LensTip.com

Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR

23 May 2018
Arkadiusz Olech

10. Autofocus

The tested Nikkor is equipped with an ultrasonic autofocus motor called SWM- small wonder it is practically noiseless. Still when it comes to speed, we are hardly impressed. Running through the whole distance range and finding the focus takes about 0.8-1.0 of a second, and it is a result for the combination of the tested lens and such a good body as the Nikon D500. It’s worth noticing that the movement of the focusing mechanism remains a bit slower when going toward the shorter distances than toward infinity. These are not values you can expect from a very expensive lens aimed at professional photographers; a lens which, additionally, was created to take photos of dynamic scenes during sport events or wildlife observations.

Of course using the focus limiter and the range from 6 meters to infinity improves the performance, shortening the focusing time by half. Still the result remains far away from records which amounted to 0.2-0.3 of a second in case of the best instruments.

We didn’t have any problems with the accuracy of the autofocus for a change. This professional lens, no matter whether attached to the D3x or to the D500, fared as it befits a top-of-the-range device, with the number of misses being practically zero. Thumbnails below also show that there was no need for any autofocus correction as we didn’t notice front or back focus tendencies with any of two camera bodies used in our test.


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Nikon D500, 300 mm, f/4.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR - Autofocus
Nikon D500, 400 mm, f/4.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR - Autofocus
Nikon D500, 550 mm (TC), f/5.6
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR - Autofocus
Nikon D3x, 300 mm, f/4.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR - Autofocus
Nikon D3x, 400 mm, f/4.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR - Autofocus
Nikon D3x, 550 mm (TC), f/5.6
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR - Autofocus