You know (of) that Canon EF 200-400mm f4 L IS USM 1.4 Extender lens? The one with the built in teleconverter?
Soon, Nikon will announce its competing lens, the Nikkor AF-S 180-400mm F4E TC1.4 FL ED VR.
For the bewildered not totally Nikon speak-well-versed among us, lets break that down:
- Nikkor. Lenses made by Nikon are branded Nikkor. The Nikkor name predates Nikon, the original name for the company was Nippon Kogaku (Japan Optics). Nikkor is an abbreviation of the company's name (Ni-kko) with an R stuck to it for western markets. When they started to make cameras, they chose the name Nikon for those products. Only later, the company was renamed to Nikon. The lenses kept their Nikkor name.
- AF-S. Stands for Autofocus Silent. It means that the lenses have an inbuilt motor (earlier Nikon lenses relied on an AF motor built inside the camera body), the motor being a "silent wave" type, similar to Canon's USM and Pentax' SDM (and Tamron's USD and Sigma's HSM).
- 180-400mm, of course just describes the focal length range at infinity focus. I'll just mention this for completeness.
- F4, denotes the maximum aperture size.
- E, stands for electronic aperture. Nikon cameras used to close the lens aperture mechanically via a lever system, the last few years Nikon has been introducing more and more lenses with electronically operated apertures.
- TC1.4, means this lens has an integrated 1.4x teleconverter on board, just like the above mentioned Canon lens.
- FL, Nikon telling us that the lens has a fluorite crystal lens element.
- ED: Nikon telling us that it has "extra low dispersion glass" element(s).
- VR, means vibration reduction. And that is Nikon-speak for image stabilisation. In non-Nikon-speak English, VR stands for Virtual Reality.
Should be a good and expensive lens, for professional photographers with specific needs.