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Nikon unveils $16K Nikkor Z 600mm F4 lens with built-in 1.4x teleconverter

Nikon has announced the Nikkor Z 600mm F4 TC VR S, a super-telephoto Z-mount lens with an integrated, switch-in teleconverter. This lens is the longest Z-mount lens Nikon has released yet and offers an 840mm focal length when using the built-in 1.4x teleconverter.

The lens is constructed of 19 elements (26 if you include the teleconverter), including three Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) elements, two Super ED elements and two short-wavelength refractive (SR) elements.

Nikon is using its Nano Crystal Coat for anti-reflective measures and its Meso Amorphous Coat to minimize ghosting and flaring.

Autofocus is driven using Nikon’s Silky Swift Voice Coil Motor (SSVCM) drive system, which it claims has ‘higher speed, better accuracy and quieter operation’ than previous AF systems used in its lenses. The lens’ Vibration Reduction (VR) optical image stabilization offers up to five stops (CIPA-rated) of compensation (5.5 when used with the synchro function of Nikon’s Z9 camera). It offers a Sports VR mode that prioritizes panning movement for tracking subjects moving horizontally.

Despite its focal length, the lens weighs only 3.3kg (7.2lbs), which is 550g (1.2lbs) lighter than its F-mount predecessor (which didn’t have a built-in teleconverter). It measures 44cm (17.2”) long without the lens hood attached.

The lens’s magnesium alloy frame is weather-sealed and has been designed so the center of gravity is shifted closer to the mount for better maneuverability. A fluorine coating has also been applied to the front-most element to better repel dirt and water for easier cleaning.

The Nikkor Z 600mm F4 TC VR S will be available in ‘late November 2022’ for an MSRP of $15,499.95.

Press release:

THE POWERFUL NEW NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S IS EPIC SHARPNESS AT EXTREME DISTANCES

Nikon’s Latest Super-Telephoto Lens Features a Built-In 1.4x Teleconverter to Capture Decisive Moments with Consistent Confidence

MELVILLE, NY (November 2, 2022) Nikon Inc. has announced the new NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S, the latest in an unrivaled collection of high-performance super-telephoto lenses for professionals. The new 600mm f/4 TC VR S offers an unprecedented combination of versatility and powerful performance, boasting the latest optical technology and anti-reflective coatings for the ultimate in image quality, plus the added benefit of a built-in 1.4x teleconverter for even more reach.

This is a pro lens, creating a new apex of performance for those capturing action, wildlife and sports, all while reimagining the 600mm to realize the potential of the larger Z mount. An extreme focal length paired with a fast f/4 aperture fills the frame with the subject, creating dramatic isolation with gorgeous background blur. The integration of a built-in 1.4x teleconverter gives the capability to seamlessly switch from an extreme 600mm to an astounding 840mm (FX mode), while maintaining superior optical performance throughout the frame.

“The range, capability and value that Nikon delivers with NIKKOR Z telephoto lenses continues to surpass expectations,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “This new S-line super-telephoto lens is just one more exciting addition to the rapidly growing line of lenses, which we will continue to expand.”

Superbly balanced and meticulously constructed for maximum durability and precise operation in nearly any environment, the new 600mm f/4 TC VR S serves as a brazen reminder of Nikon’s optical superiority and audacious innovative spirit. As an S line lens, it realizes exceptional rendering capability with overwhelming resolution and beautiful bokeh, with a lens body that’s over 14% lighter than its F-mount counterpart. Additionally, the lens uses the Nikon’s exclusive SSVCM drive system, locking tack-sharp focus of even the fastest moving subjects quickly, accurately and quietly, helping to nail the decisive shot, time and time again.

Created and tested for the most demanding professional imaging and video professionals, the new NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S offers users the following:

  • Built-in 1.4x Teleconverter: Like two lenses in one, the 600mm f/4 TC VR S can instantly swap between 600mm f/4 and 840mm f/5.6. This allows the user to seamlessly keep the subject in frame, whether it’s erratically moving animals or oncoming cars when shooting motorsports. In DX mode, this range is increased to an impressive 900mm f/4 and 1260mm f/5.6 equivalent, respectively. The teleconverter switch is optimally positioned so that users can operate it with a finger of the right hand, while holding the camera grip and maintaining shooting position.
  • Surprisingly Smaller Size and Lighter weight: Weighing in at only 7.2 lbs (3260 g), the 600mm f/4 TC VR S is a full 1.2 lbs (550 g) lighter than the F-mount AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR; enabling longer hours of shooting with less fatigue. The lens size is optimized to fit in carry-on luggage, with a length of only 17.2 in (437 mm).
  • Fast f/4 Maximum Aperture: When shooting fast-moving subjects or in low-light conditions, such as motorcycle racing or swimming, the lens’ bright maximum aperture lets in more light, so users can take advantage of higher shutter speeds for sharper images with minimal blur. A larger maximum aperture with nine rounded blades also allows for a beautiful, natural bokeh, with the distinctly shallow depth of field of a 600mm focal length.
  • Outstanding IQ with Unparalleled Optics: The innovative optical formula incorporates three¹ ED, a super ED, two fluorite and two SR lens elements. Various aberrations including chromatic aberration are effectively compensated, delivering outstandingly sharp rendering. As a result, incredibly high resolution throughout an image is achieved consistently, even at the maximum aperture. Additionally, the close-up performance has been greatly improved, minimizing color bleeding from infinity to close distances, despite being a super-telephoto lens. Because quality control of optical performance is comprehensively managed while including the built-in teleconverter, overwhelmingly high image quality is ensured even at the 840mm focal length. The optical formula also considers video and multimedia production, with significantly reduced focus breathing and near silent operation.
  • Nikon’s Meso Amorphous Coat: This coating provides the highest anti-reflection performance in NIKKOR history. Together with Nano Crystal Coat, the 600mm f/4 TC VR S achieves significant reduction of ghost and flare effects caused by incident light from various directions, delivering clear images even under harsh lighting conditions, including stadium lights, direct sunlight and oncoming headlights.
  • Fast, Highly Accurate AF Control: Nikon’s advanced AF drive system, The Silky Swift VCM (SSVCM)² simultaneously achieves higher speed, better accuracy and quieter operation than ever before, surpassing previous drive systems. Swiftly and silently moving the larger optics of a fast super-telephoto lens is an impressive feat unto itself, but the advantages of the SSVCM are enhanced with the guide mechanism that effectively suppresses vibration within the AF drive as well as the optical ABS encoder which contributes to overall AF accuracy.
  • TC Compatible for Extreme Telephoto: The focal length can be extended to 1,200 mm with the Z TELECONVERTER TC-2.0×, or 1,680 mm when the built-in teleconverter is used in conjunction with the Z TELECONVERTER TC-2.0׳. By using the built-in teleconverter and 2.3x crop for video recording with the Nikon Z 9, it is possible to shoot at a focal length equivalent to 1,932 mm.
  • Superior Operability: This is a lens that feels solid, sturdy and comfortable. The center of gravity is shifted toward the photographer for a comfortable balance for hand-held shooting or panning. Never lose track of a subject because the lens can be operated solely by touch, thanks to well-placed tactile details such as knurling and small indents. An ergonomic design provides easy access to controls such as L-Fn buttons, memory set button, Fn ring, control ring and focus ring without looking. In addition, a Memory Recall function4 quickly recalls pre-assigned focus positions that have been saved in advance.
  • High-Performance Vibration Reduction (VR): The lens’ powerful optical VR function provides a compensation effect equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed up to 5.0 stops5 faster, or 5.5 stops when using the synchro function of the Nikon Z 9. Users can also choose the SPORT function, which enables a stable viewfinder image during panning shots and tracking of moving subjects.
  • Built to Withstand the Rigors of Professional Use: When the weather in the field takes a turn for the worse, professionals can still have confidence under the harshest conditions. The lens barrel is constructed of durable magnesium alloy and superior dust- and drip-resistant performance6 is ensured by sealing adopted in various areas including movable parts of the lens barrel and mount. Additionally, fluorine coat is applied to the surface of the front-most element, which effectively repels dust dirt and moisture for easy cleaning.

Pricing and Availability

The new NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S will be available in late November 2022 for a suggested retail price of $15,499.95*. For more information about the latest Nikon products, including other NIKKOR Z lenses and the entire collection of Z series cameras, please visit nikonusa.com.

Notes

¹ 2 Three ED glass and two SR lens elements are used when the built-in teleconverter is enabled, while two ED glass and a SR lens elements are used when the built-in teleconverter is disabled.

² An AF drive actuator that combines a Voice Coil Motor (VCM) and a guide mechanism developed by Nikon. The VCM is a motor in which a coil reciprocates in the strong magnetic field created by a powerful magnet.

³ Depending upon the subject, scene brightness, and focus position, AF may not perform as expected, regardless of the camera used, resulting in inaccurate focus, slow focusing, or flashing of the focus indicator.

4 The cameras compatible with this function are the Z 9, Z 7II, Z 6II and Z 30 only. When using the function, camera firmware update to the latest version is required.

5 Based on CIPA Standard; in NORMAL mode; this value is achieved when attached to a mirrorless camera equipped with 35mm film size image sensor.

6 Thorough dust- and drip-resistance is not guaranteed in all situations or under all conditions.

*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.


Author:
Gannon Burgett
Source: Dpreview

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