In the wake of Canon revealing two new super-wide zoom lenses (here and here) Nikon has a nearly polar opposite announcement of their own. They just announced a new 400mm f/2.8 lens. It is likely that Nikon timed this announcement to allow for use of the new 400mm at the FIFA World Cup.
The new 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR is a replacement of the 2007 400mm f/2.8G ED AF-S VR. The old 400mm was a monster weighing about 10.2 pounds, made up of 14 elements in 11 groups, 3 ED elements, nano crystal coat, and VR that could provide up to 3 extra stops. Coming in at around $9,000 the old 400mm was targeted at high-end sports and wildlife professionals. According to NikonRumors, the new 400mm is priced at an astonishing $11,999,95 — around $3k more expensive than its predecessor. The bump in price is likely due to a new magnesium alloy die-cast barrel and ultra-lightweight fluorite (lab grown) front element which make the lens nearly two pounds lighter.
Here's a comparison of the two lenses the first is the old, 2007 model.
And here's the new model:
Below is a full rundown from the press release on NR:
AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens product photo
Lighter and more rugged than its acclaimed predecessor, the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR frees professionals and passionate shooters to capture the thrill of sports, action and wildlife with staggering clarity and precision, even when shooting handheld in challenging lighting conditions. A fast f/2.8 maximum aperture paired with Nikon VR technology delivers exciting new low-light capabilities and beautiful bokeh, while a specialized diaphragm maintains consistent exposure during high-speed shooting. Pro-grade dust- and moisture-sealing and a fluorine coated front meniscus glass element protect the lens' superb NIKKOR optics on tough assignments while Nikon's advanced lens technologies give you every advantage for catching the shots that matter.
Fast f/2.8 400mm prime lens
When it comes to capturing sports or wildlife where the action is fast and the conditions are rarely favorable, lens speed can mean the difference between a great shot and a miss. At f/2.8, the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR gathers maximum light and renders beautiful bokeh. Nikon VR enhances that speed with up to 4 stops* of blur-free handheld shooting, including a new mode specifically for shooting Sports and Action, while a specialized electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism achieves remarkably consistent exposures when shooting at high frame rates. You might not be able to predict the spontaneous, but you certainly can prepare for it.
Lightweight, rugged and reliable
Thanks to lightweight fluorite lens elements and a magnesium alloy die-cast lens barrel, the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR is nearly 2 lbs. lighter than its predecessor, AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR. Anyone who has spent time in the field with a large super-telephoto lens knows every pound counts. And since wildlife and action often mean harsh conditions, it features professional grade dust- and moisture-resistant sealing and a fluorine coated meniscus protective glass element at the lens front. Wherever your assignments or passion take you, the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR is ready.
Every advantage for landing the shot
The AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR is an advanced lens designed to draw peak potential from high-resolution Nikon D-SLRs. The lens' ultra-fast, ultra-quiet Silent Wave Motor (SWM) provides outstanding autofocus performance with seamless manual override (just spin the lens barrel). Two fluorite lens elements (FL) provide superior optical characteristics while minimizing overall weight, while two Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements nearly eliminate chromatic aberration, even at f/2.8.
*Based on CIPA Standard. This value is achieved when: FX-format compatible lenses are attached to an FX-format digital SLR camera.
- Slip-on Front Lens Cover
- LF-4 Rear Lens Cap
- HK-38 Lens Hood
- 40.5mm Screw-on NC Filter
- CT-405 Trunk Case
- LN-2 Lens Strap
- Monopod Collar