Nikon Introduces Lightweight NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S

Nikon Introduces Lightweight NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S

Today, Nikon introduced a new lens that should have wildlife enthusiasts very excited.

I am not a wildlife photographer. But I really enjoy doing it. Kind of like I can’t sing to save my life. But that doesn’t stop me from testing the limits of my dog’s love for me by belting out the opening lines of “I Will Always Love You” each time I step into the shower.

Despite the fact that I am not a professional bird photographer, I find the art of bird photography to be one of those simple pleasures in life. Something about sitting out in nature, watching the mysterious lives of these little winged travelers gives me calm. So, aside from my actual job as a professional advertising photographer, my cameras also tend to spend a fair amount of time traipsing around to various preserves in search of a few photogenic feathery friends.

The one part of that process that isn’t so relaxing, however, is having to lug out a massive wildlife lens with me in order to get close up to the action. Don’t get me wrong, those heavy lenses tend to be worth every pound in terms of performance and quality. But, since bird photography for me is as much about serenity as photography, I appreciate when a company comes up with a way to give me what I need while giving my arms a rest.

Will the new Nikon NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S be a great fit for my needs? I’m not sure yet, since I haven’t had it in hand. So, this isn’t a full review. But the specs are intriguing. It comes in at roughly 5.25 lbs — light for the focal range. It is an f/6.3, but it offers an optical VR function that professes to provide the equivalent of shooting at a shutter speed five stops faster. It works with the Z teleconverters, allowing it to reach as far as 1,120mm (TC-1.4x) and 1,600 (TC-2.0X) respectively. Like the other Z glass, it has customizable function buttons which allow you to set it up the way you want for quick response.

It’s a lot of lens and comes in at $6,499.95. For wildlife shooters out there, might this be the right lens for you?

Christopher Malcolm's picture

Christopher Malcolm is a Los Angeles-based lifestyle, fitness, and advertising photographer, director, and cinematographer shooting for clients such as Nike, lululemon, ASICS, and Verizon.

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Nikon just pissed all over Canon's 800mm ripoff hack job.

Still waiting on the z 200-600.. you know, the lens they placed on the list years ago and seem to have forgotten about. My nikkor 200-500 is awesome and all but would like to finally go native.