Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Nikon 200-400mm f/4 launching soon

Nikon is set to launch a tweaked version of its 200-400mm f/4 VR by end of May. Featuring the same optical configuration and Silent Wave Focusing as its predecessor, the new AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II looks to deliver the same optical performance and speed. However, Nikon improved its stabilization ability by incorporating four-stop VR II image stabilization, and the new lens will benefit greatly with Nikon's Nano Crystal Coat lens coating for reduced ghosting and flare.

It will come at a price though. The AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II is expected to cost nearly US$7000, which squarely prices the lens out of reach for most but the most hardcore (and well-heeled) photographers. Who would buy such an expensive and huge lens? Nature photographers and sports photographers will certainly appreciate having the option to zoom at the super-telephoto range, as well as a relatively bright aperture of f/4 and enjoy the superlative performance of this ED lens as well (it has 24 lens elements in 17 groups with 4 ED elements!).
What other alternatives do you have to this Nikon? Perhaps you can look at the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8EX DG APO HSM instead, with its bright f/2.8 aperture and much more economical US$4200 price tag.  Add on a 1.5x teleconverter and you''ll have almost the same focal length range as this Nikon. You'll not get optical image stabilization (VR) with the Sigma though, which is a really useful feature on such a super-zoom.

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