Best Nikon Z lenses
At the end of 2018, Nikon joined Sony among full frame mirrorless camera manufacturers, followed quickly by Canon and Panasonic, by introducing the Z6 and Z7 featuring the Z mount. If this mount is of interest to you, we wrote a complete article (updated regularly) listing all Nikon Z-mount lenses. This mount is now the pride of Nikon as it is the widest and has a smaller flange focal distance than the others, which Nikon assures it provides brighter and better quality lenses. Let’s be honest, looking at the first lenses released in the Z line, we couldn’t say that Nikon stands out from the quality point of view, let alone brightness of the lenses. However, we have to admit that they are at least able to compete with lenses from other brands and, above all, that they allow us to adapt them to a wide range of different mounts (for example, a ring allowing us to mount Sony E lenses on Nikon Z!). In this article, I will talk about Nikon Z lenses that I consider as the best.
But, as for any mount, nothing can compete on many points with native lenses. Even if the quality is preserved, all the functions depending on electronics will be better optimized with lenses designed for the mount. As with E-mount or RF-mount, it will therefore be more interesting to invest quickly in native Z-mount lenses than to consider F-mount lenses (Nikon’s mount for SLRs since 1959) with an adapter ring, although Nikon quickly marketed this ring, just as Canon did for its EF-mount.
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Since the arrival of the Z-mount, Nikon has released 21 lenses for full frame. They follow a rhythm quite close to Canon RF-mount (23), and we can expect to see the range growing very quickly. However, Nikon has chosen a slightly different strategy since they only offer a few lenses with very large apertures, but good compromises between large aperture and high image quality. For example, where Canon released a “simple” and light 50mm f/1.8 for an affordable price (as it was the case for the DSLR version), Nikon chose to release a much bigger and more expensive 50mm f/1.8 but offering an image quality worthy of a high-end 50mm, like the 50mm f/1.4 art that Sigma released for DSLRs. By the way, you can check out our detailed article on the current Nikon full frame mirrorless cameras. We update this article every time a new camera is released.
Addition of 4 new telephoto lenses for Nikon Z mount :
- Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 S TC VR
- Nikon Z 400mm f/4.5 S VR
- Nikon Z 600mm f/4 S TC VR
- Nikon Z 800mm f/6.3 S VR
Here are listed, by type of lens, the best Nikon Z-mount lenses available for a full frame sensor. There are also 3 lenses for Nikon APS-C bodies (Nikon Z and Zfc), but they do not include very bright zooms, which could be called “kit zooms”.
It is therefore possible that Nikon decides to produce other lenses dedicated to APS-C Nikon Z hybrid cameras, but between us, it seems unlikely at the moment. Just as they did for digital DSLR cameras, I think they will mainly focus on lenses for Nikon Z full frame cameras. If you’re wondering which Nikon camera to choose, by clicking on the previous link, you can check out our full guide on the brand’s full frame cameras. We will update the article as soon as new cameras are released. As a reminder, the acronym “VR” reminds that the lens is stabilized.
Best Nikon Z wide-angle lenses
Below, I present the main references of wide-angle lenses, zoom or prime, with a focal distance below 24mm. The lenses are summarized in the table below.
The table below gives the main Nikon Z wide-angle lenses’ general characteristics :
|Visual||Wide-angle Nikon Z lens||Features||Best prices|
|Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 S||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 S||Amazon B&H|
So here are the best Nikon Z wide-angle lenses in my opinion:
1 - Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S
At the end of 2020, Nikon decided to release the Z version of one of its most famous lenses: the 14-24mm f/2.8G. But the new version differs significantly from its predecessor by greatly benefiting from the change of mount, since it is much lighter (the DSLR version is close to a kilo). It is the ideal lens for shooting, capturing landscapes or architecture, for example.
The build quality reaches a very high level, as attested by the S in the title, which therefore corresponds to the high-end lenses of this new mount. The image quality is excellent and, although the ends of the zoom are not as good as the focal lengths in the middle of the zoom, we are facing a very homogeneous lens at all focal lengths. The vignetting is very important and requires to activate the correction while the distortion seems non-existent (Nikon applies a correction on the raw files, you’ll need a software unable to identify them to notice the defects). The AF reaches a high level and will be limited only by the camera, for the moment.
As a high-end camera, the price is around 2600€. Although this seems high, it is the price of the classic focal length, like the 16-35mm from Sony or the 15-35mm from Canon. So don’t ask yourself if Nikon is more or less expensive than the others, but simply if your use requires such an investment. You should know that for the moment, it is the lens (with the f/4 version) that has the widest angle of view.
2 - Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S
In mid-2020, Nikon announced the release of a rather atypical ultra wide-angle zoom lens. Nikon proposed it for its DSLRs a 16-35mm f/4, as in Canon DSLRs and even Sony for its mirrorless cameras. But here, they chose to modify the focal length range by privileging short focal lengths to the detriment of longer ones with this 14-30mm f/4 (which makes sense if we consider that standard zooms often start at 24mm). Regarding use, this wide-angle zoom will be, like the f/2.8 version, adapted for wide shots.
We remain in the S range with a nice build quality, even if we will skip the digital display present on the 14-24mm f/2.8, and a good level of image quality even if it would be better to close the diaphragm a stop with the “longer” focal lengths a little further back. However, we reach a very nice homogeneity at medium aperture at all focal lengths. Distortion and vignetting are very important, even if Nikon corrects the distortion on the raw files. This misled many testers like Les Numériques (a French website !), convinced that there was no distortion when optically it is worse than on the DSLR versions. The AF is also very fast, accurate and silent.
For 1250€, we will spend less than half the price of the 14-24mm f/2.8, and the compromise on the maximum aperture is partially compensated by a larger focal length and an even smaller weight, even if we will not get the same level of quality.
3 - Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 S
At the beginning of 2020, Nikon released its widest fixed focal length (at the moment) with this 20mm f/1.8 S. The DSLR version was quite successful, especially considering the fact that at focal lengths below 24mm, it is rare to find lenses opening more than f/2 with autofocus.
The build quality is very good and the image quality, although a little bit behind at larger aperture, is already high and rather homogeneous. If the chromatic aberrations are better corrected than on the DSLR version, the distortion is higher. But once again, Nikon relies on software corrections directly on the raw files, just like for vignetting which is also very important. The AF is not the fastest, but is largely sufficient for most uses of this type of lens.
Available for 1050€, this is a rather decent price, although the DSLR version was a bit cheaper when it came out. It is also heavier and bulkier than the DSLR version or the Sony competitor, but still a good choice for a Nikon Z range.
4 - Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 S
At the end of 2019, Nikon released the 24mm which was the widest angle fixed focal length in Z-mount until the 20mm was released. Nikon offered some very nice 24mm DSLR references with the f/1.4G and the highly regarded f/1.8G, so it made sense for Nikon to quickly offer a 24mm in Z-mount.
The build quality reaches a high level, like all the lenses of the S range, and the image is also of a high level quality even if, here again, we can notice a clear drop at large apertures and a less remarkable homogeneity than the 20mm or the 14-24mm. Again, taking into account software corrections, distortion and vignetting are even more important than on the DSLR version. The AF still seems a bit more hesitant and a bit more audible than the 20mm, but this is still very acceptable.
Priced at a price slightly over 1000€, it remains in the same price range as the 20mm, so you’ll have to decide if the difference in focal length is important enough to choose one or the other. The 24mm is however a bit lighter and more compact.
Below are some of the key characteristics of the wide-angle lenses for the Nikon Z-mount discussed below.
|Nikon Z wide-angle lenses||Focal length||Max. aperture||Filter||D/L||Weight||Min. focus distance||All-weather construction||Stab.||Best Price|
|Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S||14-24mm||f/2.8||112mm||88.5 x 124.5mm||650g||28cm||YES||NO||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S||14-30mm||f/4||82mm||89 x 85mm||485g||28cm||YES||NO||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 S||20mm||f/1.8||77mm||84.5 x 108.5mm||505g||20cm||YES||NO||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 S||24mm||f/1.8||72mm||78 x 96.5mm||450g||25cm||YES||NO||Amazon B&H|
At the end of 2021, Nikon offered the “classic” version of a lens launched at the same time as the Nikon Zfc, the 28mm f/2.8. The version released as a kit with the Zfc has a more vintage design, marked “SE”, but it costs 340€ while the classic version costs 280€. Design apart, lenses are identical, so there will be very few reasons to spend 60€ more (probably the reason why Nikon launched the SE version several months before). The image quality is not top of the line, but that’s the price to pay for having a light and compact lens (160g and 43mm long only).
Should you be interested in going further, I invite you to read our comprehensive article about the best Nikon Z-mount wide-angle lenses. We list all wide-angle lenses, both for full frame and APS-C cameras, that we consider the most interesting.
Best Nikon Z standard lenses
These are lenses with a focal length range between 24 and 200mm. There is a whole range of zooms and prime lenses with more or less large aperture. They are summarized in the table below.
Here’s what you should know about the best Nikon Z standard lenses :
|Visual||Nikon Z standard lenses||Features||Best prices|
|Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4 S||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 S||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S||Amazon B&H|
So here are the best standard Nikon Z lenses in my opinion.
1 - Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S
In mid-2019, Nikon revealed its standard pro zoom lens, the 24-70mm f/2.8 S. DSLR versions have often struggled to stand out, mainly due to the performance of Canon’s excellent L II version.
The build quality is high-end with a digital display and shortcut buttons on the front. The image quality is very high at all focal lengths and apertures, even if the full aperture is slightly behind. Distortion and vignetting are, again, significant but well corrected. The AF is relatively fast and quiet.
For 2250€, we have a high-end lens a little less expensive than from the competitors Sony or Canon, although we remain at a very high price. Especially since the Z-mount competition is more and more difficult, even if this competition comes from Nikon itself with the following lenses.
2 - Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S
Alongside the release of the first Z-mount mirrorless cameras in 2018, Nikon announced as its first standard zoom lens this 24-70mm f/4 S. This is a surprising choice considering that in DSLR, Canon offered such a zoom lens but not Nikon! Conversely, currently, it is Canon that does not offer an RF-mount.
The build quality is high end, even if we obviously don’t have neither the digital display nor the buttons of the f/2.8 version. The design is similar to the 14-30mm f/4. The image quality is, again, not as good as the f/2.8 version (you have to justify the price), but it remains good despite a less efficient full aperture and a not perfect homogeneity. Again, Nikon relies on software corrections since distortion and vignetting are quite important. The AF can be very reactive at short focal lengths but a little less at long focal lengths, and still remains silent in all circumstances.
For less than 1000€, Nikon offers a very interesting zoom, even if it can be sold in kit with some cameras, reducing its price even more. It will be an excellent choice in kit, less so if you buy it alone.
3 - Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4 S
In October 2021, Nikon announced the release of a 24-120mm f/4. If Nikon did not offer a 24-70 with this aperture, there was a 24-120mm in DSLR. Nikon chose to stay in this range rather than follow the 24-105 from Sony and Canon. DSLR version was appreciated but was seriously starting to show signs of weakness.
Being in the S range, the design reaches a very high quality and the image quality is of high level, even if we can notice some weaknesses at the largest aperture, especially at the longest focal lengths. Distortion and vignetting are once again relatively important but always well corrected. The AF is quite responsive and quiet.
Released at 1250€, it can be more interesting than the 24-70mm f/4 if you didn’t have the good idea to purchase it as a kit with your camera. Given its focal length and maximum aperture, it’s a pretty good price compared to the competitor’s 24-105mm (the Sony costs as much today, but was released at a higher price). For photographers looking for a versatile zoom lens, for example for a travel purpose, this is ideal.
4 - Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S
During 2021, Nikon finally joined the manufacturers of 50mm with f/1.2 aperture AND autofocus. In DSLR version, Nikon offered an old version from the days of film with manual focus, but they never followed Canon on a “modern” version. It is now done. If you want to take portrait photos, details, everyday life, then this lens is for you and will allow a really small depth of field, highlighting your subjects perfectly compared to your background. It will also be a great help in low light conditions.
Its design is high-end with a digital display. This is the best Nikon can do at the moment. The image quality is very good, even if the largest apertures are behind. The distortion is quite easy to manage on a 50mm, this one is no exception, but we note an extremely important vignetting. The AF obviously has a little trouble moving so many lenses, but at least there is an AF, and a quiet one at that!
The price of this prime lens of 2300€ can discourage some, but it is also the price of the Sony GM, and slightly less than the Canon RF. On the other hand, it’s the biggest and heaviest. Fortunately, Nikon offers an excellent f/1.8 version which we will see in more detail soon.
5 - Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 S
The 35mm f/1.8 S is one of the lenses released at the same time as the first Nikon Z mirrorless camera. Focal length of reportage par excellence, all brands manufacturing full frame lenses have to offer quickly at least one 35mm (In the Sony range, there are 13 of them, without counting those with manual focus!)
Like all f/1.8 fixed lenses in Z-mount, the construction is excellent. The image quality is very good, although the large apertures are behind. The distortion is quite moderate but present (it is not difficult for a 35mm). The vignetting is important. The AF is relatively fast and quiet.
For 800€, this 35mm f/1.8 doesn’t seem to me a very good value, compared to the competition, even if in general this type of focal length/aperture combo is found on “mid-range” lenses. As a result, it is relatively bulky compared to the 35mm f/1.8 from Canon and Sony.
6 - Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S
In 2019, Nikon released this 50mm f/1.8 more premium than the usual 50mm f/1.8. So we have a more expensive, bigger and bulkier lens than the versions we were used to in DSLR.
The build and image qualities reach a high level, with still a slight loss at large apertures, but we can applaud Nikon’s efforts to release a 50mm capable of competing with the f/1.4 Art that Sigma offered for DSLR. This 50mm f/1.8 is clearly of a different level than the previous f/1.8G and f/1.4G. The distortion is absent, as on the 50mm f/1.2 but, like the f/1.2, we face a significant vignetting, although it is still well corrected by software. The AF is, as for the 35mm, relatively fast and quiet.
With a price tag of 600€, this is much more than the 200€ we were used to for an entry-level 50mm f/1.8, as well as the 415g instead of the 150-200g of the DSLR versions. But we have high-end performances, and compared to the 2300€ of the f/1.2, it seems almost cheap, ahah.
Here are the summarized physical characteristics of the standard Nikon Z lenses mentioned above.
|Nikon Z standard lens||Focal length||Max. aperture||Filter||D/L||Weight||Min. focus distance||All-weather construction||Stab.||Best Price|
|Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S||24-70mm||f/2.8||82mm||89 x 126mm||805g||38cm||YES||NO||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S||24-70mm||f/4||72mm||77.5 x 88.5mm||500g||30cm||YES||NO||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4 S||24-120mm||f/4||77mm||84 x 118mm||630g||35cm||YES||NO||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 S||35mm||f/1.8||62mm||73 x 86mm||370g||25cm||YES||NO||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S||50mm||f/1.2||82mm||89.5 x 150mm||1090g||45cm||YES||NO||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S||50mm||f/1.8||62mm||76 x 86.5mm||415g||40cm||YES||NO||Amazon B&H|
Nikon offers other standard lenses in its Z range, like the 24-50mm f/4-6.3 offered in kit or sold separately for less than 500€. At this price, you might as well get the body in kit with the 24-70mm f/4, because it’s not the kind of lens that’s relevant when you buy a full frame camera. Nikon also offers a 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR, a versatile zoom for travel, but at 1000€, I think there are more relevant lenses for this format. Or, if you’re going to use lenses like this, you might as well get a camera with a smaller sensor. At the end of 2021, Nikon also announced a 28-75mm f/2.8 that would be a “copy” of the Tamron available in Sony E-mount. At 1050€, this is a more coherent lens in this format, especially since the lens is very light. Let’s wait and see how it performs.
Regarding prime lenses, Nikon also offers a light and compact 40mm f/2 for 280€, an excellent choice for street photography for example. There is also a 50mm f/2.8 macro with the same qualities as the 40mm, and a very good image quality, for 600€. This one will be more interesting than the 40mm if you have a real “macro use”. In order to show that the Z-mount allows making new lenses (even if we can doubt it a little), Nikon has released an extremely big, heavy and expensive (9000€) 58mm f/0.95 S Noct, which offers an outstanding optical quality but no autofocus. If you want to take pictures with a beautiful bokeh, outstanding blurs and you have almost 10000€ to spend, don’t hesitate, haha!
Best Nikon Z telephoto lenses
You will find below the telephoto lenses available for the moment for this Z-mount. I’m talking about the focal lengths above 85mm. Here is a summary of the main characteristics of these lenses. Also, I go into more detail about the best Nikon Z telephoto lenses on this page.
Here’s what you should know about the best Nikon Z telephoto lenses, summarized in the table below :
|Visual||Nikon Z telephoto lenses||Features||Best prices|
|Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S VR||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S VR||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 105mm f/2.8 S VR macro||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 S TC VR||B&H|
|Nikon Z 400mm f/4.5 S VR||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 600mm f/4 S TC VR||B&H|
|Nikon Z 800mm f/6.3 S VR||B&H|
Here are, in my opinion, the best current Nikon Z telephoto lenses:
1 - Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S VR
In early 2020, Nikon released its 70-200mm f/2.8, a full frame pillar and one of the three must-have zooms along with the 14-24mm and 24-70mm f/2.8, all three with constant aperture. Nikon did not adopt the Canon RF’s extended design, and now that Sony has renewed its GM by drastically reducing its weight, the Nikon is by far the heaviest of the 3 brands.
Like the 14-24mm and 24-70mm f/2.8, we find the high-end construction with distance display and customization buttons on the barrel. The image quality is very high at all focal lengths and apertures, since even if it decreases as we approach the longest focal length, we remain at a high level. The distortion is not very important and the vignetting, strong at full aperture, decreases very quickly by closing the diaphragm (guess what? It is corrected by software!). The AF is very reactive, as you would expect from a 70-200mm designed for sports, and very quiet.
For 2800€, the price is classic for this kind of zoom (the Sony GM costs 3000€, the Canon RF 2850€ and the Panasonic S 2800€). It will not disappoint you if you choose it.
Its price may seem very high, but it is at the moment the only choice in this range.
2 - Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S VR
In December 2021, Nikon released its first “long” telephoto zoom lens with this 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S VR. They chose to “copy” Sony and its 100-400mm GM when Canon preferred to release a zoom with more focal lengths but a smaller aperture with the 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L.
Worthy of the S range, the construction is excellent, which is relatively expected on this type of lens designed to face the field. The image quality is very good at all focal lengths and apertures. Optical defects are relatively rare on this kind of lens, even if we can see a little vignetting at full aperture. The AF is fast and quiet, which is also expected on this type of lens designed in particular for sports and wildlife.
At 3000€, the same price level as the 100-400mm GM from Sony or the 100-500mm L from Canon, we have a proposition that seems to become a mirrorless classic. As long as the Tamron and Sigma options are not available in native Z-mount, this 100-400mm S is the only option available to have a lens offering focal lengths longer than 200mm.
3 - Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S
At the end of 2019, Nikon released the 85mm f/1.8 S, a popular focal length for portrait photographers that works very well with the 35mm f/1.8 from the same range. The 85mm f/1.8G for DSLR is a very famous lens despite its chromatic aberrations, delivering a quality close to the f/1.4G version which is much more expensive.
The construction is again worthy of the S series, so of a high level, and the image quality is excellent from full aperture. The distortion is moderate, which is normal for an 85mm, and the vignetting is important but… corrected ! Chromatic aberrations are, on the other hand, much better managed than with the old DSLR version. The AF is relatively fast and quite quiet.
For 800€, the price is consistent with the range. It will work quite well with the 35mm and will form a very suitable combo for many situations.
4 - Nikon Z 105mm f/2.8 S VR macro
In the middle of 2021, Nikon released the mirrorless version of its 105mm macro. The DSLR version was very successful and overall, Nikon have always mastered macro lens design quite well.
The build and image qualities are excellent, useful from full aperture with very good homogeneity and non-existent chromatic aberrations. Distortion is unnoticeable but vignetting is significant, a characteristic that is decidedly common on Nikon Z lenses. Indeed, the brand continues to rely on software corrections to focus on other defects such as chromatic aberrations or sharpness.
For 1100€, this 105mm macro is an excellent choice with an almost irreproachable image quality, stabilization and digital display. The Sigma Art mirrorless version, found in E & L-mounts, manages to do slightly better, but the lack of stabilization and focus distance/magnification ratio indicator are often pointed out, so the Nikon won’t have to suffer these criticisms. If you want to know more about this lens, I encourage you to read our full guide on the best current Nikon Z macro lenses.
5 - Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 S TC VR
At the beginning of the year 2022, Nikon decides to release its first large aperture very long focal lens, this Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 S TC VR. Obviously, considering the focal length and its very large aperture, this is a very high-end stabilized lens.
It integrates in its build design a tele-converter which allows to reach the equivalent of a 560mm f/4. This lens will be ideal for all distant subjects, both for wildlife and sports. The lens, although 2.5x heavier than the f/4.5 version comes with a decent weight with less than 3 kg. It is also possible to place filters on the rear.
Its build is worthy of the very high end S from Nikon. The autofocus system is a new one (VCM Silky Swift) which provides a flawless autofocus. Its image quality is obviously incredible and we would expect no less for this price. The very large aperture will allow you to be at ease in low light conditions, but also to create a beautiful bokeh.
In the end, Nikon offers here an excellent product for professional photographers or amateurs who want to treat themselves.
6 - Nikon Z 400mm f/4.5 S VR
After a very high-end f/2.8 version released at the beginning of the year, Nikon has announced a “more affordable” version of their 400mm with this Nikon Z 400mm f/4.5 S VR. Of course, this is still a very high end lens, but since it is much less bright, the costs have been reduced to offer a lens around 3700€.
The build quality is as good as any Nikon S series lens. The lens is very compact and light with just over 1kg. Note that the lens is compatible with the Z TC-1.4x, and Z TC-2.0x teleconverters. The autofocus is said to be excellent as well.
The main advantage of this lens is to offer a relatively bright 400mm focal length, but mostly in a compact and light package.
The lens remains much more affordable than the f/2.8 version which will be much more dedicated to professionals given its price. A great success from Nikon. When will Sony do the same?
7 - Nikon Z 600mm f/4 S TC VR
Following the two 400mm released at the beginning and during 2022, Nikon presents at the end of 2022 an exceptional lens, because of its quality and its price. This Nikon Z 600mm f/4 S TC VR integrates (like the 400 f/2.8) a 1,4x teleconverter offering a 840mm f/5.6 equivalent. We are dealing here with what Nikon does best, very (very) high-end at a price that seriously blows your mind.
Of course, the build quality of this lens and its image quality are remarkable and we could only hope for so much on a lens of this kind, mainly dedicated to professional photographers, especially for wildlife and sports photography.
The lens remains fairly compact and light for a 600mm, weighing in at just over 3kg. The AF is obviously exceptional, being the same as the 400mm f/2.8.
If you are looking for a nice lens and instead of buying a car, this is what you need!
8 - Nikon Z 800mm f/6.3 S VR
In the middle of 2022, Nikon finally released a very long focal length, the longest so far for its full-frame Nikon Z cameras, this 800mm f/6.3. This lens, designed for sports photography (plane, motor sports, winter) or wildlife photography (birds, far away animals) uses Fresnel lenses to reduce the overall weight and offers an impressive compactness to this lens, with less than 2.5kg.
The build quality of this lens is obviously extraordinary with an LCD control screen and a slot to insert filters. The image quality is outstanding at full aperture, which is lucky considering the limited aperture of the lens. The autofocus is said to be excellent as well.
Given the long focal length and the quality provided, the price might have been expected to be much higher. Although announced at over 7000€, you have here a very high quality lens!
The table hereunder lists the main physical characteristics of the Nikon Z telephoto lenses mentioned above. Here is a summary of the lenses in the following table.
|Nikon Z telephoto lenses||Focal length||Max. aperture||Filter||D/L||Weight||Min. focus distance||All-weather construction||Stab.||Best Price|
|Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S VR||70-200mm||f/2.8||77mm||89 x 220mm||1440g||50-100cm||YES||YES||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S VR||100-400mm||f/4.5-5.6||77mm||98 x 222mm||1435g||75-98cm||YES||YES||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S||85mm||f/1.8||67mm||75 x 99mm||470g||80cm||YES||NO||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 105mm f/2.8 S VR macro||105mm||f/2.8||62mm||85 x 140mm||630g||29cm||YES||YES||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 400mm f/4.5 S VR||400mm||f/4.5||95mm||104 x 234.5mm||1245g||2,5m||YES||YES||Amazon B&H|
|Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 S TC VR||400mm||f/2.8||Build-in||156 x 380mm||2950g||2,5m||YES||YES||B&H|
|Nikon Z 600mm f/4 S TC VR||600mm||f/4||Build-in||163 x 437mm||3260g||4,3m||YES||YES||B&H|
|Nikon Z 800mm f/6.3 S VR||800mm||f/6.3||Build-in||140 x 385mm||2385g||5m||YES||YES||B&H|
We are at the end of this article about the best current Nikon Z lenses. Choosing a lens has never been easy, and brands are offering more and more camera equipment on the market. Nikon’s Z lineup has grown over the past 3 years, but there are still a lot of references missing. This is even more true for long lenses like a 70-200mm f/4, a 200-500 or 200-600. Although they chose to make a 200-500 f/5.6 in DSLR, it seems that the roadmap shows a 200-600mm which should probably be f/5.6-6.3 like the Sony G. There is also still a lack of long fixed focal lengths or brighter lenses, like a 35mm and an 85mm f/1.2 or f/1.4. If you want to see what other brands are offering, I invite you to check our article about the best current Canon RF lenses.
There is no doubt that Nikon, turned towards the Z-mount as Canon is towards the RF-mount, will continue to expand its range of lenses, and I can only advise you, if you have decided to go for the Z-mirrorless cameras and you don’t have yet a large F-mount portfolio, to get into these native lenses right away.
I hope that this article has given you some direction. It often depends on your use, your needs and your budget! At the moment, I won’t write more articles about the Z-mount, the choice being still too limited compared to the E-mount from Sony, for example. But as soon as the possibilities become more important, especially (hopefully) with the arrival of third party brands like Sigma and Tamron, I might decide to write more detailed articles by focal length type.
Of course, I will update this article when a few other important Nikon Z lenses are released !
See you soon,