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Nikon AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4E FL ED VR

Super telephoto prime lens for Nikon SLR cameras

2 Reviews


Our take on the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4E FL ED VR

Whether you shoot sports or wildlife, Nikon's newly redesigned 600mm f/4 super telephoto lens is ready for the most demanding assignments. Any photographer who's familiar with the strain of schlepping gear from place to place would be glad to hear that this lens is nearly three pounds lighter than the one that came before it. The reduction in weight comes with the adoption of a magnesium alloy barrel and two lightweight fluorite lens elements. This lens is sealed against the elements and has a special water- and dirt-repellant fluorine coating that makes it easy to wipe off quickly. You won't have to pack it in right away if the weather takes a turn, and having a much lighter load, it's likely you'll want to keep shooting a bit longer.

Closing the distance

Whether you shoot sports or wildlife, Nikon's newly redesigned 600mm f/4 super telephoto lens is ready for the most demanding assignments. Any photographer who's familiar with the strain of schlepping gear from place to place would be glad to hear that this lens is nearly three pounds lighter than the one that came before it. The reduction in weight comes with the adoption of a magnesium alloy barrel and two lightweight fluorite lens elements. This lens is sealed against the elements and has a special water- and dirt-repellant fluorine coating that makes it easy to wipe off quickly. You won't have to pack it in right away if the weather takes a turn, and having a much lighter load, it's likely you'll want to keep shooting a bit longer.

Stay sharp

Since this lens is so much lighter than the previous model, it's not impractical to shoot handheld with it for short periods of time. At such a long focal length, vibrations of any kind can introduce image blur. Nikon's Vibration Reduction system works in different ways to compensate for camera shake. Tripod Mode minimizes the effects of constant subtle ground vibrations, and Sports Mode is optimal for fast action and panning.

Bursting with accuracy and detail

This lens's outstanding autofocus tracking performance lets you follow fast-moving subjects for precise focus. An electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism works in sync with the shutter to give you fast, consistent auto-exposure with high-speed continuous shooting. The lens's speed and accuracy combine with the most advanced NIKKOR lens technologies to deliver tack-sharp, pro-quality results on a daily basis.

Product Highlights:

  • AF-S 600mm f/4E FL ED VR telephoto lens
  • compatible with Nikon FX and DX digital SLR cameras, and 35mm film cameras
  • effective focal length:
    • 600mm with full-frame (FX-format) digital or film cameras
    • 900mm with DX-format cameras
  • built-in Vibration Reduction with tripod detection enables sharper shots at slower shutter speeds (up to four shutter speeds slower)
  • Sport VR mode provides more image stability, even when panning
  • Silent Wave Motor for smooth, quiet, and precise autofocus
  • manual and autofocus modes
  • autofocus can be overridden manually, with no time lag
  • internal focusing design maintains overall lens length during focusing for greater consistency and faster performance
  • Super Integrated Coating on lens elements provides excellent color richness and contrast
  • protective fluorine coating allows easier cleaning of water, dirt, and smudges
  • anti-reflective Nano Crystal Coat reduces ghosting and flare
  • dust- and water-resistant magnesium-alloy design
  • minimum focus distance: 14.4'
  • maximum aperture: f/4
  • minimum aperture: f/22
  • lens construction: 16 elements in 12 groups
  • 4 ED (extra-low dispersion) lens elements for better sharpness and contrast
  • 2 lightweight fluorite lens elements for improved balance and handling
  • 9-blade circular aperture for natural rendering of out-of-focus background elements
  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism for accurate aperture blade control when using auto exposure during continuous shooting
  • accepts slip-in 40.5mm filters
  • lens is 6-1/2" in diameter, 17" long
  • weight: 8.4 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years with Nikon registration
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • front and rear lens caps
  • snap-on hood
  • slip-in filter holder
  • 40.5mm neutral color filter
  • lens strap
  • case
  • monopod collar

What's in the Box:

  • AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR telephoto lens
  • Slip-on front lens cap (installed)
  • LF-4 rear lens cap (installed)
  • HK-40 Lens hood
  • Slip-in filter holder
  • NC 40.5mm Neutral color filter
  • LN-2 Lens strap
  • CT-608 case
  • Monopod collar
  • User's Manual
  • Warranty card

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4E FL ED VR Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(2 Reviews)

Initial Thoughts:

Bruce from Houston, TX on 11/18/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

INITIAL THOUGHTS (Limited character count): My first Super Telephoto purchase. Crutchfield support staff: Excellent. Owned 1 week (rained 5 days). Purchase: Had concerns buying here. HOWEVER - Sales people: Helpful. Support staff: Excellent. Shipped: On time and packaged extremely well. Return policy excellent: No restocking fee if returned as shipped. Product: Image quality: Vignettes wide open. Improved stop down 1/3. Sharpness - Razor. Bokeh - Buttery smooth. AF speed - exceptionally fast. VR - jury still out. VR Sport stops image from jumping in viewfinder. Weight: Heavy, but much improved over older versions. Handling: Much better given redesign. Handholding: NOT HAPPENING for more than a few shots. Hood: Thank goodness (1 vs. old 2). "E" aperature. Keeps up with high frame rate cameras (D4/5, D500, D850 with grip/large battery. Will update, if allowed, on flaring/ghosting. No opportunity. Color rendition/Micro contrast - I have no comparison in this price range. I would ask others who have owned multiple versions what they think. Negative: Price (Lets face it, even used). Weight - Much better balance and weight than prior versions. Don't fool yourself, you won't be handholding this lens a lot, but doable. I am an amateur photographer with 1 year experience but shoot sports/wildlife and wanted reach. Lens not auto fine tuned yet. Images limited to weather/hours available over 2 days. First 2 photos: Handheld VR on sport. Last image: Example

Pros: Image Quality F4 aperature: Wonderful Bokeh, subject separation, etc. Autofocus speed! Weight reduction (compared to prior versions) Better VR (switch compared to older model) Hood (1 vs. previous version 2). Build Quality Build Quality. Image Quality. Weight reduction and distribution. Electronic Aperature - for keeping up with faster frame rates (sports/wildlife) D4/5, D850 w/grip/battery, D500. Crutchfield - Authorized Nikon Dealer. Support staff. Retur

Cons: Price (let's face it). Weight (still heavy, but much improved - anyone who owns prior versions including the old steel manual focus version wants to hold it). Foot: Not swiss-arca style, but easy to fix with replacement foot or plate. Attention: You'll will attract some ungarner and some unwanted attention. "How far can you see?" Can you see the moon with that?, Prepare your answers in advance "How much did that cost?". I tell people it was a gift.

Wonderful Clarity

mh from Lambertville, Mi on 3/28/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Recently purchase the new Nikkor 600mm f/4E, FL, ED, VR Prime Lens and I love it. The clarity of the pictures coupled with a very fast focus make it a wonderful nature lens. Even with the reduced weight it is still a large and heavy lens, but I have been able to use it free hand on many outings. A tripod makes it much more manageable.

Pros: Clarity, Auto Focus, Quality of build

Cons: Heavy, I found it susceptible to moisture. I had the front glass fog up on the inside the lens slightly after indirect exposure to damp conditions for about 20 minutes. It cleared up withing 20 minutes at home. I have not had this issue with other lens. I am careful to keep all my lens out of direct contact with water and use a storm cover when appropriate.


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Mount Type Nikon F-mount
Sensor Size Full frame
Image Stabilization Yes
Lens Type Telephoto prime
Focal Length 600mm
Maximum Aperture f/4
Weight 134.4 ounces
Parts Warranty 5 Years w/registration
Labor Warranty 5 Years w/registration

Product Research

Warranty Information


Overview: The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens is a telephoto prime lens. It is ideal for capturing sports, wildlife, concerts, and landmarks, and works well for videos as well as still images. It comes with a lens hood, a rotatable tripod collar, and a monopod collar. This lens is optimized for use on Nikon FX-format cameras with full-frame image sensors. When mounted on DX-format (APS-C) cameras, the lens has an equivalent focal length of 900mm.

Vibration Reduction (VR): Nikon's Vibration Reduction helps reduce blur caused by camera shake, and allows shutter speeds up to 4.0 stops slower than without VR. This lens features a specialized Sports VR mode which is optimized for camera pans and fast-action sports. The Normal VR and Sports VR modes can reduce blur while the camera is on a tripod by eliminating subtle ground vibrations that may pass through the tripod or monopod.

Lens Construction: The lens is made of 16 elements in 12 groups, including 4 ED lens elements, 2 Fluorite elements, and lens elements with Nano-Crystal coatings. The outer protective glass element has an easy-to-clean fluorine coating that resists smudges and fingerprints. The special elements have the following attributes:

  • Extra-low Dispersion Glass (ED): The lens is constructed with Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements developed by Nikon and used with normal optical glass in telephoto lenses to obtain optimum correction of chromatic aberrations.
  • Fluorite Lens Element (FL): One of the lens elements is made of Fluorite, a lightweight mono-crystal optical material with excellent optical properties. Fluorite elements reduce the overall weight of the lens, improving balance and handling.
  • Nano Crystal Coating (N): Nano-crystal coating is an anti-reflective coating that eliminates internal reflections, ghosting, and flare caused by light entering the lens diagonally.
  • Super Integrated Coating (SIC): The lens features a multi-layered coating of the optical elements.
  • Internal Focusing (IF): The lens focuses by shifting the internal lens group, thus the physical lens length does not change during focusing.

Focusing Modes: The lens has a 3-way Focus Mode switch that lets you choose the way the lens focuses. If you select Manual Focus on the camera, you can focus manually using the lens focusing ring and the camera's electronic rangefinder. When the camera is switched to the AF (auto focus) mode, you can apply one of three lens focusing modes:

  • Manual Priority (M/A): The lens will auto focus, but can be manually overridden by rotating the lens focus ring.
  • AF Priority (A/M): Like M/A, the lens will auto focus, but the focus ring must be rotated farther to override. This prevents accidental changes to the focus by unintended operation of the focus ring.
  • Manual (M): Even though the camera is set to auto focus, the lens will focus manually with the electronic rangefinder when you rotate the focusing ring.

Focusing Limit Switch: This 2-way switch can help you save focusing time when your subject will always be at a certain distance. In the "Full" position, the lens will operate within the entire focus range -- 4.4m (14.4') to ∞ (infinity). If you switch to the "∞-10m" position, the lens will only focus between 10 meters (32.8 feet) and infinity.

Focus Function Selector: The lens has four Focus Function buttons surrounding the lens barrel. Pressing one of these buttons activates the function selected on the 3-way Focus Function switch:

  • AF-L: When the selector is in the AF-L position, the focus can be locked when any of the focus function buttons is pressed. The focus remains locked as long as the button is pressed.
  • Memory Recall: The Memory Recall function lets you save and recall frequently-used lens focus positions. By pressing the Memory Set button, the lens will save the focus position, and sound a beep. The lens will recall the saved focus position when the Focus Function switch is in the Memory Recall position and one of the four focus function buttons is pressed. The beep sound can be muted, if desired, using the beep on/off switch on the lens.
  • AF Start: With the switch in the AF Start position, the lens will auto focus when any of the four function buttons are pressed. The Focus Mode switch must be in A/M or M/A position.

Filter Holder: The lens includes a slip-in filter holder that will accommodate 40.5mm screw-on filters. The filter holder inserts into a slot near the lens mount. A 40.5mm Neutral Color (NC) filter is included with the lens. Optional slip-in filters, such as the Nikon C-PL405 Circular Polarizing filter, are available that do not require the filter holder.

Tripod/Monopod Mounting: Because of the length and weight of the lens, mounting the lens on a tripod or monopod can help with balance and reducing blur from camera shake. The tripod collar has a standard 1/4"-20 tripod socket for mounting the lens to a tripod. The collar can be loosened to let you rotate the camera while still on the tripod. Rotation index markings are provided for precise positioning. You can replace the tripod collar with the supplied monopod collar, if desired.

HK-40 Lens Hood: The AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4E FL ED VR includes a slip-on lens hood (HK-40) that blocks stray light from entering the lens. The hood is tightened via a thumbscrew, and can be reversed and mounted on the lens when not in use.

Security Slot: The lens features a security slot that can be used to attach third-party security cable locks.


  • Type of Lens: Type E AF-S lens with a built-in CPU
  • Type of Mount: Nikon F-bayonet type
  • Focal Length: 600mm
  • Filter Diameter: 40.5mm (using the supplied slip-in filter holder)
  • Lens Construction: 16 elements in 12 groups (including 4 ED lens elements, 2 fluorite elements, and lens elements with Nano-Crystal coatings), and 1 protective glass element (with fluorine coating)
  • Image Stabilization: Vibration Reduction (lens shift using Voice Coil Motors (VCMs))
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 14.4' (4.4 meters) from focal plane
  • Focusing Method: Nikon Internal Focusing (IF) System with autofocus controlled by a Silent Wave Motor and separate focus ring for manual focus
  • Diaphragm: Rounded 9-blade
  • Aperture Range: f/4 - f/22
  • Angle of View:
    • Nikon FX-format cameras: 4° 10'
    • Nikon DX-format cameras: 2° 40'
  • Dimensions: Diameter 6.5" Length 17"
  • Weight: 8 pounds 6.4 ounces

Warranty Information

Warranty Terms: Nikon offers a 1-year parts and labor warranty on this lens. An additional 4-year Extended Service Coverage is available at no charge if you register the product with Nikon within 10 days of purchase.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A