Take in the distance with this compact and agile super-telephoto prime lens.
The NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S provides the reach that you need, and yet is nimble enough for handheld shooting. Acquire clear and crisp images with its powerful Vibration Reduction (VR) and superior S-Line optical performance as you photograph the action in full speed from afar.
Photograph distant wildlife and subjects while staying light on the move. Weighing at approximately 1,160g1, the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S is the lightest2 lens in its class. With its size at 234.5mm (L) x 104mm (D), shooting handheld is even easier.
With a super-telephoto focal length of 400mm, you can capture every delicate detail of a dolphin breaking the surface, or a squirrel devouring an acorn. Take it even further by attaching either the Z TELECONVERTER TC-1.4x or Z TELECONVERTER TC-2.0x3 to extend the focal length to 560mm or 800mm respectively, so you can get close to your subject without disturbance.
Stay sharp with the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S. Its in-lens Vibration Reduction (VR) compensates up to 5.5-stops4, the most effective VR in NIKKOR history, even at super-telephoto distance. Synchro VR, when paired with the Z 9 in-camera VR, effectively compensates up to 6.0-stops. Be it a bird’s colourful plume, or the facial expression of a fox, dive into the exquisite details of your subject with clarity.
Keep your subjects always in sight with the SPORT mode to effortlessly track fast and erratic movements. The SPORT mode provides a stable image in viewfinder during panning and continuous burst high-speed when you are shooting handheld.
Be impressed by the excellent optical performance of S-Line. Produce high-resolution images from edge to edge with the Super ED and ED glass elements that suppress axial chromatic aberration, and with the SR lens element to effectively control short wavelength light with greater precision. See in clarity with a layer of Nano Crystal Coat applied to the front lens element that greatly reduces flare and ghost effect for superb anti-reflective performance.
Let your subject take centre-stage against a dreamy backdrop. Easily create large and round bokeh with the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S’s constant maximum aperture of f/4.5, allowing your subject to stand out.
Hold your lens with greater comfort. Its anti-slip rubber, knurling and small indents on the lens body provide a stable grip when you are shooting handheld. Pan, track, and shoot in comfort with the lens’s centre of gravity positioned close to your body.
Go stealth when photographing wildlife or video recording at a wedding. Unique to Z mount lenses, a stepping motor (STM) that operates quietly and focuses fast is utilised, so you can keep photographing or recording while in a sound-sensitive environment.
Don’t let the weather hold you back in capturing your favourite subject. The lens is dust- and- drip resistant5, with sealing on various parts of the lens barrel and a rubber gasket on the lens mount, effectively repelling dust and liquid. Remove dirt easily with the fluorine coating applied on the frontmost surface of the lens.
The MEMORY SET button conveniently loads your favourite focus position with just one press of a button. Save your frequently used focus position and recall it whenever opportunity calls.
1Excluding tripod collar
2Among f/4.5 and slower lenses, including those with a focal length of 400 mm, for interchangeable-lens cameras equipped with a full-frame (35mm  equivalent) image sensor available as of 29 June, 2022. Statement based on Nikon research.
3AF performance may deteriorate depending on the subject, brightness and focus position regardless of the camera body, causing inaccurate focus, slow focusing speed or flashing of the focus point.
4Measured in accordance with CIPA standards with VR function set to NORMAL and zoom at the maximum telephoto position.
5Perfect dustproof and waterproof performance is not guaranteed under all conditions.
1. Key Features
With the focal length of 400 mm, the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S lets you shoot distant subjects more dynamically with high reliability and control. By attaching a teleconverter*1 (Z TELECONVERTER TC-1.4x or Z TELECONVERTER TC-2.0x), you can also extend your reach to 560 mm and 800 mm respectively while maintaining high optical performance. Furthermore, a different super-telephoto shooting range can be easily enjoyed by setting the image area to [DX (24x16)] format (600-mm equivalent), or cropping out images equivalent to that of approx. 2.3x focal length*2 (920-mm equivalent) using some of the Z 9’s video recording options. You can now reliably capture wild birds and aircraft with outstanding image quality, for a highly satisfying shooting experience.
*1 AF performance may deteriorate depending on the subject, brightness and focus position regardless of the camera body, causing inaccurate focus, slow focusing speed or flashing of the focus point. *2 When the [Frame size/frame rate] is set at [3840×2160; 120p], [3840×2160; 100p], [1920×1080; 120p] or [1920×1080; 100p] on the Z 9, and [DX] is selected for [Choose image area].
The NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S achieves the lightest body in its class* at 1,160 g (excluding tripod collar), which is approximately 50% lighter than the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S and a compact body with a total length of approx. 234.5 mm. This substantial reduction in size and weight was attained by effective arrangement of lens elements. Also, its center of gravity is positioned at the tripod collar, which is closer to the camera body, making you less aware of the weight of the lens and providing more stable operation during handheld shooting. Thanks to this, not only can you take it into the mountains to capture wild birds and animals with less burden, but also it enables you to shoot handheld and stop the camera at the desired position during panning — for a much smoother shooting experience with less fatigue.
*Among f/4.5 and slower lenses, including those with a focal length of 400 mm, for interchangeable-lens cameras equipped with a full-frame (35mm  equivalent) image sensor available as of June 29, 2022.
The NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S delivers outstandingly high optical performance that fully deserves the S-Line designation for lenses that adhere to strict design principles and stringent quality control standards. The combination of Super ED glass, ED glass and SR lens elements effectively suppresses axial chromatic aberration, realizing sharp and clear images across the entire frame. Also, the adoption of Nano Crystal Coat effectively reduces ghost and flare effects that usually occur when light enters the lens diagonally. As a result, superior image quality that is unique to a prime lens is attained, enabling accurate depiction of wild birds, wildlife, aircraft and sports at a distance, while ensuring an extremely compact and lightweight body. This high-level optical performance is maintained even when a teleconverter is used.
The optical VR function provides a superior compensation effect equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed 5.5 stops* faster, the highest value in the NIKKOR lens lineup. With Sport VR mode, you can comfortably shoot rapidly and erratically moving subjects thanks to the stable viewfinder image, letting you capture decisive moments reliably. Moreover, together with the Z 9, an effect of 6.0 stops is attained with Synchro VR activation, which enhances the blur-compensation effect even further. Reliable picture-taking with sharp images is ensured during super-telephoto shooting, which are usually likely to produce blurred images caused by camera shake.
*Based on CIPA Standard; in NORMAL mode; this value is achieved when attached to a mirrorless camera equipped with 35mm film size image sensor.
Thanks to the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S’s maximum aperture of f/4.5, it maximizes the uniqueness of a super-telephoto lens by creating large bokeh, realizing 3D rendering that emphasizes the subject naturally. As well as this, its fast aperture is highly effective when using a teleconverter, enabling the use of faster shutter speeds without increasing ISO sensitivities.
With its fast and precise AF, the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S is ideal for shooting moving subjects for both stills and video even when targets continuously move. Also, the employment of an STM ensures excellent quietness with reduced operational sounds during focusing and movie recording. This feature is perfect for situations where silence is essential, such as when shooting wild birds and other wildlife.
The anti-slip rubber coating is applied to a larger area of the lens, ensuring more comfortable lens holding, while its tactile details such as knurling and small indents also support operation without visual confirmation. In addition, the lens is equipped with four lens Fn2 buttons to which a wide variety of functions can be assigned to suit your own preferences. The NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S also employs the Memory Recall function* that quickly recalls frequently used focus positions that have been saved in advance, by just pressing an assigned button. High operability and customizability support reliable use of this lens by a broad spectrum of photographers.
*The cameras compatible with this function are the Z 9, Z 7II, Z 6II and Z 30 only. When using the function, the camera’s firmware update to the latest version is required.
The lens has been designed to provide high dust- and drip-resistant performance* with a sealing on various portions including movable parts of the lens barrel, as well as the adoption of a rubber gasket on the lens mount, that prevent any dust or water droplets from entering the lens. Fluorine coat that repels dust or dirt for easy removal even if it adheres to the lens surface is also applied to the front lens element. All of this ensures high reliability when out on a shoot even under harsh environmental conditions. *Thorough dust- and drip-resistance is not guaranteed in all situations or under all conditions.
An impactful, bold form with a subtle design has been realized while maintaining superb operability. A metal plate featuring an engraved NIKKOR emblem and lens designation on the base hairline provides a sophisticated look. The “S” metal emblem emphasizes the S-Line brands, while dark silver line maintains luxury and simple look.
Superior operability has been pursued not only for still shooting but also for video recording. While achieving outstandingly high-resolution images equivalent to those of stills, quiet AF operation is realized with the employment of a stepping motor in the AF drive system. In addition, a focus-breathing compensation function which effectively reduces shifting of the angle of view that is likely to occur when adjusting focus is available. This allows you to freely change focus position after setting a composition. Also, smooth and stable aperture control delivers natural exposure changes when recording.
2. MTF Chart and Lens Construction
Nikon Z mount
19 elements in 13 groups (including 1 ED element, 2 super-ED elements, 1 SR element, elements with a Nano Crystal coat, and a fluorine-coated front lens element)
Angle of view
FX format: 6° 10‘ DX format: 4°
Internal focusing system
Minimum focus distance
2.5 m ( 8.21 ft)
Maximum reproduction ratio
VR (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization
Lens shift using voice coil motors (VCMs)
No. of diaphragm blades
9 ( rounded diaphragm opening )
f/4.5 to 32
Nano Crystal Coat, Fluorine coat
95 mm (P = 1.0 mm)
Dimensions (maximum diameter × distance to end of lens from camera lens mount flange)
Approx. 104 mm x 234.5 mm (4.1 in. x 9.3 in.)
Weight (with tripod collar)
Approx. 1245 g (2 lb 12 oz)
Weight (without tripod collar)
Approx. 1160 g (2 lb 9 oz)
Focus limit switch
Two positions: FULL (∞ to 2.5 m) and ∞ to 6 m
Nikon reserves the right to change the appearance, specifications, and performance of this product at any time and without prior notice.
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