Nikon Announces AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Super Zoom Lens

April 27, 2010
By Dan Havlik, PDN's Technology Specialist

Nikkor 200-400 VR II

Nikon continued its string of new pro lens releases this morning with the announcement of the  Nikkor AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens. This new lens uses several of Nikon's latest optical technologies including Vibration Reduction (VR) II, Nano Crystal Coat, and optimized autofofocus, along with offering a versatile maximum of aperture of f/4.

The price for this high quality piece of glass is not cheap though: it will sell for an MSRP a hair's breadth under $7K.

"This is for nature photographers and sports shooters who need rock solid stabilization and with VR II, they've got it," said Lindsay Silverman, Nikon's Senior Product Manager for Lenses, Speedlights, and Accessories.

The new 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens will be available from Nikon at the end of May. Silverman said the recent spate of new lenses from Nikon is designed to complement its FX (aka "full-frame") digital SLRs such as the 12.1MP D3s.

"The message to pro photographers is not just that we have the D3s," he told PDN Gear Guide. "How about a lens that can match that camera's quality?  With the new 200-400 and other recent lenses such as the 300mm f/2.8, we're offering that."

The Nikkor AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens is a follow-up to a previous version at the same focal length which was released in 2003.

More details in the press release below.



 â€¨MELVILLE, N.Y. (April 27, 2010) –  Today, the evolution of the super telephoto lens continues as Nikon Inc. announced the new AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens which delivers optical excellence and stunning image quality for professional photographers. Ideal for bringing to life exquisite detail for sports, nature and travel photography, this new lens affords a constant maximum aperture of f/4 and rugged construction for maximum versatility. Continued refinements and new technologies such as Vibration Reduction (VR) II, Nano Crystal Coat, and optimized autofocus (AF) modes enhance functionality and improve performance for discerning FX and DX-format photographers.
“The AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm lens builds upon a proven design for professional level optics by incorporating the latest Nikon lens technologies to give photographers the edge in the field, and the ability to capture the most intricate of details with extraordinary fidelity,” said Lisa Osorio, general manager of Marketing at Nikon Inc.  “As both camera capabilities and the roles of photographers expand, NIKKOR enhancements will continue to meet demands and exceed expectations to remain the pinnacle of optical excellence for all types of photographers.”
Whether photographing the decisive play at home plate or predators of the Serengeti, the 200-400mm f/4 lens is an essential tool for photographers who require long focal lengths and maximum versatility without sacrificing image quality. The 200-400mm lens benefits from the addition of Nikon’s proprietary Nano Crystal Coat to reduce instances of ghosting and flaring.  The result is unparalleled clarity and sharpness in challenging lighting environments typical to sports venues or harsh sunlight.
Additionally, this new NIKKOR lens features Nikon VR II image stabilization, which is specifically engineered for each lens for maximum performance. VR II is a valuable asset to those shooting photos or HD video, as image blur introduced by camera shake and telephoto magnification is significantly reduced. Users are able to shoot up to four stops* slower than otherwise possible, overcoming many of the challenges of handheld shooting with such extreme focal lengths. VR functionality is further augmented with Automatic Panning Detection and an Active VR Mode to help compensate for movement from an unstable position such as a moving vehicle.  Additionally, VR is always engaged when shooting in the D-Movie mode on select Nikon D-SLRs, helping to stabilize HD video capture.
The new 200-400mm f/4 lens features a host of professional focusing features to further enhance functionality. Photographers can now select from three focus modes to match shooting conditions, including manual mode (M) and autofocus with manual override (M/A) mode, and new A/M mode which is used to avoid cancelling the AF setting by unintentionally moving the focus ring while shooting. The M/A and A/M focus modes enhance AF control with fast, secure switching from automatic and manual focus to adapt to personal shooting preference and techniques. Additionally, photographers can activate the AF Recall Mode at the press of a button that allows for instant return to a predetermined point of focus to confidently capture anticipated shots.
This professional lens is constructed of die-cast magnesium for maximum durability and is sealed to resist dust and moisture, with protective Meniscus glass to safeguard the lens’ front element. The optical formula features four Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements for superior sharpness, color and image quality, while minimizing chromatic aberration. The lens also features Nikon’s exclusive Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology, which enables high-speed autofocus performance with exceptional accuracy and powerful, super-quiet operation. Nikon's Super Integrated Coating further suppresses flare and offers superior color consistency throughout the frame.

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

Objects Carl Zeiss Objects of Desire: Carl Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 Lenses
June 02, 2010 - A venerable name in still photography is now giving videographers the tools for making high-def movies with their HD-DSLRs: a first-class set of cine lenses.More
Apple Aperture 3.x
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED
Objects of Desire: Spider Holster
Objects of Desire: Apple iPad
Humble Monkey 360-T2 Camera Truck
Tech Packing for World Cup What Are You Packing For the World Cup?
June 02, 2010 - We talk to photographers covering the World Cup to find out what gear they'll be using and how they've prepared to cover the world's biggest sports story.