Nikon Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S Discipline impressions

Nikon Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S Discipline impressions


On this article, I’ll share my expertise utilizing the Nikon Z 600mm f/4 TC VR lens within the discipline. With this lens, I took images in Italy, Tanzania, Namibia, and the Arctic, and I realized loads about it within the course of. I’ve additionally included some utilization suggestions to assist others get essentially the most from this excellent supertelephoto.

NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 600mm, ISO 125, 1/640, f/4.0 – Handheld

The story started in December 2022. I used to be lucky sufficient to be one of many Nikon customers in Italy who obtained the primary batch of the Z 600mm f/4 lens. The second it arrived at my doorstep was thrilling – my first 600mm supertelephoto! Though it was a troublesome choice to exchange my trusty 500mm f/4E FL VR, my curiosity to see how far Nikon had pushed their craft received over any resistance. Nicely, my pockets was barely much less excited, however as they are saying, we solely have one life!

NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 600mm, ISO 400, 1/2000, f/4.0 – Handheld

I selected this lens as a result of I usually take images of shy and cautious animals, that are largely energetic in the course of the early morning or late afternoon. For my part, an extended lens is generally helpful to keep away from disturbing the animals and altering their habits, relatively than simply magnifying the topic within the body.

Moreover, Nikon is now not producing a 500mm f/4 lens, which restricted my choices to change to a Z-mount super-telephoto lens. Finally, I opted for it over the 400/2.8 TC VR S, as I anticipated to want the longer focal size more often than not. Furthermore, even when it isn’t in the identical league, I belief my Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 as a very good resolution once I wish to seize a wider area of the panorama round my topic.

NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 600mm, ISO 2200, 1/1000, f/4.0 – Tripod
NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 600mm, ISO 360, 1/1000, f/4.0 – Handheld
NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 840mm, ISO 800, 1/500, f/5.6 – Bean bag

After I unboxed the lens, I used to be pleasantly stunned by the burden. It totals 3.26 kg (7.2 kilos), which is superb contemplating it’s a 600mm f/4 with a TC. By comparability, my beloved Nikon 500mm f/4 FL + TC-14 + FTZ adapter truly weighs 150 grams / 5 ounces extra.

It’s nonetheless heavy, however relative to different 600mm f/4 lenses, its light-weight nature makes it good for touring and climbing, in addition to each time you should carry it in your backpack. In real-world utilization, it’s not simply the burden, but in addition the steadiness which is straight away noticeable. In comparison with its predecessors, the Nikon Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S has a big shift in weight in direction of the rear, which helps considerably when handholding the lens.

Extreme example of hand hold - 1/20 at 820mm
NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 840mm, ISO 450, 1/20, f/5.6 – Handheld

The VR on this lens works along with the stabilized sensor of Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless cameras, and I discovered it very efficient in lowering vibrations. I really feel extra assured capturing handheld with the Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S than I ever did with my 500mm f/4E FL. I was hooked on utilizing tripods, however now I solely use it when capturing on a stakeout underneath a camo web or when ready for a really very long time in capturing place is required. In any other case, I go for handheld pictures.

I discover that I can often seize sharp pictures of static topics with a shutter velocity so long as 1/60, typically even slower, with good handheld method. Right here’s a tip for you – if you happen to’re utilizing a excessive ISO setting in your digital camera, strive taking a “protected shot” with a quick shutter velocity, after which steadily scale back the ISO setting whereas taking a burst of pictures at longer shutter speeds. Not all of them shall be sharp, however usually you’ll find yourself with at the least one good shot, and by utilizing a decrease ISO setting, you enhance the general picture high quality.

NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 840mm, ISO 2000, 1/800, f/5.6 – Bean bag
NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 600mm, ISO 200, 1/500, f/4.0 – Handheld
NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 840mm, ISO 1250, 1/1000, f/5.6 – Handheld

Within the discipline, each time I exploit it, I’m impressed by how helpful the interior TC is. I’m not simply declaring the beautiful negligible degradation in AF velocity and picture high quality. As a substitute, it’s the usability. Take into account how annoying it’s to vary the TC when capturing handheld (or from a beanbag, monopod, or Zodiac). Let alongside including or eradicating a teleconverter within the rain. I discovered it to be a game-changing characteristic. I hope that extra telephoto lenses incorporate such a characteristic, not simply the costliest supertelephotos.

NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 600mm, ISO 100, 1/1600, f/4.0 – Handheld

Lastly, I discover that autofocus velocity and reliability has improved even additional with this final iteration of super-telephoto. It’s blazing quick, even quicker than the earlier era.

Concerning the images, I’m significantly keen on the bokeh and the compression impact achieved by the acute focal size and quick aperture of this lens. It has a definite character that’s exhausting to place into phrases, however I hope that the images I’ve chosen for this text display its distinctive qualities.

NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 600mm, ISO 900, 1/500, f/4.0 – Tripod
Leopard running in Seregeti
NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 600mm, ISO 320, 1/2000, f/4.0 – Bean bag
NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 840mm, ISO 1600, 1/2000, f/5.6 – Handheld
NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 600mm, ISO 110, 1/800, f/4.0 – Bean bag
NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 600mm, ISO 640, 1/250, f/4.0 – Bean bag
NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 600mm, ISO 110, 1/500, f/4.0 – Bean bag
NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 840mm, ISO 2000, 1/1000, f/5.6 – Bean bag

Are there any downsides? To date, I’ve recognized two challenges that may make this lens tougher to make use of within the discipline.

  • The lens is kind of massive and has a large entrance aspect, no matter whether or not it’s balanced or stabilized. It’s not a straightforward lens to move, and it’s not one thing which you could carry with you casually. It takes up loads of house in your bag and even impacts the kind of bag you possibly can select to make use of. (Tip: you can also make it a bit simpler to hold by utilizing a greater lens cap, comparable to these made by Zemlin).
  • The air high quality between you and your topic performs an important function in figuring out the picture high quality you possibly can obtain utilizing such an extended lens. When utilizing a high-resolution sensor like those in Nikon’s Z7, Z8, or Z9, attaining pixel-level sharpness is extra concerning the environment than the sharpness of the lens. A shorter telephoto just like the 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S, mixed with getting nearer to your topic, can lead to sharper pictures when atmospheric distortion is critical.

These usually are not actually faults of the lens. A 600mm f/4 can solely be so small, and there’s nothing {that a} lens can do about atmospheric distortion. Even so, they’re each challenges that you’ll run into when utilizing the Nikon Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S that try to be conscious of beforehand. In case you’re ready to take care of them, the outcomes you will get with this lens are wonderful, even with “frequent” on a regular basis topics.

NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 840mm, ISO 800, 1/1250, f/5.6 – Bean bag
NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 840mm, ISO 2200, 1/1000, f/5.6 – Bean bag
NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S @ 840mm, ISO 450, 1/1250, f/5.6 – Bean bag

I hope you may have loved this text about utilizing the Nikon Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S within the discipline. Please be at liberty to depart any questions or suggestions within the feedback beneath, and I shall be very happy to reply!

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