The new Nikkor 400mm f/4.5 is the most compact telephoto lens Nikon has ever made

Nikon has announced the Nikkor 400mm f/4.5 VR S, a brand new super telephoto lens for its Z-mount mirrorless cameras. Despite the 400mm focal length, the lens is incredibly small and light. In fact, Nikon claims it’s “the smallest and lightest 400mm lens they’ve ever made”.

The Nikkor 400mm f/4.5 is essentially a compromise between range, portability, price and aperture size. The f/4.5 isn’t the fastest aperture you can get, but it allows the lens to be small and what it is. This also makes it $10,000 cheaper than the Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8! It is ideal for nature, wildlife or sports photography, especially when you have to pack light or travel long distances.

Unlike another compact super-telephoto lens from Nikon, the 800mm f/6.3, the 400mm f/4.5 doesn’t use a phase Fresnel (PF) element to achieve its compact size. It relies on more “conventional” specialized elements, including Super ED, ED, and SR (Short-Wavelength-Refractive) goggles. They promise to control all kinds of aberrations and color fringing. With a nano-crystal coating, the lens also promises to reduce flare when working in bright lighting.

The lens autofocus system uses stepper motors for fast and accurate focusing. Nikon also promises smooth and quiet AF, so you can use this lens for both stills and video. Image stabilization with vibration reduction reduces camera shake by about 5.5 stops. It compensates for the smaller aperture and allows better handheld shooting in low light conditions. Synchro VR is also supported when paired with compatible cameras with sensor-shift VR, which combines in-body VR with optical VR for enhanced results of up to 6 stops of compensation.

If you want to extend the range of this lens even further, you can pair it with the TC-1.4x and TC-2x Z-Teleconverters. You get 560mm f/6.3 and 800mm f/9 respectively.

Let’s take a look at the specs and some more photos:

focal length 400mm
Maximum aperture Aperture 4.5
Minimum aperture Aperture 32
lens mount Nikon Z
Lens format coverage full screen
viewing angle 6° 10′
Minimum focus distance 8.2′ / 2.5m
Maximum magnification 0.16x
optical design 19 elements in 13 groups
membrane sheets 9, rounded
focus type autofocus
image stabilization Yes
tripod collar Removable and rotatable
filter size 95mm (front)
Dimensions (ø x L) 4.1 x 9.2 inch / 104 x 234.5mm
weight 2.7 pounds / 1245g

The Nikkor 400mm f/4.5 VR S is available for pre-order and is priced at $3,246.95.

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