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Lens review

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

23 May 2018
Arkadiusz Olech

5. Chromatic and spherical aberration

Chromatic aberration

Photos below show that attempts at finding traces of longitudinal chromatic aberration were unsuccessful. We examined three focal lengths (300, 400 and 550 mm) and every time the lens managed to correct that aberration very well. A fluorite element and as many as eight low dispersion glass elements seem to perform as they should.

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

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



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


Now let’s see how the tested lens corrects the lateral chromatic aberration – graphs below present its values depending on the focal length, the aperture and detector you employ.

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

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


The Nikkor should be only praised. The highest results you get at 300 mm but even there they just brush against a medium level. In the rest of cases the aberration is either low or imperceptible.

Nikon D3x, RAW, 180 mm, f/11.0 Nikon D3x, RAW, 550 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration Nikon Nikkor AF-S 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration


Spherical aberration

Looking at first photos of this chapter you see that the Nikkor 180-400 mm VR doesn’t have any “focus shift” effect.

Circles of light, shown below, are very nice at the 400 and 550 mm focal lengths. In those cases it’s difficult to differentiate between spots we got before and after the focus. The most pronounced differences can be noticed at 180 mm but even there they concern just the intensity of the rim.

Both these phenomena and the fact that the lens is very sharp in the frame centre practically up from the maximum relative aperture allow us to say that the Nikkor has no problems concerning spherical aberration.

Nikon D3x, 180 mm, f/4.0, in front of Nikon D3x, 180 mm, f/4.0, behind
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration Nikon Nikkor AF-S 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration

Nikon D3x, 400 mm, f/4.0, in front of Nikon D3x, 400 mm, f/4.0, behind
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration Nikon Nikkor AF-S 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration

Nikon D3x, 550 mm (TC), f/5.6, in front of Nikon D3x, 550 mm (TC), f/5.6, behind
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration Nikon Nikkor AF-S 180-400 mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration