Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Review

The Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens is a high-performance telephoto zoom lens that was created for use by both professional photographers and amateurs who are interested in wildlife photography. This lens provides great image quality and shooting capabilities because of its extensive focal range, which is adaptable, and its innovative features.

The Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens is designed to give great performance in a variety of shooting circumstances. Whether you’re photographing fast-moving sports action or animals in their natural habitat, this lens is created to deliver outstanding results.

Key Specs

  • Mount Type: Nikon F-Bayonet
  • Focal Length Range: 200 – 400mm
  • Zoom Ratio: 2.0x
  • Maximum Aperture: f/4
  • Minimum Aperture: f/32
  • Format: FX/35mm
  • VR (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Lens Elements: 24
  • Lens Groups: 17
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Nano Crystal Coat: Yes
  • ED Glass Elements: 4
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • AF-S (Silent Wave Motor): Yes
  • Internal Focusing: Yes
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 6.6 ft. (2.0m) or 6.4 ft. (1.95m) with manual focus
  • Focus Mode: Auto, Manual, Manual/Auto
  • Filter Size: 52mm
  • Compatible with Nikon AF-S Teleconverters: Yes
  • Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 4.9 in. (124 mm) x 14.4 in. (365 mm)
  • Approx. Weight: 118.5 oz. (3360 g)


It’s hard to overstate how outstanding the performance of the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens is. Because it maintains an aperture of f/4 over the entirety of its zoom range, it offers exceptional control over the depth of focus as well as exposure consistency. This lens has Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM), which enables quick and accurate focusing. As a result, you’ll be able to take photographs that are crisp and in focus despite the hard conditions you’re shooting in.

Additionally, the lens is equipped with Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, which reduces the amount of shake caused by hand-held shooting and permits the use of slower shutter rates. This is especially helpful when photographing at longer focal lengths when even the slightest movement can cause photographs to be blurry due to the increased depth of field.

Even while working with the lens in low-light conditions or in conjunction with teleconverters, the VR system enables you to take photos that are sharp and free of blur with complete assurance.

Autofocus System

The autofocus mechanism inside of the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens is among the most cutting-edge available today. When photographing things that are constantly moving, it is absolutely necessary to have an autofocus system that is swift, accurate, and as quiet as possible. Manual, autofocus with manual override, and autofocus alone are the three focus modes that may be selected with this lens.

You now have the freedom to select the focusing setting that works best with your preferred shooting technique and the subject of your photographs. In addition, the autofocus system has a focus limiter option, which enables the user to optimize the speed at which the camera can focus by selecting a certain focusing range.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to follow a runner or photograph birds in flight; the autofocus technology of this lens will help you obtain clear and accurate focus no matter what you’re doing.

Vibration Reduction

The acclaimed Vibration Reduction (VR) technology from Nikon has been incorporated into the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens. This technology is essential for shooting handheld at longer focal lengths and is included in the lens. This technology detects even the tiniest motions and counteracts them, resulting in photos that are crisper than they would have been otherwise due to camera shaking.

This lens features VR technology that gives up to four stops of image stabilization, enabling you to shoot at slower shutter speeds without sacrificing the clarity of the images you capture. This is especially helpful when working in low light or when using the lens in conjunction with teleconverters, both of which have the potential to amplify the effects of camera shaking. Even while shooting handheld, the Vibration Reduction function gives you the assurance that the photos you take will be clear of blur and crisp.

Build Quality

The Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens is designed to resist the rigorous use that is required in the photography industry. It is built with strong and high-quality materials, giving it the ability to withstand a variety of shooting circumstances without losing its durability or reliability. The lens’s barrel is constructed out of magnesium alloy, which not only gives the lens its strength but also keeps the lens’s total weight at a bearable range.

The lens is also weather-sealed, which protects it from dust and moisture. As a result, it is well-suited for photography that takes place outside. You can concentrate on producing great photographs without having to worry about the longevity of your equipment since the build quality of this lens instills trust and assures that it can resist challenging shooting settings.

Handling and Ergonomics

Ergonomics were taken into consideration throughout the development of the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens, which results in a shooting experience that is both comfortable and natural. Both the zoom ring and the manual focus ring on the lens are silky smooth and well-damped, making it possible to make fine adjustments to the focal length of the image. In addition, the lens features a dedicated focus mode switch and a focus limiter switch that are both conveniently situated near the lens mount.

These switches make it possible for you to make adjustments to your preferred settings in a way that is both quick and straightforward. Image quality is maximized because of the lens hood’s tight attachment, which helps cut down on flare and ghosting caused by the lens. In addition, the lens features a tripod collar that, when used in conjunction with a monopod or tripod, improves the level of stability achieved in the captured images.

The lens’s general shape and arrangement make it comfortable to handle, which enables you to focus on arranging your photographs and capturing the moment you want to remember instead of having to worry about how you’re going to hold the lens.

Image Stabilization

The Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens contains Nikon’s superior Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, which is essential for generating clear and blur-free photos. This is especially important when shooting handheld or in tough lighting settings. Because it has VR technology, this lens can correct for blur caused by camera shake, allowing you to take clear photographs even when the shutter speed is set lower.

You will have the ability to securely shoot at longer focal lengths without the need for a tripod if your camera has image stabilization capabilities of up to four stops. This will provide you with more mobility and flexibility in your photography. Because this lens features image stabilization, it doesn’t matter if you’re taking pictures of animals, sports, or any other topic that requires a telephoto reach; the image stabilization will ensure that your pictures are crisp and clear, unaffected by blur caused by camera shake.

Shooting Experience

The Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens makes for a really fun time behind the camera when used in conjunction with it. You’ll have no trouble capturing a wide variety of objects thanks to this camera’s flexible focal range, which, when paired with its quick and precise focusing technology, makes shooting in low light a breeze. This lens offers outstanding performance, whether you’re trying to picture faraway nature or capture the excitement of a sporting event.

Your ability to produce exquisite bokeh while isolating your objects is made possible by the constant aperture of f/4, which allows exceptional control over the depth of field. Additionally, the lens is compatible with Nikon’s teleconverters, which allow the user to increase the focal length range of the lens while keeping the picture quality the same. Because of its adaptability, it is a very useful tool for photographers who need a greater reach. The whole experience of shooting with the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens is one that is smooth and satisfying, allowing you to produce magnificent photographs with ease and accuracy thanks to the lens’s impressive focal range.

Image Quality

The Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens has an impressively high standard for the image quality it generates. This lens maintains its sharpness, contrast, and clarity over the entirety of its focal range because of its cutting-edge optical design and high-quality individual lens components. Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass components are used in the design of the lens in order to reduce chromatic aberrations and provide faithful color reproduction.

The lens elements have Nano Crystal and Super Integrated Coatings applied to them in order to eliminate ghosting, flare, and internal reflections. As a consequence, the images produced by the camera have great contrast and color accuracy. The exposure is maintained because of the constant f/4 aperture, which also enables creative control over the amount of depth in the field of view.

Due to the circular shape of the aperture, the bokeh that can be achieved with this lens is also quite beautiful. When it comes to photographing wildlife, sports, or any other topic, the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens produces exceptional image quality that is up to the standards expected of professional photography equipment.

Teleconverter Compatibility

Because it is compatible with Nikon’s teleconverters, the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens enables you to increase its focal length range while preserving the quality of the images you capture. When coupled with the teleconverter for the Nikon TC-14E II, the lens transforms into a 280-560mm f/5.6 zoom lens, providing an even wider reach for photographing subjects that are further away.

The focusing capabilities of the camera are preserved when the lens and teleconverter are used together, despite the fact that the maximum aperture is now f/5.6. Because of this compatibility, you will have the freedom to adapt to a variety of shooting scenarios and broaden your reach without having to sacrifice image quality. Because it is compatible with teleconverters, this lens offers a flexible alternative for capturing subjects that demand a larger focal length. This might include photographing sports, animals, or any other topic that calls for a greater focal length.

Comparison with Competitors

When contrasted with other lenses in its class, the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens distinguishes out because of its superior picture quality, sophisticated autofocus technology, and adaptable focal range. It has a benefit over lenses that have variable apertures since the aperture remains fixed at f/4 over the whole zoom range. This allows for more consistent exposure as well as more control over the depth of focus.

The autofocus system is equipped with Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology, which enables it to focus quickly, accurately, and quietly. As a result, it is an excellent choice for shooting objects that are constantly moving. In addition, the Vibration Reduction (VR) technology provides good picture stabilization, making it possible to shoot handheld at larger lens lengths.

The lens has a sturdy construction and is sealed against the elements, which provides it with endurance and dependability in a variety of shooting environments. Overall, the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens distinguishes itself as a high-performance alternative that is suitable for both professional photographers and amateurs who are interested in wildlife.


Mount TypeNikon F-Bayonet
Focal Length Range200 – 400mm
Zoom Ratio2.0x
Maximum Aperturef/4
Minimum Aperturef/32
Maximum Angle of View (DX-format)
Minimum Angle of View (DX-format)
Maximum Angle of View (FX-format)12°20′
Minimum Angle of View (FX-format)6°10′
Maximum Reproduction Ratio0.27x
Lens Elements24
Lens Groups17
VR (Vibration Reduction)Yes
Diaphragm Blades9
Nano Crystal CoatYes
ED Glass Elements4
AF-S (Silent Wave Motor)Yes
Internal FocusingYes
Minimum Focus Distance6.6 ft. (2.0m) 6.4 ft. (1.95m) with manual focus
Focus ModeAuto, Manual, Manual/Auto
Filter Size52mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Compatible with Nikon AF-S TeleconvertersYes (refer to the product manual for details)
Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length)4.9 in. (124 mm) x 14.4 in. (365 mm)
Approx. Weight118.5 oz. (3360 g)

Pros and Cons


  • Superior visual quality with outstanding sharpness, contrast, and faithful color reproduction throughout.
  • The flexible focus range of 200–400 millimeters makes it appropriate for photographing a wide variety of topics.
  • Powered by Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology, its autofocus mechanism is both swift and precise.
  • Vibration Reduction (VR) technique that is efficient for the purpose of image stabilization.
  • Durability in harsh environments is achieved by sturdy construction quality and comprehensive weatherproofing.
  • Compatible with teleconverters so that additional focal length options are available.


  • Because of its size and weight, the lens is not ideal for lengthy handheld usage due to its lack of portability.
  • The high cost may be prohibitive for some people who are interested in photography.
  • There is a possibility that the constant f/4 aperture will not be enough for low-light photography in some scenarios.

Price and Availability

The Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens is a premium telephoto zoom lens that comes with a higher price tag, reflecting its sophisticated features and great performance. This lens is available exclusively for Nikon DSLR cameras.

At this point in time, the lens may be purchased via authorized Nikon dealers as well as online platforms. It is recommended, however, to check the most recent pricing and availability information from reputable sources in order to confirm that the information is true.


The Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens is a top-of-the-line telephoto zoom lens that is designed for wildlife lovers and professional photographers who want exceptional performance and image quality. This lens excels in taking clear, detailed photographs of distant scenes because to its flexible focal range, sophisticated autofocus mechanism, and excellent Vibration Reduction technology.

The lens’s build quality, handling, and ergonomics make for a pleasant time behind the camera, and the fact that it is compatible with teleconverters allows for an even greater extension of its focal length. Despite the fact that the lens has a few downsides, such as its size, weight, and expensive price point, those who are looking for top-tier telephoto capabilities will find it to be an invaluable tool because of its superb optical performance and strong construction.

In general, the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens is a trustworthy and high-performing alternative that satisfies the requirements set forth by both photography pros and amateurs.

Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II FAQs

Q. Is the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens compatible with teleconverters?
A. Yes, the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens is compatible with Nikon AF-S teleconverters. This allows you to extend its focal length range while maintaining image quality. However, it is recommended to refer to the product manual for specific details on compatibility and any potential impact on autofocus or maximum aperture.
Q. Does the lens have image stabilization?
A. Yes, the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens features Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization technology. This helps to counteract camera shake and provides greater stability when shooting handheld. The VR system allows for sharper images, particularly when working at longer focal lengths or in low-light conditions.
Q. What is the minimum focus distance of the lens?
A. The minimum focus distance of the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens is approximately 6.6 ft. (2.0m). However, when using manual focus, the minimum focus distance can be reduced to 6.4 ft. (1.95m). This allows you to get closer to your subjects for detailed close-up shots.
Q. Does the lens have a silent autofocus motor?
A. Yes, the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens features an AF-S (Silent Wave Motor) autofocus system. This technology enables fast, accurate, and virtually silent autofocus performance. It is particularly beneficial when photographing wildlife or during situations where quiet operation is essential.
Q. What filter size does the lens use?
A. The Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens has a filter size of 52mm. This allows you to attach various filters, such as polarizers or neutral density filters, to enhance your creative options and achieve specific photographic effects.



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