 & up lens are adored by wild life photographers. The old 200-400 and this new 180-400 allows flexibility for sideline shooting because the media pit are often close to the action but at fix position. Unlike wildlife shooters, the longer the lens, less disturbed subject.

    • David Gottlieb

      And for $6,000 more you can get the 800mm with a TC 125 (not built in though.) But I would like all three (already use the 500 and love it. The lightest of the super – teles. But wouldn’t mind having the extra reach of the 800 and the versatility of the 180 – 400 as well..

      Oh well – one can dream, can’t one? I don’t buy a lens unless it will pay for itself or I need it for a shoot.

    • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

      True on that – with an ever declining market and people having less spending money have Nikon’s priorities / focus been correct for the past couple of years. It is good that these exotic lenses are being refreshed but with their price the sales generated will be very low.

      I still don’t buy the manufacturers decision in marking up the prices of their newer products by a hefty margins compared to previous models, one of the reasons could be a depreciation of the ££ / Euro against the Yen but still does not count to 50% increase in price.

      I feel very sorry on the plight of camera chains and independents with all the increasing cost of new equipment and an ever declining market how many will be in existence in say 5 years time and how many employees will lose their jobs.

      Couldn’t they have a much bigger market share, increased sales and still return a profit if the price between newer and older models were roughly inline.

      • ITN

        The demand is for higher performance lenses, with better corrected optics, faster and more accurate AF, and additional features such as improved weather sealing, fluorine coating, this all increases the cost of making the product. Large fluorite elements at the front of the lens are manufactured synthetically at great cost (Canon states it takes 12 months to grow the fluorite elements for a 600mm f/4). This has to increase the cost of the end product there is no way around it. Want higher performance? Pay more. Happy with previous performance? Purchase a previous generation product on the second hand market for much less money.

        • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

          True but at the same time punters at the end could do with what they got, opt for oem versions (Quality may not be up to it ), opt for alternatives and vote with their feet do with out. Although this may cost more, the question is what are the strategies of the camera makes to grow and to please their customer base. ? or do they don’t listen to their audience and charge more and more for items as they dejected that they see the market is declining and there is no way to reverse the downward trends.

          • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

            Have to say I finding these discussions very informative and learning more on economics.

          • ITN

            Nikon did make several more affordable telephoto options in recent years. There is the 70-200/4, the 300/4 PF, the 200-500/5.6, and the new AF-P 70-300 which is getting good reviews. I think we just have to accept that the high end is getting better than ever performance but at a higher cost, and look at the practical side of it and choose from what options are available to us with our realistic budgets. The 180-400 doesn’t take anything away from me (all the previously available options are available as before), and if it allows Nikon to win some photographers to shoot the Olympics with Nikon equipment, the brand gets some more visibility and maybe the success will help Nikon develop some products that I can actually afford. I am personally eyeing some used market 300/2.8 options which would be fantastic for me. One day there will be a new version of the 180-400/4 and used copies will appear for sale, at maybe half price of the original new price. There is a lot of life left in used market products and most of the people whom I know to use superteles bought theirs used.

    • It depends on what you shoot. If you have used a 600mm f/4 before, you probably know that the lens is for specific purposes only. This 180-400 is gonna be a versatile tool for sports, concert, and wildlife photographers.

  • Zurichphoto

    Who is the target audience for this lens? The 200-400 VR is $7K.

    For $6K more you can turn the 180-400 it into a 252-560 f/5.6 — oh wait a minute, I can get a 200-500 for $1200 — not $12,000.

    Puzzling. I’m sure it will be great — but wow! $12K.

    • The price is higher than I expected.

      • David Gottlieb

        Higher than we all expected.

        • Yes, higher than the Canon version too.

          • PhilK

            That is the norm lately, seems to me.

            I’m not complaining, it is one way to claim the high-ground at least at launch. It is much easier and results in less blowback for a vendor to cut a price on a product (or offer a promotion, rebate, etc) than to raise the price later.

          • Someone

            The original RRP on the canon was £12,999 in the UK so higher, if you take into account inflation, this Nikon is not bad.
            In the UK, the Canon still seels for £9,999 and the Nikon is available for £10,999, a mere £1000 more.
            HAving said all this, I’ll never be able to afford one.

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              True on that but are camera makers having a laugh or being too greedy in their outrageous price that they charge ? – where are the controls if any to stop prices spiralling out of control ?.

              If a D750 costs £1999.99 upon launch what is the likely hood that we see a replacement (probably mirrorless) M750 being any close to this price ? – probably looking at a mark up between £2499.99 to £2999.99 in terms of replacement price.

            • Well, mirrorless cameras are more costly typically then DSLRs. That “simple no moving part viewfinder” stuff is more complex and costly than OVF/mirrors it seems.

            • Piooof

              You may, in 20 years. And it’ll still produce incredibly good images, although there will be vastly better options then.

              A few years ago I bought a dirt cheap AF-D 300 f/4. AF is slow (& noisy, but I don’t care), and glass is not as sharp at f/4 as in the latest iterations. Still, I’m delighted with this age-old 300 mm, for a simple reason: without it, I couln’t have done the great images I shot. And it’s the images that I & other prople are looking at, not the lens.

      • Isn’t this the trend lately?

        • Yes, Nikon said it themselves that they will concentrate on high end products. The latest Panasonic GH5s camera costs $2,500… without IBIS 🙂

          • David Peterson

            Yeah the GH5S is two big step forwards, but also one step back. Ah well.

            • Well, it is more than that – if you read the feedback, Panasonic removed it because IBIS causes problems when using outside stabilization, see the discussion over at PhotoRumors:

            • HD10

              My rule on optical stabilization whether in body or in lens has been not to use this unless needed. This has served me very well over the years. I do wish that the manufacturers would make it easier to turn it off and on as one needs it.

            • Well it seems that just turning IBIS off doesn’t solve the problem because apparently the sensor can still “wobble” and cause problems… I am in no way an expect on IBIS, I just read what other people say. I did however notice that IBIS was heavily promoted by mirrorless camera companies and users and now it seems that it’s better not to have it.

          • Duncan Dimanche

            Haha @peter i don’t think that anyone can get over the non IBIS !!

            • I personally don’t think IBIS was that big of a deal. Very limited use and now we obviously know that it also causes problems. I think it was more of a “marketing feature”. Just my opinion. I am sure there are people out there who love and use that feature. But it also explains why some companies have decided not to implemented it.

          • akkual

            I guess Panasonic has realized how big of a problem IBIS can be in a mirrorless, as it allows skunk and dust collect behind the sensor, its stabilization mechanism, and also the shutter. Too many warranty claims, so they jumped out the bandwagon? One can take a look at how A7 series is plagued by stuck sensors and shutters in YT (search for “camera error turn power off then on”).

            • So it basically confirms my claim that IBIS was only a BS marketing feature with a very limited use and it is already dead.

          • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

            A silly question how big is the market for Pany GH5s for the possible inflated price of £2,500 compared to a lower price of say £1800 ? -depends upon the R&D, cost to manufacture and how much of a profit Pany is making on each of these units. A tad too expensive for what it is a videoed M/43 camera.

            Again one of my concern is the knock on effect to the shops struggling in selling more and more expensive stuff and possibly staff being made redundant, their excellent know how and experience lost and for shops to go under, which has an impact on consumers as we probably have to pay extra for camera advice, more in repairs, more in new 2nd hand purchases, etc, etc, etc, etc.

    • paulski

      Who is the target audience? Based on your comments, I’m pretty sure we can rule you out…

      • For sports like soccer where you have to zoom in and out all the time.

        • SteveWithAnS

          Rich soccer moms with hefty muscles.

      • VanHoff

        Qatar, U.A.E sheiks whom enjoy photography on their vacation time.

        • Davo

          I thought they buy one off custom Zeiss. No, seriously. Google ZEISS APO Sonnar T* 1700mm f4

    • ZoetMB

      The target audience is for photographers who work for organizations and don’t have to pay for the lens themselves or A-list photographers who are compensated incredibly well and for those photographers for whom price doesn’t matter. The kind of people who wear $5000 suits and drive $80,000 cars, fly first class without thinking about it, etc.

      • I don’t wear $5000 suits when photographing 😉

      • Jacobus DeWet

        The 200-400 is a favourite lens for wildlife safaris in Africa as you need zoom flexibility. Most are use with the 1.4 TC. Even at the price you will see wildlife photographers buy this lens due to it’s zoom flexibility. These guys are full time photographers and does not buy suits or $ 80 000 cars, they buy $ 80 000 safari vehicles to transport their clients that pay $ 10 000 for a 5 day trip to the Serengeti or Masai or sabi Sands. Yes and then there are those that buy camera equipment as part of their status symbols

        • Eledeuh

          I mean, yeah. Anytime a new exotic telephoto comes out we always seem to get the same kind of reactions from people who seem to gauge their value as they would do their run-off-the-mill 70-200 f/2.8 or whatever.

          This is special gear for special use-cases, there’s no point comparing it to a 200-500 f/5.6, they’re in different leagues altogether.

          Sure, if it was for shooting birds in one’s backyard it would be extremely expensive, but in the context of professional use or actual safari trips (which as you noted can be extremely expensive), it’s nothing surprising.

          • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

            Interesting but if we compared the MK 1 of the 200-400 F4 with this lens 180-400 incl 1.4 what is the difference in terms of sales and quantities, democratic s of use ?. At moment this lens like you said is viewed as exotic and special use-case and for the more richer clientele but what was the clientele for the MK 1 ?. What is the justification for Sony, Nikon / Canon to charge a premium increase, e.g., 50% over their current version ? – could they generate more sales and a bigger democratic user base + slow down the halt of declining overall sales + market share ( loss to other media acquisition,e.g.., mobiles) if there were more control over price ?. Example being 24-70 f2.8 priced at £1200 upon launch but mk 2 version 24-70 f2.8 now priced over £2100 – although there has been a devaluation of ££/Euro vs Yen but nothing that represents a 100% increase in price.

            • PhilK

              Among other things, I think at this point it is critically important for Nikon to stake out territory that they are not butting heads with the likes of Sigma and Tamron over. Tech like fluorite elements and nanocrystal coating and fluorine coatings are some of those things.

              Also, as I have long suspected, and the press release for this lens appears to confirm, Nikon does indeed seem to be putting “AF secret sauce” into the electronics of every individual lens, optimizing it for that particular lens, which is likely a key reason why Nikon AF and AF tracking is considered so good these days. That’s another thing that the competition cannot match. (Including Canon, it seems)

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              Extremely good points made and agree with you. I think my moan was against the wider corporate model. Say companies that sell products, infrastructure companies, transport firms, utility firms, etc. How do they justify their ever increasing costs / charges and where is the control if any to peg these increases ?. One example is the £400 difference between Iphone 7s and Iphone X and Apple approach in slowing down older models to get punters to upgrade due to a slower model. Also the VW and their cheat emissions software.

              Do they not see that if prices and things like above happen more, that there is more of a revolt / tarnish of their reputation and less overall sales / market. Also building up of , more and more out of control consumer borrowing that if there is a sharp market downturn or interest rate rise will push many consumers over the edge with people losing their homes, cars and person damage to their families, e.g., family breakup, health issues – stress / heart attack, etc.

            • PhilK

              The Apple slowdown thing I think was mostly a tempest in a teapot. They had a real problem with older phones with worn batteries shutting off in the middle of usage due to inaccurate remaining-charge estimation, and the software change was designed to address that problem.

              Their biggest mistake was not being open about that and explaining what they were doing (most likely because of legit fear that people would jump to conclusions and think it was an evil conspiracy) – which is precisely what people did do, just moreso than if Apple had just been open about it in the first place. 😉

              Re: the iPhoneX price, Apple is in the enviable position of having basically created a sort of cult around their products where loyalists actually often prefer to pay more for them than less, due to the cachet they feel it confers on them. (I know two acquaintances working minimum-wage jobs that bought iPhoneX’s and it makes no rational sense but it appears to be a status and image thing.)

              All of which is similar to the stereotypical Leica buyer. And I hope Nikon is not going to reach that point. Lenses like this are built like and look like working tools, and that’s the way I hope they remain.

              No one is forcing anyone to buy this stuff. Some of us equipment geeks get annoyed simply because we lust after this stuff but that doesn’t mean it’s a rational response to something we can’t actually afford. 😉

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              True on your findings. Although I still don’t agree / like companies, e.g., energy company charging an ever increasing mark up ( higher than inflation levy) and less uptake of their products and people spending more than they earn + building more and more up in consumer debt.

              One really danger is people taking out high priced loans on cars, taking out an extremely high mortgage.

              There could come a time when this bit us all, e.g., loss of job, unforeseen health issue, repeat of 2008 global crisis and even worse a global crisis, e.g., 1920’s great depression ( which was contributing factor to rise of h*tler and WW2) all these bad events can happen with ease.

            • PhilK

              The thing is, no one is forcing people to live beyond their means. Very very very few people “need” a $12,000 camera lens.

              Same thing goes for Bentleys or IphoneX’s etc etc. The real problem are not the companies making this stuff (who certainly cannot force anyone to buy it), it is a systemic cultural issue tied into (among other things) capitalist societies which promote this “conspicuous consumption” thing.

            • Actually, “conspicuous consumption” is more common in societies that are newly wealthy. I know this first hand as my wife is from mainland China (a fine example of a faschist society – highly regulated with lots of government owned enterprises). In modern western society consumption has shifted towards experience – vacations, education, dining out etc.

            • PhilK

              That may be re: “newly wealthy” but it has been said, and I think there is a lot of truth to it, that the last few hundred years are more of a historical anomaly where China was not either the most dominant or one of the top dominant cultures on earth, too. Certainly many native Chinese will probably agree with this. 😉

              Anyway I don’t want to veer too far off topic, I will just reiterate that every society has the ability to moderate the amount of excess “luxury” spending their people can reasonably do – look at the cars driving around in Havana. 😉 It’s just that in the places that don’t – and actually heavily promote “consumer spending” – it leads to many companies making profitable businesses out of “luxury products”. And no matter how compelling their marketing might be, people for the most part still decide for themselves what to spend or not spend money on.

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              True and same with people taking out high loans for mortgages and cars when they think life is going to be great in the future without taking consideration what happens if Bank of England jacks up interest rates by extra 3%, I loose my job and have loss of income, health issue or emotional / financial impact if a live in partner has serious illness, loses their job or ideas.

              The idea of easy credit being sold and pushed on to the consumers buy now pay in 2 years time and banks pushing consumers with easy credit.

              Interesting article I found on EC and possibly irresponsible lending out to people who may not be able to afford to pay back.


            • Whether Apple is slowing down older models in order for you to upgrade is not the only interpretation/opinion and not their story. Frankly, I am giving Apple the benefit of the doubt on this one.

          • I agree, and if the performance and IQ are there, this is how much it costs Nikon to produce it and sell it. It is expensive when you think about $12k, but compare with the alternatives and then it is not that bad. Canon’s version is $11k. It seems that Nikon’s version will be better.

            • Eledeuh

              > Canon’s version is $11k.

              Yeah, that’s the thing, sure it’s expensive in absolute terms, but I don’t think it’s particularly surprising: it’s not far from the price tag of other lenses of the same class, and not far from the older equivalent from Canon either. These are just expensive tools.

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              True more than 50% markup on Mk 2 lens and Nikon is trailing third in a declining Digitial camera market, why are they competing for same price as other makers when they are coming third in market share as compared to Canon and Sony ?. An analogy would be like Aldi is 4th biggest super market in UK with less branches in UK and sell products less than Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda suddenly charging the same for their items and more than the supermarkets mentioned – the punters would simply get very cross as they not use to this sort of increase, and vote with their feet and go to an alternative supermarket or do with out like Lidl, etc. Alternative would be car m anufacturer Renault who sell Megane latest model for £20,000 and then charge £60,000 to be same as a BMW M3 in a later model.

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              There needs to be more price scrutiny in the business and by share holders why products are going up by a rate as they are and the impact on the business on an ever decreasing market with less customers being able or willing to upgrade. Unfortunately probably most shareholders don’t care as long as the share price goes up and they can get a decent dividend at end of each year

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              True but people often compare it to earlier versions / models and question why does it cost so much of a markup of their current version – by another 50% ?. What is the next version of this lens going to be, is it another 50% on top £18,000 and so on. This unfortunately applied to many electronic items and also to travel, taxes / energy costs – why are things go up and up more than inflation ( reference to E-costs, council tax, travel costs) ?

      • Davo

        $80000 usd only buys you a Mazda 3 (or equivalent) where I live 🙁

        • Vocko

          Indonesia, Malaysia or Singapore?

          • Davo


    • Mike

      Possibly helps to consolidate long primes to one lens. A sports photog with a 70-200 on FF and 180-400 on DX and you have all focal lengths covered from 70mm to an effective 800+mm. MTF charts look incredible.

  • Gary Hu


  • Mehdi R

    I’m curious to see images using 1.4TC vs 200-500mm f/5.6, a $12.4k lens vs $1.4k 🙂

    • Yes, same here 🙂

      • Matias Bravo

        There are MTF graphs at Nikon Japan site, comparing to the 200-500mm it seems that the new lens it may well be notably better even when using the TC.

        • Already added – just refresh your browser…

          • Matias Bravo

            Just saw that, thanks for the quick work. As an aside, putting a three-way comparison with the 200-400mm VRII and the 200-500mm, including the MTF, should be interesting.

            • Will do that tomorrow for sure.

            • Taking a quick look at its predecessor’s MTF, it looks like the significant upgrade that we are seeing across the Nikon telephoto line.

              I am curious how sharp it is at longer distances, its predecessor’s weak spot.

            • An American in Canada

              Same here. Gonna be hard to justify replacing my 200-400 VRII, but it may be worth saving for given those MTFs and improved performance with distant subjects/focal planes.

            • Where in Canada are you?

            • An American in Canada


            • A long way from Vancouver.

            • Proto

              you can see toronto from there with this lens : )

            • s.dunn

              Are we getting a pot together in Vancouver? Maybe if we all throw a couple of bucks in we can communaly purchase one 😉

            • Excellent idea.

            • Piooof

              You can rent one, this will be much cheaper and as effective, from a purely photographic standpoint. But not as ego-flattering, clearly.

            • Jacobus DeWet

              the 200-500 is optically a great lens for the money you pay, however, the focus system is a big compromise if you are use to the focus speed and accuracy of the high end lenses. So even a sharpness comparison with the current 200-400 with TC 1.4 show that the expensive lenses are clear winners. The contrast is better as well as the clarity. When it comes to focus speed and accuracy the 200-500 falls way behind. For most high end professional work this is as important if not more critical then just poor acuity

          • Gayan Pushpakumara
            • PhilK

              Thanks, will need to check the scale tho.

              But yes, the on-axis curve on the new 180-400 cannot even really be called a “curve” any more. [eek]

            • You can’t compare MTFs from different manufacturers. They each measure it in their own way. However, you can compare MTFs between two lenses from the same manufacturer.

      • Mehdi R

        The built-in TC design is also different than the 1.4 III TC as I noticed.

        • PhilK

          Seems to me that integrating a converter makes it much easier to optimize the optical performance as opposed to something attached on the back that may have to work with several different lenses on the front.

          Already you can see they are doing something impossible with a traditional teleconverter: inserting its additional elements “in the middle” of the other elements, with 3 static elements behind it.

          I’ll bet the performance is outstanding.

  • Davo

    “I wanna be a billionaire, so freakin’ bad…”

  • decisivemoment

    Seems awfully high given the Japan price.

  • Davo

    Just a guess. They can only make very limited supplies and anticipate initial stock to all sell out and taking advantage of the high USD.
    If the USD drops, it’s easier to maintain price at rrp rather than subsequent price rise.
    If demand drops after initial shipment but USD remains strong, they can push sales via rebates.

    • ZoetMB

      The dollar is not that high against the Yen. It’s 112 today, but was 120 as recently as Nikon’s 2016 fiscal year which it also was in 2007.

      The HK-41 lens hood comes with the lens, but if you lose it, a replacement lists at $641!!!! Is there a camera body hidden in the lens hood? Someone at Nikon is smoking something.

      • PhilK

        Yikes… profitable for sure, that piece..

      • Davo

        They hedge don’t they? Anyone know at what rates?
        But my point is that it’s easier to implement rebates than it is to raise prices. And initial shipments are probably already spoken for even at the high price.

        • PhilK

          Yep, pretty much my opinion as well.

          Always much easier for a vendor to lower (or offer promotions on) an expensive item, than attempt to raise the price later. Customers tend to get real annoyed at the latter.

  • Stuart Crowther

    Wow, that’s an awesome piece of kit.

  • Pictor

    Very interesting for sports but at that speed it’s only useable outdoors under good lighting. If it weren’t astronomically priced I might consider trading up from the current 200-400 f/4 but as it is, I haven’t used that lens much in the last year and prefer the 300 f/2.8. Maybe it’s time to get the 200 f/2 before it’s refreshed and costs me $10,000 for the new E FL version.

    Any news on the rumors of a D5s? 🙂

    • As I already reported no Nikon D5s for now, maybe later for the CP+ show in March.

    • Dino Brusco

      The real problem is finding anything substantial to improve over the D5, dos aside, just to top Canon’s 14…

  • Aldo

    ‘poor’ people buy the 200mm f2 and te 2x tele…

    • Ha ha!

      I just bought the 400 2.8E and all the teles. I am now saving for whatever Nikon replaces the 200 f/2.0G with.

      For the range between 200 and 400, I will be using my feet. Or teles depending on the subject.

      A very intriguing lens, however. It looks like a great lens. Very practical for certain kinds of photography.

      • Aldo

        Right on… I’m not a telephoto photographer… but I’m guessing the zoom ability isn’t worth $8k for some.

        • Allen_Wentz

          It can be really, really hard to quickly find the subject at super tele zoom. The ability to start at moderate tele then zoom in after target acquisition often makes the difference between getting the shot, or not.

      • David Gottlieb

        Will you use your feet when a lion decides to charge you???

        ©2017 David Gottlieb

        PS – Shot with a D4 and the 500 f/4

        • I will use my 500 H&H. A double.

          • David Gottlieb

            Or maybe very fast running shoes!!!!

        • Proto

          that lioness looks pissed by your TTL flashing?

          • David Gottlieb

            No Flash – That was headlights from the Land Cruiser. We got a flat tire just after I took this photo. Drove over a root sticking out of the ground and it shredded the tire…. Drove into an open grassy area, as the tire was hissing air, about 50 meters away from the lions and there we changed the tires. The pride of lions, which numbered about 20 (Including cubs) watched us from where I had photographed them, but did not approach while we changed the tire as quickly as we could.

            The lioness was just pissed. We were backing up when the flat occurred.

    • saywhatuwill

      Nikon will fix that oversight. Lol

  • AYWY

    Unless a surprise occurs within the next few hours this will be all Nikon has for CES 2018. This should be the last day they have to setup the booth so all announcements should be made – no good to hide anything anymore.

    Looking at the CP+ floor plan now… 😛

    • No surprise at that point

  • Tenzin Samjung

    Peter, when do you usually get the pre-order links?

    • They usually come two hours after announcement, so at 11 am EST. You lucky….

    • Allan

      If you purchase on a vendor listed on Nikon Rumors, Peter will be able to retire.


      • If I sell a few hundred of those 🙂

        • Tenzin Samjung

          🙂 I always try to use NR’s preorder links.

        • Just curious do you get a % of the sale or just a one off ad click payment?

          • It depends on the retailer – it varies between 1%-4%.

            • Allan

              You deserve every penny.

            • I have run this site when I had 1 reader per week and I will continue to run it after Nikon goes down (just kidding, they won’t :). What I am trying to say is that making a penny is not everything. I can make a lot more pennies if I start reporting BS rumors and clickbait. I just don’t think you can go far that way because readers are not stupid. But what do I know…

            • br0xibear

              “because readers are not stupid”…are you sure about that, and do you have a source ? lol.

              P.S. Nikon Asia posted an interesting video about all the lens tech in Nikkors

            • Allan

              We love Nikon engineering.

              I wonder how many photographers, engineers, and engineer/photographers are part of Nikon management that make decisions regarding which products to manufacture.

            • br0xibear

              If you’re interested in engineering and management, watch the various YouTube interiviews with Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki, he’s a really interesting guy and provides great insights into Sigma and his approach to the photographic bussiness. After listening to his ideas and concepts, it changed my perceptions of Sigma and other third party manufacturers.


            • I like his interviews. Nikon needs somebody to do what he does.

            • They have a few of those videos and to be honest I am not sure which one I already posted. Will share anyway.

    • Still don’t see the pre-order links – maybe at midnight EST. Nikon has this weird embargo where nobody can list new product for sale before a certain time.

      • Tenzin Samjung

        sounds good. I will keep an eye on NR site.

      • Proto

        yup, payment options include a car-payment sized lease….

        • Lol 🙂

        • Roger S

          Wow! And a pretty good car at that.

  • William Dyer

    Sigh… Much as I’d like to update my current 200-400, the price is crazy. More than twice what I paid for mine. Is it better, no doubt, but $6000 better. Doubtful. Not if I want to stay married. 😉

    • Dude, you have to get your priorities straight.

  • The most astonishing thing about that lens is the price – wow!

    • Allan

      Time to start charging for your excellent YouTube videos.


    • Bill Ferris

      Close second, is the weight…a full pound heavier than the 500mm, f/4E FL. The MTFs look impressive.

  • NikonF5AE

    Found this from the official Japanese Nikon site:
    Here is the Google Translation:
    About Security Slot
    You can install commercially available anti-theft security wire. For instructions on how to install please see the manual of security wire.

    • Chris Daigle

      They should put those on cameras too. You use the cables they sell to lock down laptops.

  • tom

    The price is obscene. What a turn off.

    • Proto

      but, looks and functions on the lens — is a turn on : )

  • Spy Black

    I dunno, are the days of exotic lenses numbered? I know this is specialty stuff, and there will be those out there with the pockets to buy them, but I wonder as third party lens makers get ever and ever better at this very game, for less. There may always be a sufficient market for lenses like this, I dunno.

    • Proto

      As the opening sentence in a sports photography book said — “if you looked at the price of this book before buying, sports photography is not for you”….

      Folks who buy these lens are usually not price sensitive

      • I cover sports – This lens is appealing (formerly had the 200-400 VR II), however I freaking had to save hard for that lens and I got a sweet deal on it for AU$7600 new. Later I sold it and now have the 300/2.8G.

        This lens would be fantastic for some of the work I do but that price is just nuts. I understand the costing but still for someone who isn’t a corporation it’s a big ask to cough up that kind of cash.

      • Spy Black

        Yeah but the competition is coming up very well from behind. In the end a great photographer with an OK lens will take a better shot than the OK photographer with a great lens.

    • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

      Was it an exotic lens and did the lens have a wider market when the MK 1 was introduced at a slim down price at £4k. How much does this Mk 3 lens cost to make, R&D costs and have Nikon done a full price modelling forecast with the view that having more punters buy this lens is an advantage than to having even less of a market share and much less being sold and in sales. Is there only concern is to the bean counters upstairs who want to charge more ££/$$ for less.

  • animalsbybarry

    Almost Twice the wieght, bigger, and 9x the price as the Tamron 150-600 F5.6-6.3 with less reach and ase in flavor only slightly better MTF chart…. plus the Tamron works with 2.4x for even more reach

    I think I will continue to use my Tamron

    And I could make a similar case in favor of the Nikon 200/500 F5.6 and Nikon 1.4x teleconverter

    • Spy Black

      Nikon is definitely gambling high.

      • Mark Loh

        Most probably from D850 fund.

        • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

          One has to wonder what the price of a D860 / D6 will be ? – £4500 / £8000.

          • Allen_Wentz

            D6 is two years away. Today I am concerned with what the D5s/x bodies may be.

            Peter where are the rumors? :~)

        • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

          One has to consider the impact it will have on camera shops trying to generate sales on produce that is going steeply in price.. How many staff will lose their jobs, how many branches will have to go with less sales being generated and more customer s going for different options, 3rd party, doing with what they got, buying one later date including gray and second hand.

    • Ed Hassell

      I love the 200-500 f/5.6E; however, it gets a little weak as you approach the 500mm limit and, at least in my experience, it doesn’t play well with the TC14E III (whereas, my 70-200 f/2.8E plays very well with the TC). The 200-500 also doesn’t hold up that well at the edges on full frame. I tend to use it on my D500 bodies rather than my D810.

    • Just Me

      I don’t think they made it for you.

    • Yeah, it’s overpriced, but you’re kind of comparing a corolla to a corvette there.

      • peter w

        Love the Corolla. 1,6 16v, 1998.
        Looks as dull as it gets. Saves some money for perhaps a 180-400 F4 lens.

  • HD10

    … and Nikon still does not make the tripod collar support Arca compatible where even the low-cost long-lenses from its competitors have already integrated that.

    • PhilK

      I suspect this is one of those things that Nikon sticks to, not wanting to pre-decide what sort of tripod head its users must use, because it has always done it that way and it seems “correct”.

      The “Arca foot” is much more popular than it was 20 years ago, but as with certain other things, I think Nikon is a bit conservative about this kind of stuff.

      • HD10

        I think it has something to do with the “beans-counter” at Nikon. The extra cost of an Arca rail or adapter may be a pittance compared to the price of the lens but an Arca rail or adapter adds weight and increases the lens height when mounted. I consider this omission as reflecting poorly of Nikon.

        • PhilK

          I really doubt it’s a cost issue. I am fairly confident it is likely more of a philosophical matter for the company.

      • Allen_Wentz

        What Nikon does with tele lens feet makes no sense to me.

        A) The lens foot/plate MUST be bombproof solid on pricey tele glass. There is _zero_ excuse for some of the junk Nikon has given us. It is simply bad, stupid, crummy work by Nikon and totally unacceptable. If Nikon is incapable of building in a proper foot they should provide no foot at all and simply provide tech help to the likes of RRS and Kirk who DO make bombproof attachment methods.

        B) IMO the lens foot should be dovetailed exactly at RRS dimensions, but I do understand that Nikon may wrongheadedly think otherwise. Ergo see A) above.

        I do not even consider Nikon tele glass without also planning the appropriate RRS hardware to actually make the pricey Nikon glass do what it was built to do.

        • PhilK

          OK, help me out here: most of my info is second-hand as I am not typically a $10,000 lens purchaser.

          My understanding of the historical problems with tripod foots on Nikon super-teles is that they were A) too small, with limited attachment area, B) did not always have the attachment point at the balance-point of the lens (or lens/camera combo), and C) had inconvenient attachment to the lens, eg inflexible rotation, couldn’t be removed, not easily locked/unlocked, etc. Am I at least partly right there?

          And apparently there had been some improvement over the last 5-10 years or so, I thought. No?

          It seems that in the press release for the 180-400, Nikon crowed about some kind of ball-bearing rotational thingy or somesuch, appearing to be proud of doing something to improve their mounting hardware. Is that an improvement or not?

          Are the mounting feet on all the competition’s lenses (Canon, Sony, Leitz, Tamron, Sigma, Tokina, etc) all superior to Nikkors these days? Are 3rd-party options available for all of them?

          • ITN

            The feet and collars made in Nikon tele lenses introduced in the 2000-2007 window and also the 80-400 AF-S were mostly too flexible for use at slow shutter speeds and it has been shown that poor sharpness can happen even at 1/500s at certain speeds due to mechanical flex and the mechanical shutter. Worst speeds were from 1/2s to 1/80s I think. However the ones in many of the newest Nikkors are definitely improved over those in the first decade of the milennium.

            It is a mystery why they were made so poor and flexible. It is possible they hoped for some attenuation of vibration when braced with hands and on tripod. However with high resolution cameras the collars made it impossible to get good MTF in testing and so Nikon seem to have gotten the message. 200/2 II, 70-200/2.8 FL, RT-1 for 70-200/4 and 300/4 PF, and reportedly the FL superteles have pretty good collars and mounts. 500/4 VR mount is quite good. 200-500 collar is decent but not ideal for slow speed work. Prior to the 300/4 AF-S and 80-400 AF-D, Nikon made generally nice or decent collars and feet in the old days. Although some had too small a mounting area.

            Other brands offer lenses with similar issues. Sony 100-400 is said to have insufficient quality of collar. Sigma tripod feet are like rubber, absolutely ghastly.

            • PhilK

              Thanks, I didn’t realize they were actually weak to the point of being wobbly.

              Are they all removable these days? It seems at least the bottom part usually is.

  • Ed Hassell

    I hate to say I told you so, but … I told you so. I expected the price to be at least $12K.

    I’m sure it’s likely to be one h-e-double-hockey-sticks of a lens but it is not for me. I’d be willing to go the distance for an lens that WITH the 1.4x TC was 180-400 at f/4 and had a base configuration of 125-280 f/2.8 (or anything somewhat similar: basically, the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 except with a built-in, properly matched 1.4x TC).

  • AYWY

    It just occurred to me the previous 200-400 f/4 was only released in 2010, and before that, in 2003. This replacement is happening very quickly. This class of lens seems to have the update regularity of the f/2.8 zooms. is there so much demand for it?

    • Harold1966

      From serial no.’s, there might have been 25.000 build of the 200-400

    • PhilK

      Certainly there is a demand, but something like this is also a “halo” product that stakes out the high-end pro territory and prevents Canon (or Sony, now) from stealing all the attention for “gee whiz” products.

      Sometimes that is even more important than the money they make from selling them.

    • It’s not the demand, Nikon has to stay on top of their game and needs to update these exotic lenses as new technology appears.

  • Just Me

    The difference is…I want the lens.

  • Proto

    or keep a tiger in your yard and photograph with 200mm : )

  • Baller

    Perfect for those close ups on the beach… it’s art if you’re asking.

    • Scott M.


    • PhilK


      It just occurred to me that maybe one reason that hood is a $600 item is that it’s made out of magnesium or carbon composite for weight reasons or something.

      But yeah, $600 is still..

      • Bob Thane

        Yep, Nikon exotics have carbon fibre hoods, which is pretty expensive. Still insane for a lens hood though.

        • Allen_Wentz

          Yeah. I saw that hood price and just said wow.

    • Allan

      So, you have to be a defensive lineman to hold this setup. 🙂

  • Dino Brusco

    Maybe for this reason Tamron just patented a 400/4, 500/4 and 300/2.8 lenses ? I bet the most expensive will be barely 1/3 of this one, maybe a little more for the 500/4

  • Jacobus DeWet

    This lens is heavier then the old lens. Yes the build in TC will add some weight and the additional glass. Weight and size is becoming a massive problem for airline travel. I recently had to stop travelling with my 200-400. So, will have to wait for the new 300 f2.8 FE.

    • PhilK

      Newer, much more restrictive airline rules in the post-9/11, post-2008-recession world certainly don’t help.

  • peter w

    A bit heavy. Integrated tc weighs about 600 grams, interpreted from weight developpement in former versions of 200-400 and 500 F4 lenses.
    I hope they make a new 500 F4 with integrated tc. I could use a second hand or outlet of the present model of only 3 kg and very nice balance :).

  • David Peterson

    So cheap, I’ll buy three!

  • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

    Nice and exciting lens but a bit steep and mark up over the Canon’s equivalent which is £8999.99 in UK, was expecting £10,000k tops and will sell in low numbers unfortunately unlike the MK1 ( and less so of MK 2) where priced cheaper around £2999.99 – £3495 would have sold in larger numbers and brought by a wider audience.

    Interesting for the big 3 Sony, Canon, Nikon if they adjusted the price metrics on some of this exotic glass and this new lens if they could price it cheaper whether they could and by what factor a) increase the sales (given) b) make a profit and c) return the cost over R&D d) how much sales could be generated if not only more pros buy the lens but more serious enthusiast / amateurs ?

    Is there any need for these prime and this lens in particular to be priced as high as it should – or is it because these camera makers are becoming more greedy, fleecing the customer, not thinking in right way in that if i happen to make a lens say £8000 compared to £10,000 I could still produce a tidy profit and high sales back in return rather than continuing to fleece the customer.

    Again relevant examples of this include MB-D17 / D18 (not interchangeable between D500 & D850) , D5 battery charger MH-26A

  • Lol, stop complaining about the price. It’s not for everyone.

    To be honest, this is an exciting lens. I’m tired of bringing 300mm, 400mm, and 600mm on my events. This is actually a bargain compared to getting 3 glasses and 3 bodies.

    • PhilK

      And considering Nikon’s market position these days, it really is critical to set themselves apart from the rest of the field, and have only Canon as a worthy rival.

      Otherwise all the newly aggressive Asian competition will keep eating into their business until it’s no longer profitable to keep developing these fancy things.

    • jstevez

      Well said. Nikon and Canon understand the market and they know that there is a small segment of professionals waiting for this lens. When someone says ” wow what a bargain! I’ll buy 2″ it tells you they have to clue how a photography company should work.

    • This is a good way to justify the price.

      • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

        Only to the extent of equipment consolidation and having to sell things to afford the lens, doesn’t touch the impact on potential declining off the market, less sales and people + businesses having to close (camera shops ) as punters are not spending or not being able to afford luxuries like Nikon stuff.

        • Bob Thane

          Normal people couldn’t afford the Nikon 1200-1700 either, and that’s an ancient lens. This is nothing new – there will always be lenses that are priced out of most people’s hands. There will also be lenses that most enthusiasts can afford – like the Nikon 200-500, which could honestly be priced at double what it sells for and people would still buy it.

          • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

            Although Nikon probably wouldn’t have to build this lens if it wasn’t for Sigma doing this first and also the price has / had to be competitive with the Sigma version otherwise people would opt for the Sigma version

            • Bob Thane

              Cheap telephotos are nothing new – Tamron had a 200-500 and Sigma had a 150-500 for ages. Then Tamron came out with the 150-600, and Sigma followed with a couple 150-600s. Also Nikon doesn’t price their other lenses to be competitive with Sigma or Tamron, so they certainly could have followed the same strategy with the 200-500.

              Regardless though, the point is that Nikon is not cutting out the enthusiasts and only making top-tier pro gear. The best gear is very expensive, but they still make good options for people on a tighter budget. The 10-24mm is another great example of this.

            • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

              True on that – only question for myself for all camera manufacturers is their justification or who holds the companies to account if they keep on raising prices on each iteration of their revisions. What would the price of the update to the D600 / D750 ? £2999 and how much of the market is there in / left for punters to buy into this replacement over a lower cost price ?

              Same with Iphone XI ? – how much would Apple lay on top of this price £1400 and how many x phones do they expect to generate on this cost base over a Iphone XI priced at £899.00. Need to understand cost modelling more in Busiess.

              Still understanding business and its economic strategy.

              I must apologise to everyone on my grumbles / complaint/s.

    • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

      As described there are wider business impacts and not all to do whether consumer can afford it or not.

      People and businesses are reliant on sales of people buying phones/ cameras / lenses etc and if price of new models keep going up and up then less sales will mean no x amount of people loosing their jobs, no x amount of shops / branches closing.
      Impact is than employee redundant x has less spending money to buy things like holidays, mobiles which has impact on business y and also the state, e.g., dole / income support, etc.

  • borko61

    I had original 200-400mm lens and it was very good at anything below 100 feet….past that distance image quality was deteriorating fast…it was “short sighted”….I wonder how will new version perform…

  • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

    Have to say that this is an interesting post and come across many intelligent people who have make very good points / discussions around some of my concerns or arguments and possible mistakes that not only Nikon but other companies are making.

  • One interesting thing that no one has mentioned – this lens has a really great minimum focus distance – just 6.6 feet. That’s even better than the 200-500 at 7.2 feet and way better than the 400 2.8 at 8.4 feet.

    Plus, since a TC does not affect minimum focus distance, this gives you a 560mm lens that can focus to 6.6 feet. Far better than the 11.9 feet of the 500mm or the 14.4 feet of my 600 F4.

    This could be the ultimate lens for tiny birds like wrens, warblers, etc. Now, just to come up with a way to fund it – and stay married at the same time…

    • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

      Over time this £12k monster may drop down to £10K and could be a good long term purchase but lot of consideration will be needed. One thing I didn’t consider with all my rambles is with the ever increasing price of things like things widgets and ever increasing squeeze on house hold income, ever decreasing market with most of the images in world taken by smartphones – where will there most of their income come from, how many photography shops and staff will be left in the coming years selling goods ? Not sure whether camera manufacturers consider this at all or care about this.

      • TurtleCat

        Over the approaching 8 billion people living on earth there is likely going to be a market for some time. I wouldn’t think there would be a market for super cars but Jeremy Clarkson et al have convinced me over the years that there is. If there are enough people buying these super cars there are likely even more willing to buy camera equipment.

        • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

          About 1/2 of world’s population is living below the poverty line and most people in the Europe are having to face with more job insecurity, wages not going up as much as inflation, taxes, energy bills and transport charges has a knock on effect not only in this country but in country X (China) who makes stuff but struggling to sell same volume as people cut back on purchases.

          • TurtleCat

            I’m not sure that is relevant to my statement. My basic point is that out of 8 billion people there’s likely going to be a market for it. That is simply an enormous number of people. Let’s say that only 1% can pay to play that’s what? 80 million people. Let’s assume that reports that it sells maybe 25,000 copies is accurate. That requires 0.03% of the 1% rich world population to buy it. And since many of those will be businesses, even less.

            I’m not saying anything about fair, unfair, difficult life, earnings, etc. Just stating that it doesn’t take many people with resources to make it a profitable product.

        • Max

          I think there might be more supercars than 600mm f4s

    • marymig

      Mission Impossible…

    • Pat Mann

      There will be tons of 200-500s dumped to get that close focus when this comes out – watch for big deals on used and refurb!

  • Espen4u

    Impressive MTF charts! But hey, that price. This lens will be expensive even to rent.

  • Vladimir

    What do you think, is Sigma going to release 200-400F/4 this year or in 2019 and what will ne the price? $6500?

    • Bob Thane

      Likely not until 2025, if ever. Currently they have a 120-300mm f2.8 which covers the sports side of things in a unique way, and they have a 500mm f4 which covers the wildlife side at a great price.

      Developing a 200-400 would be a very expensive endeavour that would potentially hurt 120-300 sales, and it would be hard to compete against Canon and Nikon.

      So personally, I don’t think it makes sense for them to develop such a lens, at least not yet. They have other areas which have less competition, more volume, and overall better profitability which they’ll focus on first.

      • Vladimir

        Not so sure. Nikon priced a new lens realy high and opened nice gap for third party 200-400F4 lens. Canon lens is also $11000 so the market exists. There is a lot of people who would like a nice pro build and sealed 200-400F4 lens for cca. $6500-$6999 and yet there is no any more. And most probably as a new design it would be better at a longer distances than outgoing Nikkor. A lot of people wanted such a lens for “old” price but were not happy with mentioned long distance weakness.

        • ITN

          The 180-400 is a new higher level product which doesn’t replace the 200-400, it is offered as an additional option.

          It may not be possible to make a significantly better lens than the Nikon 200-400 at the same price. Canon couldn’t do it without substantially increasing price from Nikon’s offering (and their lens doesn’t have the Nikon lens’s excellent 1:4 close up capability, illustrating the trade off between close up and long distance capabilities) and they have far more customers to split costs across. To solve the distance problem requires more expensive materials (fluorite and special glass), more elements and fitting of the teleconverter to each lens sample to optimize quality. This costs more money.

  • PhilK

    The Chinese people are getting increasingly critical about the environmental problems there. The government is very nervous about it because it could result in some serious unrest if they don’t start really getting a handle on it pretty soon.

  • Gosh1

    One interesting snippet (in footnote) is the firmware update pending for the D5, D500 & D850 to allow the outer row of AF points to become cross-type sensors for improved coverage. One wonders if this will only work with this 180-400 f4E ?
    There are a few missing features and improvements needed on the D850 that firmware can fix

  • TurtleCat

    They won’t put out a 400 f5.6 PF. It is effectively the same as the 300 PF + 1.4 TC. A dedicated lens for that spot won’t be in much demand and likely wouldn’t be any cheaper than that combo. Now a 500mm f5.6 PF is something I would be very interested in.

    • Gosh1

      Yes, a 500 f5.6E PF can be argued for but it’s with a TC (i.e. a 700 f8 with glacial AF) not as flexible nor as compact and light as they can make a 400 PF.

      OTH why don’t Nikon make both – priced ~$2000. Following on the D850 and this top pro 180-400, cost effective solutions that’ll keeping kicking Canon into touch.

      Travellers terrorized by the microcephalic jobs-worths policing airline customers….they will grab at a 400 f4E PF if it weighs < 2 kg – ~1.5kg even better 🙂

      If Nikon persist in refusing to fill this long vacant niche (since they dropped the superb 1.2kg 400 f5.6AIS IFED) then hopefully Mr Yamaki, Sigma’s engaging CEO, will put his family business onto adding a lightweight 400 f4 Sport to complement their 500. All the better if they adopt fresnel technology 🙂

  • MailGebbons

    I am sticking with the 75-300 on my d300s. still waiting for d400 btw

    • Pat Mann

      We need the laugh out loud icon on the up. I liked my D300s as well. I would just buy the lens before the price goes up, and then you can put it on the D400 when it comes out.

    • Gosh1

      heard of the D500 released early 2017?

  • Bob Thane

    If you’re going for birds it would honestly be a pretty tough choice between the 600mm f4 fl and the 180-400. Sure, both are heavy, but it’s the price you pay for a top-tier birding lens.

    The 600mm has the advantage of slightly more reach, a stop more light, and likely better image quality (perhaps just slightly).

    However, the 180-400 is a bit lighter, allows you to recompose easier and track fast moving subjects easier, and has a substantially closer minimum focus distance (like, crazily so – unless the 180-400 has awful focus breathing it should be outstanding for small birds).

    The 500mm f4 is lighter and cheaper (and offers f4 and likely sharper images than the 180-400), but lacks the flexibility or minimum focusing distance of the zoom, and is a tad shorter than most bird photographers like.

    • Gosh1

      Agreed 🙂 Including the impressive close minimum focusing distance of this 180-400 f4

      But the weight of 3.1 kg for the 500 f4E Nikkor (3.3kg for the less costly 500 Sigma Sport) are big deciding factors to handhold and for airline travel. Both these 500mm primes deliver 700 f5.6 with respective TCs

  • onthedot

    It’s interesting to me how many parts are screwed on. That isnt very common anymore.

  • 2blueherring3

    I get that the zoom utility would be attractive to some but optically I think I would prefer to stick with my 400mm 2.8 e fl. I lose a stop with the 1.4 tc on but I would much rather be at ƒ4 than ƒ5.6. I paid less than 8k for my very clean lens used. I personally don’t see the big draw.

  • Is this lens some kinda joke?

    • Why? It looks amazing to me, just very expensive.

      • Exactly, it’s sure an excellent lens, but I don’t see the point. Too many cheap alternatives are out there. Even used from Nikon. What is this lens good for? Indoor sports? Soccer? Theatre? Wildlife with this weight? 🙂 One rarely need that one stop with so high ISO / low noise capable bodies today. Tamron and Sigma has fast and ultrasharp lenses, too, for FX. I was amazed of the sharpness of the Sigma 100-400 DX lens and it weights nothing compared. Pros are usually working with multiple bodies so they will stick to the good old primes. The few sport photographers I know are excited about the 300mm f4 PF lens because of the weight, too. Or will Nikon give this lens to NPS members on sport events maybe?

        • 2blueherring3

          I disagree with your statement that one rarely needs that one stop with high iso, low noise cameras. I get low light shots with my nikkor 400mm 2.8e that I could never dream of capturing with my Sigma 150-600 or my other long zoom. There is a world of difference.

          • I believe you. You needed crisp quality, and plenty of light, and had the budget, that’s why you bought a top prime lens. Would you change it to this new 180-400? I bet you not. You probably prefer carrying an additional body-lens combo, so you probably fits in the pro segment mentioned above. 🙂 Now that’s what I am talking about. The enthusiasts will never pay this sum for a lens, they compromise with eg. the Tamron. I don’t see anyone between.

            • 2blueherring3

              Correct on all counts.

  • John

    Any chance Nikon is making prime tele lens with built in 1.4 and 2x teleconverter? Looking for light weight, hand holding possibility, prime quality, flexibility without removing lens! That would be great!

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