Last Updated on April 13, 2022 by seanmichaelpritchard
The list of the best Nikon NIKKOR Z mount mirrorless lenses is ever expanding.
Most of Nikon’s best technological efforts are seen here, using the sophisticated nature of the Z mount to provide these lenses some of the sharpest optics available today in imaging.
When paired with a Nikon Z mirrorless camera these lenses are epic!
At a glance:
- NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f2.8 S – Best Ultra-Wide Angle Zoom Lens
- NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f2.8 S – Best Standard Zoom Lens
- NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f2.8 S – Best Telephoto Zoom Lens
- NIKKOR Z 50mm f1.8 S – Best Standard Fast Prime Lens
- NIKKOR Z 85mm f1.8 S – Best Portrait Fast Prime Lens
Z-mount users are spoiled for options and trust me; this is just the beginning!
Below are the best Nikon Z mount mirrorless compatible lenses!
NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f2.8 S – Best Nikon Z Ultra-Wide Angle Zoom Lens
The Nikon Z 14-24mm F2.8 S is a fish-eye wide angle zoom lens designed for use with the company’s mirrorless Z mount cameras.
This is an excellent lens for cityscapes and landscapes with a 14-24mm (full-frame) focal range and 21-36mm (APS-C). Additionally, it’s an intriguing alternative for astrophotography, as it performs well as a wide-angle video lens. However, it is 0.3″ narrower and weighs 650g less than the 1000g DSLR lens, even though it has a better optical formula and added filter support.
The Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S wide angle lens includes 16 components arranged in 11 groups, including four elements with unique dispersion and three aspherical elements. Nano-coating is used on both Z-NIKKOR’s and F-NIKKOR’s to reduce reflections that cause flare, glare, and ghosting, but only the Z 14-24mm f2.8 S benefits from the new “ARNEO” anti-reflective coating.
The Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S is the fourth Z-NIKKOR lens to include an OLED display that shows the focal length, aperture, or focusing distance (in meters or feet), and depth-of-field. The DISP button can be used to cycle through the various display types.
- New “ARNEO” anti-reflective coating.
- Autofocus is very fast.
- Top Nikon Z wide angle mirrorless lens
- The display is difficult to view in bright sunlight on its default setting, although it can be adjusted to be as bright as the Z7’s top screen.
NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f2.8 S – Best Standard Zoom Lens
With a focal range of 24-70mm, it is well-suited for anything from landscape and street photography to portraiture, weddings, and event photography. It can also double as an emergency macro lens and is particularly well-suited to video capture, making it a reasonably flexible all-rounder.
A comparison to the DSLR-oriented Nikon AF-S Nikon Z 24-70mm F2.8 E ED VR shows the size and weight savings that a Nikon mirrorless lens can provide. Although the barrel diameters are nearly identical, the Z-mount lens measures 28.5mm (1.0) “) brevity. And it weighs around a fourth less, shedding 265g (9.3oz) from the F-mount optic’s weight even before the bulk of the mount adapter is added.
Despite its portability, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.8 S is a superior mirrorless lens in virtually every way than its already-impressive DSLR predecessor. It features an added programmable control ring and button, an extremely handy OLED information display, and superb image quality despite a simpler optical formula.
The control ring on the Nikon Z 24-70mm F2.8 S is now programmable. It is set to manual focus by default; however, you can change this to adjust aperture or exposure compensation if you prefer.
- Ultra-clear pictures.
- With a simple twist, it collapses for easy carrying.
- Compact and lightweight.
- Nikon Z 24-70mm F2.8 is a serious top spot contender on the list of best Nikon Z mount compatible lenses.
- It is almost entirely made of plastic, and it contributes to its light weight, but it also means it has a higher risk of damage.
NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f2.8 S – Best Telephoto Zoom Lens
The Z 70-200mm lens is neither compact nor lightweight, weighing in at over 3lbs and measuring 8.7 inches from mount to tip. Once installed, it will virtually treble the weight of your Nikon Z body. It includes a typical tripod leg (to avoid over-balancing), which is detachable for handheld shooting.
However, the closed design is quite attractive, and the unit is strong and weather-resistant – both of which are critical for stargazing. The outer lens element is fluorine-coated, making it scratch- and mark-resistant. It is one of 21 total elements placed in 18 groups within the lens body. That is expected at this pricing point but handling the Z 70-200m demonstrates just how demanding it is.
Three focus rings and an OLED display on the lens’s top show the current shot settings. The innermost ring controls aperture and is perhaps the least useful of the three for shooting handheld, as there seems to be unbalanced when adjusting this ring. A small quibble, and one that is entirely negated by tripod shooting. The middle ring is used for focusing and is enjoyable, while the frontmost/outermost ring is used to adjust the focal length. They’re all conveniently located, simple to operate, and extremely tactile.
To be honest, the NIKKOR Z 70-200mm performs brilliantly throughout the board.
The autofocus feature is designed to be fast and quiet, just as the lens incorporates built-in stabilization, which Nikon calls vibration reduction technology. This is a necessary counterbalance to the lens’s weight, as it enables you to shoot in low light or with slower shutter speeds without the use of a tripod.
While a tripod is needed for photographing stars, it is possible to capture crisp, clear photos of the moon while shooting handheld, especially when combined with the Z-series bodies’ excellent ISO capabilities. However, one of the few concerns we have of the Nikon 70-200mm mirrorless lens is that it falls short when it comes to detailed, close-up shots of the moon. That requires at least a 1.4x teleconverter. The issue is that with a longer lens, you lose that lower aperture, so there is a trade-off, particularly for Astro.
Overall, it’s an extremely well-designed lens – no frills, just utility. The only major drawback is the size and weight, which means that when shooting with a tripod, you’ll need a firm head and a solid base, even when utilizing the included lens foot.
- Durable, very scratch-resistant.
- Sealed machine.
- Relatively heavy.
NIKKOR Z 50mm f1.8 S – Best Standard Fast Prime Lens
With 12 lens elements in total, two of which are ED (extra-low dispersion glass) and two of which are aspherical, the Nikon Z 50mm f1.8S has a highly sophisticated optical construction for a standard prime. Additionally, it bears the S mark, which Nikon reserves for its high-end Z compatible lenses. The lens is significantly larger, heavier, and more expensive than other lenses of its category.
The Nikon Z 50mm f1.8S lens body is constructed from a combination of precision-machined polycarbonate and metal components. The latter includes the mount and most of the lens’s body components, notably the large focus ring, which adds weight and a pleasant sense of solidity.
The Nikon Z 50mm f1.8S settings are kept to a minimum. There is an AF/M switch and the previously mentioned focus ring, but that is all. The lens lacks a distance scale and a DOF (depth of field) indicator. Z cameras include some modest distance information in the viewfinder, but it is essentially worthless if you wish to focus the lens to a specified distance manually. However, with the direct input provided by the Electronic Viewfinder’s focus peaking and zooming in, many users will likely overlook those scales.
The Nikon Z 50mm f1.8S is equipped with a motor that helps it focus quickly and quietly. However, it is not a perfectly silent drive. Also, the aperture is electronically controlled.
- The Nikon Z 50mm f1.8S lens is dust and moisture-resistant.
- Quiet in usage.
- Little on the heavy sidey.
NIKKOR Z 85mm f1.8 S – Best Portrait Fast Prime Lens
Nikon’s Z 85mm f1.8 lens is the most complicated and high-performance 85mm f1.8 lens Nikon has ever made. Additionally, this Nikon Z mount compatible lens is the largest, heaviest, and most costly of the 85mm f1.8 lenses Nikon has ever produced; it is optimized for optical performance rather than compact size and weight.
It’s nearly flawless visually. This 85mm is intended for the wonderful new future of ultra-high-resolution cameras, not Nikon’s 35mm SLR and DSLR cameras, which have used the same lens mount since the 1950s.
While this is the largest and most costly Nikon 85mm f1.8 lens ever made, it weighs less than half compared to any other lens with comparable performance. Nikon does this by being more astute than the off-brands, capitalizing on the design freedom given by the absence of a reflex mirror, and by making this lens f1.8 rather than f1.4 like the others.
Nikon states that this new Z mirrorless lens features a diaphragm for quiet operation and is dust resistant. Also, the control ring is now programmable. It is set to manual focus by default; however, you can change this otherwise if you prefer.
By default, the large focus ring allows instant manual focus override; however, it may be configured to control Aperture, Exposure Compensation, or ISO — or be disabled entirely.
- Corner-to-corner sharpness feature, largest aperture is at f1.8.
- There is no distortion.
- The camera is dust and drip-resistant.
- There is no f22 choice; the aperture ranges from f1.8 to f16.
That’s all for the review on the best Nikon NIKKOR Z mount compatible mirrorless lenses of 2022. You can keep up to date with all things Nikon in their magazine!
If you seek an upgrade for your shooting experience and jobs, getting one (or all) of the lenses on this list will be a good step in the right direction.
Trust me, you will enjoy taking those shots even more!
Don’t forget to pick up one of the best memory cards aswell!
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