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 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)


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


Unquestionably an awesome lens. However, it's priced way out of range for today's world of "everyone's a photographer"!!!!

Consider a 600mm to 800mm zoom that's priced economically, like somewhere between $1,000 to 2,000. I think you'll make a lot of money there and have plenty of satisfied customers. I honestly believe your marketing team is focused on the high end buyer, rather than the commoner that's out there making the money and wants to spend it on camera gear like this.

Yossi O...the 16-85 has been a great performer in terms of color, contrast and sharpness(which has more to do with technique taking the photograph anyway). I would argue that the only people buying the new version will be those who won't mind spending $1100 on a plastic lens that still doesn't offer a constant aperture.  I think the better idea is to buy the 16-85 and the   35 f1.8 both for less than $1100. Then you'll have a great walk-around zoom and great std. view lens for low-light situations. 

I've been using the 16-85 dx on a D7000 for a few years. It is an excellent zoom with a most useful range. How do the optics of the new version compare to the old?  Almost $1100 seems like a lot to pay for not that much more speed...half stop on the wide end and one stop on the long end.

I've not yet had a chance to handle the lens or view any sample images or real world images. Nikon has beefed up the optics and coatings used in this new lens quite a bit.  With Four ED & Three Aspherical Elements, Nano Crystal & Super Integrated Coatings, and Fluorine-Coated Front & Rear Elements this lens will be able to deliver extremely accurate color rendition as well as great sharpness and contrast.  The Nikon 16-85mm lens only featured Two ED Glass & Three Aspherical Elements and Super Integrated Coatings.  You'll likely be able to notice the difference in image quality between the two. 

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?

When using a DX format lens on the D750, or when shooting with an FX lens in DX-Crop mode, the one important thing to consider is that in the act of cropping there is a significant decrease in the pixel count/resolution.  In full FX mode the camera’s sensor is a 24mp sensor.  By using the cropped sensor it drops down to 10mp which is quite a decrease (almost defeats the purpose of having a full-frame camera).  It would make more sense to pair the 16-80mm lens with an actual DX body which has a higher given pixel count, or find a lighter weight lens for the D750.  Below are two links to Nikon 24-85mm lenses which are FX format lenses, similar in design and quality to the new 16-80mm lens for you to regard on our website.


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.

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.


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.




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.