Nikon has announced the Nikkor 800mm f/6.3 VR S super-telephoto lens for its Z-mount cameras. While it’s still a huge lens, it’s 48% lighter and 16% shorter than its F-mount counterpart, thanks in part to the use of a Phase Fresnel (PF) front element.
The 800mm f/6.3 VR S takes advantage of what Nikon says is the latest optical technology that results in the utmost clarity and accuracy while at the same time being smaller and lighter, which the company says makes it convenient to shoot either by hand or on a tripod or monopod.
Emphasis on comfort and performance
Nikon says that the 800mm f/6.3 lens was created with a focus on ease of use and optical performance. Composed of 22 elements in 14 groups, Nikon states that the above-mentioned PF element is optimally positioned to reduce ghosting and works in conjunction with a nano-crystal coating, three Ultra Low Dispersion (ED) and one Short Wave Refraction (SR) elements to suppress chromatic aberration effectively pivot.
Nikon claims that the lens is capable of capturing sharp contrast and subject details with pinpoint accuracy. The front element is equipped with Nikon’s non-stick fluorine coating, which prevents oil, moisture, and stains and which Nikon says cleans easily.
Equally important to Nikon was the lens’s comfortable ease of use, which the company says was carefully balanced. The lens’s center of gravity is closer to the photographer’s body, which Nikon says enhances the ability to pan smoothly while tracking fast-moving objects such as birds or planes.
The lens weighs 5.25 pounds (2,385 grams) with a reduced area of 5.6 inches by 15.2 inches over its F-mount predecessor. Nikon has equipped the lens with rubber gaskets that keep dust, dirt and moisture out of the moving parts of the lens, although overall resistance to dust and water drops is not guaranteed in all situations or in all conditions.
The lens has an optical Vibration Reduction (VR) function that Nikon says provides superior compensation equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed five stops faster. When paired with the Z9, Nikon says activating Synchro VR achieves the equivalent of 5.5 stops of compensation.
The lens has a memory recall function that can be assigned to a button that Nikon says instantly recalls previously stored focus positions. The company says this feature can be used to make it quick and easy to get a topic to appear in an expected location.
The lens features four L-FN2 buttons and one L-Fn button for which a variety of controls can be customized from the menu, including subject tracking, AF lock and triggering. The control ring can also be set to adjust ISO, aperture, and exposure compensation.
The 800mm f/6.3 VR S is also compatible with Nikon TC-1.4x and TC-2.0x adapters, which can convert the lens to 1,120mm and 1,600mm lenses respectively.
Here are some sample photos taken with the new lens, all of which can be clicked to reveal a higher resolution.
Pricing and availability
The Nikkor Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S lens will be available starting later this month for $6,500.