Nikon NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S Overview
Described as “the smallest and lightest 400mm Nikon has ever created,” the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S is a super-telephoto prime mixing unique portability with long reach, advanced optics, and apt AF and VR. It’s a well-rounded lens for the traveling sports or wildlife shooter looking for a handheld design and capable reach for photographing distant subjects.
Long Reach, Compact Design
Distinct among super-telephoto lenses, this 400mm f/4.5 is especially sleek and lightweight, making it an ideal companion for travel or other shooting scenarios where handheld shooting is preferred.
- Sophisticated optical design includes a series of specialized elements that promote a lighter, more compact overall design.
- Modest f/4.5 maximum aperture offers a practical balance between size, speed, and weight.
- With a size more akin to a 70-200mm f/2.8, this lens measures just 9.2″ long and weighs 2.7 lb. Compared to the Z 400mm f/2.8 lens, this f/4.5 version weighs 3.8 lb less and measures 6″ shorter in length.
- Helping to virtually eliminate chromatic aberrations, color fringing, and comatic aberrations, this lens features one ED (extra-low dispersion) glass element and two Super ED elements, along with one SR (short-wavelength refractive) element.
- The SR element features a specialized high-dispersion design that refracts wavelengths shorter than blue; this helps achieve truly accurate color rendering and also aids in making the lens design more compact.
- Nano Crystal Coat has been applied for well-rounded anti-glare protection at all angles, helping to suppress ghosting, reflections, and flare for higher contrast and more accurate color response when working in strong lighting and backlit conditions.
Autofocus and Vibration Reduction
- Advanced autofocus system uses stepping motors to deliver quick and accurate focusing performance, along with smooth and quiet AF that is well-suited to both stills and video applications.
- Full-time manual focus override is also possible and an internal focusing design is used, where only the internal lens groups are moved during focusing, to maintain the overall length of the lens during use and to promote faster focusing speeds.
- Vibration Reduction image stabilization reduces the appearance of camera shake by approximately 5.5 stops to better enable handheld shooting in low-light situations.
- Synchro VR is also supported when paired with compatible cameras featuring sensor-shift VR, which combines in-body VR with optical VR for improved results of up to 6 stops of compensation.
Professional Handling and Construction
- As part of the lightweight, nimble design, the included tripod foot can easily be removed for a slimmed down design that’s ideal for handheld use.
- When used atop a tripod, the tripod mount has a rotating design for easy switching between horizontal and vertical orientations.
- Intuitive “no-look” control layout puts all of the frequently-used buttons and dials in easy-to-reach locations to prevent the need to move your eye from the viewfinder.
- Front anti-slip rubber grip for stable handheld use.
- Separate manual focus ring and a programmable control ring offer distinct levels of tactile control over shooting settings.
- Compatible with optional Z-Teleconverter TC-1.4x and TC-2x to further extend the reach of this lens.
- Weather-sealed design includes rubber gaskets to prevent dust and moisture ingress and the exposed elements have a fluorine coating that repels dirt and oils and is easier to clean.
- Two customizable L-Fn buttons can be set to configure subject tracking, AF lock, image playback, or other modes. The L-Fn2 button is also accessible from four different locations on the barrel for easy reach.
- Focus limiter switch can constrain the focus range to 19.7′ to infinity or from the full focusing range of 8.2′ to infinity.
- Programmable Control Ring can also be used to control aperture, ISO, or exposure compensation.
- Kensington lock support for securing the lens in place during remote shooting sessions.
- Uses front screw-in 95mm filters.