Nikon has announced its new NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S IS super-telephoto lens that features a built-in 1.4x teleconverter.
The new 600mm f/4 TC VR S IS is claimed to offer an unprecedented combination of versatility and powerful performance, and it boasts the latest optical technology and anti-reflective coatings.
As an S line lens, it is touted as being able to produce exceptional rendering capability with high resolution and beautiful bokeh. The lens also uses Nikon’s SSVCM drive system, which is claimed to be able to lock onto even the fastest-moving subjects quickly, accurately, and quietly.
Built-in 1.4x teleconverter
The 600mm f/4 TC VR S IS looks to be a great lens for any professional photographer who is capturing action, wildlife, and sports. Nikon claims that the integration of a built-in 1.4x teleconverter gives users the ability to switch from 600mm to 840mm (FX mode), while still maintaining superior optical performance. In DX mode, this range is increased to 900mm f/4 and 1260mm f/5.6 equivalent, respectively. The teleconverter switch has been optimally positioned so that users can operate it with a finger of the right hand while holding the camera grip and maintaining shooting position.
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.
Size & Weight
The lens is surprisingly small and light for a 600mm F4. It weighs in at only 7.2 lbs (3260 g), which makes it a full 1.2 lbs (550 g) lighter than the F-mount AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR.
The lens size has also been optimized to allow it to fit in carry-on luggage, with a length of only 17.2 in (437 mm).
The optical formula incorporates three ED, a super ED, two fluorite and two SR lens elements. Various aberrations including chromatic aberration are claimed to be effectively compensated. Additionally, the close-up performance has been greatly improved, minimizing color bleeding from infinity to close distances, despite being a super-telephoto lens.
The lens also utilizes Nikon’s Meso Amorphous Coating which is claimed to provide the highest anti-reflection performance in NIKKOR history. Together with Nano Crystal Coat, the 600mm f/4 TC VR S achieves a 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.
Nikon has also thought about video users and they have significantly reduced focus breathing and the lens provides near-silent operation.
Nikon’s advanced AF drive system, the VCM (SSVCM) is said to simultaneously achieve higher speed, better accuracy, and quieter operation than previous drive systems. Swiftly and silently moving the larger optics of a fast super-telephoto lens is no easy task. 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.
The lens has an ergonomic design that provides easy access to controls such as L-Fn buttons, memory set button, Fn ring, control ring and focus ring. In addition, a Memory Recall function quickly recalls pre-assigned focus positions that have been saved in advance.
The lens’ optical VR function provides a compensation effect equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed of up to 5.0 stops 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.
The lens barrel is constructed of durable magnesium alloy and dust- and drip-resistant performance is ensured by sealing adopted in various areas including movable parts of the lens barrel and mount. Additionally, a fluorine coat is applied to the surface of the front-most element, which effectively repels dust dirt, and moisture for easy cleaning.
Price & Availability
The new NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S will be available in late November 2022 for $15,496.95 USD and it is now available to pre-order. This is a high-performance super-telephoto lens that is squarely targeted at professional photographers shooting sports and wildlife.