Nikon has announced a professional-spec ultra-telephoto lens for sports and wildlife photographers, the Nikkor Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S. When the built-in 1.4x teleconverter is engaged, this new Nikon Z 600mm f/4 becomes an 840mm f/5.6, which should negate any need for photographers to carry another large, heavy lens. It can even be used with Nikon’s 1.4x and 2.0x Z-system teleconverters, giving 1200mm f/8 and 1680mm f/11 optics, respectively.

Focusing is powered by a new Silky Swift Voice Coil Motor (SSVCM), which promises fast, quiet autofocus and reliable subject tracking. The minimum focus distance is 4.3m, both with and without the teleconverter. Built-in optical stabilisation is rated for 5 stops of vibration reduction, increasing to 5.5 stops when the lens is paired with a body that’s equipped with in-body stabilisation, such as the Nikon Z 9.

Nikon Nikkor Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S on the Nikon Z 9

Nikon Nikkor Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S on the Nikon Z 9. Image credit: Nikon

Optically, the Nikon Z 600mm f/4 employs 19 elements in 16 groups, with the switchable teleconverter adding a further 7 elements in 4 groups. The construction includes two extra-low dispersion (ED), two super ED, two fluorite and one short-wavelength refractive (SR) glass elements to minimise aberrations. Nikon says that as a result, the optical performance is maintained when the teleconverter is engaged.

As expected for a pro design, the lens features weather-sealed construction and employs a fluorine coating to help keep the front element clean. Pro-spec controls include a lens control ring, two programmable L-Fn buttons, and a focus range limiter switch.

Nikon Nikkor Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S on the Nikon Z 9.

The lens can be carried via its detachable tripod mounting foot. Image credit: Nikon

Naturally this lens is a pretty hefty beast, at 437mm in length and 3,260g (excluding the hood and removable tripod foot). But it’s 20% lighter than its F-mount predecessor, and only slightly longer, which means it should fit within airline carry-on requirements.

Of course, a lens of this spec doesn’t come remotely cheap. The Nikon Nikkor Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S is due to go on sale on 24th November, for £15,499.

Nikon Nikkor Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S

Nikon Nikkor Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S. Image credit: Nikon

Nikon Nikkor Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S: full specifications

  • Price:  £15,499
  • Filter Diameter:  46mm (slot-in)
  • Lens Elements:  26
  • Groups:  20
  • Diaphragm blades:  9
  • Aperture:  f/4-f/22
  • Minimum focus:  4.3m
  • Length:  437mm
  • Diameter:  165mm
  • Weight:  3,260g
  • Lens Mount:  Nikon Z
  • Included accessories:  Hood, case, caps, strap

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