CES 2018: Nikon Unleashes the AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR Lens


Making a splash at CES, and just in time for the 2018 big international cold-temperature sporting events, Nikon has announced the impressive AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR lens. Clearly developed for sports and wildlife shooters, this lens spans a truly versatile telephoto range, and is further distinguished with the inclusion of a built-in 1.4x teleconverter to extend its reach to an effective 252-560mm. Besides its flexible range of focal lengths, this lens is also characterized by a constant f/4 maximum aperture, sophisticated optical design, VR image stabilization, and a wealth of other performance assets prized by professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Much in the same vein as other recent Nikon super telephoto upgrades, such as the 500mm f/4 and 600mm f/4, this new 180-400mm utilizes both fluorite and extra-low dispersion glass to greatly reduce color fringing and chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range, as well as improve overall apparent clarity and color accuracy. Also contributing to stellar image quality, this lens features a Nano Crystal Coat, which suppresses flare and ghosting for improved contrast when working in harsh lighting conditions. Rounding out the optical symphony, the lens features front and rear fluorine coatings, too, which protect the exposed elements from fingerprints and smudging and make it significantly easier to clean.

Complementing the imaging capabilities, this lens is also qualified by its handling assets, including Vibration Reduction image stabilization, which compensates for camera shake to result in sharper handheld photos. A Silent Wave Motor is used for quick, accurate, and near-silent autofocus performance, and provides full-time manual focus override. The 180-400mm is, of course, fully weather-sealed for working in inclement conditions and it comes fitted with a rotating tripod collar for stable shooting atop a tripod or monopod. Additionally, like most recent Nikon lenses, and greatly benefiting the sports photographers at whom this lens is aimed, an electromagnetic diaphragm is employed for greater exposure stability when shooting at high continuous speeds.

What are your thoughts on Nikon’s new crown jewel of a telephoto zoom? Is it a welcomed addition to the extensive lineup of F-mount lenses? A lens you aspire to someday own? Let us know in the Comments section, below.


Nikon makes a lens that can zoom into anything, but B and H tries to sell this $12k lens with a  960 x 540 product image. Jokes aside this lens is insane, unfortunately very few people will ever own it or even get to try it out.

Regardless of price Nikon has never made a good mounting collar other than on the 200 F4 Macro.

It will be interesting to see if finally this lens has been addressed.

The 300 2.8 VR II lens is spectacular but is a discrace regarding the mounting collar.

The 70-200 FL lens has a new image quality, i hope this will be so in this new lens.

Sadly Like all new products these days I will wait and time will tell…if it dose what its supposed to.


This this lens obvious designed for long zoomed shots. Since it is extremely difficult to get tack sharp shots hand holding over most of the range of this lens, a tripod is a must. This renders the VR useless for most applications of this lens as it should be turned off on a tripod. The mysticism of the fluorite element is just that.  

Having survived GAS, I almost relapsed when the new 70-200 f2.8 F lens was released at $2700.  Fortunately, I compared it to the G2 Tamron 70-20 f2.8.  To my eye. The images were equally sharp across all f stop.  The Tamron has superior VR/VC.  Yes, if it matters the Tamron Han slightly more lens breathing though the reverse could be true as my 10 year old 70-200 f2.8 was very similar to the Tamron. 

At $12,000, this is clearly a niche lens.  There has been speculation about Nikon’s longevity in the era of smartphone cameras. It would be nice to see Nikon do something that appealed to he masses of DSLR camera users. Canon has been much more diversified

Nikon makes fantastic lenses indeed but this new 180-400mm zoom with the an add on of a 1,4X  teleconverter is offered at stratospheric price. It is worth? For sure it will not offer stratospheric performances in respect to the my standard 200-400 when combined with my 1.4X teleconverter. A great combination indeed. The standard 200-400mm zoom costs just a little over $7000, and the separate 1,4X teleconverter is sold at about $500.  A total of about $ 8,000. How can Nikon justify a total different in price of $4,000? Mystery of Nikon marketing. 

This is strickly for high end only. Rich entertainers or pro athletes too. As the comments below, --- Not even thinking about people like me. I consider myself a serious amateur 85 yrs old and very comfortably retired. But, $12000 for a lens?? forget it!!!

This lens costs almost 10X the price for the 200mm - 500mm.  An extra f-stop is important to photographers who

conscously shoot wide open to suppress background but if you program for maximum aperture, you might

suffer the subject dipping into the shadow, a slow speed and a well-exposed blur.  It is double the price of 

the 300mm f2.8.  Is it really radically better?

This lense is a dream come true for my Motosports genre but this will have to go on my bucket list for equipment wish list.....  no way I can afford it as an amatuer.  $12,000+ ouch. for professionals again :(