Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Review

The Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens is a high-performance telephoto lens that was created for professional photographers who expect great picture quality and adaptability from their equipment. This super-telephoto lens, which is manufactured by Nikon and is a member of the company’s acclaimed portfolio of super-telephoto lenses, is designed to give great results in a variety of difficult shooting circumstances.

Photographers have access to a strong instrument in the form of the AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens. This lens is equipped with a number of innovative features and cutting-edge technology, making it possible for them to take spectacular photographs with pinpoint accuracy.

Key Specs

  • Focal Length: 400mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Format: FX/35mm
  • VR (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Lens Elements: 16
  • Lens Groups: 12
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Nano Crystal Coat: Yes
  • ED Glass Elements: 2
  • Fluorite Elements: 2
  • Super Integrated Coating: Yes
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • AF-S (Silent Wave Motor): Yes
  • Internal Focusing: Yes
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 8.53 ft. (2.6m)
  • Focus Mode: Auto, Manual, Manual/Auto, Auto/Manual
  • Filter Size: 40.5mm
  • Compatible with Nikon AF-S Teleconverters: Yes
  • Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 6.3 in. (159.5 mm) x 14.09 in. (358 mm)
  • Approx. Weight: 134 oz. (3800 g)


The Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens delivers genuinely remarkable results in terms of its performance. The lens has a quick maximum aperture of f/2.8, which enables great performance in low-light conditions and the ability to produce attractive bokeh effects by creating a narrow depth of field.

The lens incorporates a number of cutting-edge optical components, such as Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass, Fluorite elements, and Nano Crystal Coat. These elements collaborate to reduce chromatic aberration, ghosting, and flare, so ensuring that every image possesses optimal levels of sharpness, contrast, and color accuracy.

Autofocus System

The focusing technology of the AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens is exceptionally quick and precise, making it an excellent choice for photographing subjects that are constantly on the move. The lens is equipped with Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor (SWM), a technology that enables the quiet and smooth functioning of the autofocus mechanism.

In addition, the autofocus system features a focus limiter switch that can be personalized, enabling photographers to fine-tune the lens’s autofocus speed in accordance with the requirements of their individual shooting situations. This lens is ideal for photographing sports, animals, and action because of its rapid and dependable focusing capabilities.

Vibration Reduction

The Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens contains Nikon’s extremely efficient Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, which helps to eliminate camera shake and enables handheld photography at slower shutter speeds. VR is only available in Nikon lenses with a focal length of 400mm or longer. This comes in very handy when photographing moving things or taking pictures in low-light settings without the use of a tripod.

This lens contains VR technology that gives up to four stops of image stabilization, making it possible for photographers to capture crisper photos even while working in difficult shooting conditions. The VR settings may be modified to correspond with a variety of photographic styles, which provides adaptability as well as greater stability for a number of different shooting circumstances.

Build Quality

The AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens has a superb build quality that was built to endure the rigorous use that is associated with professional photography. The lens has a sturdy structure made of magnesium alloy, which not only offers durability but also helps protect the internal components from dust and moisture.

The lens barrel also has a fluorine coating applied to it, which makes it resistant to dirt, smudges, and water droplets. This makes it much simpler to clean and maintain the lens during its lifetime. In addition to further contributing to its lightweight yet durable construction, the lens hood is composed of carbon fiber and integrated into the design of the camera.

Handling and Ergonomics

The AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens was developed with the ease and comfort of the photographer in mind during its development. It has a design that is nicely balanced, with buttons and switches that are located within easy reach so that modifications can be made quickly. The lens has a tripod collar that has a rotating mechanism built into it, which enables photographers to easily move between horizontal and vertical positions when taking pictures.

In addition, the lens features a focus ring made of rubberized material, which makes the manual focusing experience very smooth and accurate. The lens is very hefty because of the big aperture and optics, however, it comes with a strap that can be removed so that it may be carried about comfortably.

Image Stabilization

Image stabilization of up to four stops is provided by the Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens, which is integrated with the company’s cutting-edge Vibration Reduction (VR) technology. This function allows photographers to take clear photos even while shooting handheld at shorter shutter speeds, which was previously impossible. It considerably eliminates the effects of camera wobble.

The VR system works well for both taking still photographs and shooting videos, resulting in footage that is both smooth and reliable. Additionally, it cooperates with the electronic first curtain shutter function of Nikon cameras in order to reduce the amount of extra vibration that is brought on by the camera’s mechanical shutter.

Shooting Experience

Photographers who want to achieve a long telephoto reach will find that working with the AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens is a joy. The lens has an autofocus performance that is swift and precise, making it possible to acquire subjects and monitor their movements quickly. Because it has a maximum aperture of f/2.8, which is rather wide, the photographer may get superb subject isolation and a lovely background blur.

Because of the lens’s variable focal length and image stabilization features, it performs very well in types of photography that require the photographer to capture subjects that are in motion, such as action, wildlife, and sports photography. The weather-sealed structure of the lens assures that it will continue to work reliably in a wide range of environmental situations.

Image Quality

The AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens has a very high standard for the image quality it generates. The optical design of the lens combines a number of high-quality components, such as elements made of Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass and Fluorite elements. These elements work together to efficiently decrease chromatic aberrations and guarantee that the image is extremely crisp and clear.

Because the Nano Crystal Coat reduces the amount of ghosting and flare generated by internal reflections, the images it produces have a high contrast ratio and colors that are true to life. Because of the lens’s quick maximum aperture, it is possible to exert fine control over the depth of field, and the lens’s rounded diaphragm blades provide a bokeh that is silky smooth, and aesthetically beautiful.

Teleconverter Compatibility

Because it is compatible with Nikon’s teleconverters, the AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens is able to expand its reach and broaden its applicability. The focal length of the lens will grow when used in conjunction with a teleconverter, such as the Nikon TC-14E III or TC-20E III.

This will allow for an even broader range of telephoto shots. Photographers who need even longer focal lengths without losing picture quality will find teleconverters to be useful tools since they preserve great image quality and focusing performance. Teleconverters are available in a variety of focal lengths.

Comparison with Competitors

When contrasted with other lenses in its class, the Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens distinguishes out because of its superior picture quality, dependable autofocus performance, and efficient vibration reduction. Its quick maximum aperture of f/2.8 offers it an advantage in low-light circumstances and helps photographers to produce beautiful background separation in their photographs.

The build quality of the lens is exceptional, as is the weather sealing, which together ensures the lens’s endurance and usage in demanding shooting settings. Although there are other telephoto lenses available on the market, the AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens is exceptional in its ability to achieve the degree of performance that is expected of professional photographers.


Mount TypeNikon F-Bayonet
Focal Length400mm
Maximum Aperturef/2.8
Minimum Aperturef/22
Maximum Angle of View (DX-format)
Maximum Angle of View (FX-format)6°10′
Maximum Reproduction Ratio0.16x
Lens Elements16
Lens Groups12
VR (Vibration Reduction)Yes
Diaphragm Blades9
Nano Crystal CoatYes
ED Glass Elements2
Fluorite Elements2
Super Integrated CoatingYes
AF-S (Silent Wave Motor)Yes
Internal FocusingYes
Minimum Focus Distance8.53 ft. (2.6m)
Focus ModeAuto, Manual, Manual/Auto, Auto/Manual
Filter Size40.5mm
Accepts Filter TypeSlip-in
Compatible with Nikon AF-S TeleconvertersYes (refer to the product manual for details)
Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length)6.3 in. (159.5 mm) x 14.09 in. (358 mm)
Approx. Weight134 oz. (3800 g)

Pros and Cons

There are a lot of benefits that come along with using the Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens. Because of its exceptional optical performance, it produces pictures that are crisp, high-quality and have very few aberrations. Because of the lens’s quick aperture, sophisticated focusing technology, and image stabilization, it is ideally suited for taking sharp photographs of subjects that are moving quickly.

The weather sealing and strong build quality of the lens make it appealing to photographers since it enables them to utilize the lens in a variety of environments. Having said that, the lens does suffer from a few limitations. Because of both its size and weight, it is difficult to transport, particularly for lengthy periods of time. In addition, the high price point may prevent photographers who are concerned about their finances from purchasing it.

Price and Availability

The Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens is a high-quality professional lens that comes at a hefty price. Because it is already available on the market, it may be bought through authorized Nikon merchants as well as online businesses that sell Nikon products.

There is a possibility that the price will change based on the location as well as any active specials or discounts. When looking for the most up-to-date information on prices, it is advised to check with local merchants and internet platforms.


The Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens is a premium telephoto lens that excels in terms of performance, picture quality, and handling. It has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 and a focal length of 400 millimeters. Because of its quick maximum aperture, sophisticated autofocus system, and highly efficient image stabilization, it is an excellent option for professional photographers who concentrate on taking photographs of sports, animals, and other types of action.

Even though it is somewhat cumbersome and comes with a hefty price tag, those who insist on having the very finest in terms of optics and construction will find that the purchase is well worth the money. Overall, the AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens is a strong weapon that enables photographers to take spectacular photos with accuracy and clarity in even the toughest shooting settings. This lens has a maximum aperture of 2.8.

Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR FAQs

Q. Is the Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens compatible with teleconverters?
A. Yes, the lens is compatible with Nikon AF-S teleconverters, providing additional focal length and versatility. Refer to the product manual for specific details on compatibility.
Q. Does the lens have image stabilization?
A. Yes, the Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens features Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization technology. This helps to reduce camera shake and allows for sharper handheld shots, particularly in low-light conditions.
Q. What is the minimum focus distance of the lens?
A. The lens has a minimum focus distance of 8.53 ft. (2.6m). This allows for close focus on subjects, adding versatility to your shooting options.
Q. How many lens elements does the Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens have?
A. The lens consists of 16 lens elements arranged in 12 groups. These elements, including Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass and Fluorite elements, contribute to minimizing aberrations and delivering excellent image quality.
Q. What is the weight of the lens?
A. The Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens weighs approximately 134 oz. (3800 g). It is a substantial lens due to its large aperture and high-performance optics, which provide exceptional image quality and low-light capabilities.



Peter is an accomplished and passionate photographer whose captivating images have garnered global recognition. With a remarkable ability to capture fleeting moments and convey profound emotions, his work transcends boundaries and tells compelling visual stories. From stunning landscapes to intimate portraits, Peter's expertise in various genres of photography showcases his artistic vision and technical mastery.