Nikon 200-400mm f/4G AF-S IF-ED VR II

Nikon 200-400mm f/4G AF-S IF-ED VR II

Who It’s For:

This is Nikon’s longest professional zoom lens that’s a very special purpose lens for working professionals. It’s big, it’s expensive and it’s absolutely brilliant, but it’s definitely a special purpose lens so if you need it, you’ll love it, but unless you do, it’s a little overkill.

What We Like:

Range: This lens has a huge range from 200mm to 400mm that will take you from telephoto to super telephoto.

Build Quality: Like all Nikon professional lenses, this lens is built like a tank.

AF: Auto Focus is incredibly fast for it’s focal length and dead on.

Lack Of Distortion: At all focal lengths there is next to no distortion.

Ergonomics: For being such a big lens, it’s surprisingly easy to hand hold.

VR: Nikon claims 4 stops of improvement.

Close Focusing: This focuses down to 6.5 feet which is pushing macro.

What We Don’t:

Size: Despite the fact that it’s easy to hold, this is still a very big lens and is very heavy. You’ll probably want a monopod if you’re going to be using this all day.

Drop In Filters: You’ll have to use drop in filters as this has no front filter ring.

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I own and use this lens all the time for my professional sports coverage.  Nikon perfectly timed the introduction of this amazing Super Tele Zoom with the advent of better high-iso capabilities of the new DSLR camera.  In the past, sports shooters would not have touched a Super Tele that wasn't an f2.8.  But this lens now gives you the best of both worlds.  Even though it's an f4 maximum aperture, with the D4 (and D3 before that) it's no big deal to crank up the iso a notch.  I know a photographer who covers the Family Circle Cup with a 200mm f2, a 300mm f2.8, and a 400mm f2.8!  And they actually shoot most of them aroud f4 or f5 for a little "forgiveness" on the depth of field.  For less than the price, and less than the weight of that 400mm prime, I get all three of those focal lengths in ONE LENS that's relatively compact, lighter weight, and tac sharp!!!  I absolutely love it for all my sports and wildlife shooting, and highly recommend it!  Of course it also works great for close-ups of a bride and groom during their vows, from the back of a large church as well.  :-)

Bought this lens this past year for versatile sports coverage. It's simply outstanding!
Big? Yes. Heavy? Yes - but it does balance well on a D3s and can be handheld. In the end and all in all -worth every penny spent. Great color and Contrast , and tack sharp simply all of the time. What more could you ask for. Is it a 400 2.8 prime? No- but it's much more versatile and certainly more cost effective.

Francisco Eduardo de Camargo's picture

I have a lens of these two years ago and it is excellent. Quality, speed and accuracy combined with versatility. I recommend for sure. Use for sports and nature photos.