Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II £4900, $6300

A costly lens that’s in­tended to en­sure that pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phers get the money shot

NPhoto - - Test Team -

One f/stop slower than the Sigma 120-300mm lens on test, but with greater telephoto reach, this lens has a sim­i­lar con­stant-aper­ture de­sign. As such, it doesn’t phys­i­cally ex­tend at longer zoom set­tings, which is just as well as it mea­sures 366mm in length any­way. That’s a fair bit longer than the Sigma but, thanks to a tough yet ‘light­weight’ mag­ne­sium al­loy build, it’s pretty much the same weight at 3.36kg. Weight-sav­ing extends to the hood be­ing con­structed from car­bon fi­bre. There’s no front fil­ter thread, but 52mm drop-in fil­ters can be used at the rear.

Up­dated VR sta­bil­i­sa­tion, nano crys­tal coat­ings and the ad­di­tion of an A/M aut­o­fo­cus mode (as in the Nikon 80400mm) are the main dif­fer­ences be­tween this Mk II edi­tion and the older ver­sion of the lens. The op­ti­cal de­sign and in­clu­sion of four ED el­e­ments re­main the same, as do the high-tech frip­peries of fo­cus mem­ory pre­set and re­call, with op­tional beeps, that work in con­junc­tion with a set of con­trol but­tons around the for­ward end of the lens.

Per­for­mance

Eas­ing ahead of all other lenses on test, this one de­liv­ers ex­cep­tional sharp­ness at all zoom set­tings, along with min­i­mal dis­tor­tion.

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