Nikon has officially announced the Nikkor Z 400mm F2.8 TC VR S – a new telephoto lens for the mirrorless Z mount. Originally teased alongside the Z9 announcement in October, the Z 400mm F2.8 TC VR S is Nikon's first pro telephoto lens designed from scratch for mirrorless, and offers several enhancements compared to its F-mount, AF-S equivalent.

The most obvious new feature is a built-in teleconverter, which increases the effective focal length of the new lens on-demand to 560mm at the expense of a decrease in maximum aperture to F4. Other enhancements include a 20% weight reduction relative to the older AF-S, and 5.5EV of vibration reduction, which increases to ~6EV when the new lens is paired with the Z9.

The Z 400mm F2.8 TC VR S debuts a brand new coating. Nikon claims that the new Meso Amorphous Coat

Other features include the use of a 'voice coil' AF motor of a kind first seen in Nikon's 1-series lenses, way back when. Nikon is branding this 'Silky Swift Voice Coil Motor' and promises it will deliver fast, silent and very smooth autofocus. This is aided by a new guide mechanism and built-in 'ABS' encoder to ensure accurate measurement of the position of the focus elements. In voice coil motors (VCMs), autofocus is driven using a powerful magnetic field. How powerful? Well, this is the first press release that we can remember seeing which warns against use of the product by anyone with a pacemaker.

Meanwhile, the Z 400mm F2.8 TC VR S debuts a brand new coating. Nikon claims that the new Meso Amorphous Coat offers the best anti-reflection performance of any such coating in Nikon's history, and should out-perform competitors when it comes to resistance to flare and ghosting. The 400mm uses a mixture of Meso Amorphous and Arneo coatings on different elements.

The lens incorporates 25 elements in 19 groups, and includes two ED glass elements, one Super ED element, two Fluorite elements and an SR (Short Wavelength refractive) element that bends blue light rays more than red and green, to help correct chromatic aberrations.

The Nikon Nikkor Z 400mm F2.8 TC VR S will be available in late February at an MSRP of $13,999.95.

Nikon Nikkor Z 400mm F2.8 TC VR S Sample images (Nikon official)


Press Release:

THE NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S: A new pinnacle of performance for sports, action and wildlife shooters

Nikon’s Latest S-Line Super-Telephoto Lens Goes the Distance with Breathtaking Image Quality and a Built-in 1.4x Teleconverter

MELVILLE, NY (January 18, 2022) –Today, Nikon announced the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S, a high performance super-telephoto prime lens for the Nikon Z system. This fast S-Line lens arrives just in time to complement the unstoppable potential of the Nikon Z 9, and opens creative possibilities for professionals photographing sports and wildlife where there is no room for compromise on extreme reach and incredible sharpness.

“Nikon’s engineers continue to bring new and exciting advancements to image creators and working professionals. Immediately following the extraordinary response to the Z 9, the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens features the latest technologies resulting from our expertise in optical engineering,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “The customers for this lens often find themselves in situations where there is no second chance to get a shot; this lens takes full advantage of new technologies made possible by the Z mount and gives professional shooters an edge to capture the decisive moment with remarkable image quality, under any kind of light.”

The NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S has unprecedented rendering capabilities, combined with a myriad of new optical technologies that enhance the image quality and performance. This lens features a constant f/2.8 aperture that provides stellar low-light capabilities as well as beautiful bokeh and subject isolation from the background. For extended reach, this is the first NIKKOR Z lens to utilize a built in 1.4x teleconverter to instantly increase the focal length to 560mm. This feature allows photographers to seamlessly adjust as an athlete moves downfield, or to capture environmental and close-up shots of nature without changing lenses or positions.

The NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S is the lightest lens of its type, engineered with superb balance, intuitive controls and weather sealing suitable for professional use. This lens is also the first to employ Nikon’s newly developed optical technologies such as a Silky Swift Voice Coil Motor1 (SSVCM), enabling high-speed, high accuracy AF with near-silent operation. This new S-Line lens also features Nikon’s new Meso Amorphous Coat, which offers the highest anti-reflection capabilities in NIKKOR history.

Primary features of the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S:

  • A built-in 1.4x teleconverter enables a seamless and rapid switch from a 400mm to a 560mm focal length, using a switch conveniently located close to the camera operator’s right hand. The increase in focal length can be made without changing posture to avoid disturbing wildlife, while minimizing the intrusion of dust often associated with conventional teleconverter assembly. For even more reach, the lens also accepts Z TELECONVERTERS TC-1.4x and TC-2x for a maximum reach of 784mm and 1120mm, respectively.
  • The lightest lens of its type with a built in teleconverter, weighing in at approximately 6.5lbs (2950 g), which is nearly two pounds lighter (approx. 20% less) than the NIKKOR AF-S 400mm f/2.8FL ED VR. The use of Fluorite elements also contribute to its reduced weight.
  • The newly developed Meso Amorphous Coat offers the best anti-reflection performance in NIKKOR lens history. Regardless of the directions of incident light, this advanced new coating offers an anti-reflection effect that’s superior to that of Nano Crystal Coat, greatly suppressing ghosting and flaring caused by incident light from various directions.
  • The new SSVCM enables fast, highly accurate, quiet AF control, and is optimized to move large elements with the utmost precision. The SSVCM works in conjunction with a new guide mechanism that enables the elements to move smoothly, further increasing accuracy.
  • The lens construction consists of 25 elements in 19 groups; two ED glass elements, a super-ED glass element, two lightweight fluorite lens elements and an SR lens element are incorporated in the optical formula, helping to compensate for aberrations effectively, including chromatic aberration.
  • Built-in Vibration Reduction (VR) provides up to 5.5 stops of compensation2, even when the built-in teleconverter is in use. Synchro VR is available when paired with the Nikon Z 9.
  • Designed with a rugged magnesium alloy body and robust weather sealing on various portions including movable parts of the lens barrel and a rubber gasket around the lens mount, ensuring superior dust- and drip-resistant performance3. Additionally, a fluorine coat with antifouling performance is applied to the surface of the front element, repelling water droplets and dust.
  • Offers multiple customizable function buttons, including a control ring and a new Fn Ring that can recall a focus position quickly with the Memory Recall function.

Pricing and Availability

The NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens will be available in late February 2022 for a suggested retail price (SRP) $13,999.95*. For more information about the latest Nikon products, including other NIKKOR Z lenses and the entire collection of Z series cameras, please visit nikonusa.com.

Firmware for the cameras must be updated to the latest available versions before use.

  1. A new AF drive system actuator that combines a voice coil motor (VCM) and a guide mechanism developed by Nikon. The voice coil motor is a motor in which a coil reciprocates in a strong magnetic field created by a strong magnet.

    Warning: Do not use this product if you have a pacemaker or use other medical devices. The magnets in this product could cause medical devices to malfunction.
  1. Based on CIPA Standard. This value is achieved when attached to a camera with full-frame (Nikon FX-format) sensor, with the camera’s VR function set to “NORMAL”.
  2. Thorough dust- and drip-resistance is not guaranteed in all situations or under all conditions.

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