Nikon Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S Review

October 17, 2022 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S is a superb super-telephoto prime lens for Nikon full-frame mirrorless cameras, offering a compelling mix of low weight and compactness, a rich feature-set and impeccable image quality.

400mm is a popular prime focal length for wildlife and sports photographers, so it's great to see Nikon delivering the goods on what will be a key optic in the still young Z-mount lens range.

This lens offers an excellent degree of sharpness throughout virtually the entire aperture range, even wide-open, plus super-fast autofocusing, in-built vibration reduction and the possibility to shoot at even longer focal lengths by attaching one of Nikon’s 1.4x or 2x teleconverters.

It's also built to withstand all the knocks and inclement weather conditions that it will inevitably be exposed to, along with having all the bells and whistles in terms of its control layout, with the one notable exception of an OLED display as used by several other Nikkor Z lenses.

Our other dislikes are fairly minor ones. The 2.4m minimum focusing distance is somewhat limiting, it would have been great to see an Arca-swiss compatible tripod foot included, and the supplied lens pouch is rather flimsy when you consider what it's supposed to be protecting.

This lens' main rivals are the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR Sand the Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S. The former zoom lens is obviously more versatile but is much slower at 400mm, whilst the latter costs well over 4x as much as the F4.5 version, which puts it well out of reach of all but the lucky few.

Overall, if you typically shoot a lot of telephoto photos at this specific focal length, the amazing new Nikon Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S is all the mirrorless lens that you'll ever need...

5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4.5