NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S

Nikon has announced the new NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S super-telephoto lens, garnering a lot of hype due to its quality and capabilities. This new telephoto prime lens comes in at almost a quarter of the price of the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens but still maintains top-of-the-line qualifications. You can capture immaculate images with its stunning resolution, beautiful bokeh elements, compact size, and fast AF. 

S-Line Optics

The telephoto lens is a part of the silent and superior S-line optics for superb capture features and high-resolution. The S-line uses an array of innovative technology to capture the most minute details without color fringing, glare, ghosting, or distortion. Its Nano Crystal Coat eliminates hazy image reflections and diagonal light from entering the lens. The elemental resistance features keep moisture and dust out, only adding to the lens’s suitability for heavy-duty photography requiring durable gear.

The optical lens features also corrects chromatic aberration by using ED, Super ED, and SR glass elements. Lastly, the ARNEO Coat does more to reinforce the reduction of ghost and flare effects.

NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S
Photo courtesy of Nikon

Physical Features

Although the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 is faster and has a built-in teleconverter, there are still plenty of reasons to go with the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5. The new telephoto prime is smaller, nearly half the weight, and a quarter of the price. It is much easier to take with you as a photographer who travels often and leaves much more room in your gear bag for other equipment. 

The lens was designed to be well-balanced, with a center of gravity built closer to the camera body.  The idea was to create a compact and fast lens fitting for wildlife, nature, sports, and aircraft photography. Fast-moving subjects are easier to track or pan to while still capturing minor details in your images.

Nikon NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S Lens
Photo courtesy of Nikon

You can save your desired focus position by using the “Memory Set” button. Best to take advantage of in time-crunching situations; when you need to capture your subject quickly, press the Fn or Fn2, and your saved position pops up. 

Nikon NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S Lens
Photo courtesy of Nikon

Functions for the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S

  • 95mm threaded circle filters
  • Manuel Adjustment Ring: aperture / ISO / exposure
  • Manuel Focus Ring
  • Shortcut LF-n buttons
  • Range Switch
  • Kensington secure slot
  • Quick-release tripod foot 

Capture Quality & Features 

Speaking of speed, this lens uses Nikon’s STM stepping motor technology for smooth AF. It is just as stunningly silent as it is fast. The f/4.5 Vibration Reduction (VR) lets you capture even the sharpest images in lowlight or rocky situations. You receive an extra 5.5 stops of VR with all Z cameras or, better yet, 6 stops if you’re using the Nikon Z9’s Synchro VR.

The NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S is optimized to create the most beautiful bokeh while still holding prime quality detail of your subject in the foreground. Panning on fast-moving subjects, emphasizing detail even in low light, and shooting into harsh light is light-work for the new telephoto lens. 

Nikon NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S Lens
Photo courtesy of Nikon


Compact, lightweight, and sharp imagery is the epitome of the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 VR S. If you’re into wildlife photography, nature, or sports shooting, this lens should be highly considered because of its capabilities and price. It may not have a built-in telephoto lens, but you can still increase the focal length using the Nikon Z TC-1.4x or TC-2.0x Z. Even if you were to purchase these, you’d still be spending less than if you were to buy the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8.It’s safe to say the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 VR S is a go-to purchase in our book. 

What lenses are you looking to buy? And for what type of photography?



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