If you’ve ever wanted to take up a career taking passport photos of the people working on the International Space Station, Nikon might just have the lens for you. And you won’t even have to leave the ground. That’s because the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR (yup, that’s the whole name) is one monster of a telephoto lens.
The company unveiled the AF-S Nikkor 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR at this year’s CES and while it might look crazy enough to be a typical Vegas-wowing prototype, it’s actually intended for retail and it’ll be out in a couple of months. In case you need to photograph the moon landing site or something similar.
As the name suggests, the Nikkor lens covers the 180-400mm range and has a constant aperture of f/4, but it’s got a built-in 1.4x teleconverter that lets this super-telephoto lens switch up to a focal range of 252-560mm in FX-format cameras. Switch to one of Nikon’s DX-format shooters and the lens gives a focal range of 270-600mm as a standard and 378-840mm with the teleconverter engaged.
You’d think that this monster would be an actual monster but Nikon has used a magnesium alloy in its construction to cut down on weight and they’ve also included eight ED (extra-low dispersion) glass elements as well as a new fluorite element in the build of this tongue-twister.
Of course a lens this big is going to come with a similarly-sized prize. The AF-S Nikkor 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR is set to launch in March 2018 and it’ll set prospective owners back a mighty $12,399 (or R154,200, if you’re feeling hopeful in South Africa). Big name, long reach, huge price. Sounds about right.