Nikon’s Nikkor Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S features a built-in 1.4x teleconverter for 840mm f/5.6 reach

Nov 2, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Nikon’s Nikkor Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S features a built-in 1.4x teleconverter for 840mm f/5.6 reach

Nov 2, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Hey, guess what? Yeah, that’s right, more gear announcements. This time it’s Nikon’s turn with their new Nikkor Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S lens. This 600mm monster has a maximum aperture of f/4 and a built-in 1.4x teleconverter to give you the equivalent of an 840mm f/5.6 lens without any extra hardware required. Of course, for more extreme needs, it’s also compatible with Nikon’s Z mount 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, too.

The autofocus is powered by Nikon’s Silky Swift Voice Coil Motor (SSVCM) with an optical encoder to ensure precise positioning with high-speed motorsports and wildlife. Its built-in Vibration Reduction provides up to 5 stops of stabilisation or 5.5 stops when using a Nikon Z camera that supports Synchro VR. It’s built to handle extreme situations and is fully weather-sealed from dust, dirt and moisture.

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Being a 600mm f/4 lens, naturally, this thing is a bit of a beast. It’s very similar in physical size to Nikon’s older F mount AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4E FL ED VR, which is (just) small enough to fit in the carry-on bag requirements of most airlines when not mounted to a camera body. It also weighs significantly less than its F mount predecessor, dropping that old weight of 3.81kg down to 3.26kg. That’s a 550g (well over 1lb) in weight saved.

Like most lenses of this focal length, it’s targeted towards sports and wildlife photographers who often need a massive amount of range. But for when 600mm isn’t long enough, it features a built-in 1.4x teleconverter bringing it up to an 840mm f/5.6 lens. It’s also compatible and further extendable with Nikon’s 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, allowing you to get up to a whopping 1680mm at f/11.

Focal Length600mm (840mm w/1.4x TC)
Maximum Aperturef/4 (f/5.6 w/1.4x TC)
Minimum Aperturef/22 (32 w/1.4x TC)
Lens MountNikon Z
Lens Format CoverageFull-Frame
Angle of View4° 10′
Minimum Focus Distance4.3m with or without 1.4x TC
Maximum Magnification0.14x
Optical Design26 Elements in 20 Groups
Diaphragm Blades9, Rounded
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationYes
Tripod CollarFixed and Rotating
Filter Size46 mm (Drop-In)
Dimensions (ø x L)165 x 437mm
Weight3260g

The Nikkor Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S features weather sealing with protection from dust, dirt and moisture. The front element also features Nikon’s nonstick Fluorine coating to repel oil, moisture and smudges. Elements also feature a newly developed Meso Amorphous Coat for improved anti-reflective performance, beating Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat with regard to diagonal incident light and matches their ARNEO coat for vertical incident light. Of course, the ARNEO and Nano Crystal coats are still applied for further improved performance.

It’s certainly not a lens that’s going to be in everybody’s bag. A lot of people don’t have a bag big enough, for a start. But it’s a lens that should be a welcome addition to the Nikkor Z lineup for sports and wildlife photographers.

The Nikkor Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S Lens is available to pre-order now for $15,496.95 and begins shipping soon.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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