The Upcoming Nikon Z Lenses

Tips & Techniques

As you might already know, Nikon added a few new lenses to its Nikon Z lens roadmap in October, which included a couple of super-telephoto lenses. Although the maximum apertures of these lenses were not defined, I projected that these would be fast super-telephoto primes, namely Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 S and Z 600mm f/4 S. Nikon recently released an image of its upcoming lens line-up, which includes silhouettes of unreleased lenses, and it looks like these will indeed be fast super-telephoto primes.

Nikon Z System with Lenses

Based on these silhouttes, we can make projections about the upcoming lenses and their maximum apertures. Here is the detailed list:

  • Nikon Z 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 DX – this is likely a rehash of its current Nikon F mount counterpart, so it will probably have the same maximum aperture of f/3.5-5.6. It will not be an “S” line, so don’t expect this lens to have any premium or weather-sealing features.
  • Nikon Z 24-105mm f/2.8-4 S – if the scale of the lens is more or less correct, this could be a fast-aperture f/2.8-4 zoom. I initially thought this would be an f/4 lens, but considering that it is taller than the 24-200mm superzoom and almost as tall as the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, it is unlikely that Nikon will make another standard f/4 zoom lens.
  • Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 – judging by the small size of the silhouette, we can project this to be a small, lightweight, and very inexpensive f/2.8 pancake-style prime.
  • Nikon Z 40mm f/2.8 – another pancake-style prime with an f/2.8 maximum aperture.
  • Nikon Z 50mm f/2.8 Macro – it looks fairly small in the image, so it will likely be an f/2.8 macro lens.
  • Nikon Z 85mm f/1.2 S – although the lens does not seem to be as tall as the newly-released Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S, look at how wide the front element of the lens is. This will most definitely be a premium f/1.2 prime that’s going to be very heavy and pricey.
  • Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S – it is a given that this will be a variable aperture lens. And being an “S-line” lens, I expect it to be a solid, weather-sealed zoom for shooting outdoors.
  • Nikon Z 105mm f/2.8 Macro S – optically, this should be very similar to the current Nikon F 105mm f/2.8 Macro lens. However, the silhouette shows a very tall lens with a large barrel. Perhaps Nikon is planning to go with a faster maximum aperture of f/2?
  • Nikon Z 200-600mm f/5.6 – this could be very similar to Nikon’s popular F-mount 200-500mm f/5.6 lens but with 100mm extra reach. The lens looks pretty big in the image – almost as big as the 400mm prime.
  • Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 S – Nikon’s “best of the best”. I expect this lens to be announced with a high-end Nikon Z camera body that is designed for shooting sports and wildlife (Nikon Z9?). It will be an exotic, super expensive lens for professionals. Expect new levels of optical performance for high-res cameras, and I really hope Nikon will design it to be lighter than the current Nikon 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens.
  • Nikon Z 600mm f/4 S – this beast should be announced together with the 400mm f/2.8 S. We might see a “development announcement” first for the trio of 400mm f/2.8 S, 600mm f/4 S and the Nikon Z9 (or whatever the premium full-frame sports camera is going to be named). Either way, this is going to be a stellar lens for the Z mount. Super good and super expensive.

What’s Missing

Although it is great to see Nikon develop so many lenses for the Z mount, there are plenty of gaps in the line-up that many of us Nikon shooters want to see sooner than later. Let’s take a look at the list of lenses that I would like to see in the next roadmap:

  • Nikon Z 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5 Fisheye S
  • Nikon Z 14mm f/2.8 S
  • Nikon Z 35mm f/1.2 S
  • Nikon Z 105mm f/1.4 S
  • Nikon Z 135mm f/1.8 S
  • Nikon Z 70-200mm f/4 S
  • Nikon Z 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6
  • Nikon Z 200mm f/4 Macro S
  • Nikon Z 300mm f/2.8 S
  • Nikon Z 300mm f/4 PF S
  • Nikon Z 500mm f/4 S
  • Nikon Z 500mm f/5.6 PF S
  • Nikon Z 800mm f/11 PF S

It would be also great to get a few DX primes, such as the Z 24mm f/1.8 DX, Z 35mm f/1.8 DX, and Z 50mm f/1.8 DX. Add the missing Z 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 DX ultra-wide angle zoom. Small, lightweight, and very affordable – that’s the point of having a DX system.

Personally, I am staying away from buying the Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S due to its size and weight. Yes, it is an amazingly sharp lens and currently the sharpest 70-200mm f/2.8 on the market, but for my landscape and travel photography needs, I would rather see an f/4 version.

Other lenses that I would really like to see sooner than later would be a 300mm f/4 PF, 500mm f/5.6 PF and 800mm f/11 PF lenses. I recently had a chance to test Canon’s 800mm f/11 lens. At first, it sounded like a gimmick, but after I used it for a few weeks, I was amazed to see how useful it can be for things like astro and wildlife photography.

What lenses would you like Nikon to release in the next few years? Please let us know in the comments section below!

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