Comprising both length and flexibility, the AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR from Nikon is a medium to super telephoto zoom characterized by its advanced optical design, internal teleconverter, and host of handling assets to suit photographing fast-moving subjects. Distinguishing itself among most zooms, this 180-400mm features a built-in 1.4x teleconverter to allow for on-the-fly switching to an effective 252-560mm f/5.6 lens for greater reach. A constant f/4 maximum aperture is also a key feature for realizing consistent illumination throughout the zoom range and for producing shallow depth of field and selective focusing imagery. Complementing these traits is a sophisticated optical design that utilizes eight extra-low dispersion glass elements and one fluorite element to control chromatic aberrations and color fringing for increased clarity. Nano Crystal and Super Integrated Coatings have also been applied to individual elements to reduce flare and ghosting for greater contrast and color accuracy when working in strong lighting conditions.
Balancing the optical merits, this 180-400mm is also characterized by its inclusion of a Vibration Reduction image stabilization system that compensates for four stops of camera shake to enable sharper handheld shooting. A Silent Wave Motor also benefits producing sharp imagery, and affords quick and quiet autofocus performance along with full-time manual focus override. As a lens intended for use in trying conditions, it is weather-sealed and features a fluorine coating on the front element to resist fingerprints and smudging. Additionally, a removable, rotating tripod collar is included to assist working with a support system and this lens utilizes an electromagnetic diaphragm to ensure consistent exposure stability when shooting at fast continuous speeds.
Designed for use with FX image sensors, this 180-400mm lens is also compatible with DX sensors where it will provide a 270-600mm equivalent focal length range.
Built-in 1.4x teleconverter allows you to instantly extend your reach to 252-560mm (or 378-840mm equivalent with DX cameras) simply by flipping the right-hand switch. Since the teleconverter is integrated within the lens housing, it is optically matched to the lens for improved imaging performance and also fully maintains the lens's weather sealing.
Constant f/4 maximum aperture, without the teleconverter in position, offers consistent illumination throughout the zoom range. When the 1.4x teleconverter is engaged, the maximum aperture is effectively f/5.6.
One fluorite element and eight extra-low dispersion glass elements are incorporated into the optical design to greatly reduce color fringing and chromatic aberrations in order to achieve notable clarity and color accuracy.
A Nano Crystal Coat, along with a Super Integrated Coating, has been applied to lens elements to minimize surface and internal reflections for a marked reduction in lens flare and ghosting.
Vibration Reduction image stabilization helps to reduce the appearance of camera shake for up to four shutter speed stops, benefiting this lens' use in low-light conditions. Additionally, a designated Sport Mode is well-suited to working in fast-paced conditions and a Tripod Mode helps to suppress subtle ground vibrations when working atop a support system.
Silent Wave Motor autofocus mechanism provides quick, quiet, and precise autofocus performance that is ideal for photographing fast-moving subjects.
Full-time manual focus override allows instant switching between AF and MF focusing systems by just rotating the focus ring at any time.
Internal focusing design maintains the overall lens length during operation and contributes to a lighter overall weight.
Focus range limiter allows you to constrict the focus system to a 19.7' to infinity range for faster focusing performance.
Assignable Function buttons can be used for lens-based activation of AF/AE Lock modes or for switching between different AF Area Modes.
Dust- and moisture-resistant magnesium alloy lens barrel benefits the lens' use in inclement conditions.
Fluorine-coated front element affords protection to the optical system, resists smudging and fingerprints, and is easier to clean.
A removable tripod collar is included with the lens for well-balanced support when working from a monopod or tripod. The collar ring also incorporates ball bearings for smooth transitions between horizontal and vertical shooting orientations.
Specialized electromagnetic aperture mechanism provides greater exposure control stability that is especially beneficial when working with fast continuous shooting rates.
Summary of TIPA selection of AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED for the Best Professional Lens award:
A Super Tele with Built-in Teleconverter
Imagine a lens with a built-in 1.4X teleconverter, up to 4 stops1,2 of vibration reduction, advanced dust and moisture sealing, internal focusing, and the ability to easily extend focal length (from max 400mm to 560mm, or as long as 840mm on a DX format camera) with the flip of a switch. Built for the sports, event, nature, and wildlife photographer, the integration of the teleconverter in the lens means that imaging excellence is optimized in terms of light transmission and edge quality. When combined with advanced Nikon