Nikon Unveils New 180-600mm and 70-180mm Z-mount lenses

a woman taking a picture with a camera.

Nikon’s streak of lens releases continues with the announcement of two new relatively affordable Z-mount long-distance editions.

These two emergent super telephoto optics are the Nikkor Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR and the much more compact Nikkor Z 70-180mm f/2.8.

Both optics are designed for telephoto shooting enthusiasts who want lots of zoom, lots of reach, moderate lens weight and not too much squeeze on their bank accounts.

The 180-600mm edition in particular should be popular among Z series users who like wildlife and long-distance action photography. Here’s a quick breakdown of each model:

Nikkor Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR super telephoto

a camera with a lens attached to it.

Nikon’s 180-600mm really seems to define the super in super telephoto lens design at just a glance. This optic is as enormous as you could expect from something with a 600mm focal length.

Despite its robust physical size, Nikon promises that the Nikkor Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR is actually a lightweight lens for its class. The manufacturer is also claiming high performance, lots of speed and excellent focal range versatility.

This large lens comes built with 25 elements in 17 groups and six of these are ED glass elements for high-level chromatic aberration compensation. There’s also a nine-bladed aperture diaphragm in the Nikkor Z 180-600mm for natural, round bokeh according to Nikon.

a man taking a picture with a large camera.

Another interesting detail about this lens is the compact 70-degree shortness of its ring throw for shifting along all focal lengths between 180 and 600mm.

This should be especially handy for wildlife photographers reacting to the unexpected. There’s also an internal DX crop mode for extending focal length even further to 270-900mm.

Here are some sample photos taken with the new super-telephoto lens  courtesy of Nikon

a man swimming in a pool with goggles on. a close up of a goat with very long horns. a small white animal standing on a snow covered ground.

For the sake of giving users at least some reasonable degree of close shooting capacity, Nikon has also designed the Nikkor Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR to capture fairly close-by objects.

The company claims 4.3 feet when the Nikkor Z 180-600mm is set to its lowest focal length, and just 7.9 feet of minimal distance at its maximum extension.

In terms of build and weight, the Nikkor Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR is surprisingly light despite its enormous physical bulk. It weighs in at just 4.3 lbs or 1.99 kg.

It also features a vibration reduction (VR) internal image stabilization that according to Nikon gives it 5.5 stops for shutter speed. The stepping motor inside the lens also works quietly and quickly during AF mode.

The Nikkor Z 70-180mm f/2.8 Lens

a large lens on a white background.

Nikon’s other new release is a much smaller device than the 180-600mm beast above. According to Nikon, this optic completes the brand’s so-called trilogy of affordable f/2.8 zoom lenses by complementing Nikon’s previously-released 28-75mm f/2.8 and 17-28mm f/2.8 lenses.

The Nikkor Z 70-180mm f/2.8 Lens is also remarkably small for its specs. According to Nikon, it’s 40% more compact than the brand’s Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 with a similar focal range.

These essential specs make the Nikkor Z 70-180mm f/2.8 optic particularly ideal for event photography, portrait shooting, sports and of course, certain types of slightly less hyper-focused nature photography scenarios.

The photos below are examples of its performance:

a close up of a pink flower with a blurry background. a close up of a dandelion with a blurry background. a train traveling over a bridge at sunset.

The Nikkor Z 70-180mm f/2.8 Lens has been built from 19 elements across 14 groups and includes 5 ED elements along with one Super ED element. All of these along with its three aspherical elements are for reducing chromatic aberration and flaring. Mass-wise, this lens has a very reasonable weight of 28 oz or 795 g.

a woman sitting on the ground with a camera.

Both of the above lenses have been designed to handle video recording extremely well too. Nikon claims that both models strongly suppress focus breathing and can focus extremely silently. Their control rings are also click-free for silent operation.

Nikon is releasing the Nikkor Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR super-telephoto lens for sale in August for a suggested retail price of $1,699.95. As for the Nikkor Z 70-180mm f/2.8, it’s going to hit the market in mid-July for $1,249.95.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

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