Nikon has announced its newest super-telephoto prime, the Nikon Nikkor Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S (buy here). It’s Nikon’s lightest super-telephoto lens, at a mere 1,390g. That’s only 30g more than the Nikon NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S (buy here).
It’s a little bit larger than the 70-200m f/2.8, though, at a bit more than twice the price. But it’s still a third the price of the constantly out-of-stock Nikon NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S (try to buy here).
Nikon Nikkor Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S – Smaller, lighter, cheaper
The Nikon Nikkor Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S is significantly smaller than any 600mm primes Nikon’s released in the past. It’s not quite as small, light and cheap as Canon’s RF 600mm f/11 IS STM (buy here), but it does offer 1 2/3 of a stop more light.
Naturally, it’s aimed at sports and wildlife shooters, but Nikon also specifically mentions aviation photographers. This isn’t much of a surprise, given that the Nikon Z9 (buy here) and other models can track aircraft in the sky using AI autofocus.
Hand-held 600mm shooting
One of the big selling points of this lens over something like the 600mm f/4 mentioned above is that it is much easier to handhold. At only 278mm long and a similar weight to the Z mount 70-200mm f/2.8, it’s actually ideal for handholding.
It’s also compatible with Nikon’s Z Teleconverters, the TC-1.4x (buy here) and TC-2.0x (buy here). This lets you get focal length equivalents of 840mm and 1200mm, respectively, on full-frame bodies.
Normal and Sports VR up to 6 stops
The Nikon Nikkor Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S naturally features VR. Despite the fact that it’s in the name, it’s kind of expected on a lens this long today. It offers up to 5.5 stops of stabilisation, even in bodies that don’t have IBIS.
When combined with a body that does have IBIS and Nikon’s Synchro VR feature, the shake-stopping stabilisation power gets bumped up slightly to 6 stops.
If we go with the 1/focal length shutter speed rule for shooting handheld, you should be able to handhold this one all the way down to about 1/15th of a second (in theory) with a full-frame camera.
Nikon Nikkor Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S Specs
|Lens Mount||Nikon Z|
|Lens Format Coverage||Full-Frame|
|Angle of View||4° 10′|
|Minimum Focus Distance||4 m|
|Optical Design||21 Elements in 14 Groups|
|Diaphragm Blades||9, Rounded|
|Tripod Collar||Yes, removable|
|Dimensions (ø x L)||114.3 x 279.4|
Price and Availability
The Nikon Nikkor Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S is available to pre-order now for $4,796.95 and begins shipping at the end of October.