Nikon reveals its new $6,500 800mm F6.3 VR S super telephoto lens for Z-mount cameras: Digital Photography Review


Nikon has announced the Nikkor Z 800mm F6.3 VR S, a (relatively) compact super telephoto lens that comes in at roughly 48% lighter and 16% shorter than its F-mount counterpart thanks to the use of a Phase Fresnel (PF) element.

The new lens is constructed of 22 elements in 14 groups, including one PF element, three extra-low dispersion (ED) elements and one Short-Wavelength Refractive (SR) element. Ir features a nine-blade rounded aperture diaphragm, includes a fluorine coating on the front-most element and has a minimum focusing distance of five meters (14.5ft).

Autofocus is driven via a stepping motor and the vibration reduction (VR) optical image stabilization is CIPA-rated to compensate for up to five stops (5.5 stops when used with Synchro VR with the Z9). Other features include a focus limit switch as well as an array of customizable buttons around the barrel of the lens, which offers a 46mm drop-in filter towards the rear. The lens is constructed of a magnesium alloy and features rubber gaskets to keep dirt and moisture away from the internals.

Despite its impressive focal length, the lens measures 140mm (5.6″) in diameter by 385mm (15.2″) long and weighs only 2.4kg (5lbs 4.2oz), making it 76mm (3.0″) shorter around half the weight of the existing F -mount 800mm F5.6.

The Nikkor Z 800mm F6.3 VR S will be available to order starting this month for an MSRP of $6,499.95.

Want to learn more about this lens? Check out DPReview TV’s first impressions review:

Nikkor Z 800mm F6.3 PF VR S First Impressions from DPReview TV

Press release:

ALL THE DISTANCE, HALF THE WEIGHT1: THE NEW NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S PUTS OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE WITHIN REACH

The Longest Focal Length NIKKOR Z Super Telephoto Lens is Here, Providing Overwhelming Reach in a Surprisingly Compact & Lightweight Design

MELVILLE, NY (April 6, 2022) —Today, Nikon Inc. announced the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S super telephoto lens for Nikon’s Z series of high-performance mirrorless cameras. This new S-Line full-frame lens gives aviation, sports, bird and wildlife photographers a super-telephoto focal length to fill the frame with fantastic clarity at extreme distances. The new NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S is approximately 48% lighter and 16% shorter than its F-mount counterpart, due to the use of a PF (Phase Fresnel) lens element. While the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S benefits from the latest optical technologies for maximum sharpness and fidelity, its significantly lighter weight makes it easier to trek out to the best vantage point, and shoot comfortably, even handheld or with a monopod.

“This 800mm lens is smaller and lighter than ever imagined, which is a true testament to Nikon’s advanced optical expertise as well as the next-generation technology that’s at the core of the Nikon Z system,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “This latest NIKKOR Z lens is not only surprisingly easy to carry, but also gives photographers the fast focus response, intense sharpness and beautiful color reproduction they need to create amazing images from extreme distances.”

The new NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S lens is built with an emphasis on comfortable usability and extreme optical performance. The Phase Fresnel element is optimally positioned to minimize ghosting, and is combined with three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements and one Short-wavelength Refractive (SR) element to effectively suppress axial chromatic aberration. From the sharp contrast of small branches to the finest feathers of distant birds, every detail is rendered with stunning precision. The NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S was engineered with a close attention to balance, as the lens’ center of gravity is positioned closer to the user’s body to enhance smooth panning motion while tracking swiftly moving objects such as a falcon in flight or banking plane.

Primary features of the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S:

  • Extreme super telephoto capability for Z-series photographers with an 800mm focal length that brings distant subjects in close, with incredible clarity and sharpness.
  • Easy to pack and carry, weighing in at approx. 5.25lb (2385g) with a reduced footprint of 5.6 in. x 15.2 in.
  • Features Nano Crystal Coat, as well as an optimized shape and location of the PF lens element that contributes to a reduction in ghosting for maximum clarity. This is especially useful when shooting into the sky or in the vicinity of bright light sources.
  • The optical VR function provides a superior compensation effect equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed of 5.0 stops2 faster. When paired with the Nikon Z 9, an effect of 5.5 stops is achieved with Synchro VR activation.
  • Built to pro standards: Rubber gaskets keep dust, dirt and moisture out of the moving parts and the lens mount.3 The barrel is constructed of robust magnesium alloy, offering an ideal balance of strength and light weight. The front element has Nikon’s nonstick Fluorine Coat, which repels oil, moisture and smudges and easily wipes clean.
  • A Memory Recall function4 Instant recalls focus positions that have been stored in advance, via pressing an assigned button. This function makes it simple to quickly acquire an anticipated subject on a branch or perch.
  • Customizable controls include four L-Fn2 buttons and one L-Fn button, to which a wide variety of functions can be assigned to suit users’ preferences, including subject tracking, AF lock, playback and more. A customizable control ring can also be assigned to adjust ISO, aperture and exposure comp.
  • The focal length can be extended to 1,120mm with the Z TELECONVERTER TC-1.4x, and 1,600mm with the Z TELECONVERTER TC-2.0x while maintaining outstanding resolution5. Users of high resolution cameras such as the Z 9 and Z 7II will appreciate the ability to also shoot in DX mode for even further extended reach (1,200mm).

Pricing and Availability

The NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S lens will be available starting in April 2022 for a suggested retail price (SRP) $6,499.95*. For more information about the latest Nikon products, including other NIKKOR Z lenses and the complete collection of Z series cameras, please visit nikonusa.com.

Footnotes

  1. The lens alone represents a 48% reduction in weight, or a 49.6% reduction in weight based on lens plus FTZ mount adapter when compared to F-mount counterpart, the AF-S 800mm f/5.6 E FL ED VR lens.
  2. Based on CIPA Standard. This value is achieved when attached to a camera with full-frame (Nikon FX-format) sensor, with the camera’s VR function set to “NORMAL”.
  3. Thorough dust- and drip-resistance is not guaranteed in all situations or under all conditions.
  4. The cameras compatible with this function are the Z 9, Z 7II and Z 6II only at the timing of the product release. When using the function, the firmware for cameras must be updated to the latest version is required. For other models, this function will be supported via later firmware updates.
  5. AF performance may deteriorate depending on the subject, brightness and focus position regardless of the camera body, causing inaccurate focus, slow focusing speed or flashing of the focus point.

*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 800 mm
Image stabilization Yes
CIPA Image stability rating 5.5 stop(s)
Lens mount Nikon Z
Aperture
Maximum aperture F6.3
Minimum aperture F32
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Aperture notes Rounded blades
Optics
Elements 22
Groups 14
Special elements / coatings 1 PF element, 3 extra-low dispersion (ED) elements and 1 Short-Wavelength Refractive (SR) element
Focus
Minimum focus 5.00 m (196.85)
Maximum magnification 0.16×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Stepper motor
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Focus distance limiter Yes, INF – 5m / INF – 10m
Physical
Weight 2385 g (5.26 lb)
Diameter 140 mm (5.51)
Length 385 mm (15.16 .))
Materials Magnesium alloy
Sealing Yes
Color Black
Filter thread 46 mm
Filter notes Slip-in filter holder at rear of lens
Hood supplied Yes
Tripod collar Yes



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