Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens review: Versatility and solid image performance

By Kevin Carter - Thursday July 25 2013

Lens Review
Introduction | Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II lens performance | Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM vs Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II | Conclusion

As one would hope for a lens costing a cool $7,000, the AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II performs well, achieving an overall DxOMark Score of 25. Sharpness isn’t up to the fixed focal length equivalents (which vary from 28-25P-Mpix over the same range) but it has very good sharpness across the frame at full aperture throughout the zoom range, though peak performance is at 250mm f/4. Transmission is quite a bit lower than the stated maximum and chromatic aberration while low isn’t quite at the same level as the primes but in all other respects the lens is consistent with those models.

DxOMark Lens ranking for Nikon mount telephoto zoom models

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II 6999 25
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR 2700 22
Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED 196 20
Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED 669 20
Tamron SP 70-300 F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Nikon 449 19
Sigma 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG APO OS HSM Nikon 999 19
Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG OS Nikon 359 19
Nikon AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED 1665 18
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR 1050 17
Tamron AF 28-300mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical [IF] Macro Nikon 600 16