The Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens is the third lens that Nikon has announced since February of this year (and I’ve been told they’re just rolling their sleeves up). The new lens serves as an update to the original 200-400mm f/4 lens. As was the case with the previously announced lenses (AF-S 16-35mm f/4 VR II and AF-S 24mm f/1.4), the new 200-400mm lens carries on the trend of lenses compatible with Nikon’s growing FX-format line of DSLRs.
Like the AF-S 300mm f/2.8 VR II lens released near the end of 2009, the new AF-S 200-400mm lens gets more of a facelift in updates, as opposed to a complete redesign. Obviously, the VR II feature is one of the headliners, which Nikon claims delivers an additional 4-stops of handholdability. The new 200-400mm also receives a new nano-crystal coat on the glass to reduce ghosting and flare. The lens also gets a third focusing mode, A/M, which prevents slight and unintentional movements of the focus ring from canceling the autofocus while shooting.
The 200-400mm VR II lens includes 4 ED elements for what should be exceptional image quality, if we assume the results of the updated 70-200mm f/2.8 and 300mm f/2.8 will transfer to this lens as well. The increased resolving power of the ED elements should pave the way for future, higher-resolution Nikon DSLRs, which are sure to come.
The AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens will carry a retail price tag of $6999.95, which is about $900 over the current street price of the existing model. The new lens should be available sometime in late May 2010.
More details in the press release below. [Read more…]