Nikon Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S review

The Nikon Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S super-tele prime keeps the weight off with lighthouse technology

5 Star Rating
Nikon Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

This lens gives you telephoto super-powers in a relatively lightweight package. The downsized build comes courtesy of a modest f/6.3 aperture rating and a Phase Fresnel optical element, a technology that’s commonly used to focus the beam in a lighthouse. The addition of highly effective optical VR that works in tandem with IBIS in Z system full-frame cameras, plus a useful range of handling extras, ensures top-quality results time after time, with excellent consistency even in handheld shooting. When you need to nail the definitive moment in action, sports and wildlife photography, this is a lens you can count on, and for less than half the price of the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S.


  • +

    Super-fast autofocus

  • +

    Pro-grade build and handling

  • +

    Excellent image quality


  • -

    Modest f/6.3 aperture

  • -

    Necessarily big build

  • -

    Pricey (but great value)

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The Nikon Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S is a pro-grade super-telephoto prime with powerful reach and an impressive set of high-end features. There’s no getting away from the fact that super-tele lenses are typically big and heavy. However, thanks partly to the inclusion of a Phase Fresnel element the Z 800mm certainly isn’t massive and, at 2,385g, you don’t need to be a bodybuilder to tackle handheld shooting. By comparison, the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S and Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM are both noticeably heavier, weighing in at 2,950g and 2,860g respectively.


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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.