The New Nikon 100-400mm Isn’t the Only Thing to Get Excited About

With Nikon’s announcement today of the new Nikon z9, there are some other cool things to support it. For starters, we saw the new Nikon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 VR Z S lens in a closed meeting. That’s coming this year. There’s also the new 24-120mm f4 lens, which we’ve asked to test. Plus, there’s a new F to Z adapter coming; but that’s probably less exciting. But maybe the most crucial is the new 400mm f2.8 with a built-in teleconverter that is coming. Here’s what you need to know.

Nikon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 VR Z S

This is a big one for Nikon. They’ve needed it for a while. Competing lenses have been popular with the bird and wildlife community. And that’s precisely what we’re expecting with this. However, the Nikon z9 is the only camera that will be able to take advantage of bird AF at the time of writing this post.

We got to hold the Nikon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 VR Z S in person. It’s pretty lightweight: far lighter than Canon’s mammoth 100-500mm and Sony’s 100-400mm lens, to my recollection. I played with it a bit on the Nikon z9, but we were indoors. A lens like this begs to be on a field. We’ll see how it performs. Features listed below are from Nikon’s press release.

  • The first super-telephoto zoom lens in the NIKKOR Z lineup that covers a focal length range from 100 to 400mm. 
  • Multi-focusing system that utilizes two STMs (stepping motors), enabling fast, precise and quiet AF operation for both stills and videos. 
  • 2.46 foot minimum focusing distance
  • Employs an optical vibration reduction function with an effect equivalent to a shutter speed 5.5 stops faster, which is the highest among NIKKOR Z lenses.
  • While lateral chromatic aberration is optically corrected, axial chromatic aberration is also significantly reduced via the adoption of Super ED glass and ED glass elements, providing clear images across the entire frame from maximum aperture. 
  • Nikon’s original Nano Crystal Coat and ARNEO Coat are adopted to effectively reduce ghost and flare effects even in backlit situations.
  • With the attachment of teleconverters, the focal length can be extended to 560mm and 800mm while maintaining high resolution. 
  • Features the highest maximum reproduction ratio of 0.38x (at the maximum telephoto position) in its class that lets users shoot flowers and insects in large size, with a minimum focusing distance of 0.75M (2.46 inches) to allow users to get closer to their subjects.
  • The shortest rotation angle of 80 degrees in its class for the zoom ring enables users to rotate the zoom ring from the wide-angle position to the telephoto position in just one motion, without adjusting lens holding. 
  • The click-less control ring realizes smooth operation and reduced operational sound during video recording.  
  • Features a design with consideration for video recording, including effectively reduced shifting of a focus position when zooming in or out and the angle of view when adjusting focus.
  • Superior dust- and drip-resistant capability*4, high reliability that comes from both robustness and weather resistance, and excellent anti-fouling performance via the employment of fluorine coat.
  • $2,699.95

Nikon 24-120mm f4 Z S

Nikon is also announcing their new 24-120mm f4 Z S lens. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while. Nikon made this lens years ago for the F mount, and no one else ever made anything close. It could easily be one of the most innovative lenses for the Z system. There’s a voice in the back of my head that says, “It’s about time.” Seriously, this is the lens Nikon has needed for a long time now. 

It doesn’t have image stabilization built-in, mind you. But the Nikon Z cameras have that. If you shoot photojournalism, this lens might be a good reason to get the Nikon Z system. For years, my 24-105mm was my bread and butter lens for weddings.

Features listed below are from Nikon’s press release.

  • An optimal lens for stills and videos that covers up to telephoto 120mm focal length while attaining high optical performance throughout the entire zoom range. 
  • High maximum reproduction ratio of 0.39x at the maximum telephoto position and a short minimum focus distance of 0.35m (at the max wide-angle), letting users get close and shoot small subjects in large size.
  • Multi-focusing system that utilizes two STM (stepping motors), enabling fast, precise and quiet AF operation for both stills and videos. 
  • Effective compensation for chromatic aberration with the employment of three ED glass, one aspherical ED glass, and three aspherical lens elements in the optical system. 
  • Nikon’s original Nano Crystal Coat and ARNEO Coat are both adopted to effectively reduce ghost and flare effects even in backlit situations. 
  • The click-less control ring realizes smooth operation and reduced operational sound during video recording.  
  • Features a design with consideration for video recording, including effectively reduced focus shift.
  • Designed with superior dust- and drip-resistant capability6, and achieves excellent anti-fouling performance with the employment of fluorine coating.
  • $1,099.95

Nikon 400mm f2.8 Z S VR

This is the big one. It will have a built-in 1.4x teleconverter, and Nikon is saying it will have the highest anti-reflection coating in Nikon’s history. They’re also targeting it to both stills and video shooters. There isn’t much more in terms of details besides this. The built-in teleconverter is huge and will surely help them with not having a longer lens yet. This is the first of its kind.

Maybe this lens will help stave off photographers long enough to prep a 600mm lens or something more?

New Nikon F to Z mount adapter

So what are the new changes with the adapter? Well, they removed the tripod stand. This will help when using the Nikon z9. It’s still weather-sealed and all lenses adapted will be able to use the autofocus in the new Nikon z mount cameras. It’ll be $249.95 when it launches.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.