Jul 292015
Nikon 600mm f4 fl ed vr

Nikon 600mm f4e fl ed vr

Nikon announced the new Nikon 600mm f4E fl ed vr super telephoto lens. The new lens has 2 fluorite and 4 Ed elements in the lens construction.

Earlier Nikon didn’t want to use fluorite elements, but changed this opinion several years ago, and made the Nikon 800mm f/5.6 fl ed vr and the Nikon 400mm f/2.8 fl ed vr lenses. Canon constantly using fluorite elements in their mostly super expensive telephoto lenses for decades. Fluorite (CaF2) is lighter than normal glass and has better optical qualities, but it has some downsides as well according to Nikon:

Nikon’s Extra-low Dispersion (ED) and Super ED glass help correct chromatic aberrations, or optical color defects, caused when different light wavelengths do not converge at the same point after passing through optical glass. Calcium fluorite crystals were once used to correct this problem in telephoto lenses, but the substance cracked easily and was sensitive to temperature changes. So Nikon created ED glass, which offers all the benefits, but none of the drawbacks of calcium fluorite-based glass. ED glass is now an essential element in NIKKOR’s telephoto lenses, helping deliver stunning sharpness and contrast, even at maximum aperture.

Canon also refers to this vulnerability to temperature changes, they say this is why these lenses has light beige color. The Nikon lens is black so I guess it is not a serious problem in this case.

The lens also has fluorine Nano christal and Sic (Super Integrated) coatings as well to reduce flare and chromatic aberrations.

Compare to the predecessor, the new Nikon 600mm is significantly lighter (3.81 vs 5.06kg / 8.4 vs 11.16 lbs), has better sharpness and autofocus, and has two fluorite elements, which the older lens lacks. Fluorite is lighter than normal glass and better optically as well.

The weight improvement is huge and certainly makes the new lens much more hand-holdable. The earlier version is only hand-holdable for weight-lifters for an extended period. The new version is not very light as well, but hand-holdable for longer periods. Both lens is more ideal for tripod usage though. The long reach helps a lot framing with distant objects such birds or wildlife.

nikon 600mm fl ed vr

Nikon 600mm f4E fl ed vr specification

Below you can find the specification of the new lens compared to the Canon 600mm f/4 is II L lens. It is interesting that the lens construction is similar for both lenses 16 elements in 12 groups. Both lens has more fluorite elements for better imaginery.

Nikon 600mm f4 fl ed vr
Nikon 600mm f/4 vr (older)
Canon 600mm f/4 is II
Nikon F mount Nikon F mount Canon EF mount
Filter size:
40.5 mm drop in 52 mm drop in 52mm drop in
Lens elements / groups:
16 / 12 15 / 12 16 /12
Exotic Lens elements:
2 Fluorite and 4 ED elements 3 Ed elements Fluorite elements
3.81 kg (8.4 lbs. ) 5.06 kg (11.16 lbs. ) 3.92 kg (8.67 lbs.)
16.6 x 43.2 cm (6.54 x 17.01 ” ) 16.51 x 44.45 cm (6.5 x 17.5 ” ) 16.8 x 44.70 cm (6.6 x 17.6 ” )
Close focus distance:
4.39 m (14.4 ‘) 4.79 m (15.7′) 3.92 m (8.67′)
yes ring-type ultrasonic yes ring-type ultrasonic yes ring-type ultrasonic
yes 4 stops yes 2.5 stops yes stops
Front element rotates:
No No No
Moving barrel elements during focusing:
No No No
Focus preset modes:
Yes Yes Yes
autofocus manual focus, focus limiter 10m, vr modes (on-off-sport), focus mode selector, memory recall, sound on-off Mf-af, vr on-off, focus limiter, focus lock, af memory recall Stab 1-2-3 settings, mf-af, focus preset modes, focus mode switch, focus limiter, focus mode selector
Lens Mount material:
Metal Metal Metal
Full frame Full frame Full frame
0.17x 0.17x 0.15x
Reproduction ratio:
1 : 7 1:7 1 : 7
Aperture blades:
9 rounded diaphragm blades 9 rounded diaphragm blades 9 rounded diaphragm blades
Distance scale:
yes yes yes
Focal length:
600 mm 600 mm 600 mm
Max Aperture:
f/4 f/4 f/4
Min Aperture:
f/22 f/22 f/22
Angle of view:
4° 10′ on Full frame, 2° 40′ on Aps-C 4° 10′ on Full frame, 2° 40′ on Aps-C 4° 10′ on Full frame, 2° 40′ on Aps-C
FTM (Manual focus override):
yes yes yes
Focus limiter:
yes yes yes
Tripod mount ring:
yes yes yes
Lens hood:
yes yes yes
yes yes yes
Sealing against dust / moisture:
yes yes yes
Tilt / shift:
No No No
12,300 USD 9547 USD 11,500 USD

Nikon 600mm f4 fl ed vr price

The initial price of the lens is 12,300 USD. (In the EU much more).

Nikon 600mm f4 fl ed vr availability

The lens will be available in July 2015 according to recent information.