A Review of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S Lens

Nikon is broadening their range of mirrorless lenses, moving beyond the standard varieties and venturing into more purpose-specific, professional-grade lenses. A prime example of this expansion is the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S. Notably portable and competitively priced, this lens is worth a close look. This great video review does just that, showing the performance and image quality you can expect from the lens in use. 

Coming to you from Tom Mason, this excellent video takes a look at the new Nikon NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S lens. At $6,500, the 800mm f/6.3 is rather affordable compared to similar options, but it still comes with a huge range of features, including:

  • Incorporates a Phase Fresnel element, reducing weight by 50% and length by 16% compared to the F-mount 800mm f/5.6 lens
  • Phase Fresnel element minimizes chromatic aberrations and color fringing
  • Includes three ED glass elements and one SR element to virtually eliminate chromatic aberrations and color fringing
  • SR element designed for precise color rendering and compact lens design
  • Nano Crystal Coat for anti-glare protection, suppressing ghosting and flare
  • Multi-focus system with two synchronized AF drive units for fast, accurate autofocus
  • Full-time manual focus override and internal focusing design
  • Vibration Reduction image stabilization offers approximately 5 stops of shake reduction
  • Synchro VR support with compatible cameras for up to 5.5 stops of compensation
  • Center of gravity near the tripod mount for smoother panning
  • Advanced weather sealing, durable magnesium alloy body, and fluorine-coated elements
  • Memory Set button to save and return to a focus position quickly
  • Two customizable L-Fn buttons and an accessible L-Fn2 button for various settings
  • Focus limiter switch with two range options
  • Programmable Control Ring for aperture, ISO, or exposure compensation adjustments
  • Kensington lock support for secure remote shooting
  • Accommodates drop-in 46mm filters with an included filter holder

Check out the video above for Mason's full thoughts on the lens.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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At only 5.2 pounds with all that reach and still relatively fast, it seems like it could be optimal for photographing birds in flight.

I am confused by this lens.

The Nikon 800mm f5.6 lens is $16,300 retail.

This Nikon 800mm f6.3 lens is $6,000 retail.

Does just 1/3 of a stop faster really equate to a 270% price increase? Really? That just doesn't make sense to me, so I am wondering if the only difference is really that 1/3 of a stop, or if Nikon made a lot of other compromises in build quality and optic quality.

If Nikon has compromised this lens in build quality and optic quality, I would want them to come clean about it and tell us the real reasons why this is SO MUCH CHEAPER than the f5.6 version.

If Nikon HASN'T compromised build quality or optic quality or autofocus capability AT ALL, then this lens is a freaking bargain at $6,000!

Someone please respond to my questions and statements ..... I am growing tired of being the only person to comment on so many of the articles here. Let's have some engagement and interaction, PLEASE!