- 58mm f/0.95 S Noct
- 20mm f/1.8 S
- 85mm f/1.8 S
- 70-200 f/2.8 S
- 50mm f/1.2 S
- 24mm f/1.8 S
- 14-24mm f/2.8 S
Though it took Nikon forever to get into the mirrorless camera game, if you ask me, the wait was worth it.
I have a Nikon Z7 in my camera bag, and I’ve had the opportunity to shoot with a Z6 as well. They are superb cameras in their own right (read my Nikon Z7 review and my Nikon Z6 review for more details).
What gets lost in the excitement over these cameras are the lenses Nikon has developed for them, which is a shame, because they deserve a little love as well.
Let’s get to know the Nikon Z-mount lens lineup.
Nikon Z-Mount Lenses Overview
The lenses built for the Z-series camera actually have the S-series moniker.
Though at first glance one might think that these lenses are more geared towards enthusiasts rather than professionals (mainly because of a lack of f/1.4 and f/1.2 apertures), a deeper dive reveals that these are definitely pro-grade-worthy lenses.
For starters, each of these lenses is totally weather-sealed. Additionally, they have a nano crystal coating to improve their performance.
When these lenses were in development, Nikon put them through more stringent testing than any of their other lenses ever (even more so than their gold-ring F-mount professional lenses), so no matter where you look under the hood of these things, you find delightful surprises.
One example of this is the control ring. Not only is it impeccably made and ultra quiet, but it also provides superb feedback and beautifully smooth strokes to change the focus and aperture.
Also on the goodie list for these lenses is a quieter autofocus drive (which is great for videography), improved low-light performance for the 24-70mm f/4 lens, and two autofocus drive units and a brand-new multi-focusing system in the 35mm f/1.8 that make it an excellent choice for high-speed shots.
Furthermore, the 50mm f/1.8 has a brand-new stepping motor, which enables much more accurate autofocus control that is also super quiet at the same time.
I can attest from using each of these lenses that they have less ghosting, less flare, less chromatic aberration, and less distortion than comparable F-mount lenses.
These lenses are currently on pre-order, so I haven’t had the opportunity to test either lens. However, considering they have the same build quality and features of the original Z-mount lenses, I imagine they are every bit as capable of helping you capture stunning photos.
In fact, in the case of the 24-70mm f/2.8, Nikon has incorporated what’s called an ARNEO coat. Used with the nano crystal coat that’s found on the other Z-mount lenses, this ARNEO coat is designed to substantially reduce ghosting and flare.
Additionally, the 24-70mm sports a dedicated manual focus ring as well as a customizable function button and OLED display
Nikon Z-Mount Lens Features
In addition to the features discussed above, the Z-mount lenses have plenty of other things to get excited about.
Each S-series lens has a focus-by-wire system in which all focusing is done electronically (rather than the mechanical focus control seen on all F-mount lenses).
Though some photographers are averse to focus-by-wire systems - and rightfully so given that many such systems are frustratingly imprecise - I have had no such issues in shooting with these lenses. In fact, focusing is buttery smooth with excellent accuracy and the ability to hold the focus position when the camera is turned on and off.
Another spec that’s worthy of a shout out is the increased number of camera contacts.
F-mount lenses have eight contacts while the Z-mount lenses have 11. The result of this is improved performance all the way around, and, more specifically, much more refined control over the lens.
That more refined control is especially evident when shooting video. Paired with the new stepping motor system in these lenses, you get ultra-smooth aperture transitions and focus transitions. Both can be configured using the camera’s menu so you can fine-tune these transitions when shooting video.
But perhaps my favorite feature of the Z-mount lenses is that you can customize the focusing ring from the camera.
In other words, you can determine whether the focus ring adjusts focus, aperture, or exposure compensation. You can also elect to have it control nothing if you so wish.
Future Nikon Z-Mount Lens Features
As more Z-mount lenses are released, we’ll start to see even more features that enable improved performance.
For example, some forthcoming Z-mount lenses will include an electronic OLED screen (like the 24-70mm f/2.8 mentioned earlier). The screen will display important information like focusing distance, lens aperture, and hyperfocal distance.
Future lenses will also incorporate two customizable buttons to give you even more refined control over the behavior of the lens.
Upcoming Nikon Z-Mount Lenses
Nikon laid out their Z-mount lens roadmap a while back, and it has an impressive list of lenses.
Later this year, Nikon will release the following:
Clearly, the 58mm f/0.95 S Noct will be the one that everyone wants to get their hands on. That makes sense given that it will be the fastest Nikkor lens ever made.
In 2020, Nikon will release the following:
I think it goes without saying that Nikon has a solid plan for their Z-system cameras and lenses. If I wasn’t already a Nikon shooter, I’d be looking at this list of forthcoming glass and seriously think about switching!