Here's an extremely interesting new addition to the Nikon lens lineup: the NIKKOR Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S lens. Okay, maybe a 600mm lens isn't super interesting on its own (there are plenty of 600mm lens designs out there), but here's the kicker: this super telephoto lens only weighs three pounds!
So, what are the pros and cons of this lens? I haven't tested one, so I can only base my observations on the published specifications, but in my opinion, the cons are as follows:
It has a fixed maximum aperture of f/6.3, which means you'll not get the best bokeh, and you'll need to increase your ISO to compensate for the lost light.
It is a fixed focal length lens. I prefer zooms, as they give you more flexibility for framing your subjects. With a fixed 600mm focal length, you'll need to change lenses if your subject gets closer to you, which means you might miss the shot.
The price: $4,796.95. Ouch! But, compared to top-shelf 600mm prime lenses, this actually comes in quite low.
That's it for the cons, as far as I'm concerned. The pros? Quite simple: the 600mm f/6.3 lens only weighs three pounds! For a lens that gives you high image quality and 600mm of reach, you'd expect to be holding the equivalent of a concrete brick. But at three pounds, you can leave the heavy tripod or monopod at home: this is a lens that is comfortably handheld. In fact, this lens is actually lighter than many telephoto zooms.
The Z 600mm f/6.3 is only 11 inches long, making it relatively easy to stuff in your camera bag. Other desirable features include anti-reflection coating to reduce ghosting and flare, a fast autofocus motor, advanced weather sealing, and up to 6 stops of image stabilization.
Many Nikon users who enjoy wildlife, bird, or sports photography will see this lens as an attractive option (I suspect small bird photographers in particular would view this as a worthy investment). To learn more about the lens, check out the promo video below from Nikon.
Pre-order the Nikon NIKKOR Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S Lens. Shipments will likely start at the end of October.