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Nikon 400mm f2.8 lens revamp will cost about $2,500 more than the old

In addition to a lighter, faster and probably better version of its fast pro lens, Nikon also updated its 1.4x teleconverter.

Nikon USA

If you've ever wondered why your camera doesn't take great distance shots in low light, it's because the lens necessary to do so would weigh 10 pounds (4.5kg) and cost $12,000 (around £7,140, AU$12,780), just like Nikon's latest 400mm f2.8 model, pictured above. And that's almost 2 pounds (816g) lighter than its predecessor; that lens now runs a mere $9,000 (£5,350, AU$9,580) or so.

The AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR is destined for the lucky hands of pro sports photographers or birders with a lot more money than I. It incorporates all the latest Nikon technologies, including two fluorite elements, two extra-low dispersion lenses and the company's Nano Crystal Coat, all which contribute to maximizing brightness and minimizing flare and aberration.

It uses a electromagnetic diaphragm (for faster operation in continuous-shooting mode) to drive its nine-bladed aperture. In addition to its standard four-stop VR image stabilization, the lens has a new VR Sport mode that automatically accommodates to panning movement, a staple of action photography.

Nikon TC-14E III Nikon USA

A cheaper solution for the rest of us is to use a teleconverter with a shorter lens. Nikon's third iteration of its AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III extends your lens' focal length by a factor of 1.4, albeit at the expense of a stop of light. (In other words, your f3.5-5.6 lens becomes a longer but slower f5/5.6-8 lens.)

According to Nikon, the upgrade includes better weather sealing, dirt and water resistance, and improved optical characteristics. It will cost $500 (£300, AU$530).

Both optics are scheduled to ship in August.