Nikon launches the fast and lightweight AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR: precision at any speed (14.05.2014)
Nikon today announces a fast new super-telephoto prime lens, the lightweight AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR.
Crafted to deliver precision at any speed, this FX-format super-telephoto is ideal for professional sports and news photographers who demand peak performance. Boasting a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture, a completely new optical design, and Nikon’s new SPORT Vibration Reduction (VR) mode, the NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8 delivers exceptional image quality, and it can track fast action with incredible clarity. Lighter than its predecessor, the new optical formula includes two fluorite lens elements that enhance performance and help reduce weight for balanced handling. The durable construction ensures the lens can withstand the rigours of professional outdoor use, and includes a fluorine coating that actively repels water, dust, and dirt without compromising image quality.
Launching alongside the lens is the high-performance AF-S TELECONVERTER TC-14E III. Designed to increase the focal length of select NIKKOR lenses by 40%, this teleconverter is ideal for sports, press, and wildlife photographers who want to extend their reach. An advanced optical formula delivers superior, high-resolution images even at maximum aperture, and an electromagnetic aperture maximises exposure accuracy with compatible lenses.
Zurab Kiknadze, Product Manager, Lenses, Accessories & Software, Nikon Europe, says: “Nikon’s recent optical and electronic technological advances are proving to be a real advantage for the new range of NIKKOR telephoto lenses. The new 400 mm not only incorporates fluorite glass for reduced weight and improved image quality, it also boasts an electromagnetic aperture for increased precision and the all-new SPORT Vibration Reduction mode. In addition, it has fluorine coating for better resistance to the elements, and improved ergonomics overall. The new AF-S TELECONVERTER TC-14E III also benefits from design improvements, offering super-telephoto users an incredibly compact way to increase their focal length. Both the new lens and the teleconverter are designed to withstand tough conditions and sustained use, and we’re confident that they’ll satisfy the most demanding professionals.”
Fast, precise, and steady, the new NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8 is the ultimate workhorse for sports and news photographers. Capable of capturing subtle detail and textures, the fast f/2.8 maximum aperture enables exceptional control over shutter speeds, and depth-of-field for distinctive subject/background separation. The electromagnetic diaphragm reliably achieves highly accurate aperture control with an extremely low incidence of errors. This precise mechanism also provides enhanced stability in Auto Exposure control during continuous shooting, and increased accuracy—especially if the lens is used with an electromagnetic teleconverter like the new AF-S TELECONVERTER TC-14E III. Three focus modes are employed: A/M (prioritises autofocus even when the focus ring is in use), M/A (allowing a switch from autofocus to manual operation in any AF mode instantly), and M (manual).
Enhancing stability, Nikon’s renowned Vibration Reduction (VR) technology enables shooting speeds up to four stops slower, and the all-new SPORT VR mode makes it possible to pan fast-moving subjects with incredible clarity. Designed to deliver a stable viewfinder image when shooting high-speed movement, SPORT mode allows a continuous shooting frame rate and minimal release time lag similar to those that are possible when VR is turned off.
New optical design
The newly designed optical formula features 16 elements in 12 groups, including two fluorite and two ED elements. Using fluorite for the front two elements makes the lens’s front portion lighter and shifts its centre of gravity to the rear, ensuring comfortable handling and stable operation. The fluorite elements also deliver superior optical performance, achieving high transmission rates with minimal chromatic aberration and much lower dispersion properties than even super ED glass. In addition, Nikon’s antireflective Nano Crystal Coat is employed to ensure clear images with minimal flare and ghosting. The lens also boasts a meniscus protective glass and is supplied with an NC filter. A convenient drop-in filter holder is located at the back of the lens.
Improved ergonomics, tough build
Significantly lighter than its predecessor, the use of fluorite elements in the lens construction have helped reduce the weight of this new super-telephoto to just 3800 g (approx.). Ergonomic enhancements include those made to the tripod collar ring, which now includes bearings to ensure smooth switching between horizontal and vertical orientation. The integrated tripod foot now faces the front of the lens, offering improved balance and more comfortable transportation when the lens is attached to a tripod, and a monopod foot is supplied with the lens. In addition, the one-piece hood can be flipped and reversed, allowing it to remain attached to the lens during transportation.
The body boasts a professional-grade dust- and moisture-resistant construction, with the fluorine coating that’s applied to meniscus protective glass working effectively to repel water, dust, and dirt without compromising image quality. An anti-theft security slot keeps the lens secure, and the lens is supplied with the sturdy CT-405 trunk case for convenient, safe transportation.
New 1.4x Teleconverter
Also launching today is Nikon’s new AF-S TELECONVERTER TC-14E III that increases the focal length of select NIKKOR lenses by 40%. Well-suited to use with fast prime and zoom lenses, this teleconverter replaces the current AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II. Boasting a smaller build and improved ergonomics, it is ideal for sports, press, and wildlife photographers who want to extend their reach: used with the new NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8, it increases the focal length to 560mm.
The optical design maximises the performance of a lens and minimises chromatic aberration that can originate from the teleconverter itself, resulting in superior, high-resolution images even at maximum aperture. An electromagnetic aperture maximises exposure accuracy with compatible lenses. The front and rear surfaces boast a fluorine coating to repel dirt and moisture, and the robust lens barrel has been redesigned to offer professional-grade weather resistance.