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NikonAF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black)
 
4.9

(based on 47 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (46)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (48)
  • Strong construction (33)
  • Rugged (31)
  • Durable (30)
  • Consistent output (24)

Cons

  • Heavy (30)

Best Uses

  • Sports/action (39)
  • Wildlife photos (33)
  • Landscape/scenery (9)
  • Wildlife (8)
  • Low light (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (15), Semi-pro photographer (11), Pro photographer (10), Enthusiast (5), Professional (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (29)

Reviewed by 47 customers

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(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Worth The Wait!

By Infinity Productions

from Tacoma, WA

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Great in Low Light
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Rugged
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Sports/Action
    • Weddings/Events
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

    After saving my lunch money for a couple of weeks I decided to take the plunge and purchase the Nikon 300mm f2.8 that I have wanted for the past few years. Strange thing happened when the moment of truth arrived, I stepped up and ordered the 400mm instead! When it arrived I was shocked at it's sheer size and weight. It definitely took a while to get comfortable with. Now I can't imagine life without it!I'm not the first to say this: "Just Do It"! If you are looking for optimal performance, this is the lens to get.I will offer a few thoughts for your consideration:The Lowpro Lens Trekker 600 II Lens Case works well as does the Pelican 1514 with foam for shipping.The Len Coat Hoodies in XXX Lg and XXXX Lg are both a MUST! The XXXX Lg. replaces and folds more conveniently than the lens cover that Nikon provides. While the XXX Lg. Hoodie protect the front element with the lens hoods removed while in transit in the Pelican 1514.finally, a solid Monopod and Tripod is imperative! In my opinion if you are unwilling to invest in a proper support system, don't bother to buy this lens.After months of research I purchased both the RRS TVC-34L Tripod with the BH-55 Ball Head and the RRS MH01-LR Monopod with MC-34. Also key is the LCF-13 replacement foot by RRS. This package gives me the confidence that this pricey piece of glass is going to stay put. Interestingly I've found myself using the Monopod about 90% of the time. Even more remarkable is the shots you can get hand held!In short, quit wasting your time reading this. . . Just order one quickly while they're still available. I can't imagine in what universe that Nikon's latest offering is worth $. more!

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    • No

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Doesn't get any better

    By CJC

    from Westport, CT

    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

    Heavy duty, heavy glass, exceptional quality output.

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Superb

    By Amudgarden

    from Phoenix, MD

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Nice Bokeh

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Night Photography
      • Sports/Action
      • Weddings/Events
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

      You won't find a better product in this telephoto range. Tack sharp wide open, minimal aberration in direct sunlight, built to withstand a World War...this lens is just awesome. I use it mainly for high school sporting events, both indoors and outdoors, and this lens performs perfectly in any situation. High ISO on the D4 is no problem...color balance/contrast is excellent.

      It's a little too heavy for me to use hand-held...I use a monopod most of the time. But the weight is worth getting f/2.8 for indoor events and other lower light situations. The VR system works flawlessly in the background...I never even think about it...it's just subtly there to help out. Focus is wicked quick and precise. Bokeh (out of focus background) is sweet when working wide open.

      If it fits within your budget, I'd highly recommend this lens. If you need or want a lens within this focal range, there isn't a finer product available. It's not cheap, and it's not light. But it's consistency and production is unmatched. I sound like a Nikon sales rep...the lens is just that good.

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      • No

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      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Not for the faint of heart

      By Greg

      from Harpswell Maine

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

      I am involved in expedition cruising to unique distant locations. I needed a lense with reach and the ability to work in low light conditions. I have always wanted this lense but the shear size, weight, and price kept me from laying the cash on the table for years. But....there are always solutions to any problems or hurdles if you look hard enough. The same holds true with the issues I mentioned above. Read all the reviews. It is an amazing lens. Don't let simple hurdles prevent you from buying a lens you know you will enjoy for years to come.

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      • No

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Love it

      By MEB

      from Richmond VA

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Sports/Action
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

      I just got the lens and used it a couple of times at local zoos. It focuses very quickly and the pictures are sharp. It is a beast to carry around for any length of time.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great lens.. very good picture quality

      By Shan

      from Colombo, Srilanka & Melbourne, Australia

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

        This Nikon 400 f 2.8 was brought to me by my daughter from Orlando FL to Melbourne, Australia and finally to Srilanka .This is a heavy lens at first, even though I read lot about it never thought when I fixed if to my D800 ,that I could handle it. I take pictures in Srilanka , mainly for, clarity and color, of birds, leopards , sloth bears and elephants in this island country where biodiversity among the worlds' highest! I went to Yala nation park , Wasgamuwa , and Wilpattu , and was able to get crisp clear photos of leopards , elephants and many water and perching birds .I too have other Nikon lenses but this is the lens for clarity and color!! Now I find using it not much of a problem, in my last Wilpattu trip I took over 1600 photos of great quality photos from this lens alone.
        It is a beautiful lens and, which Now I think is must for my wildlife tours. I would recommend it to any one and B and H is the best place for my future perches too.

        Shantha

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        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Extremely fast focus

        By Rudy

        from TX

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

        This lens will be used primarily for sports photography, but I will attempt some nature photography with the aid of the TC 1.4 & 1.7. I am amazed at how fast this beast can achieve focus. Images are very sharp and clean.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Can't wait to try this out on wildlife

        By BK3

        from Colorado

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

        Received my 400mm f/2.8G lens and it is great. I find it to be quick on the focus, extremely crisp and clean picture and with the speed of the lens, dusk and dawn are no problem. I have had the slower 600 mm lens in the past, and the fast 300mm lens as well, but this one puts the others to shame. Couple it with the teleconverter and it is an indispensable asset to my photographic repertoire.

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        (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Exactly what I needed

        By Linwood

        from Cape Coral

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Bright And Contrasty
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Tripod foot

        Best Uses

        • Night Sports
        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

        Having used the 200-400 for many years, I was getting increasingly frustrated shooting night sports.I had recently gotten the 200/F2 for the short end, and it was a HUGE improvement, not just a stop faster (than the 70-200), but it was much sharper at F2 than either the 70-200 or 200-400, even wide open. Thus began the lure into primes for night games, and now the 400/F2.8.It is sharper than the 200-400 (though not as glaringly sharper as the 200/F2 was), it focuses faster, and the extra stop makes a huge difference, e.g. night baseball. While it did not provide a great leap in sharpness, the increase in contrast and color depth was substantial. It is bright and contrasty to the edge, really providing more than the 1 stop improvement the numbers show.It is large and while one could handhold for a bit, it works best on a monopod (or tripod). But when you see how LARGE it is, you will actually be amazed how light it is for the size. They clearly made huge improvements over the years (I think earlier versions were 50% heavier). The VR II (despite the label it is II) works well, though not too relevant for my use. I'm not a fan of the new ring-switch for VR, the on/off indicator being on the opposite side from the other switches.I was concerned about the two piece lens hood. The first exposure to it is accompanied by flipping things back and forth but it becomes quickly natural to remove and install, and I was very surprised how rigid and solid-feeling it was installed. You can rest your arm on it, use it as a support for the front when handheld, and I feel no reluctance to stand the lens/camera up with it as a stand. Very surprised, not sure why it seems so hated by some.The lens feet (they provide two) should be relegated to the dusty shelves, and just buy the RRS replacement. The normal tripod foot is tall and thin and vibrates, and as usual no arca-swiss design, so a tripod plate even makes it worse. The tiny monopod foot works fine on a monopod, but is so small it doesn't make a good handle. The RRS foot is low profile and more solid on a tripod, and makes a great handle when a camera is attached, nicely balanced. A shame every Nikon long telephoto needs a replacement foot as the first step.The case is a monster, solid, well built, and great if you are moving it along trunks of other equipment. It's pretty worthless if you are hand carrying it as part of your gear to a shoot. The lens will fit in the 200-400 case (though you need to remove some padding), and if you want a good fitting one you need to look elsewhere. But the case is a tank, nice for storage.I've only used the lens with the 1.4x TC, and it is as sharp and contrasty as without -- this lens is obviously very friendly to TC's; I need to get a 2.0x now, never wanted one for the 200-400, as the 1.4x was good but had clear softening. None visible here.Bottom line: I definitely miss the zoom from the 200-400, but the extra stop and color improvement is well worth it, especially at night. Day sports -- not sure which I'll use more.

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        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Fantastic lense!

        By Islandman

        from Loves Park, IL

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

        What can I say that hasn't already been said about this lens. I experimented with the 2X teleconverter and this combination seems to hunt for focus a bit, I will be purchasing the 1.7X teleconverter to improve my focusing results. This behemoth is heavy and requires a monopod at minimum.

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        • No

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        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Super Sharp (and heavy)

        By Pro Nature Photo

        from Seattle, WA

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Difficult To Transport
        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

        •fast focusing, sharp lens
        •great for wildlife (esp. flying birds)
        •focus works well with TCIII teleconverter (with little loss of quality)

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Awesome lens! Sharpness!

        By LatoNikon

        from Auburndale

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

        This is a special lens to photograph wild life.
        Have to be very strong to carry all around!!!!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        "Heavy" In more ways than the obvious

        By Dennis

        from Vineland NJ

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

        I shoot nature . Mostly of birds.Very Very sharp images.Using a 1.7 Teleconverter I still have auto focus.I think that is esential.Well the most obvious thing is that it is heavy,and it is almost impossible to hand hold.There is some give and take.All around this is an excellent lens.I have a little problem with the lens hoods.It is a shame there is no way to protect the glass with a frontal filter.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Excellent Fast-Action Powerhouse

        By Amudgarden

        from Phoenix, MD

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

        Auto-focus is lightning fast. Lens provides amazingly soft bokeh, and the subject jumps right out of the background. Images are as tack-sharp as any lens in the Nikon lineup. Haven't tried hand-held shooting with it, mostly because I believe this lens could single-handedly cause arthritis in my shoulders if used consistently without a tripod or monopod. It is not a light lens...but that's part of what I love about the top-shelf Nikon lenses. They feel like they are made from recycled WWII Sherman Tanks, but have the precision and sophistication that rivals a true work of art. It's expensive, but nothing this good comes at a discount.

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        (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Don't delay, buy today

        By TahoeBlueC

        from Sacramento, CA

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

        Very, very fast focus. The lens is large and heavy but that is what you expect with an F2.8/400mm lens. Photos are crystal clear with my D800. Image quality appears to be equally good with Nikon 1.7x teleconverter giving me a 680mm lens at F4.4. I debated and debated due to the price, but once clicking the shutter, the images beg for a good answer to: why did it take so long to decide and buy? If 10 pounds is too heavy and you can live with slower f-stop, maybe the 200-400 zoom would work for you.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Superb Lens

        By NHL

        from Washington, DC

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh

        Cons

        • Heavy but manageable

        Best Uses

        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

        I use this lens mostly with 1.4/1.7x TC for wildlife and the sharpness with either combo is still excellent. Its AF slow down somewhat with a 1.7x attached, but still works fine for BIFs

        The included shoulder strap is really convenient to carry the lens around while the double reversible hood add some nice touch as it doesn't extend the lenght as much unless required...

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        • No

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        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Excellent product

        By Torbjoern

        from Kristiansand, Norway

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

        Good in low light

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Fantastic lens but not for everyone

        By Bird Brain

        from Virginia

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Crystal clear optics
        • Fast
        • VR Works Great

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

        I use this lens for nature photography (birds)and horseback riding events. The speed and clarity of the lens are awesome, but it is heavy. Carrying 10 lbs (lens and camera) around in the woods, over rough terrain, and into difficult spots that birds tend to frequent is daunting and difficult. You must use a tripod or monopod (I use both). Using the lens with a monopod/tripod takes practice. The VR works incredibly and is essential for a lens this big. I've tried (and failed) to hand hold the lens. I've only had success hand holding it if there is something to support my arms (my car). I use a Nikon 80-400 zoom for situations in which carrying the 400mm won't work (hiking to spots on the Appalachian Trail). I can tell the difference between the two lenses - the 400mm is so crisp and has great depth of field. The wider depth of field at distances allows me to select faster shutter speeds to stop action. While I higly recommend this lens, it isn't for beginners. But, once you get used to using it, you'll fall in love with it.

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        • No

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        (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Nikon's Best Telephoto Lens!!

        By Mark

        from West Virginia

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Contrast
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Great in Low Light
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Sharp

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

        I have been using Nikon cameras and lens for 30 years. I have to say that the Nikon 400mm f/2.8G ED VR lens is the best lens that I have ever used for nature and sports photography. It is tack sharp from edge to edge with outstanding contrast and detail. For such a large lens it focuses extremely fast. It is a heavy lens and will wear you down quickly if you use it without a tripod. I took a picture of a jet airliner that was at approximately 20,000 feet while hand-holding the camera. The VR II was flawless and the image was amazingly sharp. I do use this lens on a gitzo tripod with a RRS BH-55 ball head and a Wimberly Side Kick. I would recommend using a Wimberly
        Head version II instead of the Sidekick. It will place the camera and lens over the center of the tripod and will not allow the lens to shift or move when you lock the unit down for a still shot. The sidekick unit is not strong enough to prevent movement when using a heavy lens like this one.
        The shots I have taken of animals and people are awesome. I can't say enough about how nice this lens is.

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        • No

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        (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Awesome

        By Msmoto

        from Greensboro, North Carolina

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Rugged

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR AF Lens (Black):

        Fast moving cars are easily followed and the focus is very quick. Remarkably crisp image.

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        • No

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