Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR review: monster zoom range, and then some...

The Nikon Z 28-400mm F4-8 VR gives you everything from wide-angle coverage to super-telephoto reach at the twist of a ring.

Nikon Z 28-400mm F4-8 VR
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Who needs an interchangeable lens camera when the Nikon Z 28-400mm F4-8 VR goes from wide-angle to super-telephoto in a single optic? As tempting as it is though, with its humungous zoom range and excellent performance for a ‘super-zoom’ lens, I still often prefer using the right tool for the job, which can equate to a lens with a faster aperture. Maybe that’s why I bought an interchangeable lens camera in the first place.


  • +

    Epic zoom range

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    Very versatile

  • +

    Good image quality


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    Slow telephoto aperture rating

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    No AF/MF or VR on/off switches

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    Big physical extension at long zoom

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I’m generally a fan of ‘super-zoom’ lenses for walkabout and travel photography. They give me the ability to react to unfolding photo opportunities at the flick of a wrist, rather than swapping between lenses or carrying around more than I need. I’ve been almost universally impressed with Nikon’s Z-mount lenses, including lenses for the Z 7 II, lenses for the Z 8 and Z 9 and lenses for the Z fc, which deliver fabulous image quality and all-round performance pretty much across the board.

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Mount optionsNikon Z
Lens construction21 elements in 15 groups
Angle of view75-6.2 degrees
Diaphragm blades9
Minimum aperturef/22-45
Minimum focus distance0.2-1.2m
Maximum magnification0.35x (28mm)
Filter size77mm
Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR

At 77x114mm and 570g, the Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR is a smaller, lighter super-zoom lens that’s more travel-friendly and only costs about two-thirds as much to buy. It also has a more generous maximum viewing angle, although it naturally loses out on super-telephoto reach.

Nikon Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR

For DX format Z system cameras, the Nikon Z DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR is an attractive super-zoom lens that gives an ‘effective’ 27-210mm zoom range, thanks to the APS-C crop factor. It’s particularly compact and lightweight, at 73x90mm and 315g, and costs about half as much to buy as the Z 28-400mm lens.

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.