Sharpness Showdown! Nikon 600mm TC Vs. Nikon 800 PF, Sony 600 GM, and Nikon 600 F/4 E!

Ever since I did my first look review of the new Nikon 600 TC lens, I’ve had people asking how it compares in sharpness to other glass – namely the outgoing 600 F/4E, the 800 PF, and the Sony 600 GM. So, I did a quick video with my focus test chart between all of those lenses and the results are in the video below.

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Robert B. Green
Robert B. Green
1 month ago

Hey Steve, who makes the chart that you used for sharpness tests? Where can you get a copy? Not in the market for a 600mm but it’s nice know what your comparison showed. Thanks, Bob

william c thrift
william c thrift
2 months ago

Thanks Steve. I always value what you say .At the beginning, the picture of the lenses shows a Nikon 600mm f4G, depicted as a 600mm f4E. The foot is the dead give away. So, did you test the G or E? Just curious. Thanks again,
Bill

Paul
2 months ago

Thanks Steve
I think you missed matching the f/stop when comparing the against the 800mm, or if you did match the aperture, this wasn’t obvious in the video.
Keep up the work. Thanks. Paul

Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

Thanks for confirming Steve. I think you may have mentioned already in your test definition, (that I should have reverted & reviewed beforehand). All be it this lens is beyond my budget and any sort of interpretation of my use case, it remains appealing with the flick of a switch you’re at 800+mm, which is a main USP over the other lenses in this particular test. I would have liked to see the corners in your comparison video as in my experience with the Z lenses I own and use, the corners show the most discernable difference to other lenses… Read more »

Paul
2 months ago

One follow up is on focusing speed – not sure if this is more a body thing or not, but any difference in how quickly birds and wildlife are aquired with the 800 vs the 600? Or is that all firmware in the camera itself?

Paul
2 months ago

Thanks Steve, great video and answered a lot of my questions on the lenses.

Bruce
Bruce
2 months ago

The difference in perceived sharpness with the 600mm with the TC engaged is the loss of 1-stop of light. Sharpness perception is based in large part on the contrast between dark and light area in an image. Half as much light with the TC engaged is going to result in an image that looks less sharp.

Gary
Gary
2 months ago

Much appreciated Steve
My wife nearly went into AF when she saw the price of the Z600 in Australian Dollars 🙂
The 800 PF is looking more likely 🙂
Gary
………….. AU

Gary
Gary
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

Thank you Steve ,
Much appreciated, thinking of buying a 500PF shortly, as my “walk around” lens , my old Tammy is now just a paper weight with the Z9, if the boat sale goes through in the new year, maybe a Z600
As you are well aware, chasing birds 99% of the time is in low light
Regards, Gary
……….. AU

Last edited 2 months ago by Gary
G Krezinski
G Krezinski
2 months ago

Great comparisons and puts a lot of questions and doubts to rest. Thanks for doing this. Now I am wondering if Nikon will ever come out with a Z200-600mm to throw into the mix.

rjackb
rjackb
2 months ago

When comparing the Nikon Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S to the Nikon 600mm f/4E, which camera was each mounted on? I’m assuming Z9 for the former but unsure if using a D850 or FTZ converter on the later. Sorry if I missed that information somewhere.

Donald Linn
Donald Linn
2 months ago

Thnaks for the great test/comparison.

Richard Bedford
Richard Bedford
2 months ago

Great work, Steve! I’m very happy with my two Sony A1’s and my 600mm f4, but like to use it without a tc. Wide open, at f4 it is outstanding, beautifully clean with great resolving power. The Nikon lenses look great also. I would be very interested to see how these lenses perform at a greater distance in the field.

Richard Bedford
Richard Bedford
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

Thanks, Steve. I agree, of course. I do not spend my time analysing too much anymore, I like to photograph birds in flight instead.