Nikon unleashes AF-S Nikkor 180-400mm F4E TC1.4 FL ED VR

Nikon has spent the last couple of years overhauling its professional camera line, and it's decided to kick off 2018 with a lens to match.

The AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm F4E TC1.4 FL ED VR is a super-telephoto zoom lens designed for FX-format bodies such as the D5 and D850. Intended for the sports and wildlife photography market, the lens officially succeeds the AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II and boasts a constant f/4 aperture throughout its entire zoom range. Arguably more noteworthy, however, is the fact that it's been designed with its very own teleconverter.

Read more: Nikon D850 review

Much like Canon's EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM, the integrated 1.4x teleconverter can be kicked into use with simple flick of a switch. Here, it boosts the lens's 180-400mm focal length to 270-600mm, although those using it on DX-format bodies such as the D500 and D7500 will realise an effective focal range of 378-840mm.

Thankfully, the lens also features a four-stop Vibration Reduction system to help keep everything sharp and stable throughout the focal length range, with Normal and Sports VR options selected through a switch on the side of the barrel. Magnesium-alloy casing has been used for strength and weight reduction, while protection against dust and water is provided though internal sealing and a water- and dust-repellant coating on the front element.

On the inside, the 27-element, 19-group optical design includes a single flourite element and eight Extra Low Dispersion elements, together with Nano Crystal Coating technology. Other features include a nine-bladed diaphragm and a focus-limit control, as well as a Memory Recall switch.

AF-S Nikkor 180-400mm F4E TC1.4 FL ED VR price and availability

As you can imagine, this optic isn't designed for bargain hunters or those with just a casual interest in telephotography. With a suggested £10,999/$12,399.95/€12,400 asking price, it will likely only be snapped up by the lucky few. Fortunately, they won't have to wait too long to get their hands on a sample, with first stocks expected in March.

Read more: The 8 best portrait lenses for Nikon DSLR users

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Matt Golowczynski

The former editor of Digital Camera World, "Matt G" has spent the bulk of his career working in or reporting on the photographic industry. For two and a half years he worked in the trade side of the business with Jessops and Wex, serving as content marketing manager for the latter. 

Switching streams he also spent five years as a journalist, where he served as technical writer and technical editor for What Digital Camera before joining DCW, taking on assignments as a freelance writer and photographer in his own right. He currently works for SmartFrame, a specialist in image-streaming technology and protection.