At $1699.95, we can’t call the Nikkor Z 180-600mm (as sold by Nikon directly) a bargain, mainly because there are other cheaper options available. Major lens maker (and Nikon competitor) Tamron just announced that the 150-500mm f/5-6.7 Di III VC VXD (Model A057) will soon be available for Z mount cameras, and it costs $500 less than Nikon’s 180-600mm. Considering the performance of the lenses on other systems, the Tamron can be a good budget option, although it comes with enough caveats that the extra cost of the Nikkor Z 180-600mm is justified.
You can also replace the lens from another system, such as the old F lenses for Nikon’s DSLRs for about half the price. However, as we found out, the Z-mount mirror is worth paying more for.
Compared to Nikon’s flagship S lenses, the 180-600mm is very affordable. The next step up would be the Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S, which costs $2499.95, and with that, you’ll need the 1.4x TC to get the same quality as the 180-600mm. The upcoming Nikkor Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S might be a good option if you want a step up to a high-end telephoto, but it will set you back $4799.95, and the Nikkor Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S takes you even further and is a popular 800mm model, priced at $6499.95. It’s still a lot of money.