New Nikon 600mm TC – First Look Field Review!

Nikon just released their new 600mm F/4 TC VR S series lens, exclusively for the Nikon Z mount! I was fortunate enough to spend some time with the lens prior to today’s announcement and I can’t wait to share what I’ve discovered!

Nikon invited me to take one of their pre-production units out for a test drive last week in Florida, and WOW – this is one impressive hunk of glass!

In the video below, I’ll give you all the specifications and discuss the controls, features, technology, ergonomics, sharpness, rendering, autofocus, VR performance, how it handles in the field, and so much more.

Of course, I have gobs of sample images to show you, and I can’t wait to share my thoughts, insights, and recommendations. Is it the best wildlife lens ever? Check out the video and see!

Check out the new Z9 setup guide at this link!

Selected photos from the review. (Note that one some shots the shutter speed is a bit high because I was hoping for a flight shot. Plus, the conditions were so bright most of the time, I figured why not? πŸ˜€ )

^ Image captured with a pre-production NIKKOR 600mm F/4 TC VR S @ 840mm
1/3200th, F/5.6, ISO 1600

 

^ Image captured with a pre-production NIKKOR 600mm F/4 TC VR S @ 840mm
1/3200th, F/5.6, ISO 1600

 

^ Image captured with a pre-production NIKKOR 600mm F/4 TC VR S @ 840mm
1/5000th, F/5.6, ISO 720

 

^ Image captured with a pre-production NIKKOR 600mm F/4 TC VR S @ 840mm
1/2000th, F/5.6, ISO 360

 

^ Image captured with a pre-production NIKKOR 600mm F/4 TC VR S @ 600mm
1/4000th, F/4, ISO 450

 

^ Image captured with a pre-production NIKKOR 600mm F/4 TC VR S @ 600mm
1/3200th, F/4, ISO 90

 

^ Image captured with a pre-production NIKKOR 600mm F/4 TC VR S @ 840mm
1/3200th, F/5.6, ISO 360
 
^ Image captured with a pre-production NIKKOR 600mm F/4 TC VR S @ 600mm
1/5000th, F/5.6, ISO 640

 

^ Image captured with a pre-production NIKKOR 600mm F/4 TC VR S @ 840mm
1/800th, F/5.6, ISO 1250


^ Image captured with a pre-production NIKKOR 600mm F/4 TC VR S @ 840mm
1/3200th, F/5.6, ISO 450

 

^ Image captured with a pre-production NIKKOR 600mm F/4 TC VR S @ 600mm
1/3200th, F/5.6, ISO 100

 

^ Image captured with a pre-production NIKKOR 600mm F/4 TC VR S @ 840mm
1/2500th, F/5.6, ISO 500

 

 

PS – If you enjoyed this post, I think you’ll REALLY like my e-books and video workshops! Thousands of pages and hours of videos filled with tips, tricks, and techniques – all my best content!Β Check ’em out – click hereΒ (hey, it’s free to look).

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Richard Bedford
Richard Bedford
1 month ago

Great work! I am a Sony user and have the 600mm f4. I love it. However, I have to admit, the built-in tc is a real advantage, although I prefer what f4 brings to the table when coupled with my A1.

David Burns
David Burns
1 month ago

Stunning shots Steve. Not a lens that I will ever be able to buy sadly! They are all wonderful but the very first shot, the Cormorant is my favourite. Avian minimalism at its best. Nice!

Shutterbug
Shutterbug
1 month ago

Awesome initial review of what looks like an awesome 600mm Nikon lens! It has a number of yummy features.

Milos
1 month ago

Steve, is the picture of the bird head heavy crop? It has amazing detail that would suggest not, but on the other hand you most likely could not get that close to the bird.

Milos
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

In any case it is a beautiful shot (and the others). Your review as always fantastic.

Cookie Segelstein
Cookie Segelstein
1 month ago

I received my Z 400 f/2.8 last month, and I have to say, it’s the sharpest lens I own. I have attached the 2.0 TC (where I get 800mm at 5.6 and found very little image quality loss. Even with the on board TC switched on, 1120 at f/8 is pretty darn good. I just came back from a trip to Africa that I paid for it three years ago (covid reschedule) and the extra stop of light was really nice. But now this is very tempting, although I think my bank account will make that decision. If I had… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Cookie Segelstein
Sean Burke
Sean Burke
1 month ago

Does the foot need to be replaced for tripod mounting?

Last edited 1 month ago by Sean Burke
Tibor Vari
Tibor Vari
1 month ago

Steve I have the Nikon 600mm F4E and just got the Z9 with the adaptor. Have you tested the F4E with adaptor vs the new 600 F4 TC on the Z9? How is the image quality between the two lenses on the Z9?

Tibor Vari
Tibor Vari
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

Thank you Steve! I’ll look forward to your test results.

Michael Lane
Michael Lane
1 month ago

Clearly a beautiful lens for the lucky few. With Nikons Z PF lenses at 400mm and 800mm I was hoping they might bring out a 600mm f5.6 PF lens. Now those three lenses would make Nikon a total winner for most of us keen but not so rich wildlife photographers.

Chuck Zellmer
Chuck Zellmer
1 month ago

Beautiful images Steve. I am sure it will be very impressive piece of glass, but I do question the minds at Nikon for coming out with another lens that is bound to be popular, but priced for a limited market, while the 800mm, and both 400mm lenses are in short supply, on backorder and no shipment dates for the 800mm as far as I can find.

Rudolf
1 month ago

Steve, how would you compare this lens to the 800mm PF?

Rudolf
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

Thanks for this. I’m using the 800 a good deal, even with converter (best with 1.4). Below I still have the F-mount 180-400 TC, hoping to get the 200-600 as a S-series. But this 600 TC is a temptation, more than the 400 TC.

Pierre
1 month ago

Thanks, great presentation.

Rony
Rony
1 month ago

Lovely lens, great review.
The price makes the buy/no-buy decision a no-brainer, though…

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

Dammit! I retired this year so won’t be able to afford one πŸ™