Nikon Announces 800mm Telephoto That You Can Hold While Shooting

The monopod was practically created so that sports and nature photographers could steady their massive telephoto lenses and get a sharp shot of their subject in motion. With focal lengths that surpass 800mm, you just need that additional point of contact to keep the image sharp.

Despite this conventional wisdom, Nikon has designed a new 800mm telephoto for their mirrorless Z line that is not only half the weight, but nearly 20% shorter than their DSLR-based models. Could you hold this huge lens while shooting? Nikon thinks you can.

Image Credit – Nikon USA

“This 800mm lens is smaller and lighter than ever imagined, which is a true testament to Nikon’s advanced optical expertise as well as the next-generation technology that’s at the core of the Nikon Z system,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc.

“This latest NIKKOR Z lens is not only surprisingly easy to carry but also gives photographers the fast focus response, intense sharpness, and beautiful color reproduction they need to create amazing images from extreme distances.”

Managing to give photographers “all the distance at half the weight,” Nikon has utilized a Phase Fresnel lens element, which drastically cuts the weight of the 800mm f6.3 by 48% and shortens the overall length by 16%. 

Combined with three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) elements and one Short-wavelength Refractive (SR) element, the Phase Fresnel lens array minimizes ghosting and suppresses axial chromatic aberration.  

The NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S was engineered with close attention to balance, as the lens’ center of gravity is positioned closer to the user’s body.

The overall weight reduction also enables the focusing mechanism to be extra smooth, for a faster focusing response. The result is an enhanced smooth panning motion while tracking swiftly moving objects.

Consequently, because the lens is so light, and the center of gravity shifted closer to the camera, the photographer is able to bypass using a monopod and take pictures the old-fashioned way, in the palm of the hand.

Other key features of the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S are:

  • Extreme super-telephoto capability with an 800mm focal length that brings distant subjects in close, with incredible clarity and sharpness.
  • Features Nano Crystal Coat, as well as an optimized shape and location of the PF lens element that contributes to a reduction in ghosting for maximum clarity. This is especially useful when shooting into the sky or in the vicinity of bright light sources.
  • The optical VR function provides a superior compensation effect equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed of 5.0 stops2 faster. When paired with the Nikon Z 9, an effect of 5.5 stops is achieved with Synchro VR activation.
  • Built to pro standards: Rubber gaskets keep dust, dirt, and moisture out of the moving parts and the lens mount.3  The barrel is constructed of robust magnesium alloy, offering an ideal balance of strength and lightweight. The front element has Nikon’s nonstick Fluorine Coat, which repels oil, moisture, and smudges making it easy to wipe clean.
  • A Memory Recall function4 instantly recalls focus positions that have been stored in advance, via pressing an assigned button. This function makes it simple to quickly acquire an anticipated subject on a branch or perch. 
  • Customizable controls include four L-Fn2 buttons and one L-Fn button, to which a wide variety of functions can be assigned to suit users’ preferences, including subject tracking, AF lock, playback, and more. A customizable control ring can also be assigned to adjust ISO, aperture, and exposure comp.
  • The focal length can be extended to 1,120mm with the Z TELECONVERTER TC-1.4x, and 1,600mm with the Z TELECONVERTER TC-2.0x while maintaining outstanding resolution5. Users of high-resolution cameras such as the Z 9 and Z 7II will appreciate the ability to also shoot in DX mode for even further extended reach (1,200mm).
  • Easy to pack and carry, weighing in at approx. 5.25lb (2385g) with a reduced footprint of 5.6 in. x 15.2 in.

The NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S lens will be available starting in April 2022 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $6,496.95. For more information, visit

Order Links:

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate partner and participant in B&H and Adorama Affiliate programmes, we earn a small comission from each purchase made through the affiliate links listed above at no additional cost to you.

Claim your copy of DAVINCI RESOLVE - SIMPLIFIED COURSE with 50% off! Get Instant Access!