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

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

Lens Summary

Brand: Nikon

Also Known As: Nikon 400mm f/2.8E VR

Lens Type: Prime Lens

Format: Full Frame / FX

Focus: Autofocus

Lens Mount: Nikon F

Release Date: 2014-05-14

MSRP Price: $11999.95

Made in: Japan

Infrared Rating: Good

Production Status: In Production

Lens Description: Lighter and more rugged than its acclaimed predecessor, the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR frees professionals and passionate shooters to capture the thrill of sports, action and wildlife with staggering clarity and precision, even when shooting handheld in challenging lighting conditions. A fast f/2.8 maximum aperture paired with Nikon VR technology delivers exciting new low-light capabilities and beautiful bokeh, while a specialized diaphragm maintains consistent exposure during high-speed shooting. Pro-grade dust- and moisture-sealing and a fluorine coated front meniscus glass element protect the lens' superb NIKKOR optics on tough assignments while Nikon's advanced lens technologies give you every advantage for catching the shots that matter.

Photography Life Review Summary: The Nikon 400mm f/2.8E FL VR represents yet another marvel of modern engineering. Thanks to the new optical formula using fluorite lens elements, Nikon was not only able to make the lens lighter than its predecessor, but also much easier to handle, thanks to the more balanced distribution of the lens elements. As a result, the tripod / monopod-only lens, which many historically dubbed “monster” of a lens due to its weight and heft became hand-holdable, which in itself is a breakthrough for many sports and wildlife photographers. And Nikon did this without compromising on sharpness – as you have seen from the previous pages of this review, the new 400mm f/2.8E FL VR is sharper than its predecessor. On top of this, Nikon included all of the latest technologies in the lens design: from the new fluorine coating to the latest generation vibration reduction technology with the new “Sport” mode. Although these features came at a price increase of $2500 over its predecessor, the weight savings alone will be worth paying the premium for many photography enthusiasts and professionals, since it opens up new opportunities for capturing action. Read the full Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Review by Photography Life.

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

Lens Specifications
* Supplied accessories may differ depending on country or area  
Lens Type Prime Lens
Focal Length 400mm
Mount Type Nikon F
Format Full Frame / FX
Compatible Format(s) FX/35mm
Compatible with Teleconverters Yes
Maximum Reproduction Ratio 0.16x
Vibration Reduction (Image Stabilization) Yes
Aperture Information
Aperture Ring No
Maximim Aperture f/2.8
Minimum Aperture f/22
Maximum Angle of View (APS-C or smaller format)
Maximum Angle of View (Full Frame format) 6°10'
Optical Information
Lens Elements 16
Lens Groups 12
Diaphragm Blades 9
Extra-Low Dispersion Glass Elements 2
Nano Crystal Coat Yes
Super Integrated Coat (SIC) Yes
Fluorine Coating Yes
Fluorite Elements 2
Focus Information
Focus Autofocus
Built-in Focus Motor Yes
Silent Wave Motor (SWM) Yes
Internal Focusing Yes
Minimum Focus Distance 8.53 ft. (2.6m)
Focus Mode Switch Auto, Manual, Manual/Auto, Auto/Manual
G-type Yes
Distance Information Yes
Filter Information
Filter Size 40.5mm
Accepts Filter Type Slip-in
Physical Characteristics
Weather / Dust Sealing Yes
Mount Material Metal
Tripod Collar Yes
Dimensions 6.3 in. (159.5 mm) x 14.09 in. (358 mm)
Weight 134 oz. (3800 g)
Other Information
Available in Colors Black
Supplied Accessories Slip-on HK-38 lens hood, CT-404 trunk case, Slip-in filter holder, 40.5mm screw-in NC filter, LN-2 strap

Lens Construction

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Lens Construction

MTF Chart

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR MTF Chart

Image Samples

Red Fox (4) 400mm f2.8E FL + TC-14E III @ f8 Wood Duck #4 Dark-eyed Junco 400mm f2.8E FL @ f5.6

Reader Interactions


  1. Shivanayak
    December 30, 2014 at 3:53 am

    I am interested in knowing the AF performance of the 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR with 1.7X TC III or 2.0X TC ?

  2. mikeschmeee
    January 12, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    I am also interested in knowing the AF performance of the 400mm f/2.8E FL with the tele-converters. Namely the TC-20E III

  3. Aku Kankaanpaa
    February 17, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Have shot them against each other in my eagle hide last weekend. I own the previous model since 2012 and I´m happy with it. My friend bought the new FL model to replace his 300/2.8 VR. Initial impressions of the differences between the two are that:

    -New one more easily hand-holdable but the carrying strap is aligned like that of 500/4 and 300/2.8, if you carry the lens around your neck the lens hood will hit your knees a little bit when you walk with the lens. Old version didnt have this problem
    -New one has noticeably faster AF, fastest I have ever seen on any lens
    -New one is little bit sharper and has more contrast wide open, probably sharper than old 200/2 VR
    -New one has more silent AF and VR operation
    -Performance with 2x teleconverter looks little bit better with new version, sharp already at 5.6 but experience is rather limited, we didnt have too many eagle situations that day.

    Here are a few 100% crops of White-tailed eagle, one with 400mm alone and two, at 800mm F:5.6, other post-processed and other straight from the camera:…estikuvat/

    • DAvid Goltra
      March 28, 2016 at 7:47 am

      Nice eagle shots Aku.

      I am think about getting the 300mm 2.8 for wildlife

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