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Nikon’s new 800mm lens for Z-mount cameras lightens the load

Nikon has announced the Nikkor Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S lens aimed primarily at sports and wildlife photographers,

At 5.3 pounds and 15.2 inches, the lens is notable for being half the weight and 16% shorter than the equivalent 800mm f/5.6 lens for Nikon’s long-established F-mount SLR cameras, making it much easier to lug around, and also to shoot with if you’re working sans tripod.

Nikon has released a couple of short videos (below) showing professional photographers using the new lens out in the field, with the footage offering a clearer idea of the size and shape of the new lens and how it looks up against a camera body.

Testing the new NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S in the Arctic with Tom Mason and Konsta Punkka
NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S | Nikon mirrorless lens

Nikon says the new lens was built with optimal balance in mind, a consideration that prompted it to place the lens’ center of gravity closer to the photographer’s body to help with smooth panning when tracking a fast-moving moving subject.

For handheld work, the 800mm lens also features an optical vibration reduction (VR) function offering compensation that Nikon claims is equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed up to 5.0 stops faster.

Nikon's new 800mm lens for Z-mount cameras.

“This 800mm lens is smaller and lighter than ever imagined, which is a true testament to Nikon’s advanced optical expertise as well as the next-generation technology that’s at the core of the Nikon Z system,” Nikon executive vice president Jay Vannatter said in a release. “This latest Nikkor Z lens is not only surprisingly easy to carry, but also gives photographers the fast focus response, intense sharpness, and beautiful color reproduction they need to create amazing images from extreme distances.”

Nikon’s new super-telephoto prime becomes the longest lens for its Z-mount mirrorless system, which it introduced in 2018. Eight Z cameras have so far been released by the company, most of them full-frame devices. The line-up of lenses has been gradually expanding, too, with nearly 30 having been released to date, 14 of them prime lenses.

The Nikkor Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S lens will be available for purchase later this month for $6,500.

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
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