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Nikon Z 28-400mm F/4-8 VR: A Comprehensive Review

The Nikkor Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR lens is a versatile choice for hobbyists and enthusiasts. Its broad focal range makes it suitable for a range of subjects. The lens delivers consistent image quality across its range. When used with the full-frame Nikon Z f, it captures detailed images with sharpness extending to the frame’s corners. It’s well-constructed, lightweight, and ideal for Nikon Z users seeking a single, quality lens.

Pros

Cons

Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR Quick Overview

Photographers often desire a single, versatile lens. However, this usually means a larger, heavier, and pricier lens. Nikon’s Nikkor Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR, dubbed the ‘superzoom’, breaks this trend. It’s the lightest full-frame lens in Nikon’s range, boasting a 400mm focal length.

Perfect for Portraits

The lens’s telephoto end is perfect for portrait photography. It allows for a blurred background and sharp subjects, creating a beautiful bokeh.

Close-ups and Stabilization

The lens offers a 0.2m minimum focus distance at its widest setting, ideal for close-ups. At the telephoto end, it’s 1.2m. Nikon’s built-in Vibration Reduction aids handheld shooting in challenging light, offering up to five stops. This increases to 5.5 stops with a Synchro VR-equipped Nikon camera, reducing blur from camera shake.

Nikon Z 28-400mm F/4-8 VR
Nikon

Lens Specifications

The lens type is Zoom, with a full-frame sensor. The focal length ranges from 28-400mm, with a maximum aperture of f/4-8. The minimum focus is 7.88in / 0.2 m at 28 mm and 47.2in / 1.2 m at 400 mm. The filter size is 77mm, and the dimensions are 3.4 x 5.6in / 84.5 x 141.5 mm. The weight is 25.5oz / 725g.

Ideal for Various Photography Styles

At its widest 28mm setting, the lens is perfect for landscape and travel photography. It’s wide without causing distortion. A slight zoom adjustment makes it great for street photography and people-watching. In essence, it’s a lens that can do it all.

Pairing with Nikon Cameras

This lens is a top contender among Nikon Z lenses. It pairs well with Nikon’s best mirrorless cameras. During my test, I used the retro-styled Nikon Z f. The camera body and lens are almost identical in weight, providing a balanced feel.

Photographers often desire a single, versatile lens. However, this usually means a larger, heavier, and pricier lens. Nikon’s Nikkor Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR, dubbed the ‘superzoom’, breaks this trend. It’s the lightest full-frame lens in Nikon’s range, boasting a 400mm focal length.

Perfect for Portraits

The lens’s telephoto end is perfect for portrait photography. It allows for a blurred background and sharp subjects, creating a beautiful bokeh.

Close-ups and Stabilization

The lens offers a 0.2m minimum focus distance at its widest setting, ideal for close-ups. At the telephoto end, it’s 1.2m. Nikon’s built-in Vibration Reduction aids handheld shooting in challenging light, offering up to five stops. This increases to 5.5 stops with a Synchro VR-equipped Nikon camera, reducing blur from camera shake.

Lens Specifications

The lens type is Zoom, with a full-frame sensor. The focal length ranges from 28-400mm, with a maximum aperture of f/4-8. The minimum focus is 7.88in / 0.2 m at 28 mm and 47.2in / 1.2 m at 400 mm. The filter size is 77mm, and the dimensions are 3.4 x 5.6in / 84.5 x 141.5 mm. The weight is 25.5oz / 725g.

Ideal for Various Photography Styles

At its widest 28mm setting, the lens is perfect for landscape and travel photography. It’s wide without causing distortion. A slight zoom adjustment makes it great for street photography and people-watching. In essence, it’s a lens that can do it all.

Pairing with Nikon Cameras

This lens is a top contender among Nikon Z lenses. It pairs well with Nikon’s best mirrorless cameras. During my test, I used the retro-styled Nikon Z f. The camera body and lens are almost identical in weight, providing a balanced feel.

Nikon Z 28-400mm F/4-8 VR
Nikon

Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR price

Priced at $1,299.95 / £1,399 / AU$2,199, the Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR lens is now available. It comes with a lens hood.

Launched on March 26, 2024, this lens isn’t cheap. However, its price is justified by its build quality and performance. It can replace multiple prime lenses, providing a wide focal range.

Carrying a heavy 400mm lens for everyday shooting isn’t ideal. Nikon’s Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S, weighing 2.75lb / 1,245g, is the lightest in its class. Yet, a 28mm focal length may not always be suitable.

The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR is a cheaper alternative. It offers a wider start and half the 28-400mm reach, priced at around $899.95 / £899 / AU$1,599.

Nikon Z 28-400mm F/4-8 VR on a camera
Nikon

Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR: A Look at the Design

The Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR lens offers a 14.2x optical zoom. It features an extending barrel and is weather-resistant.

The lens provides a variety of focal distances, marked on the barrel. A control ring behind these markings is set to manual focus by default. However, it can be reassigned to adjust the aperture, exposure compensation, or ISO. When in manual focus mode, turning the ring briefly overrides autofocus.

Nikon Z 28-400mm F/4-8 VR
Nikon

The lens barrel’s focus markings start at 28mm and progress through various focal lengths up to 400mm. At this point, the fully extended barrel resembles a child’s kaleidoscope. The lens’s ridged, rubberized surface provides a firm grip when adjusting the broad focal range.

The Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR lens is designed for practicality, offering weather resistance. Nikon has sealed the mount and moving parts for protection. Even in light rain, the lens continues to perform well.

The lens comes with a hood to prevent flare in bright conditions. It can be inverted on the lens for easy transportation. A lens lock is also included to prevent accidental extension of the barrel.

Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR: Performance Review

Weighing only 1.6 lbs / 725g, the Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR lens is portable and practical. It balances well with Nikon’s smaller Z-mount cameras and offers speedy autofocus.

The lens’s weight makes it manageable. When paired with a body like the 1.57lb / 710g Nikon Z f, it forms a sturdy combination. Carrying it around for a day didn’t cause discomfort, making it a good travel companion.

The lens’s versatility is its strength. It allows you to capture any sudden image opportunity with its rapid and accurate autofocus. The results might not always be as sharp as a dedicated 400mm prime lens, but they are satisfactory for most enthusiasts and amateurs.

Nikon Z 28-400mm F/4-8 VR
Nikon

Images are consistently sharp across the frame, regardless of the shooting range. Any softness in the frame can often be corrected by reframing the image and supporting the lens barrel. The lens’s Vibration Reduction feature was kept active throughout the test period.

The Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR lens’s 400mm maximum setting is useful and versatile. The lens’s stepping motor is as quiet as Nikon claims, allowing for undisturbed shooting.

Considering the Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR? Here’s What You Need to Know

Go for it if… You’re seeking a versatile lens. Why burden yourself with multiple prime lenses when a single zoom lens can cover everything from 28mm to 400mm?

You capture diverse subjects. This lens is ideal for shooting popular subjects like landscapes and portraits, as well as wildlife and sports at the telephoto end.

You prefer a lightweight superzoom. Weighing just 1.6lb / 725g, this lens pairs well with Nikon’s Z f and offers a range of framing options. It’s a comfortable companion for sightseeing.

Think twice if… You specialize in certain subjects. If you frequently shoot at a specific focal length, a dedicated prime lens might be a better fit, offering sharper images and a more compact setup.

You often shoot in low-light conditions. While this lens is great for general daylight photography, its maximum f/4 aperture at the widest angle might not be sufficient in challenging lighting conditions.

You need a wider angle. If 28mm seems restrictive, consider the Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR. It offers a wider start, though you’ll have to compromise on the overall reach.

Nikon Z 28-400mm f/4-8 VR lens review out of 100:

AspectRating
Zoom Range95
Portability90
Build Quality85
Image Quality80
Autofocus Speed85
Low Light Performance70
Value for Money80

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