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NikonAF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens
 
4.8

(based on 46 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (39)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (42)
  • Strong construction (37)
  • Rugged (31)
  • Durable (28)
  • Consistent output (26)

Cons

  • Heavy (19)

Best Uses

  • Wildlife photos (40)
  • Sports/action (31)
  • Landscape/scenery (11)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro photographer (19), Photo enthusiast (17), Pro photographer (7)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (41), Yes (3)

Reviewed by 46 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Great wildlife lens!

By Bill

from Lyons, Colorado

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

  • Poor in Low Light

Best Uses

  • Sports/Action
  • Wildlife Photos

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

As soon as we received this lens, we took it to Yellowstone and Grand Teton for its maiden voyage. It provides an excellent ability to adjust to a variety of shooting situations with great ease and efficacy. As with our other Nikon equipment, the results we receive what we have come to expect as far as quality and workmanship.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great lens

By Alex H

from Montreal, Quebec, Canada

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

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

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Sports/Action
  • Wildlife Photos

Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

I do mostly action shots for boat racing and this lens serves me well. I was debating for a long time if I would go with the 300mm 2.8, 400 2.8 or this 200-400 f4. 300mm would have been too short on several occasions and 400mm too long on several occasions as well. Since I shot mainly action I wanted to at least have an f4 lens, not a f5.6. So I then chose the 200-400 as a compromise to cover the desired focal range. Compromise is a big word... it actually performs really well. It's long and heavy so I usually at least use a monopod or a tripod with a gimbal head. Some people have complained about focusing speed but on a Nikon D4 body it focuses super quick and precise, even with a TC 14 and TC 17 on.

What is the most difficult with this lens is to get accurate focusing. On short distance subjects it's not a problem and I don't need any fine tuning. As I shot subjects past the 50 meters (165 feet) mark I start to get less focusing precision and I get best results with fine tuning set to -10.

I did extensive testing with this lens and the conclusions with my copy are the following:

At f4 it performs great up to about 350mm. 350mm to 380mm is still pretty good. At 400mm it's softer and has aberration on bright subjects.

At f4.5 it performs as above for f4

At f5 it's now excellent and consistent through the entire range

At f5.6 it performs stellar through the entire range

With TC-14II it performs great as long as you step it down to f8.

With TC-17II it performs OK as long as you step it down to f9. My Nikon D4 has a hard time being accurate in the autofocus with this combination and is only accurate if I use live view focusing therefore I cannot shoot action.

All in all it's a great lens and I do not regret my purchase despite the steep price. I previously had the 70-300 VR and the 300 AF-S f4 and the 200-400 is so much better in terms of sharpness and especially contrast, it's a huge upgrade.

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  • No

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5.0

A Great Wildlife Photographic Rifle

By Jungle Rhythms

from New York City

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Reviewer

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 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

A serious tool to capture candid wildlife shots. I have researched a lot on the lens that can accommodate my needs of both wildlife photojournalism and film making and this lens is the one that suits the most pairing up with the holy trinity - 70-200mm VR2 and the 24-70mm G lens. It was delivered to me today and my first test shots were awesome. I am liking it and anxious to see the results in the real wilderness.

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  • No

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(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Lives up to reputation

By anikonman

from Jasper, AL

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Sports/Action
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

    I am a long time serious amateur and I have coveted this lens for a long time. I specifically waited on the newer version and the improvements in the VR capability were well worth the wait. Sharpness, bokeh and expected Nikon build quality are all there. I use this lens for wildlife and sports on a D800, but mainly on a D7100 to take advantage on the increased lens prospective (300mm-600mm). I have arranged to shoot some Alabama football games this fall and this will obviously be my weapon of choice. There have been some complaints about the balance positioning of the tripod foot, but I would have to say in my opinion that this is a negligible problem at most. RRS and Kirk make an alternative foot if you want to spend the money. There have also been some complaints about the weight of the lens. This baffles me. What do expect in a well built lens of this focal lenght? If you have the need and the bucks, you will not be disappointed with this lens.

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    • No

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    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Monster glass

    By CJC

    from Westport, CT

    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

    Heavy duty zoom lens. Right on the edge of hand held versus monopod. I get tired pretty quickly with the handheld, which is my preference. But its an awesome piece of optical artistry. Great pairing with my D700 and D4 as well.

    Share this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    a little heavy but great photos

    By vince

    from woodford,va

    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 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

    great for all kinds of photos.i needed something that I didn't have to keep changing lens's

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great lens!

    By Dick

    from Williamsport, Pa.

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Sports/Action

    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

    Use this lens for shooting sports.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Yes it focuses with the TC 20 III

    By wised

    from wisconsin

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Sports/Action
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

    I just wanted to update on the many old reviews here. With the D800 and the TC20 III, this lens focuses perfectly under any light condition. Furthermore, IQ with said converter is excellent thus making this lens a more than viable 800mm alternative. If even more magnification is desired simply crop the D800 to DX for an astounding 1200mm f8 with no reduction in IQ while still maintaining 16 mp. NICE!!!!
    Autofocus speed is similar with good lighting and slightly slower under dim conditions given the VR you can shoot handheld, indoors at speeds of 1/64 perfectly. The performance of this lens with the D800 is stellar even with the TC20. My guess the same would be true with the D4 since they share focusing systems.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great Lens for Wildlife Photography

    By Jim

    from Burlington, KY

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Pros

    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Rugged

    Cons

    • Bulky

    Best Uses

    • Sports/Action
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

    Recently returned from a trip to Alaska. I bought this lens a month before the trip to great an idea of the best use of settings on my camera to capture images. Got great shots of eagles, owls, moose, whales and sea lions.

    The F 4.0 lets in plenty of light, the focusing is amazingly fast, even on cloudy/foggy days (lots of those in Alaska).

    Note that this lens is very large and heavy. The 14 inch length does not include the five inch hood. With my camera (D5100) the unit weighs together around 10 lbs. I use a shoulder stabilizer in situations I could not either transport or set up a heavy duty tripod. I did take it on hikes under three miles, but if you do a lot of hiking, you may want to see this one in person before deciding to buy it. The size and bulk give the lens the power to bring things in close and have great sharpness. I will be using this lens in years to come.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Sweet lens

    By Ron M

    from Oklahoma City

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Sports/Action
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

      Loving this monster so far, takes a little getting used to the size and weight but on a gimbal mount it is a joy to use. Only had it a few weeks so my experience with it is limited but looking forward to many years of use.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Excellent Lens

      By Rick H

      from Crawfordville, FL

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

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

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

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

      Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

      Pros: Great optics in this lens, focuses very quick and very sharp images. Very balanced on tripod and easy to control. One of the best lenses that Nikon has constructed. Works extremely well with the 1.7X & 2.0X teleconverters.

      Cons: A little heavy and acquired to handle hand holding.

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      • No

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      (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Good option

      By Gabriel Luque

      from General Rodriguez, Bs As, Argentina

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

        First of all, sorry for my English, it´s basic. I bought this lens in order to replace my lovely Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 HSM. At this days, I use it mounted in a Nikon D800, and I can note the following aspects:
        - Autofocus speed: it´s a bit fasther than the Sigma 120-300.
        - Sharpness: it´s in the same level of the Sigma, maybe a bit better.
        - Construction: it´s a beatifull lens, very strong, a great improve over the Sigma 120-300.
        Sumarizing, it´s a good option aggainst the fixed focal lens. I´m not sure if the price difference betwen this lens and the Sigma 120-300 is justified. Is better than Sigma, but is not two times better... (USD 6500 vs USD 3500).

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Hand held, sharp imgaes

        By James

        from Santa Monica, Ca.

        About Me Casual Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

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

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

        I had a 300 mm f/4 (Nikon, of course) but sold it as lenses without VR no longer suit me. This lens is twice the weight, posing problems, included air-travel restrictions. But I can take photos handheld and they are sharp, exquisite.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        One beautiful lens!

        By Dick

        from Williamsport, Pa. 17701

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Sports/Action

          Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

          The headline of this comment says it all. Focus' fast - crisp images - works well with my D4 once I was able to add all the custom settings to the D4.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Lots of Glass and versatility

          By Dick

          from Voluntown, CT

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Sports/Action
          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

          I got the 200-400 f4 Nikon lens and I can confirm the following:
          1. Heavy duty construction
          2. Outstanding versatility (wildlife and sports)
          3. Value (cost vs benefit) fits the bill especially when you add the 2x teleconverter.
          4. Needed to up my Tamarc back pack to 7x (just fits in the center. The carrying case is designed for a battlezone environment.
          5. Adding filters is a breeze - (insert mid length)
          Makes maximum use of my Gitzo tripod and monopod - hand held is not practical (too heavy)
          Glad I made the spend.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          "Wish I would have bought it sooner"

          By Buzzard

          from Selby SD.

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

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

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Sports/Action
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

            I have had this lens for a couple of weeks now.I think it is every bit as sharp as my 300/2.8 It is great for landscapes and works great at the zoo as well.I can hardly wait for the summer activities outdoor concerts,rodeos, baseball games and such. I know it will perform flawless on all occasions. Being from a town of about 700 people it really turns heads. I use it mostly on a monopod with a ball head and it balances real well. I would definitely recommend this lens to anyone looking for a super telephoto. Well worth the money.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (3 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Excellent

            By Vinicius Araujo

            from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

                  I think it's one of the best and most dynamic nikon lenses that already did!

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (6 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Very nice, but not for me

                  By Brad

                  from G-Vegas

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

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

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Sports/Action
                    • Wildlife Photos

                    Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

                    I made the switch from Canon to Nikon to try this lens. It is well built, focuses very fast and feels pretty light compared to other lens in the same category. However, as nice as it is, it was a little too short consistently for my application and I had to return it. However, I would not hesitate to recommend it to someone looking for an excellent optic.

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                    • No

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                    (15 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Beautiful Lens

                    By Knot Case

                    from Raleigh, NC

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Sports/Action
                      • Wildlife Photos

                      Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

                      I bought this lens to shoot birds, and specifically birds in flight. While the lens is heavy, it's not so heavy that you have to use a tripod. So far I have gotten some great results at 400 shooting hand-held, hand-held from a kayak, and on a BushHawk. I think this is my new favorite lens!

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                      • No

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                      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      More that I expected

                      By Glory Daze

                      from St. Petersburg, FL

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Wildlife Photos

                        Comments about Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Lens:

                        I found the focus to be excellent on this lens. I was out at dawn to take some shots of Red Egrets and was very happy with the results. Most shots could be rendered at 100% if one so desired, and were very sharp and clear. I would insert a shot but they don't seem to render that well on this site.

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                        • No

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