Nikon has pledged to carry out a free service to rectify the problem via a firmware update.

In a statement on its website, Nikon Europe adds: ‘We have confirmed that with autofocus shooting using the AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens, autofocus may sometimes become disabled and focus operation switches to manual focus when the zoom ring on the lens is rotated while the camera’s shutter-release button is pressed halfway, or the camera’s AF-ON button is held down.’

It points out that users can restore AF by pressing the camera’s shutter-release button halfway, or by pressing the camera’s AF-ON button.

Nikon says that the firmware on lenses carrying a serial number of 2008365 or higher has already been updated.

Nikon UK tells Amateur Photographer that it will not be releasing any further information, beyond what is already published on the Nikon Europe website.

Announced in August, priced £1,179.99, the AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR is an FX-format zoom aimed at photographers shooting birds in flight, planes and fast-action sports.

The 19-elements-in-12-groups lens features Nikon’s Sport VR mode, designed to deliver a stable viewfinder image.