First Nikon Z-mount super-telephotos arrive, with travel zoom and new FTZ adapter

Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S
(Image credit: Nikon)

If you can bear to think about anything other than the recently announced Nikon Z9’s truly eye-watering specs, Nikon has also announced a trio of Z lenses and a slick-looking successor to its FTZ mount adapter. 

Alongside the new Nikon Z9 flagship professional camera, The Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S, Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S, Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S and Mount Adapter FTZ II have all been revealed.

• Hands on: Nikon Z9 review

The Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S and Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S – the first super-telephoto Z-mount lenses to be officially announced by the manufacturer – will no doubt please the wildlife and sports pros Nikon’s flagship mirrorless camera is built to woo. 

The Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S travel zoom, meanwhile, should pair perfectly with smaller full-frame Z cameras like the Nikon Z6 II for a versatile one-lens setup. And although not as exciting as the best Nikon Z lenses, the FTZ II mount adapter looks set to conquer its predecessor’s ergonomic shortcomings. Here’s everything we know so far…

Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S

Fans of Nikon’s popular AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR will be champing at the bit to get their hands on this spiritual successor for Z mount. (Image credit: Nikon)

Mount: Nikon Z
Format: FX
Focal length: 100-400mm
Maximum aperture: f/4.5-5.6
Vibration Reduction: 5.5 stops
Minimum focus distance: 0.75m (wide) 0.98m (zoomed)
Coatings: ARNEO and Nano Crystal Coat
Weather sealing: Yes

In keeping with the Nikon Z9’s credentials as a top-notch sports and wildlife camera, Nikon has unveiled its first Z-series super-telephoto zoom lens, which we were able to have a brief play with. The lens has a 5.5-stop Vibration Reduction system and is compatible with Z-mount teleconverters. While we don’t have full technical details of the lens at present, we know it includes ED and Super ED lens elements, along with Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat and ARNEO coatings to improve image quality, as well as featuring pro weather sealing and a non-stick fluorine coating. 

A minimum focus distance of just 0.75m at the wide-angle end and 0.98m when zoomed in is mighty impressive for a telephoto lens. Most notably, an internal lens element has been cleverly engineered to move when zooming in and out to maintain a consistent centre of gravity. This should help provide additional stability when shooting handheld and could prove extremely useful when using a gimbal head. The Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S is set to retail at $2,699/£2,699.

Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4 S

The Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4 S is only slightly pricier and more versatile than the well-received Z 24-70mm f/4 S. (Image credit: Nikon)

Mount: Nikon Z
Format: FX
Focal length: 24-120mm
Maximum aperture: f/4 (constant)
Minimum focus distance: 0.35m (across the zoom range)
Maximum reproduction ratio: 0.39x
Controls: Function button and control ring
Coatings: ARNEO and Nano Crystal Coat
Weather sealing: Yes

If you’re looking for a versatile travel zoom with premium S-Line quality, the Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4 S might be it. The Z 24-70mm f/4 S is still one of our favourite Z lenses (considering it’s essentially a kit lens), but the Z 24-120mm f/4 S boasts an additional 50mm at the telephoto end, all while maintaining a constant f/4 aperture. 

This new standard zoom boasts a multi-focusing system (first seen on the excellent Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S), which employs a pair of AF drive units for faster and more accurate focusing. Video performance should benefit from smooth and silent AF and according to Nikon: “virtually no focus breathing”. 

This is in addition to stable exposure control allowing “a natural shift in brightness for beautiful looking footage.” The lens has a minimum focus distance of 0.35m across the zoom range and provides a 0.39x max reproduction ratio, for super-detailed images that shouldn’t be too far off macro levels of magnification. 

The lens itself features a customizable control ring and lens function button – as seen on Nikon’s higher-end S-line lenses – along with Nano Crystal Coat and ARNEO coatings to reduce ghosting and flare. As you’d expect the lens has weather sealing and Nikon's Fluorine coating. It will retail at $1,099/£1,099 – only $100/£100 more than the lower-specced Z 24-70mm f/4 S!

Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S

The very first super-telephoto prime for Z cameras should pair perfectly with the mighty Nikon Z9. (Image credit: Nikon)

Mount: Nikon Z
Format: FX
Focal length: 400mm
Maximum aperture: f/2.8 (constant)
Coatings: New (unnamed) coating
Features: In-built 1.4x teleconverter

If you guessed the mysterious 400mm S-Line prime, added to Nikon’s Z-lens roadmap last year, would follow in the footsteps of the AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR, you were right on the money. The Z series’ first super-telephoto prime has been confirmed as the Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S. 

This is a development announcement, so details are still a little thin on the ground but we do know the premium optic will feature a built-in 1.4x teleconverter and a brand new coating. The former should transform the lens into a 560mm f/4 prime at the flick of a switch, and Nikon tells us the latter “delivers the highest anti-reflection performance in NIKKOR history.” 

The image you see here aside, we don’t have much more to go on… It does appear there's a control ring and lens function button, though it doesn’t appear to have an LCD (from this angle at least). Nikon has said the lens features “a design that supports video recording…”, so we’re expecting minimal focus breathing, a super-slick manual focus ring and silent AF. We don’t have any pricing details either, but expect it to be eye-watering. As a guide, Nikon’s AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR will set you back the best part of $11,000/£12,000 – and that’s without an in-built teleconverter… 

Mount Adapter FTZ II

Nikon FTZ II (left): Gone is that awkward lump at the base of the original FTZ adapter (right), which should make vertical shooting much more comfortable. (Image credit: Nikon)

If the aforementioned smorgasbord of goodies wasn’t enough, Nikon’s FTZ adapter is getting an update in the form of the Mount Adapter FTZ II. This is a purely ergonomical upgrade and while compatibility and performance will remain the same (roughly 360 compatible F-mount lenses), gone is the unsightly and awkward lump at the base of the adapter. This should make vertical shooting much more comfortable, which will pair perfectly with the Z9’s vertical-friendly button layout. Another welcome change is the price; the FTZ II’s RRP of $249/£249 is roughly £20 cheaper than its predecessor in the UK!

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Best Nikon cameras
Best Nikon Z lenses
Nikon Z7 II review
Nikon Z7 review

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Adam Waring

Adam has been the editor of N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine for almost 12 years, and as such is one of Digital Camera World's leading experts when it comes to all things Nikon-related. 

Whether it’s reviews and hands-on tests of the latest Nikon cameras and lenses, sharing his skills using filters, tripods, lighting, L brackets and other photography equipment, or trading tips and techniques on shooting landscapes, wildlife and almost any genre of photography, Adam is always on hand to provide his insights. 

Prior to his tenure on N-Photo, Adam was also a veteran of publications such as PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, so his wealth of photographic knowledge isn’t solely limited to the Big N.