Nikon 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED, AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor, with Lens Hood and Case - USA


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Nikon : Picture 1 regular

About Nikon

The world's first AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED lens with Nikon's advanced Vibration Reduction (VR) technology and highly regarded Silent Wave Motor technology incorporated into a compact design that is easily hand held. Designed for news, sports/action, wildlife and nature photographers, this innovative lens is based on a optical system that features 4 ED glass elements.

Nikon's advanced VR technology overcomes one of the fundamental problems photographers face while photographing under conditions where it is difficult to hold the camera steady. VR technology eliminates image blur caused by camera shake, particularly when shooting in low-light conditions, allowing photographers to use shutter speeds up to three stops slower than they would ordinarily use to get sharp, well exposed images.

It also allows them to use faster shutter speeds with the added benefit of VR technology in well lit environments to freeze the action and further diminish any camera shake blur effect. The VR technology in the AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED lens offers users a choice of either Normal or Active mode. Normal mode detects camera shake when the lens is hand held and the photographer is on a stable base. The Active mode goes a step further to detect vibration caused by photographing from a moving platform, such as a car or a helicopter. Its VR system is smart enough to detect a panning motion and correct vibration on the vertical axis.

Its new optical system features four ED glass elements that minimizes chromatic aberration and produce high quality images. Through low dispersion characteristics the lens' color performance is enhanced by virtually eliminating secondary chromatic aberrations that are common to telephoto optics that do not include ED glass. This technology enhances image quality with added visible sharpness and contrast to the image.

In addition to VR technology and ED glass elements, the AF-S VR Zoom- Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED lens includes a selection of Nikon advanced technologies such as Manual/Automatic mode, Silent Wave Motor Technology (SWM) and G-Type design (aperture control exclusively from camera body). Offered exclusively in Nikon's AF-S optics, the Manual Automatic mode (M/A) allows for instant switching between autofocus and manual focus, virtually eliminating lag time in the transition and enabling photographers to make a last minute adjustment, even if the autofocus system has locked onto the subject.

This performance is complimented by Nikon's automatic Focus Tracking with Lock-on(R), a technology that will enable the system to maintain sharp focus even if the subject is momentarily obscured from view, or if the camera's AF sensor momentarily moves off the main subject. The lens also features Nikon's Silent Wave Motor technology. This innovative technology is highly regarded by professional photographers for its silent and fast auto focusing.

Summary of Customer Reviews

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:
Strong construction (15),Fast / accurate auto-focus (13),Durable (5),Rugged (5),Consistent output (4),Easy to use (3),Simple controls (3)
Heavy (7)
Best Uses:
Wildlife (12),Sports/action (9),Shooting outdoors (4),Wildlife photos (3)
Reviewer Profile:
Enthusiast (10),Tech savvy (3)

Nikon Features

  • The world's first AF-S VR super-telephoto 200-400mm zoom lens
  • Combines four fixed focal length super-telephoto lenses into a single compact super-telephoto AF Zoom Nikkor lens
  • VR operation offers the equivalent of using a shutter speed 3 stops faster
  • Two VR Modes: Normal mode or Active Mode for when taking pictures with extreme movement
  • Automatically detects when photographer is panning and compensates
  • Compatible with AF-S Teleconverters: TC14E (II) and TC20E (II)
  • Exclusive Silent Wave Motor enables ultra-high-speed autofocusing with exceptional accuracy and powerful super-quiet operation
  • 4 Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements minimizes chromatic aberration and provides higher resolution and superior contrast
  • Minimum focus distance of 6.2 feet at all focal lengths
  • Internal Focusing (IF) design for smoother focusing and great body balance
  • M/A mode enables instant switching from autofocus to manual with virtually no time lag even during AF servo operation
  • No power consumption during manual focus operation
  • Rounded diaphragm (9 blades) for natural blur
  • Nikon D-type design provides precise distance information for flash and ambient light exposure processes
  • Detachable tripod mounting collar provided
  • G design enables apertures to be selected from select Nikon AF SLR camera bodies
  • Fully Compatible with D1X, D1H, D2H, D100, F5, F100, N80, N75 and N65

Nikon Specifications

24 elements in 17 groups
Extra Low Dispersion (ED) Lens: 4 Elements
Lens Drive: Silent Wave Motor
Compatible Format
FX in DX Crop Mode
35mm Film
Angle of view
Picture Angle : 6° at 10 ft. 12° at 20 ft.
Nikon DX Format: 8º 4º
Focal Length: 200-400mm (picture angle with DX Format digital SLRs is equivalent to 300-600mm)
Focusing Type: Internal Focus
F stop range
Maximum Aperture: F stop: 4
Minimum F stop: 32
Closest Focusing Distance
6.5 ft. / 2m to infinity (AF)
6.4 ft. / 1.95m to infinity (MF)
Maximum Magnification
Max. Reproduction Ratio: 1/3.7 (0.27)
Filter Size
52mm Rear
Dimensions (Length x Diameter)
Approx. 4.9 in. dia. x 14.1 in. / 124mm dia. x 358mm
Approx. 3150g / 6.9 lbs. (without protective glass) ; 3,275g / 7.2 lbs. (with pr otective glass)
Mfr #

Reviews about this item

Review Snapshot®


(based on 35 reviews)


of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


Nothing Comes Close...

[...] I shoot it on a D300, which gives me a lot of ISO at low noise. Combine this fast lens with a great sensor and you get photos that capture the action (I shoot rowing), are absolutely tack sharp, have no discernable CA, can be cropped and still make large enlargements, can accommodate a range of subjects (since it's a zoom), and can still be shot hand-held (did I mention this?). Wow! All I can say about focus, is that I found that shooting with a single point focus and exposure helped ca...

View full Review

[...] I shoot it on a D300, which gives me a lot of ISO at low noise. Combine this fast lens with a great sensor and you get photos that capture the action (I shoot rowing), are absolutely tack sharp, have no discernable CA, can be cropped and still make large enlargements, can accommodate a range of subjects (since it's a zoom), and can still be shot hand-held (did I mention this?). Wow! All I can say about focus, is that I found that shooting with a single point focus and exposure helped capture the rowing action with crystal clarity. The backgound bokeh is exceptionally pleasing behind a portrait (you just have to stand back a bit). ...and did I say "WOW" If you shoot high school sports, expect other parents to come ask you to email them photos of their kids -- you can't hide this lens. And while I did say thay you can hand-hold it, I greatly prefer not to when I'm somewhere that I can set up a tripod. I use the Wimberly gimble head and thoroughly enjoy effortlessly following the action and never losing a level horizon (yeah, it's expensive for a head, but you've already spent a bunch on the camera & lens, so make it work!). Last year I shot a D200 with the Tamron 200-500mm. That is a very high value combination, but there is no comparison to the D300 with the Nikon 200-400mm. I can't wait to shoot an airshow. If you have reason for it and can afford it, nothing comes close (but you knew that all along from my title).

Reviewed by 35 customers

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)




from Undisclosed

I have used this lens with my D3X for dynamic fashion shoots outdoors where it is very important to freeze a model while she is constantly moving under a directors orders and this lens tracks beautifully giving me tack sharp images, images with a pleasing Bokeh in the background for the client to view immediately on a nearby laptop. Every photo looks like a magazine cover! This is a MONEY lens when you want a telephoto that can perform to the highest expectations. I also use the 200-400 Zoom to photograph Mud Runs where I want to keep my equipment and myself as mud free as possible, with a little help from rain gear and other lens protectors, at the same time isolate the drama of these difficult races by capturing the expressions of the participants. This lens tracks and exposes flawlessly under some of the harshest, dusty conditions and always gives me sellable photos with my Nikon D3S. You must practice good telephoto technique for any long zoom lens. This lens, with it's excellent VR and fast focus allows you to relax a bit and enjoy the shoot. I use a different foot combination only because I prefer the Arca-Swiss style Tripod / Monopod Mounts. It is one of my permanent go to lenses.

(3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


Great telephoto for sports


from Abilene, TX, USA

I regularly shoot my wife's volleyball team in action. It is a hard sport to shoot in available light. By coupling this great lens with my D3 I am getting great results. It is pricy, heavy, but I still love it.


Awesome Sharp Lens


from Huntington Beach, Ca  -  Semi-pro Photographer

This lens was advertised as E+. it arrived in essentially brand new condition. Even the case and strap appeared to be in new condition.I saved $2500 by not purchasing the version II lens. This lens is sharp under all conditions. It can be used indoors with the D800.


A versatile long reach lens


from North of Dallas  -  Pro Photographer

I have found this to be a great lens for sports events. It allows me to place myself at a good working distance from the action subject and adjust the crop as necessary. The lens is fast enough such that a little bump of ISO under the lights can stop action as needed. While it is not as fast as the pricey 2.8 lenses, it is a good compromise for the cost. One improvement would be to beef up the arm mount.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


I am utterly happy with this lens


from Corona, CA

I am super happy with the lens. I should have bought it years ago.


Great Lens!


from Seattle, WA  -  Semi-pro Photographer

Versatile sharp lens that is great for sports or wildlife photography.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


Great lens for wildlife.


from Undisclosed

Having graduated from the 80-400 mm Nikkor to this lens, I can say that the speed of focus and lower apeture over the entire range make it ideal for photographing wildlife. Coupled with a DX SLR such as the D300, it enables the photographer to shoot in low-light conditions. It's worth the added expense.

(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Closeup a Beast, No So Much for Distant Subjects


from New York, NY

I can;t say enough good things about this lens... but there is one thing I wish Nikon had ironed out: Distant Subjects. This lens does not pair well with older cameras like the D2Xs and subject distance is greater than 100 yards. It just falls appart. Images will be either soft or completely OOF. On the D3 it is a bit better but not by much. If you add a TC14 or TC17 things get much worse very quickly. Only the TC2 III seems to pair well with this lens, even correcting some flaws!! Flexibility and the cheapest way to get a quality 400mm lens from Nikon.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


Tack Sharp and Fast


from New Hampshire

This lens is my go to lens for sports. The clarity and detail of images produced far exceeds the bulk and size of the 200-400 lens. It is fast, sharp and easy to shoot with using a monopod. I shoot primarily alpine ski racing during the winter months and in all kinds of weather. This lens was consistently the best gear choice for me.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)




from Tallahassee, FL

I obtained this lens when it first became available so I have had several years experience. This is one of the best lenses I have every owned. I have used it primarily for sports and nature photography. For photographing crew races at very long distances a nikon 2x converter really brought in the subjects with a only slight decline in resolution. The versatiity made this my lens of choice over a prime 400 or 600 mm. Never a had a moments trouble with this lens.although it is slow to focus with the 2x converter but that was expected.

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