First look on Nikon’s new superzoom – Nikon NIKKOR Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR

Mar 27, 2024

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

News Editor

Sagiv Gilburd is an Israel-based commercial photographer and videographer with extensive expertise in studio work, event photography, and managing large-scale photography projects.

First look on Nikon’s new superzoom – Nikon NIKKOR Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR

Mar 27, 2024

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

News Editor

Sagiv Gilburd is an Israel-based commercial photographer and videographer with extensive expertise in studio work, event photography, and managing large-scale photography projects.

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When I was just starting out, I wasn’t a fan of super zooms. They were large and slow, and their image quality was usually pretty poor compared to primes. But that was a long time ago. Nikon has made huge technology advancements since the 35-200mm f/3.5-4.5 Ai-S. First with the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G, and then again with the 28-300 f/3.5-5.6G. Both were much better than what other brands were offering at the time. These days, Nikon has more competition than ever before, and that’s probably why they didn’t pull any stops with their latest superzoom- the Nikon NIKKOR Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR ($1,296.95).

An impressive zoom range

The new Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 is the longest full-frame compact zoom lens Nikon ever made. The lens is an advanced alternative to the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR, Nikon’s first Z-system superzoom. While the 24-200mm is a good lens, it doesn’t have as much reach as Nikon’s G-series superzooms, like the Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G.

Like its predecessors, the Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 utilizes VR technology – Nikon’s optical image stabilization system (VR stands for Vibration Reduction). This should help you get sharp handheld images even when fully zoomed in to 400mm. The lens also uses Nikon’s STM focus stepping motor, providing fast and accurate focusing speeds on cameras with 3d tracking AF. The Nikon Z8 is a good example.

Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 – size and build

The Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 build genuinely impresses me. It’s Nikon’s second weather-sealed super zoom. Also, the lens weighs 725g, almost 100 grams less than the Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G. Surprisingly, despite being a lighter lens, it is slightly larger. When set to 24mm, the lens measures 141.5mm, which is 2.7cm longer than the 28-300mm at 28mm.

Like many Nikkor Z lenses, the 28-400 lens features a customizable control ring. You can set the ring to control aperture, ISO, exposure compensation, or manual focus.

This design comes with a compromise, and it’s with the lens’s light intake. Fully zoomed in, the lens’s aperture closes down to f/8. If you’re shooting in the dark, a full-frame Nikon camera like the Nikon ZF can easily compensate by using higher ISO values. But be careful if you’re using a Nikon crop camera, as those don’t handle high ISO values very well.

Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 samples

Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 specs

Maximum Aperturef/4 to 8
Minimum Aperturef/22 to 45
Lens MountNikon Z
Lens Format CoverageFull-Frame
Minimum Focus Distance7.9″ / 20 cm
Maximum Magnification0.35x
Optical Design21 Elements in 15 Groups
Diaphragm Blades9
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationYes
Filter Size77 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)3.4 x 5.6″ / 86 x 141.5 mm
Weight1.6 lb / 725 g

Price and availability

The Nikon NIKKOR Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR is available for $1,296.95, and for this price, you are also getting a square lens hood. According to the information Nikon shard, the lens will start shipping in April.

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Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd

Sagiv Gilburd is an Israel-based commercial photographer and videographer with extensive expertise in studio work, event photography, and managing large-scale photography projects.

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One response to “First look on Nikon’s new superzoom – Nikon NIKKOR Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR”

  1. Lorenzo Morgoni Avatar
    Lorenzo Morgoni

    f/8 is definitely too dark, and in the end it’s not a cheap lens