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)|
|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
SPORT VR Mode
|Maximum Reproduction Ratio||0.14x||0.14x|
|Lens Construction||16 Elements/12 Groups||16 Elements/12 Groups|
|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|
|Maximum Reproduction Ratio||0.22x|
|Lens Construction||17 Elements/13 Groups|
|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|