Nikon announces 180-400mm VR

In Gear Review by Patrick

Today at the CES, Nikon announced the AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR lens. Hailed as the replacement for the Nikkor 200-400mm VR II, it boasts some impressive new technology. I currently own the Nikon 200-400 VRII and it is one of my favorite lenses for wildlife, sports and birding and I not ready to switch for the price tag of $12,400 USD.

There will be those individuals who switch given the additional focal range and the ability to switch to the built-in selectable 1.4x teleconverter which provides an effective focal length of 252-560mm with a loss of 1 stop of light to f/5.6.

Like any lens, this super telephoto is not for everyone. First off the price is prohibitive for many and it is considered a specialty lens. I will say this, when you compare the specs to the current 200-400 VRII, Nikon has managed to keep the specs on the new lens close to its predecessor. Many of the controls and switches look very familiar.

It is roughly the exact same length as the 200-400mm VRII, but is slightly heavier at 7.7 pounds. It takes the same filter 52mm and the MFD remains at 6.6 feet. It has the advanced optical design with 8 ED glass elements, a fluorite element and Nano crystal coat. Overall these improvements are impressive, but I don’t think it warrants running out and buying this lens just yet, at least for me.

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