Unveiled: Nikon Upgrades 500mm and 600mm Primes and Debuts 16-80mm DX Zoom


Nikon continues to upgrade their professional telephoto prime lenses, announcing the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and the AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens. They have also thrown into the mix a versatile DX lens that’s ideal for travel photography and everyday carry, the AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR lens.

The news of these incredible super-telephoto optics should prompt birding, nature and sports photographers to start saving their pennies—thousands and thousands of pennies—because their updated technologies, material and design have brought forth lenses that are lighter, faster and better performing. Like the 800mm lens released in 2013, both lenses feature a high-speed electromagnetic (E) aperture to keep pace with Nikon’s professional level DSLRs, and incorporate fluorite (FL) lens elements to reduce weight, minimize aberrations and improve overall image quality. Also, Nikon’s acclaimed Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization provides the equivalence of up to 4.0 stops of shutter speed compensation to reduce the blur that affects imaging at such long focal lengths. Both the 500mm and 600mm feature an f/4 maximum aperture.

AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR Lens

In addition to the normal VR mode, both cameras offer Sport VR mode, which affords a more stable viewfinder image even when panning to follow a moving subject. This mode lets you easily track subjects, even when shooting in Continuous mode, which is not slowed by using Sport VR. Nikon’s Silent Wave AF motor keeps images sharp as it smoothly and silently actuates.

AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR Lens

For those that shoot these lenses on a regular basis, perhaps just as important as the optical and mechanical advancements are the new magnesium alloy barrels that contribute to the lenses being significantly lighter than their predecessors. The 600mm is 3 lb lighter and the 500mm is 2 lb lighter! And of course, the magnesium alloy construction and weather-sealing provide them with the capability to handle rough conditions. Their protective front meniscus features a non-stick Fluorine coat, which makes it easier to wipe off water, dirt and smudges. An included tripod collar houses ball bearings for smooth transitions between horizontal and vertical shooting.

AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR Lens

For DX shooters comes a very welcome addition to the Nikon stable—a compact and highly versatile 16-80mm lens with a variable aperture that maxes out at f/2.8 at the wide-angle end. This zoom range is equivalent to a 24-120mm perspective in the 35mm/full-frame format and offers true wide-angle to telephoto perspectives for a range of applications. Its light and compact build is perfect as an everyday lens or for travel photography. The f/2.8-4 maximum aperture is effective in low light, and with VR image stabilization providing 4 shutter speed stop equivalence, blur in dim situations is managed ably. A Tripod VR mode, which minimizes the effects of tripod vibration, is new to this zoom range and features the same Sport VR mode found in the telephotos.

AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR Lens

The lens also shares with its ultra-telephoto kin the latest electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism, which operates in precise sync with the camera's shutter for reliable exposure control during high-speed sequences. Its optical design features Extra-low Dispersion glass elements and aspherical elements to reduce aberrations and enhance contrast, and Nikon’s Nano Crystal lens coating minimizes flare and ghosting. It also features protective fluorine coating on its front and rear element to easily remove smudges, dirt and water stains, making this a lens you can be confident to use in almost all conditions.

    AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR
Lens Mount   F (Nikon DX Format)
Focal Length (35mm Equivalent)   24-120mm
Maximum Aperture   f/2.8 - 4
Minimum Aperture   f/22 - 32
Angle of View   83° - 20° 
Minimum Focusing Distance   1.15' (0.35m)
Autofocus Motor   AF-S (Silent Wave Motor)
Image Stabilization   Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization
Weather Resistant   N/A
Maximum Reproduction Ratio   0.22x
Lens Construction   17 Elements/13 Groups
Diaphragm Blades   7
Filter Ring Diameter   72mm
Dimensions   3.1 x 3.3" (80 x 85.5 mm)
Weight   16.1 oz (480 g)
Compatibility   Nikon F Mount DX Format Cameras

    AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR
Lens Mount   F (Nikon FX Format) F (Nikon FX Format)
Focal Length (35mm Equivalent)   750mm (when used on DX format cameras) 900mm (when used on DX format cameras)
Maximum Aperture   f/4 f/4
Minimum Aperture   f/22 f/22
Angle of View   5°00' ( 3°10' in DX Format) 4°10'  ( 2°40' in DX Format)
Minimum Focusing Distance   11.9' (3.6 m) 14.4' (4.4 m)
Autofocus Motor   AF-S (Silent Wave Motor) AF-S (Silent Wave Motor)
Image Stabilization   Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization          SPORT VR Mode Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization
Weather Resistant   Yes Yes
Maximum Reproduction Ratio    0.14x  0.14x
Lens Construction   16 Elements/12 Groups 16 Elements/12 Groups
Diaphragm Blades   9 9
Filter   40.5mm Drop-in Type 40.5mm Drop-in Type
Dimensions (D x L)   5.5 x 15.2" (140 x 387 mm) 6.5 x 17.0" (166 x 432 mm)
Weight   6.8 lb (3,090 g) 8.4 lb (3,810 g)
Compatibility   Nikon F Mount (FX, DX, FX in DX Crop Mode, 35mm) Nikon F Mount (FX, DX, FX in DX Crop Mode, 35mm)

Discussion 7

Add new comment

Add comment Cancel

These are  great telephoto lens for the DSLR, but I love the 60X zoom on your Coolpix P600. Great for traveling and bringing home amazing shots for PC resolution.

I have 3 nikon lenes 18-55 2.8 ( that i use for weddings only ) 85mm 1.4 that i use for indoor concerts, when i can't use a flash. A lens that use 95% of the time  18- 140 zoom lens 5.6. ( for general Use, indoor out door events ) this lens to me has a nice range...........i just wish Nikon  would consider making 18-140 or 18-150 into faster lens like a 2.8 or 1.8 lens..........i would be the 1st to buy it.............it's something about that lens ....................... that give my 4 times positions................. i like wide, normal,slight tele photo, and full tele photo. And if youu increase your file size to large and go in a crop........you can get 200mm zoom range out the  camera..........i Just wish Nikon would consider making a fast zoom lens with that 18-140- or 18 -150 lens.........i would be so happy.  Please pass this along.............. to your nikon freinds if you agree.


24-70mm 2.8?

The announcement says the 500 & 600 feature a constant F4 aperature. Naturally, they are primes. How would the Max aperature change???Price---- not tooooo shabby!! Put me down for 3 each.. Just kidding!!!!!   Strictly for pros -- or people who have money to burn.

great telephotos for motorsports 

I own two Nikon bodies, one 19-55 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 besides third party 150-600. Nikon is expensive but you can feel the difference as soon as you hold it. The photos taken are amazing with Nikon lens, an with the new additions, I am sure it can't be any less.

I am FX, not DX (D750) and primarily use 24-70 f/2.8 which is terrific, but heavy. I realize there is cropping to 24-120, but can this DX 16-80 be used on the D750 without any negative effects?