Definitely not your average snapshooter’s lens! Nikon’s AF-S Nikkor 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR has a name which begs explanation. This pro level FX-format lens has been updated not only with the newest lens technologies and an advanced optical formula to enhance performance and reduce weight, but it also features the company’s first ever built-in teleconverter. Ah, now the TC1.4 part of the nomenclature makes sense.
The lens delivers a constant f/4 aperture and the built-in 1.4X teleconverter allows photographers to seamlessly swap to a 252-560 mm. The teleconverter is engaged at the flick of a switch, and is easily operated with a single finger while looking through the viewfinder. When used on DX-format DSLRs, the focal length is the equivalent of 270-600 mm (378-840 mm with the teleconverter engaged).
The lens features an electromagnetic diaphragm, helping to create smooth and consistent exposures while shooting high-speed bursts of images, Nikon explains. What’s more, the AF tracking algorithm controlling the motor drive has been enhanced to increase tracking performance of fast moving subjects. When using
cameras equipped with Nikon’s advanced 153-point AF system (D5, D500, D850), the outer row of AF points are activated as cross-type sensors to significantly enhance the AF coverage throughout the frame. This feature will be available with a firmware upgrade for the D5, D850 and D500.
The lens now uses a fluorite element, which contributes to improved balance while minimizing weight. To further enhance handling and agility, the lens has adopted a new ball-bearing tripod collar ring to create a seamless transition from shooting horizontal to vertical composition. The VR mechanism offers a normal and sports mode, with up to four stops of compensation to help create sharp images, even when handheld.
The lens construction includes the use of durable magnesium alloy for weight reduction, while the lens is also sealed against dust and moisture. A fluorine coating is also used to help repel water droplets and dirt.
The optical formula of the lens uses eight Extra Low Dispersion (ED) elements, doubling the amount of ED elements used by its predecessor, the Nikkor 200-400mm. Nikon says the optics help to provide extremely sharp and detailed images and 4K video. Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat is used to effectively suppress instances of ghosting and flare, says the company.
The AF-S Nikkor 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR will be available in March for a suggested retail price of $15,549.95.