Nikon finally releases 50mm f/2.8 and 105mm f/2.8 Z mount macro lenses

Jun 2, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Nikon finally releases 50mm f/2.8 and 105mm f/2.8 Z mount macro lenses

Jun 2, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Nikon has now officially announced two new macro lenses for their Z mount mirrorless system. The “normal” length macro is the Nikon Nikkor Z MC 50mm f/2.8, with a minimum focus distance of 16cm. The other is the Nikon Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S, offering stabilisation and a 1:1 reproduction ratio with a 29cm minimum focus distance.

The 105mm f/2.8 VR S also features the built-in OLED display found on Nikon’s Z mount pro zooms like the 14-24mm, 24-70mm & 70-200mm f/2.8 S trio, as well as the 50mm f/1.2 S prime lens. This lets you quickly see and adjust various settings including aperture, focus distance and other settings.

YouTube video

The new lenses are essentially replacements for the Nikon Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED and the AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED lenses. Surprisingly, the cost of the new lenses isn’t significantly higher than their F mount predecessors, seeing only a $50 bump on the 50mm and a $100 increase on the 105.

Nikon Nikkor Z MC 50mm f/2.8 – $646.95

Focal Length 50mm
Maximum Aperture f/2.8
Minimum Aperturef/32
Lens MountNikon Z
Format CompatibilityFull-Frame
Maximum Magnification1:1
Minimum Focus Distance16 cm
Optical Design10 Elements in 7 Groups
Diaphragm Blades9, rounded
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationNo
Filter Size46 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)74.5mm x 66mm
Weight260g

Nikon Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S – $996.95

Focal Length 105mm
Maximum Aperture f/2.8
Minimum Aperturef/32
Lens MountNikon Z
Format CompatibilityFull-Frame
Maximum Magnification1:1
Minimum Focus Distance29 cm
Optical Design16 Elements in 11 Groups
Diaphragm Blades9, rounded
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationYes (4.5 Stops)
Filter Size62 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)85mm x 140mm
Weight630g

It might have taken Nikon a little while to produce some native macro lenses for their Z mount mirrorless cameras, but they are finally here. Now that parts of the world are starting to open back up, I can see both of these becoming popular with wedding photographers who’ve decided to take the plunge and switch to a Nikon Z camera.

The Nikon Nikkor Z MC 50mm f/2.8 is available to pre-order now for $646.95 and the Nikon Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S is available to pre-order now for $996.95. Shipping is expected to begin in late June.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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7 responses to “Nikon finally releases 50mm f/2.8 and 105mm f/2.8 Z mount macro lenses”

  1. Justin Case Avatar
    Justin Case

    Nikon decided to borrow Canon’s cripple hammer and make the 50mm slow instead of f/1.8 so that it doesn’t compromise their other over engineered lenses. I’ll leave the gear-heads to bang on about sharpness.

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      It’s a macro lens. Why would you want a super wide aperture shallow depth of field on a macro lens? At Macro focusing distances, they’re far too shallow as it is already.

      1. Justin Case Avatar
        Justin Case

        You understand that just because it’s a macro lens you don’t have to use it as a macro and it doesn’t have to be slow? That’s just the way they’ve designed it.

        1. Kaouthia Avatar
          Kaouthia

          Yes, I understand that. I own a Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Macro. And, yes, for macro it is. f/1.8 at a 12″ focus distance is extremely shallow. It’s designed to be a macro lens. It doesn’t matter what else you want to do with it.

          You can throw a tow bar on a Ferrari. It doesn’t mean it’s going to pull your trailer quickly. If you want that focal length with a faster aperture get the 105/1.4. That’s why it exists. So that you have options to buy lenses tailored to your specific needs. If you bought this to have its primary purpose be something other than macro, then you bought the wrong tool for the job. That’s on you, not the lens.

          1. Justin Case Avatar
            Justin Case

            You have missed the point. A Ferrari and a tow-truck have very little in common. In contrast, a fast prime and a fast prime with macro capability have almost everything in common – they are identical except for the added capability in the macro lens to shift the lens assembly a few millimeters further away from the sensor. In other words, you can have macro and fast, all in the same lens with almost no compromise.

          2. Kaouthia Avatar
            Kaouthia

            Actually, I haven’t missed the point. A Ferrari and a truck have a lot in common. They’re both motorised 4-wheeled vehicles that get you from A to B. You can drive both on the same roads with the same driver’s license. They’re common enough that the DVLA in the UK and the DMV in the USA considers them to be the same thing.

            I suspect YOU have missed the point. A 105mm f/2.8 Macro lens and a 105mm f/1.4 Portrait lens are two very different tools with very different designs for different purposes.

            And there *IS* a compromise when you take a macro lens and make it ridiculously fast. You lose too much depth of field. Have you ever actually USED a macro lens for shooting macro and you’ve had less than 2-3mm depth of field? Because it kind of sounds like you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

            But best of luck to you.

          3. libertybibberty Avatar
            libertybibberty

            Couple of other factoids you ignore. Price, and size. Both go way up to get that useless feature for macro users.