WOW. Seeing is believing and now I am a believer. The Nikkor 400 2.8 is one remarkable engineering marvel. I am simply astounded by this lens, a super-fast and super sharp Ã¢â‚¬Å“instrumentÃ¢â‚¬ï¿½. I have never owned a lens as wonderful as this Nikkor, it delivers images so intense at near 3 dimensional realism your jaw drops. Where do I start? Build quality: top notch workmanship, the touch and feel of this lens lets you know it means business. People walk up to admire it and take itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s picture. Performance: Stand aside every other lens, this Nikkor will wipe your drooling mouths with superior performance, the speed and image quality are simply excellent. Have I said astounding yet? How about exquisite? How about mind blowing sharpness? This lens is a monster performer unparalleled. It snaps to focus like a world class gymnast. If you miss a shot with this lens youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re asleep at the gimbal or doing something wrong. Focus: Astounding, Nothing better in the Nikkor lineup Ã¢â‚¬" almost instant. Even with 1.4 ~ 2.0 TCs the focus keeps up and is snappy. I had a few shots during sever overcast and mixed background the focus went back and forth. Image Quality: I doubt any Nikkor is sharper at 400mm. This lens is a razor with shaving cream. I have been in the photography world for a number of years. This lens is the real deal, with BOKEH to match. When used with the Teleconverters you will be very pleased, this lens holds up even at 2x at 800mm. I cannot find fault in this lens, it is a wonderment in execution, engineering, and performance. I could have purchased the 500, 600 but I chose 400 because it has the flexibility of everything I need. I see a new version of this lens available - I can only imagine the photos that will be produced.
This product will be used for sports, animal, and landscape/scenic photography. The lens passed a sharpness test right out of the box Continuous focus tracking is incredible and it locks on first time every time. However, the lens buttons, paint, hoods, and lens cap are cheaply made compared to my old 400d ii. If Nikon retained the seem internal high quality then this lens will have been a good purchase. Anyone who purchases this must possess a solid tripod, monopod, or be strong as Hercules.
I used to shoot 500/4 but always wanted the "best". I took me some time to overcome my fear of the size and weight of this lens. To my surprise, it is not more difficult than to handle the 500/4.
This lens is a beast, but the image quality is unrivaled. For shooting sports, the 400mm range is just about perfect and the 2.8 f/stop made this the logical choice for me over the 200-400. Better able to use teleconverters and better low-light shooting. You will not be able to handhold this lens, so a solid tripod or monopod is required. Focus is instantaneous. The lens itself is built like a tank. A really amazing lens.
I use the lens for wildlife and sports photograpy. It is really big but a stellar performer. Pictures are seldom shown with the lens shades in place which makes the lens bigger yet. It will focus like lightening. The focus range memory is more useful than you might think. I couple it with a 1.7X teleconverter for even a longer reach. The depth of field with that kind of focal length is necessarily very short ... not a function of the lens but basic optics. Just for information: the big Nikon soft case will accept the lens with a body in place but not with the telephoto extender. Expensive, yes, but it has great value.
Adequately utilizing and taking advantage of a 400mm f/2.8 AF VR lens takes serious dedication. Handling a 10 lb lens requires a gimbal head and capable tripod - although I have successfully used it with a monopod as well. The payoff is that you can capture fabulously detailed, textured surfaces of flying birds, from herons and eagles to hummingbirds. But it takes patience and commitment to develop the techniques needed to derive the unique results attainable from this 400mm f/2.8 lens.
When I first took the 400mm F2.8 out of the box and lifted it, I thought, oh my, how am I ever going to lug this thing out in the field to take pictures of wildlife and birds. But after matching it with a good tripod head and tripod, I have gotten over my initial trepidation. It is a beautiful piece of equipment. It is sharp as a tack, focuses quickly, beautiful bokeh. I also feel like I get a good workout every day I use it. And I use it very often
This lens is a compromise. I mainly shoot wildlife and a 600mm is an ideal length, but too slow for the type of shooting I do. I opted for 400mm f2.8 as it allows me to shoot fledglings in the nest and other poorly lighted, but protected areas. The same holds true for other skittish, young animals. I prefer to shoot animals in action as opposed to portraits, so speed, not length was the critical criteria in choosing a lens for my kind of work. I can live with the lost 200mm and the extra weight for the advantage of the lens speed. It is sharp throughout and I can pull large prints from a portion of the original file when necessary. It is an extremely impressive piece of glass!
I ordered one after shooting a Friday night football game under the poorest lighting conditions using the 200 to 400. Love the 200 to 400 but F4 wasn't enough. I received the lens Friday afternoon, opened the box, snapped on the lens and drove to the game. I was wowed considering I had been getting shots that were acceptable. It made me famous among the local circut. I use this lens for everthing including macro with tubes. Really like the portraits shots from a distance catching the impromto moments. I do wildlife mostly and hand hold for flight shots. You can build up to it. I use a 1.7 on it and hardly notice the difference.
Recently purchased the Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 VRII and had the opportunity to photograph a wide range of subjects ranging from wildlife, auto racing, soccer and track & field events. In all instances this lens tracked and re-focus extremely fast. My lighting ranged from bright sunlight to overcast and snowing and the f/2.8 with VRII was very useful. I have tried to hand hold this lens with mixed results but have gotten great results with a tripod and gimbal head, do not recommend a ball head. I would recommend this lens to anyone that shoots in lighting conditions that can go from good to bad and require a fast lens. Pictures were tack sharp.