Nikon just announced their new 800mm PF and my extensive first-look review for wildlife photographers is ready to go!
In this first-look video, I’ll answer all the burning questions you have about the 800PF. We’ll talk about the specifications, the controls, features, technology, ergonomics, sharpness, rendering, autofocus, VR performance, how hand-holdable it is, how it handles in the field, and so much more! If you want the best 800PF review for wildlife photography, this is it!
Plus, I’ll pass along all of my insights, thoughts, and recommendations along the way!
Check out the video below:
Sample images below, click to enlarge (note that since this was a preproduction lens, I can’t provide full resolution images per my agreement with Nikon).
If you enjoyed the video, please share it with your Nikon friends – and feel free to pass it on any camera forums or groups who may enjoy it. Thank you so much!
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! Check ’em out – click here (hey, it’s free to look).
These images are beautiful would love to have that Lense, I have the Z7ii and love it
Hello, Steve. This new 800mm looks very impressive and I can’t believe the price! Even though it’s probably out of my budget for a advanced shooter who basically does shoots for personal enjoyment and art work reference. But boy, would I love to have one of these. These bird images are just beautiful! However, I can’t help but think that the Z9 is a game changer as well for this sort of wildlife shooting. From everything I’ve seen that auto focus system is killer. And again, that camera is probably out of my budget. I’m considering moving up to the… Read more »
I’ll be hanging it off that body for sure – lots of people asking about it. 🙂
Steve – Is Nikon planning an 800pf for the use on the D850?
Not that I know of.
Great set of two videos on the new 800PF lens. As always, well done and well illustrated. Can’t wait to get my own then all I’ll have to do is find great locations to use it. Hopefully you will help me out in the future now that we are all traveling more. 🙂
Hi Steve, Big fan of your work- I am very glad Nikon recognizes your influence among wild life photographers. Like you, I shoot 840; I own D6, D500 and soon (i hope) Z9 (which will send my D500 to eBay). My thought is that hanging on to the D6 allowes me to shop the universes of superb Nikon F glass and use it on both bodies, so the 600+1.4 seems like the best for now. Can you talk me out of keeping the 600+TC and into switching to the 800PF? Eager to hear your thoughts.
The 600 + TC is still a great option. I think this is sharper and might render better. It’s for sure a heck of a lot lighter than the 600 + TC- however, it’s always an 800mm. The 600 F/4 and TC option gives you more flexibility. It’s a tough balance and I’m not sure it’s an either-or. I’m keeping both for now (although, I’m starting to think about replacing my 600 F/4 with that 400 2.8 and TC again).
Thanks too for your excellent reviews.
I’m mainly a birds photographer.
I’m thinking as well of replacing my very good 500PF by the Z400 2.8 + TCx2 providing me with a versatile 400, 560 or 800, 1120mm.
The 800PF is lighter and cheaper but i’ll get only 800 and 1120mm with a TC14. In that case I’d complete my 800PF with the versatile Z100-400.
Regarding the aperture, both lenses (400 + TC2 or 800) are quite similar at 800mm (5,6 vs 6,3).
The choice is actually weight against bokeh at 400 only.
Steve, I’m in love with my Z9 and 500PF. I’m seriously considering this lens as an addition to 500PF. But on the other hand I may sell my 500PF and get the new 400 2.8Z, which costs a lot more obviously. I shoot mostly wildlife, that’s my passion, but I’m also shooting sports at the moment where I make some money. And 400 2.8 is a sports lens which doubles as a wildlife lens with the internal TC. It’s heavier, more than twice as expensive as 800mm, but I could just carry that one and use it for close mammals… Read more »
I think the problem is that if you want to do sports, the other two lenses are far less than ideal, at least compared to the 400mm. I’m not sure you have much of a choice. Of course, I’m not sure how well the 400 with a 2X will compare to this lens bare – from what I’ve seen and what the MTFs say, I think the 800PF will have a noticeable edge. However, it also sounds like the 800mm wouldn’t help pay for itself either.
Steve, Fantastic review as always. I was on the fence with the 800, but I’m going to pre order. Can you tell me the make and model of the plate you use on the 800’s foot? I also purchased your Mirrorless Book. It answered about a dozen Z9 questions I had. Thanks for your insight and mentorship.
Thanks for the kind words. I honestly don’t know what that QR plate was – it was one we found and have had forever.
Thanks for the quick reply… maybe RRS has a solution.
Thanks, Steve. I always love your reviews and instructional videos. My name is on the list for an 800 PF at my local camera store.
Hello, As usual, excellent summary and descriptions of your independent opinions on the lens. I also love Nikon’s PF lenses (DSLR/D6). I will surely buy the PF 300mm Z glass when its available. An 800 PF could be useful to a younger man. I am 77, and cannot really run around any longer. I have bought your e-books on the Sony Alpha 1 and its excellent. It did take more than one afternoon to read, set and retain all your excellent suggestions. To get everything right, I printed it and gribble my comments on most pages to force my head… Read more »
Thanks for the book purchases!!
Bought your mirroless book, thanks much needed for the F9
Fine review Steve! Looks like Nikon does it again with the S series of glass.
The S lenses have really been outstanding and innovative.
I too purchased the updated mirrorless AF book. Great production!
As always great review. You made a mention of your carrying bag that you use. Could you provide me with that information? Do you ever check your gear as baggage at the airports?
I use the gura gear kiboko 30L. And nope, I never check gear.
Another great review, Steve. Thank you!
Wonderful review, Steve. When you do your full review, could you comment on how this new lens compares with the 500 PF paired with various teleconverters?
Thanks Steve, this was really helpful.
Thanks for that Steve! I’m wondering if you would like to respond to a criticism that ‘800 is too long’ and might present problems shooting ‘through the weather’ Like heat waves and rain. See any issues there?
It depends how your using it. If you’re using it to try and bring in subjects that are way too far anyway, then yes, you’ll have problems with atmospherics. However, used at proper distances, it’s not any more of an issue with this lens than other long glass. I use 840 all the time with the 600 and TC. The only time I could think that you could run into problem with experiencing more heat distortion is if you’re using 800mm over a sunny meadow (with heat waves rinsing) and could have easily closed to the distance to something like… Read more »
Thank you for the very informative review. I will be moving up to a mirrorless later in the year and this is looking to be a must have lens for me. I am looking forward to further reviews and videos on this lens. Thank you for what you do.
Thanks for the great preview. Were you shooting in the Everglades?
Steve, your review was very informative. I will be looking forward to your review of a production unit. Concerning your shooting on an overcast day, those days are my personal favorites as I feel the ambient light of a cloudy day gives my images greater clarity and less hot spots from the sun. Once I read your review of the production lens I will have to make a decision on selling current inventory thus transferring assets to the 800PF. For the time being my Z9 with the 500PF and the 100-400S allow me to had hold shooting. The Z9 with… Read more »
I’m sure I’ll have a chance to use it with a monopod / tripod by then 🙂
Also, I’m sure the filter will have to come from Nikon. For a drop-in polarizer, you have to have the little cog at the top of the holder for spinning the filter.
Just wondering if this will only ever be available with a Z mount?
Yes, just the Z mount.
Steve good morning, I just love your breathless delivery every time. This is just excellent so can’t wait to see the full review. First class as always. This lens looks amazing and the price point is sensational.
Great video, Mr Perry! All my Nikon gear has now gone but this looks brilliant for all the Nikon boys & girls out there! Cleverly priced by Nikon.
I currently have a Z6. Would this lens make sense on a Z6 or would I not get the best performance with it. I’d like to get a Z9 but can’t afford both that and this lens!
I didn’t have time to test it on a Z6. It’ll certainly work, I’m just not sure one way or the other if AF will be as quick.
Great information and overview on the NEW 800mm lens.
(RE-POST) I am a member not a guest. * I am a nature, wildlife, bird photographer. * I currently have the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR Lens with adapter and a Z9. * I am considering selling the 600mm and buying the 800mm PF. * Understanding it’s an f6.3 versus an f4; that is not a major concern for me. * I am interested in your opinion if this is a good tradeoff considering ‘image quality’ first? * The 600 f4 is the best long lens I have ever shot with. Would I be upgrading or downgrading… Read more »
I was not allowed to do side-by-side comparisons between the lenses since this was a preproduction unit. So, I’m not sure. My seat of the pants estimation is that this can go head-to-head with the 600mm. I was certainly impressed.