Nikon unleashed a new super telephoto lens and tele extender this morning: the AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens and 1.4x magnifying AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III. Sports photographers and wildlife shooters should find a lot to like here; the Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 features improved autofocus, exposure accuracy and speed, while the teleconverter TC-14E III multiplies the focal length of Nikon lenses by 1.4x with reportedly only a one-stop loss of exposure.
Unfortunately for those photographers looking to get their hands on these big guns they don’t go on sale until August 2014 and they won’t be cheap. The the AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens will sell for $12,000, while the AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III will retail for $500.
Here’s a breakdown of the key specs for these two new optics from Nikon:
AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR
• Nearly two pounds lighter, yet more durable than its predecessor; designed for shooting sports, action and wildlife
• Improved AF, exposure accuracy and speed.
• Vibration Reduction (VR) technology with up to four stops of image stabilization
• Contains two fluorite elements, two Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements and Nano Crystal Coat
• Features an electronic diaphragm, allowing for stable exposure even during high speed shooting
• Available in August 2014 for $11,999.95 SRP
AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III
• Effectively multiplies focal length of many NIKKOR lenses by 1.4x, while losing only one stop of exposure
• Features fluorine coating for enhanced resistance to dirt and water.
• Available in August 2014 for $499.95 SRP.
More details in the press release below.
GO FURTHER WITH SUPERIOR NIKKOR OPTICS: THE NEW AF-S NIKKOR 400MM F/2.8E FL ED VR SUPER-TELEPHOTO LENS AND AF-S TELECONVERTER TC-14E III
Nikon Announces Newest Additions to Legacy of Professional Precision Glass
MELVILLE, NY (May 14, 2014 at 12:01 A.M. EDT) –Today, Nikon Inc. announced the new AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens and AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, engineered to give professional and passionate photographers optical excellence and exceptional telephoto capabilities. The new 400mm f/2.8 lens is lighter and more durable than its acclaimed predecessor, inviting professional and passionate shooters to capture the thrill of sports, action and wildlife with staggering clarity and precision, even in challenging light. The new TC-14 E III Teleconverter is an ideal companion for many NIKKOR telephoto lenses, offering users a focal length boost while maintaining clarity and sharpness.
“The new AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR has been evolved to meet the needs of today’s sports, wildlife and multi-media photographers, well beyond the premier precision optics; it is much lighter, and has well thought-out controls and features that aid in creating super-sharp images even from extreme distances,” said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “Together with the AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, the new 400mm lens and many other NIKKOR lenses will help photographers go the distance to get their shot.”
The New AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR: Superior Optics, Superb Handling
The new 400mm f/2.8 super-telephoto lens delivers upon the NIKKOR promise of uncompromising performance, thanks to overall enhancements to the optical characteristics of the lens, which go beyond simply enhancing image quality. With a refined optical formula, those who shoot fast action sports from a distance or rapidly moving wildlife will appreciate the improved autofocus (AF), exposure accuracy and speed. The lens now contains two fluorite elements that, together with two Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements and Nano Crystal Coat, helps ensure outstanding performance with minimal chromatic aberration and flaring. The internal construction of the lens comprises 16 elements in 12 groups, and features an electromagnetic diaphragm, similar to that employed in the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6 lens. Denoted by the “E” designation, this feature allows for stable exposures during high speed shooting, such as the 11 frames-per-second (fps) possible with the Nikon D4S HD-SLR. Additionally, the lens employs a nine-blade rounded diaphragm that creates a circular, natural looking out of focus area – a requirement for action and wildlife shooters who need clear separation between the subject and the background.
The refined construction of this lens has additional benefits, creating a beautifully balanced instrument for professionals that is nearly two full pounds (816 grams) lighter than its predecessor, tempting the user to shoot handheld when needed. Whether trackside or courtside, photographers will value Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) technology with up to four stops of image stabilization*, and the addition of the new VR Sport Mode. When shooting action, especially on a monopod, the VR Sport Mode recognizes a panning motion to provide accurate compensation for camera shake, resulting in super-sharp images, with motion blur where the photographer intended. For working in challenging environments, the lens features a protective front meniscus element with a fluorine coating, which resists dirt and moisture on the front of the lens. Other pro-minded features include the addition of a rotating tripod collar for seamless switching between compositions, and buttons on the lens barrel compatible with the new AF functions of the Nikon D4S.
AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III
Nikon’s long legacy and expertise in optical engineering is substantiated with this new 1.4x teleconverter that retains the lens’ image quality, even at wide-open apertures. This new teleconverter effectively multiplies the focal length of many NIKKOR lenses by 1.4x, while resulting in only a one-stop loss of exposure. Especially useful for nature and sports photographers, the enhanced optical system reduces chromatic lens aberration, while preserving the accuracy of the AF system.
The construction of the teleconverter has been significantly upgraded for both durability and optical brilliance. Comprised of seven elements within four groups, the outer elements feature a fluorine coating for enhanced resistance to dirt and water droplets. For added durability, the lens barrel has been designed for increased moisture and dust resistance.
Price and Availability
The AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens will be available in August 2014, and will have a suggested retail price (SRP) of $11,999.95. The AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III will also be available in August 2014 for an SRP of $499.95. For more information on the latest NIKKOR lenses as well as other Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.