Nikon 800PF: The Story Behind The Photos

In my last video, we did a general review of the 800PF, but understanding how I used the lens in the field might be even more helpful.

So, in this video, I’ve tossed in a baker’s dozen worth of images I captured with the 800PF and I’ll discuss specific ways I was able to leverage the strengths of the 800PF to make these images happen.

You’ll learn my techniques and what aspects of the 800PF played the biggest role in helping me secure the sample shots in a remarkably limited amount of time. And, as always, I’ll toss in lots of tips and tricks along the way that can help any shooter.

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If you missed the review video, you can watch it below:

Here are the images from the video:

Captured with a preproduction NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S (1/640th, F/6.3, ISO 720)
Captured with a preproduction NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S (1/3200th, F/6.3, ISO 11400)
Captured with a preproduction NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S (1/800th, F/6.3, ISO 640)
Captured with a preproduction NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S (1/800th, F/6.3, ISO 900)
Captured with a preproduction NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S (1/320th, F/6.3, ISO 250)
Captured with a preproduction NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S (1/800th, F/6.3, ISO 1400)
Captured with a preproduction NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S (1/800th, F/6.3, ISO 640)
Captured with a preproduction NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S (1/800th, F/6.3, ISO 1000)
Captured with a preproduction NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S (1/3200th, F/6.3, ISO 3600)
Captured with a preproduction NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S (1/10th, F/6.3, ISO 125)
Captured with a preproduction NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S (1/2000th, F/6.3, ISO 900)
Captured with a preproduction NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S (1/800th, F/6.3, ISO 1000)
Captured with a preproduction NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S (1/2500th, F/6.3, ISO 1100)
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Bipul Haldar
2 months ago

Hi Steve, I finally got my 800PF last week. I’ve paired it with my Z9 and went to try with some shorebirds. So far I’m disappointed in 3 main areas. The Z9 seems to be generating more noise, the image isn’t sharp enough, and the AF response is slow especially when switching subject. Now all of these seems to narrow down to f6.3 i.e. camera getting less light. So far, I was using my old 400mm f/2.8E with the adapter. I even got better result with TC 2.0 + 400mm f/2.8E. My auto ISO is capped at 6400, but most… Read more »

Bill Robertson
Bill Robertson
6 months ago

Hi Steve, I have two setup questions from this video.
First, when you showed your i menu setup I noticed you were set to JPEG. Do you shoot in both JEG and RAW?
Second, do you have your camera setup for Auto ISO?
Thanks – Really appreciate your work. I diid pickup a copy of your Nikon Mirrorless focus manual and I would recommend it to anyone with shooting a Z.
br

Dale Keith
7 months ago

great information. Looking forward to my 800Z from Hunt’s.

David Taddei
David Taddei
7 months ago

Thank you Steve, I knew we would get a true professional and unbiased assessment, as well as some beautiful images. Oh Boy, you certainly did exceed those expectations but created quite a dilemma! I am shooting small birds with a 300mm f/4 IF-ED with TCs but debating a longer focal lens for my Z6: 800mm PF, second-hand 500mm PF or wait for the 200-600mm (which may never come, it’s been on the road map for so long!)? My heart screams 800mm, my head says used 500mm PF when their price falls down and my ”personal banker” obviously recommends the 200-600mm!

Don Curry
8 months ago

Thanks again Steve!

Brian Small
Brian Small
8 months ago

Nice work Steve. One thing I didn’t quite understand was when you were talking about the Glossy Ibis. You were saying that by filling the frame you can essentially use higher ISO and get more out of noise reduction. Can you explain this a bit more?

Dale Keith
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

great, thank you for the explanation.

Tony
Tony
8 months ago

Putting aside the weight difference. How does the 800 pf compare with the 600f4 plus 1.4tc

John
John
8 months ago

Great images Steve. I noticed that the ISO was different in each shot. Was wondering how you had the Z9 set for exposure.

John
John
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

Thanks Steve. Just downloaded the Z9 book but did not have a chance to look through it. Still waiting for my Z9 to arrive.

David Sneddon
David Sneddon
8 months ago

This is just so outstanding that I just wish I could afford this lens. I absolutely love my 500PF and my D850 but your combination of the 800PF and Z9 is out of my reach but I can really appreciate the quality of your images Steve and your ability as a wildlife photographer. Amazing images and so helpful in your explanations of the technique, settings and environment you shot them in. I always take away some nugget in all over your videos so thank you. Fantastic.

Chris
Chris
8 months ago

Great images and clearly an impressive lens. I was wondering how much your impressions of the lens related to its use on the Z9. I am still using f-mount cameras (850 and 500) with the 500 pf and still love that gear but when I inevitably change over to mirrorless I likely will not be able to afford the Z9 and all that S glass. Will the 800pf perform so well on Z7II?

Chris
Chris
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

Thanks, Steve. I thought the VR might be better with the Z9.

Elliott Cobin
Elliott Cobin
8 months ago

Great video and still images! I have the 500pf and am very satisfied with it on both my D850 and Z9. I do want the Z800mm though – eventually.

Richard Bedford
Richard Bedford
8 months ago

I was never able to get extreme BIF action shots with my 500mm pf, may have been a duff lens, do not know. Still images and slow stuff was fine. Interesting now, Nikon 800mm pf plus Z9 equals same price approximately as a Sony 600mm f4 alone, with no Sony A1.

Tom Roberts
Tom Roberts
8 months ago

Is the link correct? Doesn’t work for me. Went to YouTube and was able to get it there.

Bryan
Bryan
8 months ago

The big question… 400 2.8 TC or the 800 PF. Pick the one lens you can take with you to Africa.

Jonathan Neville
Jonathan Neville
8 months ago
Reply to  Bryan

I’ve taken a 400mm f2.8 and also a 600mm f4. Unsurprisingly, the ability to capture far off images worked better with the 600mm so I can’t wait to get over there with the 800mm !