A Nikon 400mm lens is almost ideal for wildlife, birds, and sports action photography. The Nikon 400mm f/4.5 gets you close to your subject with a nice working distance, and coupled with a Nikon 1.4x teleconverter, you get a 560mm focal length lens - Very Impressive. If that is not impressive enough, use the Nikon 400mm f/4.5 with the 1.4x TC in crop mode and get a whopping 840mm field of view lens equivalent.
The Nikon 400mm f/4.5 is poised to be a trendy lens for serious Nikon photographers and enthusiasts alike, with a decent price point for what you get as compared to the $14,000.00 f2/8 version. Your other option in Z mount is the Nikon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 @ a cheaper cost of $2,700.00 as compared to the 400 f/4.5 costs $3250.00, and of course, there are other options out there if you don't mind using them with the FTZ adapter. I have made a personal vow to sell my f mount lenses when comparable Z-mount lenses become available for purchase, and so far, I have been doing well - I give myself a B+.
Should You Buy a Nikon 400mm f/4.5 or choose other options? If you don't mind using an FTZ adapter, consider the 500mm f/5.6 PF lens - why? Because you can find it in stock or even used. The 500mm PF is a longer focal length, with swift focusing and excellent image quality. I own the Nikon 500mm f/5.6 PF lens, one of my go-to lenses for wildlife and travel, both lightweight and compact, with the 400mm f/4.5 being ever so lighter. + You need to factor in the FTZ. Optically speaking, they are both very sharp lenses.
|Comparing 400mm f/4.5 vs 500mm f/5.6
|Focal with 1.4 TC
|Nikon 400mm f/4.5
|2.56 lbs (1160g)
|Nikon 500mm f/5.6
|3.2 lbs (1460g)
|* Sale Price
Ok! so what do you get with the Nikon 400mm f/4.5? Depends on what you are comparing it to. I thought at first to compare it to the 400mm F/2.8 but the 2.8 lens is in a league by itself. I will make some comparisons.
- A lightweight, very portable, and hand-holdable lens, weighing in at a little over 2.5 pounds or 1160 grams. Not bad at all.
- You get excellent weather sealing for dirt and moisture resistance.
- You get front-mounted filter threads (for you creative people out there) 95mm.
- You get a 2.5-meter close focusing distance - better than the f mount version and equal to the f/2.8 Z mount. Not bad at all.
- You get a slightly more complicated lens element arrangement, 19 Elements, 13 Groups with 1 ED, I SR, and 2 Super ED. Not bad at all.
- You get all the new special Nikon coatings, Nano, Fluorine, etc...
- You get 5.5 VR image stabilization but no dedicated VR switch on the lens. So you only get VR on Z mirrorless bodies that support IBIS.
- You do not get a nice soft-sided carry bag; you get a lens sock.
Assumptions: Image quality should be excellent with highly controlled Chromatic Abbreviations and Color Fringing with sharpness on par with the top tier of Nikon lenses.
What are the downsides to The Nikon 400mm f/4.5 lens? None that I can think of, You can nitpick that Nikon STILL refuses to release lens without Arca Swiss feet, and what a shame. You could nitpick the lens hood is plastic and not carbon fiber, and of course, you could complain the lens should be f/4 and not f/4.5. For me, any complaints are just our own desires and have no real bearing on the lens performance. Made in China.
I will be posting a full review upon receipt of my Nikon 400mm f/4.5, This lens will be replacing my Nikon 500mm f/5.6 a fine lens but I am moving away from f mount lenses. If you wish to make an offer for my 500mm f/5.6, hit me up on the contact page. I only ship to US addresses.
Should you buy one? Consider the upcoming 200-600 but at a slower aperture for a more versatile lens. I love primes, and the 400mm f/4.5 is a home run.