Nikon has announced updated versions of its 400mm F2.8 telephoto lens and 1.4x teleconverter. The AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR promises improved autofocus, exposure accuracy and speed, while being 816g (nearly 2lb) lighter than its predecessor. It uses an electromagnetic diaphragm controller for improved exposure stability during continuous shooting, and a new VR Sport Mode recognizes panning motion to provide accurate compensation for camera shake.

Meanwhile the AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III features revised optics, with a 7 element, 4 group construction. The lens barrel has also been redesigned for increased moisture and dust resistance. The TC-14E III works with many Nikon lenses to effectively multiply the focal length by 1.4x, with a resultant one-stop decrease in maximum aperture.

Both the lens and teleconverter will be available in August 2014, with RRPs of $11,999.95 / £10,399.99 and $499.95 / £449.99 respectively.

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GO FURTHER WITH SUPERIOR NIKKOR OPTICS:  THE NEW AF-S NIKKOR 400MM F/2.8E FL ED VR SUPER-TELEPHOTO LENS AND AF-S TELECONVERTER TC-14E III

 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR

Nikon Announces Newest Additions to Legacy of Professional Precision Glass

MELVILLE, NY (May 14, 2014 at 12:01 A.M. EDT) –Today, Nikon Inc. announced the new AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens and AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, engineered to give professional and passionate photographers optical excellence and exceptional telephoto capabilities. The new 400mm f/2.8 lens is lighter and more durable than its acclaimed predecessor, inviting professional and passionate shooters to capture the thrill of sports, action and wildlife with staggering clarity and precision, even in challenging light. The new TC-14 E III Teleconverter is an ideal companion for many NIKKOR telephoto lenses, offering users a focal length boost while maintaining clarity and sharpness.

“The new AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR has been evolved to meet the needs of today’s sports, wildlife and multi-media photographers, well beyond the premier precision optics; it is much lighter, and has well thought-out controls and features that aid in creating super-sharp images even from extreme distances,” said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “Together with the AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, the new 400mm lens and many other NIKKOR lenses will help photographers go the distance to get their shot.”

The New AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR: Superior Optics, Superb Handling

The new 400mm f/2.8 super-telephoto lens delivers upon the NIKKOR promise of uncompromising performance, thanks to overall enhancements to the optical characteristics of the lens, which go beyond simply enhancing image quality. With a refined optical formula, those who shoot fast action sports from a distance or rapidly moving wildlife will appreciate the improved autofocus (AF), exposure accuracy and speed. The lens now contains two fluorite elements that, together with two Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements and Nano Crystal Coat, helps ensure outstanding performance with minimal chromatic aberration and flaring. The internal construction of the lens comprises 16 elements in 12 groups, and features an electromagnetic diaphragm, similar to that employed in the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6 lens.  Denoted by the “E” designation, this feature allows for stable exposures during high speed shooting, such as the 11 frames-per-second (fps) possible with the Nikon D4S HD-SLR. Additionally, the lens employs a nine-blade rounded diaphragm that creates a circular, natural looking out of focus area – a requirement for action and wildlife shooters who need clear separation between the subject and the background.

The refined construction of this lens has additional benefits, creating a beautifully balanced instrument for professionals that is nearly two full pounds (816 grams) lighter than its predecessor, tempting the user to shoot handheld when needed. Whether trackside or courtside, photographers will value Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) technology with up to four stops of image stabilization*, and the addition of the new VR Sport Mode. When shooting action, especially on a monopod, the VR Sport Mode recognizes a panning motion to provide accurate compensation for camera shake, resulting in super-sharp images, with motion blur where the photographer intended. For working in challenging environments, the lens features a protective front meniscus element with a fluorine coating, which resists dirt and moisture on the front of the lens. Other pro-minded features include the addition of a rotating tripod collar for seamless switching between compositions, and buttons on the lens barrel compatible with the new AF functions of the Nikon D4S.

AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III

Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III

Nikon’s long legacy and expertise in optical engineering is substantiated with this new 1.4x teleconverter that retains the lens’ image quality, even at wide-open apertures. This new teleconverter effectively multiplies the focal length of many NIKKOR lenses by 1.4x, while resulting in only a one-stop loss of exposure. Especially useful for nature and sports photographers, the enhanced optical system reduces chromatic lens aberration, while preserving the accuracy of the AF system. 

The construction of the teleconverter has been significantly upgraded for both durability and optical brilliance. Comprised of seven elements within four groups, the outer elements feature a fluorine coating for enhanced resistance to dirt and water droplets. For added durability, the lens barrel has been designed for increased moisture and dust resistance.  

Price and Availability

The AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens will be available in August 2014, and will have a suggested retail price (SRP) of $11,999.95**. The AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III will also be available in August 2014 for an SRP of $499.95**. For more information on the latest NIKKOR lenses as well as other Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

*Based on CIPA Standard. This value is achieved when FX-format compatible lenses are attached to a FX-format digital SLR camera and zoom lenses are set at the maximum telephoto position.

**SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length400 mm
Image stabilisationYes (Up to 4 stops stabilisation)
Lens mountNikon F (FX)
Aperture
Maximum apertureF2.8
Minimum apertureF22.0
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades9
Aperture notesRounded blades
Optics
Elements16
Groups12
Special elements / coatings2 ED glass elements, 2 Fluorite elements. Nano Crystal Coat
Focus
Minimum focus2.60 m (102.36)
Maximum magnification0.16×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeRing-type ultrasonic
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleYes
Focus distance limiterYes; 6m to infinity or 2.6m to infinity
Physical
Weight3800 g (8.38 lb)
Diameter160 mm (6.28)
Length358 mm (14.09)
Filter thread41 mm
Filter notes40.5mm slip-in filters
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarYes

Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typeTeleconverter
Max Format size35mm FF
Lens mountNikon F (DX)
Aperture
Aperture notesreduces lens aperture by 1 f-stop
Optics
Elements7
Groups4
Focus
Full time manualUnknown
Physical
Weight190 g (0.42 lb)
Diameter64 mm (2.52)
Length25 mm (0.96)