Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G VR 35mm Zoom

Available At:
AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G VR

The AF-S VR 200-400mm zoom lens combines four fixed focal length telephoto lenses into a single compact super-telephoto AF Zoom Nikkor lens

  • VR offers the equivalent a shutter speed 3 stops faster
  • Two VR Modes: Normal mode or Active Mode
  • Automatically detects when photographer is panning and compensates
  • Aperture range: f/4-22
  • Min focus: 6.2 feet
  • Rounded, 9 blade diaphragm for natural blur
  • D-type design provides distance information for flash

  • User Reviews (7)

    Showing 1-7 of 7  
    mattbikeboy   Professional [Jun 19, 2010]
    Strength:

    1) Fast
    2) Zoom is invaluable when shooting many sporting events where the action moves all over the field.
    3) Vibration Reduction is great for venues with poor lighting

    Weakness:

    1) Heavy!!!
    2) Definitely need a monopod or tripod when using.
    3) Did I mention that it is heavy?
    4) Large (with the hood attached the lens is in the 20" long range)! Can be unwieldy when the action comes in close.

    I use the previous AFS 200-400 F4 VR1

    I've used this lens to cover everything from local theater productions, minor league baseball, pro rodeo and youth soccer leagues to the FEI World Cup Finals (show jumping, dressage) and this lens can't be beat when you need a fast long zoom.

    This is not a lens for the faint of heart. It's a big and heavy piece of pro-glass that is invaluable when covering events where a good reaching zoom is a requirement. There are faster long telephoto lenses on the market -- but this is about the best of the longer zooms available by any lens manufacturer and the new version is even better in low light with the nano-coated optics and revised VRII system.

    Customer Service

    Nikon North America's weak link. Great equipment and sometimes poor customer service when you need repairs (most of the time it is good -- but when things go bad, they can be truly awful).

    Have not needed service on this lens but have had issues with Nikon customer service with other Nikon equipment.

    Similar Products Used: None in this range. I've shot many consumer and pro zooms up to 300mm and when you need the length -- this lens rocks.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    Available At:
    aria1117   Expert [Mar 10, 2009]
    Strength:

    sharpness. Can be used hand hold, so it is extremely useful when you are shooting on the go like most tourists. Well if I were a professional and have more money and assistance from technicians, I would get the 400mm VR, 500mm VR and 600mm VR. But I am not. For me, by having the 200-400mm lens instead, I am not missing much.

    well constructed!

    Weakness:

    expensive, especially for someone who is also shooting other formats (large format).

    After reading many reviews I brought this lens, and What a lens! I spent a day or two testing this lens against my other two long lenses, Pentax 400mm f4 EDIF, and 600mm F5.6 EDIF, both with NIkon adaptors, and it beats the 400mm at f4, 5.6 and as good as the 600mm at f5.6. I also compared to the 85mm f1.8 at f4 and f5.6 on a target (news paper on a brick wall, and change my distance from the target based on the lens). The 85mm lens is one of the sharpest lens around. This is what I found: at 200, 280mm, no major difference at f4 between the 85mm and the 200-400mm vr, although the 85mm lens is slightly more contrasty. At 400mm f4, the 85mm is slightly better, and at f5.6 the two are very similar. I must add that I compared the 85mm lens with the 70-200 vr lens and the former beats the vr lens at f2.8, f4 and f5.6 in all focal lengthes.

    But don't expect miracle here. It is after all a very long lens and need good technique and support to get good pictures. The VR helps but you still can not use it as if you are using a standard lens and do point and shoot. I also learned from my recent trip to Yellowstone, that you need to be sure what are you focusing on as well even though the bisons appear to be 100 yrs away. If you are not focusing on the head, you will not get a very sharp image. This is just what a long lens behave.

    I also used it with a 2x converter, it will focus, but I don't think the camera will be able to focus on the subject well enough. I rarely get a sharp image from it by auto focusing. But if I do manual focusing, it sometimes will give a very shape image. So I think the optics has plenty of sharpness and our technique may be the limiting factor with this lens. My conclusion? I am selling the 400mm and 600mm lenses.

    Customer Service

    not needed yet

    Similar Products Used: Pentax 6x7 400mm EDIF f4, Pentax 645 600mm EDIF f5.6.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    peachstate   Intermediate [Mar 16, 2008]
    Strength:

    Tack sharp images. Image stabilization aka vibration reduction. Versatility of focal lengths.
    7.2 lbs is not bad for this focal length.
    Fast Auto focus. Easy manual focus override.
    Nice travel size for bird photography.

    Weakness:

    Possibly price. Wish it were a 2.8 vs 4.0----but then it would weigh 12 lbs instead of 7!!!

    I truly love this superb lens. I photograph birds and often have to hand hold my shots, especially with small quick moving species. With adequate shutter speeds, images are as sharp as those shot with a tripod. I use a Nikon 1.4 TC with no problems, but since reading another review in this forum, I am going to try the 2.0 TC.
    Main reason I purchased this lens was that it was the longest focal length VR lens Nikon made at the time. It has served me very well. Possibly a 500mm VR is in my future.
    Cannot recommend this lens enough for nature/bird photography.

    Customer Service

    Have only needed them for my D200. Excellent response and not talking to someone in India, Bangladesh, et al. Instead, they are in Canada and speak perfect english, of course!!!

    Similar Products Used: Nikon 70-200 2.8 AFS VR
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Available At:
    JeffH   Professional [May 16, 2007]
    Strength:

    Sharp images
    Not too bulky for the range
    Great AF
    Plus, it just feels good when you work with it.

    Weakness:

    None so far. Although I too would prefer a heavier, more protective case.

    Wow! Big wow! I could not be more pleased with this lense. Yes, it is expensive. But if you are serious about your photographs, then this is a serious lense for you.
    The AF-S is zippy fast, even in poor lighting conditions. I photograph mainly marine mammals, in usually less than perfect conditions, and the lense has not let me down.
    Images are coming out tack sharp and results are really pretty good even wide open.
    I cringed at the price when I bought it, but my buyers remorse vanished the moment I attached it to my camera body.

    VR is a plus even though I don't generally need it with my Wimberley sidekick.

    Customer Service

    Have not contacted them

    Similar Products Used: Nikon 80-200m AF-S
    Tamron 300mm Manual
    Sigma 135-400(?) Can't honestly remember the length, didn't think much of the lense
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Anselmeek   Professional [Dec 28, 2005]
    Strength:

    Color, Contract, weight, VR, Construction and price. Many might list price as a weakness, but first class always cost.

    Weakness:

    Only that I did not buy the lens the day it came out

    This lens is as sharp as my 300 2.8 and is so much lighter and easier to carry around than my 400 2.8. The ability to zoom in and out over the fixed lenses will spoil on first use. And with a D2x you have an effective range of 300mm to 800mm. This lens combined with the D2X is something you would think you could only place on a wish list to Santa that he could never fill. And if that were not enough the 200-400 comes equiped with VR bullt in, I have shot with it hand held.

    Customer Service

    Not on this lens but in the past super service

    Similar Products Used: Nikon 70-200 2.8 Nikon 300mm 2.8 Nikon 400mm 2.8 Nikon 18-200 3.5-5.6
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Available At:
    FlatlandPhoto   Professional [Sep 10, 2004]
    Strength:

    VRS, build quality, fast focus, solid tripod mount and so on.

    Weakness:

    None so far. Not a weakness with the cloth-like case, but I prefer the metal trunk cases with a lens this size. And, I like the older leather like bonnet front cover better then the new cloth-like cover.

    It's the best zoom I have ever used! WOW what sharpness, contrast, vivid color and clarity from this lens. Nikon charges us a lot to get it, but they deliver with a lens that will please anyone. I compare it with my 300 2.8 and 400 2.8 AF-S lenses and find the photos are as good (if not better) when enlarged to 20X24. This lens delivers fully open at F4, even when using the 14EII and 20EII converters. No need to stop the lens down to get sharp photos, it delivers fully open. Focus is near instant with no hunting. Also, my lens focuses fast and does not hunt when using a 20EII, noting that the owners book says it will not AF with the 2X converter. Solid, professional built lens with good tripod mount. VR works in 2 modes, active for movement photos (airplane, car, boat, etc.) and normal for general use (including panning). Memory focus set for instant return to a preset focus point at the touch of a button is a nice perk. Get this lens, recommended.

    Customer Service

    None ever needed on any Nikkor lens.

    Similar Products Used: 70/200 AF-S VR, 300, 400, 500 AF-S primes.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Joseph Au   Professional [Mar 25, 2004]
    Strength:

    Sharpness, Built, and 200-400mm range.

    Weakness:

    Zoom ring a little tight

    What a lens! This lens is tack sharp at any focal length at f4. A very handy range to shoot sports [or widelife]. The zoom ring is a little tight at first, but it should loosen up a bit in time. New feature with the function buttoms which can assigned to AF-On, AF-L, or Memory Recall. It takes a little getting used to zooming with a lens of this size and weight. People who are used to the 100-400 F4.5-5.6 class lens will probably don't like this lens. By the way, the kirk plate made for the Nikon 400mm f2.8 AF-S will fit this lens.

    Customer Service

    Not needed.

    Similar Products Used: Nikon and Canon 300mm, 400mm, 500mm, 600mm
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Showing 1-7 of 7  

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