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Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR

Super telephoto zoom lens with built-in 1.4X teleconverter for Nikon DSLR cameras

Overview

Our take on the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR

I got some serious lens envy when I saw Nikon was coming out with this 180-400mm super telephoto zoom. As an amateur enthusiast, I can't justify the expense...yet. But when I think about what this lens could do in combination with my D500, my heart starts to flutter. It's definitely something to aspire to.

Nikon goes the distance with this fresh lens design

I got some serious lens envy when I saw Nikon was coming out with this 180-400mm super telephoto zoom. As an amateur enthusiast, I can't justify the expense...yet. But when I think about what this lens could do in combination with my D500, my heart starts to flutter. It's definitely something to aspire to.

Nikon's first built-in teleconverter

All you lucky pros out there shooting sports, wildlife, or events are going to appreciate this lens on multiple levels. First of all, it has a built-in 1.4X teleconverter to extend its reach even further. Let that sink in for a moment. Activating this teleconverter is as easy as flipping a switch with your right hand. You don't need to release your grip on the camera or take your eye away from what you're shooting. I don't have to tell you why that's just plain awesome. Plus, since it's integrated with the lens, light is transmitted to the sensor more efficiently, so you'll get sharper images than you might get with an add-on teleconverter.

Some quick math for you: if you're using this lens with a full-frame FX format camera, the built-in teleconverter extends your reach to 560mm. And if you're using it on a DX model, it goes all the way up to an 840mm equivalent.

Sharp images at longer focal lengths

Nikon cleverly incorporated internal focusing, a fluorite lens element, and magnesium alloy barrel into this lens's design, resulting in a lens that's relatively lightweight for its class (it weighs in at 7.7 pounds). So it's not impractical to shoot with it handheld. (I saw a photo of a pro photographer using it this way — major envy!) This lens incorporates Nikon's latest Vibration Reduction (VR) design for up to four stops of shutter speed increase, even when using the built-in teleconverter.

This new VR system starts up when you power on your camera, and includes two flavors of vibration reduction in addition to the standard mode. Tripod Mode minimizes the effect of constant subtle ground vibrations, and Sports Mode is optimal for fast action and panning.

Keep up with the action

Nikon promises you'll get blazing-fast subject acquisition and locked-on tracking with this lens — and you'll get peak performance if you use it with a camera that features Nikon's 153-point autofocus system (D5, D500, or D850). After a firmware update (available in March, 2018) to the aforementioned cameras, the sensors at the outer area of the image frame can be used as cross-type sensors, which will drastically improve the time it takes to lock focus when a subject enters the frame.

Product Highlights:

  • AF-S 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR super telephoto zoom lens
  • compatible with FX- and DX-format Nikon DSLR cameras
  • effective focal length:
    • 180-400mm with full-frame (FX-format) cameras
    • 270-600mm with APS-C (DX-format) cameras
  • built-in 1.4X teleconverter increases effective focal length of lens by 40%
  • built-in Vibration Reduction with Sport and Tripod modes enables sharper shots at slower shutter speeds (up to four shutter speeds slower)
  • Silent Wave Motor for smooth, quiet, and precise autofocus
  • autofocus can be overridden manually, with no time lag
  • internal focusing design maintains overall lens length during focusing for greater consistency and faster performance
  • Super Integrated Coating on lens elements provides excellent color richness and contrast
  • anti-reflective Nano Crystal Coat reduces ghosting and flare
  • protective fluorine coating allows easier cleaning of water, dirt, and smudges
  • dust- and water-resistant magnesium-alloy design
  • minimum focus distance: 6.6'
  • maximum aperture: f/4 (f/5.6 when using built-in teleconverter)
  • minimum aperture: f/32 (f/45 when using built-in teleconverter)
  • constant f/4 maximum aperture for consistent performance throughout zoom range
  • lens construction: 27 elements in 19 groups
  • 8 ED (extra-low dispersion) lens elements for better sharpness and contrast
  • 1 lightweight fluorite lens element for improved balance and handling
  • 9-blade circular aperture for natural rendering of out-of-focus background elements
  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism for accurate aperture blade control when using auto exposure during continuous shooting
  • accepts 40.5mm drop-in filters
  • includes front and rear lens caps, slip-on hood, slip-in filter holder, 40.5mm Neutral Color filter, lens strap, and nylon case
  • lens is 5-1/16" in diameter, 14-5/16" long
  • weight: 7.7 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years with Nikon registration
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR zoom lens
  • NC 40.5mm Neutral Color Filter in holder (installed)
  • Zippered padded filter case
  • LC-K103 slip-on lens cap (installed)
  • LF-4 Rear lens cap (installed)
  • HK-41 Slip-on lens hood
  • LN-2 Lens strap
  • CL-L2 Soft lens case
  • User's Manual
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Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

General
Mount Type Nikon F-mount
Sensor Size Full frame
Image Stabilization Yes
Lens Type Super Telephoto Zoom
Focal Length 180-400mm
Maximum Aperture f/4
Weight 123.4 ounces
Parts Warranty 5 Years w/ registration
Labor Warranty 5 Years w/ registration

Product Research

Features
Specifications
Warranty Information

Features

Overview: The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR lens is a Gold-Series super telephoto zoom lens with a built-in 1.4x teleconverter. The lens is ideal for photographing birds and wildlife, sporting events, and more. You can instantly engage the built-in teleconverter and increase the focal length to 560mm (f/5.6). The lens also includes Vibration Reduction to reduce blur at extreme zoom positions. The lens comes with an attached tripod collar, a slip-on lens cap and lens hood, and the CL-L2 ballistic nylon soft lens case.

FX-format Lens: This lens is optimized for use on Nikon FX-format (full frame) cameras, but it is also compatible with Nikon's DX-format cameras. When used on a DX-format camera, such as the D5600, the lens has an equivalent focal length of 270-840mm.

Nikon Technologies: The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR lens is equipped with the following Nikon technologies:

  • Vibration Reduction (VR): Vibration Reduction technology reduces blur caused by camera shake, which allows you to to use shutter speeds up to 4.0 stops slower than normal. The VR switch can be set to Normal (for stationary subjects) or Sport (for photographing athletes or other moving subjects). You can also turn off VR, if desired.
  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism (E): The lens has an electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism in the lens barrel to provide accurate aperture blade control during auto-exposure during continuous shooting. Conventional lenses (D/G types) have mechanical linkage levers to control the diaphragm blades.
  • Extra-low Dispersion (ED) Glass: This lens contains Extra-low Dispersion optical glass developed by Nikon for optimum correction of chromatic aberrations.
  • Internal Focusing (IF): The lens features a system in which only the internal lens group moves during focusing, eliminating changes in the physical length of the lens during auto focusing, and enabling closer focusing distances.
  • Super Integrated Coating (SIC): The lens features a multi-layered coating of the optical elements.
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM): The exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) uses ultrasonic vibrations, instead of a gear system, to enable fast, accurate, and quiet auto focus.

Lens Construction: The lens contains 27 elements in 19 groups, including 8 ED lens elements, 1 Fluorite element, and lens elements with anti-reflective Nano-Crystal Coatings. There is also a protective glass element with a fluorine coating to repel dust, water droplets, grease, or dirt. The built-in teleconverter has 8 elements in 5 groups.

Filter Holder: The Nikkor 180-400mm zoom lens features a slip-in filter holder that fits into a slot near the rear of the lens barrel. The filter holder will accommodate 40.5mm screw-on filters. A Neutral Color (NC) filter is installed in the holder.

Focus Mode Switch: The Focus Mode switch on the barrel of the lens lets you switch between focus modes: M (manual) and M/A (autofocus with manual override). For Auto Focus mode, the camera must be in AF mode and the lens switch in the M/A position. In this mode, the lens will focus when the camera shutter is pressed halfway, however, you can override the focus by rotating the lens focus ring. You can easily switch to full manual focus by moving the Focus Mode switch to the M position (even if the camera is in AF mode). If the camera is in Manual Focus (MF) mode, autofocus will not operate.

Focus Function Selector: The lens has four function buttons surrounding the end of the lens. You can select the function assigned to the four buttons on the Focus Function Selector. This 3-way switch allows you to select AF-L (focus lock), Memory Recall (for a set focus position), or AF-On (auto focusing start). The Memory Set button lets you save and recall frequently used focus positions. The assigned function can be performed by pressing any of the four function buttons.

Focus Limit Switch: The two-way Focus Limit switch determines the focus distance limits for autofocus. You can select Full to use the entire focus range, or ∞ (infinity)-6m if your subject will always be at least 6 meters (19.7') away.

Beep Sounds: The lens features an audible beep sound if a memory function (set or recall) is successful. There is a 2-way switch to toggle the beep function on or off.

Tripod Collar: The lens has an attached tripod collar for mounting the lens and camera. This provides much better balance, and takes pressure off of the camera's tripod socket. The tripod collar can be rotated to smoothly and easily switch between wide ("landscape") and tall ("portrait") orientations. There are markings every 90° to use as a guide.

Lens Hood: The slip-on HK-41 lens hood (included) blocks stray light from getting into the lens causing flare or ghosting. It also protects the front of the lens from direct contact, as well as keeping dirt, rain, and snow out. The lens hood has a locking screw that must be tightened when it is mounted on the lens. When in use, the lens hood adds approximately 4" to the overall length of the lens.

Optional Teleconverters: The zoom power of the AF-S Nikkor 180-400mm f/5.6E ED VR can be extended even further through the use of optional Nikon teleconverters. The lens is compatible with the TC-14E, TC-17E, and TC-20E series teleconverters to extend the reach by 1.4x, 1.7x, or 2.0x, respectively.

Specifications

  • Type of Lens: Type E AF-S lens with a built-in CPU and 1.4x teleconverter
  • Type of Mount: Nikon F-bayonet type
  • Focal Length:
    • Without built-in teleconverter: 180mm-400mm
    • With built-in teleconverter: 252mm-560mm
  • Filter Diameter: 40.5mm slip-in front filter (Neutral Color (NC) filter included)
  • Lens Construction: 27 elements in 19 groups (including 8 ED lens elements, 1 fluorite element, and lens elements with Nano-Crystal coatings, plus 1 protective glass element with fluorine coating); built-in teleconverter has 8 elements in 5 groups
  • Closest Focus Distance: 6.6' (2.0m)
  • Focusing Method: Nikon Internal Focusing (IF) system with AutoFocus controlled by a Silent Wave Motor, and a separate focus ring for manual focus
  • Diaphragm: Rounded 9-blade
  • Aperture Range:
    • Without built-in teleconverter: f/4 to f/32mm
    • With built-in teleconverter: f/5.6 to f/45mm
  • Angle of View:
    • Without built-in teleconverter:
      • FX-format cameras: 13°40' - 6°10'
      • DX-format cameras: 9° - 4°
    • With built-in teleconverter:
      • FX-format cameras: 9°50' - 4°30'
      • DX-format cameras: 6°20' - 2°50'
  • Dimensions: Diameter 5.04", Length 14.625" (w/o lens caps)
  • Weight: 7 pounds 11.4 ounces

Warranty Information

Warranty Terms: Nikon offers a 1-year parts and labor warranty on this lens. An additional 4-year Extended Service Coverage is available at no charge if you register the product with Nikon within 10 days of purchase.

Our Product Research Team

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