Well, let’s be honest here; the new Nikon Z 800mm f6.3 VR S wasn’t a well-kept secret. Birding and sports photographers using the Nikon system have been waiting for this. Combined with the focusing algorithms in the Nikon Z9, you’ve now got a foolproof setup. With the world opening back up as well, the new Nikon Z 800mm f6.3 VR S could be your new Safari lens. But best of all, you’ll be hard-pressed to experience issues with camera shake.
Will Sony Catch Up?
Now that Nikon has the new Nikon Z 800mm f6.3 VR S lens, let’s look at the rest of the space. On one side, you’ve got Canon with their 800mm f5.6 and 1200mm f8 lenses. Compared to Canon’s RF 800mm f5.6, the Nikon Z 800mm f6.3 VR S is nearly 1.5lbs lighter at the cost of half a stop of light. Considering how good the high ISO output is on Nikon cameras, that’s not much to fuss over. I’d be elated to have a lighter lens.
With Sony, you’ve got a 600mm f4 G Master lens at best. Further, Nikon had a 400mm lens too. If I were a Sony photographer, I’d be scratching my head right now. Granted, both Canon and Sony have better autofocus algorithms, but that’s bound to be updated and fixed soon.
All the Things You Can Do
There are plenty of reason to be excited about the new Nikon Z 800mm f6.3 VR S. Even if you don’t own the Nikon z9, this lens is bound to be able to do a lot. We already talked about a safari adventure, but also consider it with the z6 II or the z7 II. You’ll have an even lighter kit, and the camera will nail photos of big cats and hyenas pretty easily. Then consider just how incredibly durable Nikon’s cameras and lenses are. We’ve put them through torture tests that some photographers would find preposterous. However, they’ve always survived, and we’re confident this new lens will too. We say that even without testing it yet.
To counter any doubts about Nikon’s autofocus, there are memory recall points. It can pretty much get to any pre-selected autofocus area using an assigned button. This will be really useful when trying to photograph a subject through trees.
We’re going to need to test this lens out to see how it performs though.
Primary Features of the Nikon Z 800mm f6.3 VR S
The following comes from Nikon’s press release:
- 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 lightweight. The front element has Nikon’s nonstick Fluorine Coat, which repels oil, moisture and smudges and easily wipes clean.
- A Memory Recall function4 instantly 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).
- $6,499.95 price point available this month.