Video: Steve Perry goes hands-on with the new Nikkor Z 800mm F6.3 VR S lens in Florida


Wildlife photographer Steve Perry spent some time in Florida recently with a pre-production version of Nikon’s new 800mm F6.3 VR S lens to see just how well Nikon’s Phase Fresnel super telephoto lens performs and holds up in what ended up being rather unforgiving circumstances. To share his thoughts on his experience, Perry created and shared a comprehensive 21-minute first-look video to go over nearly every detail he could and show how it performed when paired with a Nikon Z9.

Throughout the video, Perry hits on the specifications, controls, features, technology, ergonomics, sharpness, rendering, image stabilization performance and more as he travelled (on his own dime) to Florida to capture birds and other wildlife as mother nature insisted on raining the entire time. Perry notes this pre-production model wasn’t put through his usual array of tests, and says a more thorough video will be shared once he has a production model in-hand, but there’s little he doesn’t hit on throughout the course of this first-look overview.

‘Overall, I have to say my first impressions of this lens are incredibly positive,’ Perry tells DPReview. ‘Over the last three decades, I’ve shot a total of eight exotic primes between Nikon, Canon, and, more recently, Sony. In short, I’m deeply accustomed to big, heavy glass and TCs if I want to reach the 800mm range. To have an 800mm lens that’s this easy to handle in the field with the level of sharpness, rendering, and stabilization this new optic brings to the table is a little mind-blowing. I often had to remind myself in the field that, yes, this was an 800mm lens I was shooting. I think it would be a potent addition to the bag of any wildlife shooter.’

Below is a sample gallery of images Steve Perry captured during his time with the lens and was kind enough to let us share here on DPReview:

Perry shows off a few images he shot with the lens on a Z9, including a few 200% views that hint at just how sharp this lens is, even in less-than-ideal circumstances. There will be more samples on the way, however, as Perry says he’ll soon publish a follow-up video wherein he takes an in-depth look at the images he captured.

In the meantime, you can keep up with Steve by heading over to his website, Backcountry Gallery and subscribing to his YouTube channel.

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