Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S Review

The Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens is a fantastic addition to the array of Z-series lenses that Nikon offers. This lens was built exclusively for professional photographers who work in the fields of sports and wildlife photography and require excellent performance and picture quality.

This lens is designed to provide exceptional results in difficult shooting conditions, and it does so by providing a perfect mix of telephoto reach, fast aperture, and sophisticated features. The Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens is designed to suit the needs of professional photographers regardless of whether they are photographing activities on a sports field or animals in their natural habitat.

$11,196.95 10 used from $6,000.00 2 new from $11,196.95
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Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S

Key Specs

  • Focal length: 400mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum aperture: f/22
  • Lens construction: 28 elements in 22 groups
  • Special elements: Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) and Fluorite elements
  • Autofocus system: Multi-focusing system
  • Image stabilization: Vibration Reduction (VR) with up to 5 stops of compensation
  • Teleconverter compatibility: Compatible with Nikon TC-14E III and TC-17E II teleconverters
  • Minimum focus distance: 2.6m (8.5ft)
  • Filter size: 40.5mm
  • Dimensions: Approximately 163mm (6.4in) diameter x 387.5mm (15.3in) length
  • Weight: Approximately 3250g (7.2lbs)
  • Build quality: Rugged magnesium alloy construction with dust and moisture resistance.
  • Mount compatibility: Nikon Z-mount
  • Price and availability: Premium price, available through authorized Nikon retailers and online stores. Availability may vary.


A new benchmark for optical superiority and overall performance has been established with the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens. Its large f/2.8 aperture enables improved light collecting, which in turn enables high shutter rates and the freezing of motion that occurs at a rapid pace.

The lens makes use of a cutting-edge optical design that includes a number of specialty components, such as Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) elements and Fluorite elements, in order to reduce the appearance of chromatic aberrations while simultaneously increasing both sharpness and contrast. Even when working with difficult lighting situations, this delivers photographs that are of unprecedented clarity and level of detail.

Autofocus System

The focusing technology of the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens is susceptible and accurate, which enables photographers to easily follow and shoot subjects that are in motion. The lens incorporates a multi-focusing technology with numerous focus groups, which allows for rapid and accurate focusing over the entire focal range of the lens.

The compatibility of the lens with Nikon’s sophisticated autofocus technologies, such as Eye-Detection AF and Subject Tracking AF, contributes to a further improvement in the focusing performance of the camera. Because of these capabilities, photographers are able to keep their objects in sharp focus even while working in challenging lighting conditions.

Vibration Reduction

When shooting handheld or in low-light circumstances, the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens is equipped with an efficient Vibration Reduction (VR) technology that helps to decrease the influence that camera shake has on the final image. As a result of the VR system’s ability to detect and adjust for undesired vibrations, photographers are now able to take clear shots even using slower shutter speeds.

The VR performance of this lens is particularly outstanding, with up to five stops of image stabilization. This increases the number of scenarios in which handheld photography is possible and minimizes the number of systems in which a tripod is required.

Build Quality

The Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens has an exceptional build quality, which makes it ideally suited for usage in demanding professional settings. The lens has a sturdy structure made out of magnesium alloy, which provides durability in addition to resistance against dust and moisture.

Additionally, it features a fluorine coating on the front element, which acts as a barrier against water, grime, and dust, making it exceptionally simple to clean and maintain. The sturdy construction of the lens instills trust in its ability to resist the rigors of professional use and guarantees that it will not let the user down.

Handling and Ergonomics

The Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens was created with the convenience and ease of use for photographers as primary design goals. Even during lengthy sessions of photography, the ergonomic and well-balanced design of this camera makes it easy to hold onto and use for extended periods of time.

Incorporating programmable function buttons and a control ring inside the lens, which may each be assigned to a different setting or function, enables the user to access commonly used features in a way that is both speedy and convenient. In addition, the zoom and focus ring on the lens features a precise and smooth action, which enables changes to be made without interrupting the shooting process.

Image Stabilization

When shooting handheld or in low-light circumstances, the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens contains a very efficient optical image stabilization technology that helps to eliminate camera shakes and create crisper photos. This feature is beneficial in situations when there is little available light.

This lens’s VR technology offers up to 5 stops of correction, which enables photographers to gain better stability and shoot at slower shutter speeds without sacrificing the quality of their images. When photographing distant scenes or making use of the lens’s compatibility with teleconverters, the performance of the image stabilization feature is highly advantageous.

Shooting Experience

The photography experience afforded by the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens cannot be described as anything other than outstanding. Photographers are able to generate aesthetically attractive photos with a shallow depth of focus by using a lens that has a fast maximum aperture of f/2.8. This aperture provides for a gorgeous background blur as well as outstanding subject isolation.

The autofocus technology of the lens functions wonderfully, providing focusing that is both quick and accurate. Additionally, the smooth and precise movement of the zoom and focus rings enables modifications to be made in a seamless manner while providing fine control over the composition. The experience of shooting with this lens is delightful overall, which makes it a dependable and adaptable instrument for professional photographers.

Image Quality

Simply said, the image quality that is created by the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens is nothing short of spectacular. Throughout the entirety of the lens’s focal range, remarkable sharpness, clarity, and contrast are ensured by the optical design of the lens as well as its advanced coatings. Because of the lens’s ability to successfully mitigate a variety of visual defects, including chromatic aberration, distortion, and vignetting, the produced photos are incredibly faithful to the subject matter.

Even when shooting with the aperture wide open at f/2.8, the lens keeps a remarkable level of clarity and detail throughout the frame. This lens is an excellent option for shooting breathtaking pictures of sports and animals since it has a relatively quick aperture and excellent image quality overall.

Teleconverter Compatibility

Because it is compatible with Nikon’s teleconverters, the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens may have its reach and adaptability increased to an even greater extent. Photographers have the ability to successfully lengthen the focal length of their lens by connecting teleconverters to it. This allows them to do so while still preserving good image quality and focusing performance.

The TC-14E III and TC-17E II teleconverters, which give 1.4x and 1.7x magnification, respectively, are compatible with the lens and can be used to increase the magnification factor. When coupled with the teleconverter, the lens transforms into a potent instrument for shooting distant scenes, hence broadening its use across a broader range of photographic subgenres.

Comparison with Competitors

In contrast to other lenses in its class, the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens distinguishes out thanks to its remarkable optical performance, cutting-edge features, and high-quality construction in general. The lens has a large aperture of f/2.8, which is helpful for catching subjects that are moving quickly and producing lovely bokeh. Because of its incredible responsiveness and accuracy, its autofocus technology offers consistent tracking and focus acquisition. The image stabilization mechanism of the lens significantly lessens the effects of camera shake, making it possible to take handheld photographs with greater clarity.

In addition, the versatility of the lens is increased by its compatibility with teleconverters, which enables photographers to expand the focal length of their photographs without sacrificing picture quality. When taken as a whole, the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens not only establishes a high standard for its category but also gives professional photographers a choice that is among the best available for shooting breathtaking shots of sports and wildlife.


Focal Length400mm
Maximum Aperturef/2.8
Minimum ApertureWithout built-in teleconverter: f/22<br>With built-in teleconverter: f/32
Maximum Angle of View (DX-format)Without built-in teleconverter: 4°<br>With built-in teleconverter: 2°50′
Maximum Angle of View (FX-format)Without built-in teleconverter: 6°10′<br>With built-in teleconverter: 4°30′
Maximum Reproduction RatioWithout built-in teleconverter: x0.17<br>With built-in teleconverter: x0.23
Lens Elements25
Lens Groups19
VR Image StabilizationLens shift using voice coil motors (VCMs)
Diaphragm Blades9
ED Glass Elements2
Fluorite Elements2
SR Glass Elements1
Super ED Glass Elements1
Fluorine CoatYes
Meso Amorphous CoatYes
AF ActuatorSilky Swift VCM
Internal FocusingYes
Minimum Focus DistanceWithout built-in teleconverter: 2.5m from the image sensor<br>With built-in teleconverter: 2.5m from the image sensor
Focus ModeAutofocus<br>Auto/Manual
Focus Limit SwitchTwo positions: FULL (∞ – 2.5 m) and ∞ – 6 m
Filter Size46mm
Accepts Filter TypeRear slip-in filter holder
Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length)6.2 in. (156 mm) x 15 in. (380 mm) Distance to end of lens from camera lens mount flange
Approx. Weight104 oz. (2950 g)
Lens TypePrime

Pros and Cons

There are a number of significant benefits offered by the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens. Impressive subject isolation and performance in low light are both made possible by this lens’s fast f/2.8 aperture. Both the sophisticated autofocus system and the image stabilization system of the lens work together to guarantee that the lens can focus quickly and accurately, and the image stabilization system is able to provide exceptional compensation for camera shake.

The lens’s ability to work with teleconverters broadens its application scope and increases its versatility. In addition, the lens has excellent build quality, and its sturdy design makes it capable of withstanding difficult shooting situations.

Price and Availability

Because it is a high-end professional lens, the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens charges a higher price than other lenses in the same lineup. If you are a professional photographer who requires top-tier performance, this product is a wise investment because of its sophisticated features, superb optics, and robust build quality.

When it comes to availability, the lens may be acquired from authorized Nikon merchants as well as through online retailers that carry Nikon products. However, because of its popularity and the limited amount that is produced, there may be sporadic instances in which supply is an issue. If you want the most up-to-date information on pricing and availability, it is best to check with merchants in your immediate area or with reliable online vendors.

$11,196.95 10 used from $6,000.00 2 new from $11,196.95
in stock
Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S


To summarize, the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens is an excellent option for professional photographers working in the fields of wildlife and sports photography who want the most significant possible degree of both performance and picture quality. Because of its excellent optical performance, fast aperture, sophisticated autofocus mechanism, and high-quality construction, it is among the best lenses in its category.

The lens’s compatibility with teleconverters, picture stabilization, and user-customizable settings all contribute to an enhanced shooting experience and increase the lens’s already impressive flexibility. The Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens comes with a hefty price tag, is quite vast and heavy, but it is well worth the money for dedicated photographers since it produces amazing photos that more than justify the purchase. Photographers can confidently take spectacular and striking photographs with this lens in their hands, whether their goal is to freeze the action on the sports field or to capture the beauty of wildlife in their natural environment.

Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S FAQs

Q. What is the maximum aperture of the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens?
A. The maximum aperture of the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens is f/2.8 without the built-in teleconverter and f/4 with the built-in teleconverter.
Q. What is the focal length of the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens?
A. The focal length of the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens is 400mm without the built-in teleconverter and 560mm with the built-in teleconverter.
Q. Does the lens have image stabilization (VR)?
A. Yes, the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens features Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization. It utilizes lens shift technology with voice coil motors (VCMs) to provide image stabilization and reduce camera shake.
Q. How many lens elements and groups are there in the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens?
A. The Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens consists of 25 lens elements organized into 19 lens groups. This complex arrangement helps ensure high-quality optical performance.
Q. What is the minimum focus distance of the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens?
A. The minimum focus distance of the Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens is 2.5 meters from the image sensor, both with and without the built-in teleconverter.


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