Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S Review

The Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens is a flexible telephoto zoom lens that was created expressly for use with mirrorless cameras that utilize Nikon’s Z-mount. This lens is a good option for photographers who want to capture distant things with accuracy and clarity due to its extensive zoom range and its innovative features.

The Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens provides excellent performance and image quality regardless of the subject matter you’re shooting, whether it is wildlife, sports, or anything else that’s in the distance.

$2,496.95 $2,699.95 9 used from $2,295.99 12 new from $2,496.95
in stock
NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S

Key Specs

  • Lens type: Telephoto zoom lens
  • Focal length range: 100-400mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/4.5-5.6
  • Lens mount: Nikon Z mount
  • VR (Vibration Reduction) technology included
  • Autofocus system: Silent stepping motor (STM)
  • Number of lens elements: 24
  • Number of groups: 18
  • Minimum focus distance: 1.0m (3.28ft)
  • Filter size: 77mm
  • Weather sealing: Yes
  • Weight: Approximately X grams (specific weight may vary)
  • Dimensions: Xmm (diameter) x Xmm (length) (specific dimensions may vary)
  • Compatible with Nikon Z series mirrorless cameras


Outstanding performance that satisfies the requirements of professional photographers is provided by the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens. Its optics are of such high quality that they provide sharpness and clarity across the whole range of the zoom, which enables you to catch small details even while using the lens at its most telephoto setting.

Because the lens’ focusing technology is both quick and precise, it can quickly lock onto subjects, making it an excellent choice for photographing action that is occurring at a rapid speed. In addition, the focusing motor in the lens is whisper-quiet, making it possible for you to take photos stealthily, even in settings when silence is very essential.

Autofocus System

The Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens features an autofocus technology that is both highly sophisticated and trustworthy. It achieves speedy and precise autofocus performance by utilizing numerous focus groups in conjunction with a stepping motor. The lens has Nikon’s AF-S (Silent Wave Motor) technology, which enables the autofocus operation to be carried out in a manner that is both swift and nearly soundless.

This is especially helpful when photographing animals or sports, both of which include situations in which unexpected movements might scare the subject. The autofocus technology follows moving targets precisely, enabling the camera to keep its focus even under demanding shooting situations. Whether you’re photographing birds in flight or athletes in action, the autofocus feature of this lens enables you to capture photographs that are crisp and well-focused no matter what subject you’re photographing.

Vibration Reduction

The well-known Vibration Reduction (VR) technology developed by Nikon is included in the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens. This technology decreases the effects of camera shake and makes it possible to shoot handheld at slower shutter speeds. When photographing in low-light circumstances or when using the lens at longer focal lengths, this is a beneficial feature to have.

The VR technology mitigates the effects of camera wobble by canceling out any errant movements, which ultimately leads to visuals that are crisper. You won’t need a tripod if your camera has up to 4.5 stops of image stabilization since you’ll be able to shoot handheld photos with complete assurance. It doesn’t matter if you’re photographing animals in low light or capturing distant things in difficult conditions; the VR technology built into this lens will provide increased stability and image quality no matter what you’re doing.

Build Quality

The Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens is designed to resist the rigorous use that is required in the photography industry. It has a sturdy and long-lasting design, and its exposed surfaces have been weather-sealed to guard against dust and moisture. The lens barrel is constructed out of high-quality materials, giving it a sturdy appearance and making it easy to grip and use. The zoom and focus rings offer an action that is both smooth and accurate, which enables changes to be made quickly and efficiently while shooting.

Additionally, the front element of the lens is coated with fluorine, which acts as a repellent for water, dust, and dirt. This makes it much simpler to clean and maintain the lens during its lifetime. The high build quality of this lens assures that it will continue to function correctly and for an extended period of time, no matter the situation in which it is used, be it a controlled studio or the unpredictable elements of the great outdoors.

Handling and Ergonomics

The ease of use and comfort of the photographer were primary considerations in the development of the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens. Because of its well-balanced and ergonomic design, it is easy to hold and use for extended periods of time without experiencing any discomfort. You are able to make the settings conform to your particular method of photographing thanks to the lens’s configurable control buttons, each of which may be programmed to perform a specific job.

The zoom and focus ring each feature a surface that is textured, which allows for a secure grip and accurate control over the settings. The lens also contains a dedicated focus limiter switch, which will enable you to limit the autofocus range for faster-focusing performance. This button is located on the barrel of the lens. It doesn’t matter if you’re shooting handheld or with a monopod; the lens’s ergonomic design makes handling it easy and natural in any situation.

Image Stabilization

An innovative image stabilization technology is included in the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens. This system counteracts the effects of camera shake to produce handheld photographs that are noticeably clearer. The virtual reality system can detect and compensate for motions that were not planned, resulting in increased stability and a decreased likelihood of blurring due to camera wobble.

This is especially helpful when photographing at longer lens lengths or in low-light conditions, both of which need shorter shutter speeds. You will be able to take photographs that are clear even in challenging lighting thanks to the image stabilization feature that is built into this lens. It delivers up to 4.5 stops of adjustment. The image stabilization technology built into this lens improves your ability to capture precise and clear photographs regardless of the subject matter you’re capturing, be it animals, sports, or something else that moves quickly.

Shooting Experience

A wonderful shooting experience is provided by the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens, which enables you to take outstanding photographs with relative ease. The zoom range of the lens offers a great deal of freedom, making it possible for you to properly construct your photographs and frame your objects exactly as desired. Even while working in difficult situations, the autofocus system maintains its high level of performance, providing focus acquisition that is both quick and precise.

The image stabilization mechanism of the lens helps to reduce the amount of camera shaking that occurs, which enables you to shoot handheld without sacrificing the image quality. This lens has a high build quality, which gives it a sturdy feel in the hand, and its ergonomic design makes it easy to use. It also offers a smooth experience when shooting. The Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens will provide you with a wonderful shooting experience regardless of whether you are capturing animals, sporting events, or any other subject that is located at a distance.

Image Quality

The image quality produced by the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens is exceptional over the entirety of its zoom range. Its optical design features a variety of high-quality glass components, such as Extra-low Dispersion (ED) and Aspherical elements, which work together to efficiently eliminate a variety of optical aberrations and guarantee superb sharpness, contrast, and color accuracy. Even when shooting in difficult lighting circumstances, images that are crisp and have a high contrast may be achieved thanks to the Nano Crystal and ARNEO coatings on the lens. These coatings reduce lens flare and ghosting.

Images that have remarkable detail, brilliant colors, and little distortion are produced as a consequence of the optical architecture of the lens, which is combined with sophisticated coatings. The Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens provides consistently exceptional image quality, regardless of whether you are photographing wildlife in its native environment or chronicling the excitement of sports.

Teleconverter Compatibility

It is possible to enhance the range and functionality of the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens by using one of Nikon’s teleconverters, which are compatible with the lens. You are able to effectively expand the focal length of the lens while still retaining the functioning of the autofocus system if you attach a teleconverter that is compatible with the lens. Examples of such teleconverters are the Nikon Z TC-1.4x or TC-2.0x. Because teleconverters enable you to approach your subjects from an even greater distance, this lens is a good option for photographing animals as well as sporting events.

However, it is essential to be aware that when teleconverters are employed, the image quality may suffer a tiny drop, and the maximum aperture may become more restricted. This is something that varies from teleconverter to teleconverter. In spite of this, the fact that this lens is compatible with teleconverters offers photographers increased versatility and the capacity to adapt to a variety of shooting scenarios.

Comparison with Competitors

When compared to other telephoto zoom lenses on the market, the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens stands out as a formidable challenger in the field. Because the lens has a variable zoom range that spans a wide range of focal lengths, it may be used for a variety of different types of photography.

Its sophisticated autofocus system assures quick and accurate focusing performance, and its image stabilization technology enables handheld photography at slower shutter speeds, which is made possible by the technology. Because of the lens’ high build quality, which includes weather sealing and sturdy construction, it may be used in a variety of settings without losing its effectiveness.


Focal Length Range100 – 400mm
Zoom Ratio4x
Maximum Aperturef/4.5-5.6
Minimum Aperturef/32-40
Maximum Angle of View (DX-format)16° – 4°
Maximum Angle of View (FX-format)24°20′ – 6°10′
Maximum Reproduction Ratio0.38x
Lens Elements25
Lens Groups20
VR (Vibration Reduction) Image StabilizationYes
Lens shift using voice coil motors (VCMs)Yes
Diaphragm Blades9 (rounded diaphragm opening)
Nano Crystal CoatYes
ED Glass Elements6
Super ED Glass Elements2
Fluorine CoatYes
AF ActuatorSTM (stepping motor)
Internal FocusingYes
Minimum Focus Distance
– 100mm zoom position: 2.46 ft (0.75m)
– 135mm zoom position: 2.56 ft (0.78m)
– 200mm zoom position: 2.63 ft (0.8m)
– 300mm zoom position: 2.86 ft (0.87m)
– 400mm zoom position: 3.22 ft (0.98m)
Focus ModeAuto/Manual
Filter Size77mm (P = 0.75 mm)
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-in
Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length)3.9 in. (98 mm) x 8.8 in. (222 mm) Distance to end of lens from camera lens mount flange Based on CIPA guidelines
Approx. Weight
– 50.6 oz. (1435 g) Based on CIPA guidelines
– 50.6 ounces with tripod collar and 47.8 ounces without tripod collar
– 1435 grams with tripod collar and 1355 grams without tripod collar
Lens TypeZoom

Pros and Cons


  • Versatile zoom range appropriate for numerous photographic genres.
  • Superior autofocus technology that enables quick and accurate focusing.
  • Handheld photography benefits from effective picture stabilization.


  • Performance in low light may be hindered when using a variable maximum aperture.
  • It’s possible that the lens is on the larger and heavier side in comparison to other options available.
  • It’s possible that the price of the lens is higher than other alternatives for telephoto zoom.

Price and Availability

There is a premium pricing point accessible for the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens, which is reflective of its advanced features, excellent build quality, and exceptional performance. The price is justified by the lens’s flexibility, excellent picture quality, and compatibility with mirrorless cameras that use Nikon’s Z-mount. This is the same argument that can be made for any high-end telephoto zoom lens.

The lens provides performance and dependability that is on par with that of a professional, making the purchase of it well worthwhile for photographers who have a need for the capabilities it provides, even if it may be a significant expenditure for certain photographers.

$2,496.95 $2,699.95 9 used from $2,295.99 12 new from $2,496.95
in stock
NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S


Outstanding in both performance and image quality, the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens is a telephoto zoom lens that covers a range from 100 to 400 millimeters. Because of its extensive zoom range, sophisticated focusing system, and innovative image stabilization technology, this camera is an invaluable asset for photographing distant scenes with accuracy and clarity. The sturdy construction of the lens, together with its ergonomic form, makes it easier to handle and ensures that it will endure for a very long time.

The Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens stands out among other telephoto zoom lenses on the market despite the fact that it may face competition from different telephoto zoom lenses in the market. Its exceptional performance, reliable autofocus, and compatibility with teleconverters make it stand out. The Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens is an excellent option to consider for photographers who use mirrorless cameras with the Nikon Z mount and are looking for a telephoto zoom lens of superior optical quality.

Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S FAQs

Q. What is the maximum focal length of the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens?
A. The maximum focal length of this lens is 400mm, allowing for powerful telephoto capabilities.
Q. Does the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens have image stabilization?
A. Yes, this lens features Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, which helps to reduce camera shake and produce sharper images, especially at longer focal lengths.
Q. What type of autofocus does the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens have?
A. The lens is equipped with a Silent Stepping Motor (STM) autofocus system, ensuring smooth and quiet focusing, ideal for both photo and video shooting.
Q. Is the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens weather-sealed?
A. Yes, this lens is weather-sealed, providing protection against dust and moisture. It is designed to withstand challenging shooting conditions, making it suitable for outdoor and wildlife photography.
Q. What filter size is compatible with the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens?
A. The lens has a filter thread size of 77mm, allowing you to attach various filters such as UV, polarizer, or neutral density filters to enhance your photography.


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