Nikon is steadily building its line-up of professional Z mount lenses, and the Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S fills a gap in the line-up for a fast, super-telephoto prime, a key lens for high-end sports and wildlife photographers.
This is likely to be an important lens for Nikon, and looks a perfect partner for the brand new Nikon Z9 pro mirrorless camera.
It’s perfectly feasible to use existing Nikon F pro lenses with the Z9 and the new FTZ II adapter, as shown by pro wildlife photographer Andrew Mason, shooting with a Z9 and a Nikon F 600mm f/4.
However, the new Z lens will have been optimized for the wider Nikon Z mount and shorter flange distance, and Z lenses are likely to be seen as the best long-term option for Nikon’s mirrorless cameras, even for Nikon DSLR users making the switch.
Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S key features
This new Nikon supertelephoto has a focal length of 400mm but incorporates a built-in 1.4x teleconverter to optionally take the focal length to 560mm at f/4. It has “silky swift” VCM AF with an optical ABS encoder for “phenomenally fast” autofocus, subject acquisition and tracking.
This lens has the potential to go further still – as well as having its own built-in teleconverter, it’s compatible with the Nikon Z Teleconverter TC-1.4x and Z Teleconverter TC-2.0x.
Optical stabilization is built in with 5.5 stop VR, and Synchro VR will be applied in conjunction with the Z9’s own in-body stabilization. Meso Amorphous Coat lens coatings are used to combat ghosting and flare, with a fluorine coating on the front element to repel oil and moisture.
Inside, the Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S has ED, Super ED, and SR glass elements to counter chromatic aberration, and there’s an integrated filter slot at the rear for drop-in filters.
Nikon says it’s balanced this lens with the center of gravity towards the rear for easier handling. There’s a removable tripod foot, extensive weather sealing and a customisable FN ring, Fn buttons, focus ring, and silent control ring.
Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S price and availability
The Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S will be available from February 2022 in the US and in “Spring 2022” in the UK. It will cost $13,996.95 / £13,499.00 / AU$22,999.
• Pre-order the Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S at B&H
• Pre-order the Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S at Adorama
• Pre-order the Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S at Wex
• Pre-order the Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S at Park Cameras
• Pre-order the Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S at Ted's Cameras (AU)
• Pre-order the Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S at DigiDirect (AU)