The Nikon Z 800mm f/6. 3’s Unusual Price in Context

The consensus appears to be that Nikon’s newly-announced Z 800mm f/6. 3 will be selling for a good price at $6500. But that assessment only scratches the area. In fact , for the focal size and aperture it offers, this is actually the least expensive exotic supertelephoto in Nikon’s recent history, definitely.

The metric I’m using to make that will claim is entrance pupil . The particular diameter of a lens’s access pupil is its key length divided by the aperture. For example , a 300mm f/2. 8 lens has an entrance pupil of 300/2. 6 = 107mm. As another illustration, this metric shows that a 400mm f/2. 8 is incredibly equivalent to an 800mm f/5. 6 in total capabilities. This is borne out by the fact that a 2x teleconverter can be attached to the 400mm f/2. 8 and turn it into an 800mm f/5. six.

Most of the time, exactly what you’re really buying (and carrying around) with an costly telephoto lens is a larger entrance pupil. You’re not only buying reach – hence why the Canon 800mm f/11 is so cheap, one example is. You’re buying reach in addition maximum aperture.

Lenses from almost every manufacturer can be graphed by their entrance pupil versus their price to give you a remarkably tight tendency line. Here’s a chart of all Nikon telephoto primary lenses announced since 2k, aside from specialty lenses (like macro lenses). The Y-axis is the lens’s entrance scholar, and the X-axis is the lens’s price at announcement, modified for inflation:

All Nikon Telephoto Prime Lenses Compared Price Entrance Pupil Aperture Focal Length

You can see that there’s a very tight spread throughout these lenses, which makes it easy to predict how expensive the Nikon telephoto lens is going to be, plus or minus about $1000. There are only two outliers in the entire chart, and both are 800mm lenses.

On one hand, the Nikon F-mount 800mm f/5. 6E FL VR was much more expensive compared to it “should” have been according to this trend line, releasing at $17, 900 inside 2013, which is about $21, 800 in today’s dollars. That’s about $7000 greater than Nikon’s history would have expected.

The other outlier is in a more favorable direction: today’s Nikon Z 800mm f/6. 3. Although it is a third of a stop reduced than the F-mount version, it still gathers a lot of light for the focal length, with a similar entrance pupil to a 500mm f/4 design. Due to that, a reasonable price estimate would have been about 10 dollars, 000, similar to the Nikon F-mount 500mm f/4E FL VR. A higher estimate wouldn’t are actually surprising either, considering the unrealistic MSRP of Nikon’s additional 800mm prime.

Yet Nikon went with $6500 instead. Maybe this really is because  Nikon is intentionally lowering the price of the zoom lens and taking less revenue per unit in an effort to change high-end sports photographers towards the Z system. Combined with the Nikon Z9 – which also launched at a lower price than expected – Nikon has created an uniquely-priced, highly competing unit for sports pictures. There’s simply no other program currently on the market that can complement the specs of the Z9, plus the focal length and aperture of the 800mm f/6. 3, for the $12, 500 combined price.

And yes, the Nikon Z 800mm’s price continues to be high. $6500 is hardly cheap and not justifiable for many photographers out there. If you’re on a tight budget, the way to go is still the utilized route – something like the Nikon D500 with an older lens that matches your own price range. The used market place is filled with 300mm f/2. 8 AF-S II lenses and similar, all of which cost much less than they do at launch.

But for photographers who want the most current telephoto glass, this one is worth a serious look. Compared to other Nikon telephoto primes of recent memory, the Nikon Z 800mm f/6. several is by far the least expensive for the key length/aperture combination.


Given what I have covered in this article, you’d end up being wise to predict that the 800mm f/6. 3 is going to be out of stock for a while. If you want the zoom lens or even think you might want this in the next couple years, you should pre-order it today. You should also ideally sign up for NPS in order to link your order for your requirements if you’re a professional photographer who have hasn’t done so already. The particular Nikon Z9 still hasn’t shipped for many non-NPS users who placed their order the day of the announcement; the particular 800mm f/6. 3 will certainly be the same way.  

We’re affiliates with B& They would ( pre-order ) and Adorama ( pre-order ) and would love it if you support Photography Life through those links, but Also i suggest pre-ordering from smaller sized retailers that may be able to ship sooner than the huge shops. Place some pre-orders on-line just in case, but also talk to your nearby retailer and see if you can make your name higher on the listing there as well. With the Z9, we have heard more successes from people who took that will approach, aside from NPS users who were prioritized by B& H and Adorama.

Let me know below if you have any thoughts about the 800mm f/6. 3’s launch plus uniquely low price! I will not be getting this lens myself as someone who rarely pictures wildlife (one more spot in line for everyone else! ) but I’m interested in listening to your plans with this zoom lens if you’re going to buy this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.