Editor’s note: The DPReview TV team has also spent some time with the lens, and will post their initial impressions when the lens is officially announced.
Back in 2021, Nikon announced it was working on the development of a Nikkor Z 800mm F6.3 PF VR S lens for the company’s Nikon Z-mount system. Since then, no substantial updates has been provided on this lens, but in a new video from Jared Polin, of FroKnowsPhoto, we get our first look at the lens through a hands-on preview of the Nikkor Z 800mm F6.3 VR PF S lens.
As Polin explains in the introduction to his video, there is very little information he could share about the lens. Aside from sharing a basic hands-on overview and detailing a collection of pre-production images captured with the lens, many of the technical details remain under wraps. So much so that Nikon USA had a representative sitting outside of the room while Polin filmed this 18-minute video.
Still, Polin was able to spends the first half of the video going over the external features of the lens. It has the usual array of customizable buttons (four in-between the control ring and focus ring) and switches for controlling the various autofocus and image stabilization modes. Since Polin wasn’t allowed to share the exact dimensions or weight of the lens, he compared it to the NIkkor Z 400mm F2.8 TC VR lens, which actually weighs a bit more than the 800mm F6.3 lens and comes in only marginally shorter when both lenses have their lens hoods on. Speaking of lens hoods, the new 800mm F6.3 lens has a new lens hood release system that uses a locking lever to secure it in place when extended and reversed for traveling.
To test out the performance of the pre-production lens, Polin took it to the Philadelphia Zoo to photograph bald eagles, bears and gorillas. He spends the last half of the video going over a few of the images he captured and sharing his overall experience using the lens attached to a Nikon Z9. Since the lens is pre-production, we don’t have any full-resolution files to take a peek at, but Polin does highlight the image quality of the lens in various shooting environments at the zoo.
It remains to be seen when we’ll know more about this lens, but we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer considering Nikon is clearly working on getting pre-production units into the hands of reviewers.