For those in search of an affordable and versatile solution for your telephoto needs in the Nikon Z system, it may be time to rejoice.
I love to shoot bird and wildlife photography. That is not to say that I am actually any good at it. In fact, while I am a professional photographer, my own specialty lies far away from those genres of the craft that require elaborate finely crafted telephoto lenses that span the length of a Buick and can sometimes cost just as much. I still really enjoy getting outside with nature and taking some photos though, regardless of the fact that the results won’t land in my portfolio. But, I need to keep budget in mind when making my telephoto purchasing decisions due to my own use case. In the Nikon F-mount system, I have the 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR. But I didn’t have a similar option in the Z mount, until now.
Nikon has just announced the release of the new NIKKOR Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR. Coming in at 1,955 grams, the lens should be easily hand-holdable for those wishing to travel light. Covering a wide focal range from 180mm to 600mm (or longer if shooting in DX mode), this may be the only lens many enthusiasts will need on a number of occasions. The lens is compatible with both the TC 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters to extend the maximum focal length to 840mm or 1,200mm, respectively. It has a minimum focus distance of 4.3 feet at the wide end and 7.9 feet at the far end. It includes 5.5 stops of vibration reduction. Nikon is promising the lens will continue the trend of reduced focus breathing across the Nikon line for video work. It is constructed of 25 elements in 17 groups and uses an internal zoom mechanism to maintain balance.
But that’s not all. Nikon has also announced the release of the Z 70-180mm f/2.8 lens for its more budget friendly trilogy of lenses. Sitting below the professional Nikon Z trilogy (14-24mm f/2.8 S, 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 70-200mm f/2.8 S) in price point, Nikon’s midrange trilogy now includes the 17-28mm f/2.8, 28-75mm f/2.8, and the brand new 70-180mm f/2.8. These more affordable lenses still offer a bright aperture, but at a more easily digestible price point.
The newly announced Z 70-180mm f/2.8 weighs just 795 grams. It has a minimum focusing distance of .27 m at the near end and .85 m at the long end. It shares the same suppressed focus breathing and dust- and drip-resistance as the previous lens. And can also be used with the Nikon Z teleconverters.
The Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR will be available in August for a suggested retail price of $1699.95.
The Z 70-180mm f/2.8 will start shipping mid-July for a suggested price of $1249.95.
So, what do you think? Could either of these lenses be the right fit for you?