The AI Nikkor 400mm f/3.5 IF-ED was once considered the super-telephoto standard with "standard" having two meanings. First, it referred to the 400mm focal length, which is considered the standard focal length for fields of photography that commonly use telephoto lenses, such as sports and wildlife photography. For these fields that require photographers to somehow bring distant subjects significantly closer, 400mm lenses are considered "standard" lenses, 200–300mm lenses "wide-angle", 500–600mm lenses "medium telephoto", and 800mm and longer lenses "telephoto" lenses. However, that is not the only reason this lens was described as "standard". The second reason was that the combination of this lens and the Nikon F2 was regarded as standard equipment for super-telephoto photography by those who reported on sporting events and the like. Therefore, the AI Nikkor 400mm f/3.5 IF-ED was considered a "standard" super-telephoto lens.