Nikon’s newly introduced 600mm f/6.3 VR S Super-Telephoto lens is one very big, robust super-telephoto prime, but it’s surprisingly light.
In fact, this is the lightest 600mm prime lens in its entire class and weighs little enough that you can even comfortably shoot by hand with it despite the tremendous zoom length it has.
The 600mm f/6.3 VR S Super-Telephoto is built for Nikon Z-mount photographers and might just be truly ideal for field use.
Despite its considerable 11-inch (28.7cm) length, this 600mm lens weighs only 1.39kg or roughly 3 lbs and is literally, at least for now, the single lightest super-telephoto lens of this size for any camera brand out there by any lens maker.
Despite this comparative airiness, it delivers a wholly new combination of aperture and focal range that gives it superb image quality across the board according to Nikon.
More specifically, Nikon also claims that the 600mm f/6.3 VR S Super-Telephoto lens has a lower-down center of gravity that’s close to the attached camera body.
This, combined with the lens’s generally light weight makes it a particularly useful super-telephoto for field use and especially useful for rapid panning shots at high zoom.
The main optic inside the 600mm f/6.3 VR S has a design that helps a lot in keeping this lens light. According to the maker, this element is a Phase Fresnel lens piece that lets the 600mm f/6.3 VR S lens be generally smaller and narrower.
With its advanced AF functionality and vibration reduction mechanism, it lets photographers take sharp shots at its full zoom range, even of fast-moving subjects.
Here are a few sample images from Nikon:
Combined with the in-body image stabilization of a Nikon Z camera, the 600mm f/6.3 VR S performs even more sharply.
Internally, the new Nikon super-telephoto lens contains a whopping 21 lens elements across 14 groups and delivers an aperture of between f/6.3 and f/32 through its nine-bladed diaphragm.
Nikon claims that chromatic aberration in the lens is very low because of its Phase Fresnel lens and its combination with the 600mm’s ED glass elements.
There’s also an SR element inside the optic for controlling short-wavelength light. This too helps the 600mm f/6.3 VR S Super-Telephoto have “highly precise chromatic aberration compensation” according to Nikon.
On top of all these optical features, the elements in the lens have been given a Nano Crystal Coat for lower lens flare and ghosting.
The 600mm f/6.3 VR S Super-Telephoto lens includes an AF motor with a stepping design that gives it quick, quiet autofocus action for fast shooting across tits zoom and focal range. The lens even works with Nikon’s own 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters, which increase its range to 840mm and 1200mm.
Other goodies built into the 600mm f/6.3 VR S Super-Telephoto include a memory recall function that lets the lens calibrate to a stored focus position instantly and several Fn2 (and one Fn) buttons that can be set to custom functions.
Overall, despite its lightness, the new lens is built to be highly robust and moisture/dust resistant.
On a final note about the Nikkor 600mm f/6.3 VR S’s specs, it’s designed to operate quietly and with suppressed focus-breathing for smooth video recording too.
Nikon is releasing the Nikkor Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S Super-Telephoto lens in late October for a retail price of $4,796.95. You can preorder it for just-in-time delivery now though.
Image credits: Nikon
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