If you’re looking for a companion for your new 70-200mm F/2.8G ED VR II, Nikon has $6,999.95 surprise for you. The new 200-400mm F/4G, which is an update to a similar lens released in 2003, comes with Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat to reduce flaring and ghosting, as well as the new and improved VR II to handle image stabilization. The press material still claims that buys you an extra four stops when shooting hand-held, which becomes even more important at focal lengths this huge. They have tweaked the VR system to include Automatic Panning Detection as well as an Active VR Mode, which they claim helps get solid images when shooting from an unstable environment, “such as a moving vehicle.” Focus modes include manual and auto, as well as the increasingly popular manual override mode, which allows you to focus with the ring even when AF is turned on.
As you have come to expect from Nikon, the lens is built for durability as performance. It’s constructed from die-cast magnesium and is resistant to both dust and moisture. The front element is protected by Meniscus glass and four Extra-Low Dispersion glass elements help keep image quality to a maximum while cutting down on chromatic aberration. It’s scheduled to hit the shelves in May and also to hit our lab as soon as we can get our eager little hands on it. Stay tuned.