Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR

July 2, 2015 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Lenses | Comment |

The AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR is a new full-frame super telephoto lens for Nikon SLRs. With a weight of "merely" 8.3lb / 3810g (vs. the 11.5lb / 5060g of its predecessor), the lens features two fluorite lens elements and four ED elements, as well as an electromagnetic diaphragm, which helps with maintaining consistent exposure during high-speed burst shooting of fast action. The addition of fluorite lens elements to the optical formula helps reduce chromatic aberration, and plays a key role in the overall weight reduction. Additionally, the new design promises "significantly improved" AF tracking performance. The lens features the latest incarnation of Nikon’s Vibration Reduction technology, with automatic tripod detection to counteract vibrations when mounted on a tripod. For pros shooting fast and erratic moving sports or subjects, using the SPORT VR mode will yield a more stable viewfinder image whether handholding the lens. The AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR will be available in mid-July for the SRP $12,299.95 / £9,649.99 / €12,999.00.

Nikon USA Press Release

Pack Lighter to Go Further: Nikon Announces Two New Professional Super Telephoto NIKKOR Lenses

The AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR and AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR Lenses Dominate the Sidelines With Superior Optical and AF Tracking Performance, While New Design Reduces Weight

MELVILLE, NY – Today, Nikon Inc. announced two new super telephoto lenses, the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR and AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR. These two NIKKOR lenses use the latest Nikon lens technologies to enhance autofocus (AF) tracking and optical performance, while benefitting photographers with a significant reduction in weight. Ideal for sports, action, wildlife and press events, these lenses offer photographers the ability to capture striking images from afar with brilliant clarity and sharpness.

“The new NIKKOR 500mm and 600mm f/4 lenses were developed to give photographers the advantage on the sidelines or in the field, with a lens that can keep up with the action and get the decisive shot,” said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “By the fourth quarter or final period, users will sincerely appreciate the weight reduction of these lenses which allow for extended shooting, even into overtime.”

Increased Performance, Reduced Weight

These new super telephoto NIKKOR lenses have been optimized for today's high-resolution image sensors and fast-shooting Nikon DSLR cameras. The new lens designs significantly improve AF tracking performance, helping photographers to capture images of dynamic wildlife or athletes in precise clarity, even when subjects are moving erratically, at random speeds or at the camera. Both lenses also utilize Nikon’s Electromagnetic Diaphragm, helping to maintain consistent exposure during high-speed burst shooting of fast action.

The addition of fluorite lens elements to the optical formula helps to reduce chromatic aberration, as well as decrease the overall weight of the lenses, saving nearly two pounds (lbs.) for the 500mm f/4E FL ED VR, and nearly three lbs. for the 600mm f/4E FL ED VR. For extended shooting days in the field, the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm and 600mm lenses also employ magnesium alloy construction for enhanced durability and further weight reduction.

Because the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR weighs in at just 6.8 lbs./3090 grams (vs. 8.5 lbs./3880g of its predecessor), super telephoto performance has never been so light. This premium NIKKOR lens is ideal for nature and sports photographers who are always traveling on assignment and are looking for a fast, constant aperture lens to capture photos and HD video from a distance. The combination of nimble agility, low-light capability and superior optical performance makes this lens an obvious choice for tack-sharp images of birds in flight, aircraft or other fast moving subjects when a tripod is not always an option. The optical formula of this lens combines two fluorite elements and three Extra Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements to further reduce chromatic aberration while providing superior sharpness and color accuracy.

For long reach with superior optical performance, professional photographers should consider the AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR, which provides the ultimate in fast-aperture and focal distance for challenging subjects. With a constant aperture of f/4, the new 600mm lens gives the photographer the ability to fill the frame and create dramatic separation between subject and background. With a weight of merely 8.3 lbs. /3810g (vs. 11.5 lbs./5060g of its predecessor), the lens features two fluorite lens elements and four ED elements to provide discerning photographers with unrivaled sharpness.

NIKKOR Lens Technologies

Adding to a long legacy of renowned optical excellence, both lenses feature the most advanced NIKKOR lens technologies, including the addition of Nikon’s exclusive Nano Crystal Coat to further reduce instances of ghosting and flare; an essential feature for capturing outdoor sports or action under the lights. Both lenses also incorporate Nikon Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, affording up to four stops of image stabilization*, with automatic tripod detection to counteract vibrations when mounted on a tripod. For pros shooting fast and erratic moving sports or subjects, using the SPORT VR mode will yield a more stable viewfinder image whether handholding the lens, using a monopod or even when panning.

For enhanced durability, both lenses are sealed and gasketed against the elements and have a fluorine coating on a front protective meniscus element to make it easier to remove dirt, moisture and smudges from the lens surface. For shooting from extreme distances, the new lenses are also compatible with select Nikon teleconverters** that provide photographers with the ability to autofocus up to f/8 with many Nikon professional DSLR bodies.

Price and Availability

The new AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR will be available in mid-July for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $10,299.95***. The AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR will be available in mid-July for the SRP $12,299.95***. Both lenses also come with a newly redesigned, lightweight, custom-fit hard case for transport. For more information on these new NIKKOR lenses as well as other Nikon products, please visit

About the NIKKOR Brand

With a comprehensive assortment of FX and DX-format lenses and focal lengths, from the ultra-wide 10-24mm to the super telephoto 800mm VR, Nikon photographers have come to rely upon the NIKKOR core technologies that contribute to their optical superiority. NIKKOR is the brand name for Nikon’s photographic lenses, which are precision crafted to the most exacting standards in Nikon’s own glassworks. In 1933, Nikon marketed its first camera lens under the NIKKOR brand name, the "Aero-NIKKOR” for aerial photography applications. Since then, NIKKOR has been used as a brand name for Nikon’s lenses that symbolizes durability, high image quality and optical excellence.

About Nikon

Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is a world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology; globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for an award-winning array of equipment that enables users to tell their stories through amazing photos and videos. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics as well as the Nikon 1 compact interchangeable lens camera system. Nikon Corporation, the parent company of Nikon Inc., recently celebrated its 80th anniversary of NIKKOR optics, and announced the production of over 90 million NIKKOR lenses in 2014, creating a new milestone in Nikon’s heritage of superior optics. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit, which links all levels of photographers to the Web's most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities. Connect with Nikon and other photographers on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo and Flickr.

*Based on CIPA Standard. This value is achieved when FX-format compatible lenses are attached to a FX-format digital SLR camera and zoom lenses are set at the maximum telephoto position.

**Compatible with TC-14E series teleconverters (AF not possible). Compatible with TC-17E and TC-20E series teleconverters. AF is only available when used with DSLR cameras that offer f/8 support. These include: D4, D4S, Df, D600, D610, D750, D800, D800E, D810, D810A, D7100, and D7200.

***SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

Nikon UK Press Release

Nikon lightens the super-telephoto load with the new AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E and the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E

London, UK, 2nd July 2015: Nikon today announces two new professional super-telephoto lenses with the lightest build in their class: the AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR, and the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR.*

These new lenses see Nikon improve the performance and significantly reduce the weight of two renowned super-telephoto workhorses. The new 500mm f/4E is 20 percent lighter than its predecessor. The new 600mm f/4E is an incredible 25 percent lighter.

Both lenses have all-new optical designs that employ lightweight fluorite glass elements, as well as a Nano Crystal Coat and 3 ED glass elements. The impressive weight reductions are made possible with the use of fluorite elements, and a construction that incorporates a magnesium alloy. New technologies feature in both lenses. These include an electromagnetic diaphragm for consistent, more precise exposures during high-speed bursts: a feature that anyone who shoots fast-moving action sports will appreciate. Each lens also features the latest incarnation of Nikon’s Vibration Reduction technology, which offers an impressive four-stop advantage and includes SPORT mode for tracking fast action. Other new features include a rotating tripod collar with a Kensington lock slot, and completely new bearings for smooth switching between compositions. Also, both lenses feature Nikon’s proprietary fluorine coating, which actively repels water, dust, and dirt from the lens surface.

Edward Allinson, Junior Product Manager for Lenses & Accessories at Nikon UK says: “These brand new NIKKOR lenses tackle the issue of weight head-on with their new and improved lightweight build. Both super-telephoto lenses have a combination of exceptional performance with a significant reduction in weight compared to their predecessors, designed for comfortable and more flexible use in the field.”

Shifting the balance

Anyone who has spent time in the field with a large super-telephoto lens knows every gram counts and speed makes a real difference. Thanks to the use of fluorite glass, the lightweight build of these new lenses comes at no cost to image quality. At 3090 g (approx.), the new 500mm lens is 790 g lighter than its predecessor, and actually weighs less than the current 200-400mm f/4 VR II. The new 600mm lens weighs approximately 3810 g, and is an impressive 1250 g lighter than its forerunner. Both lenses are less ‘front-heavy’, and the use of fluorite elements contributes to improved optical performance too.  Combined with the fast f/4 maximum aperture on both lenses, and Nikon’s impressive Vibration Reduction, these new super-telephotos deliver staggering clarity and precision. Sports and wildlife pros have less to carry, and more to shoot with.

Steady and reliable

A host of new features ensure Nikon’s new 500mm and 600mm lenses deliver exceptional shooting stability. The latest generation of Nikon’s VR technology gives both lenses an impressive four-stop advantage, effectively minimising the blur that can be caused by camera shake. VR operation is quiet and both lenses feature Nikon’s SPORTS VR mode, as well as automatic tripod detection. SPORT VR delivers a stable viewfinder image when shooting high-speed movement, and allows a continuous shooting frame rate and release time lag similar to those that can be achieved when VR is turned off. The lenses also feature an electromagnetic diaphragm. This specialised mechanism enables Superior AF tracking and stable auto-exposure control, especially when shooting at high frame rates.

Quick Focus

Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor provides ultra-fast, ultra-quiet autofocus performance with seamless manual override. Two autofocus modes are employed in addition to Manual mode: A/M prioritises autofocus even when the focus ring is in use, and M/A allows instant switching from autofocus to manual operation in AF mode. A new focus limit employed on both lenses allows photographers to limit the focus area so the lens can focus even more quickly. The switch offers two positions: FULL and ∞ - 10 m on the 600mm lens, and FULL and ∞ - 8 m on the 500mm lens. In addition, the minimum focus distance is now down to 3.6 m on the 500mm lens, and 4.4 m on the 600mm lens.

Enhanced optical performance

Each lens features completely redesigned optics with 16 elements in 12 groups.

The 600mm lens incorporates four Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements, and the 500mm lens boasts three. Nano Crystal Coat and two fluorite lens elements are employed in both lenses. Chromatic aberration is minimised, and flare and ghosting are effectively controlled. Additionally, both lenses feature a nine-blade rounded diaphragm that creates natural looking out of focus areas for clear separation between the subject and the background.

Improved ergonomics

A host of ergonomic improvements mean these new lenses offer dramatically better handling. The new fluorite glass elements don’t just help reduce overall weight: they also make the front end of each lens lighter, shifting the centre of gravity to the rear for more stable operation.

Both lenses boast tripod collar rings with completely new bearings for smoother switching between horizontal and vertical orientation. To make the lenses easier to carry, the tripod mount has been repositioned closer to the rear, a change that also enables the included one-piece hood to be easily reversed. In addition, monopod collars supplied with each lens offer increased stability when shooting with a monopod. And both lenses maintain the same slot for 40.5 mm drop-in.


From motorsports to field sports, and from big game to birds, these lenses cover great distances, perform well in nearly any light, and deliver images with outstanding sharpness and contrast. Since wildlife and action often mean harsh conditions, both the 500mm and 600mm models now boast a fluorine-coated protective glass element on the front of the lens. The coating repels water, dust, and dirt as well as making it easier to clean the glass without damaging the surface. Combine this with their tough construction and a Kensington lock on the tripod collar, these lenses have what it takes to withstand the rigours of professional use.


The AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4 E FL ED VR, and the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4 E FL ED VR are compatible with a wide range of AF-I/AF-S Teleconverters, up to and including the TC-20E series, which allows AF operation when attached to an f/8-compatible camera body. Both lenses are also compatible with the new (optional) C-PL405 circular polarising filter that features a filter wheel, which makes it easier to rotate the filter after you have inserted it into the lens.

And Nikon is launching two new trunk cases. The CT-505 is designed for the 500mm lens, while the CT-608 protects the 600mm lens. Both of these sturdy yet lightweight trunk cases boast a fold-in handle that makes them easy to stack, and an extra compartment for filters and teleconverters. 

In addition, the 600mm lens includes the new HK-40 one-piece lens hood, and the existing HK-34 one-piece Lens Hood is supplied with the 500mm lens. Other accessories supplied with both lenses include Nikon’s monopod collar, as well as a 40.5 mm drop-in NC filter, a slip-on front lens cap, and the LN-2 strap.


*Amongst full-frame (35mm-format image sensor) D-SLR compatible, f/4, single-focal-length AF 500mm and 600mm lenses available as of April 3, 2015. Statement based on Nikon research.

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