Nikon introduces 35mm, 50mm, 24-70mm lenses & FTZ mount adapter for Z Mirrorless cameras

Aug 23, 2018

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 introduces 35mm, 50mm, 24-70mm lenses & FTZ mount adapter for Z Mirrorless cameras

Aug 23, 2018

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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It wasn’t much of a surprise that Nikon would announce new lenses to go along with the new Z6 & Z7 mirrorless cameras. Even if there hadn’t been plenty of rumours about new glass, it was pretty much a given. So, we have the new Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.8 SNikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S and Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S lenses. But we also have a new FTZ lens mount adapter that looks pretty interesting.

It’s an expected variety of lenses with which to launch a new camera, really. When you consider all genres and styles of photography, they’re probably the three most commonly used. That being said, I’m a little disappointed that they’re not a bit wider, especially considering Nikon’s hailing the huge Z Mount’s light gathering abilities as its biggest benefit.

But starting off with f/1.8 primes and an f/4 zoom sort of makes sense for those transitioning from Nikon DSLRs to Nikon mirrorless with the FTZ lens mount adapter. Chances are, those buying into the system for the first time will just want an inexpensive lens to get right into it. Except, it doesn’t make sense, because they’re not inexpensive at all, really.

Those switching over from Nikon DSLRs, though, will mostly already have F Mount versions of their favourite lenses. So, they can keep using those until the Nikkor S series catches up with the FTZ Lens Mount Adapter.

So, let’s start with that.

Nikon FTZ Lens Mount Adapter – $249

Aside from the obvious announcement of the new cameras, this is the most interesting thing for me. Particularly the price and compatibility. A lot of people shun lens adapters, stating that they’re other point of failure or they simply don’t work very well when compared to using native lenses.

While this has historically been true, this is the first time we’ve seen a full frame adapter from the manufacturer of both the lenses and cameras it’s intended for use with. This means they have complete access to all of the communication protocols (because they wrote them), and can specifically design everything to work perfectly with each other.

Nikon says that the FTZ Lens Mount Adapter offers full compatibility with around 90 of Nikon’s existing F Mount lenses. This basically means any D or G type lens with AF-S (yes, there are D Type lenses with AF-S motors), as well as Nikon’s more recent E type & AF-P lenses. For the older G & D type lenses that still rely on a mechanical connection for the aperture, Nikon has included a tiny motor and lever to retain that compatibility.

This means that it should also offer at least some compatibility with Nikon’s regular AF D & G type lenses, as well as their older Ai & Ai-S lenses – just like their current model DSLRs. Except, with regular screw-drive AF lenses, you’ll only be able to manually focus (like the D3x00 and D5x00 series). Given the high resolution of the Z6 and Z7 EVF, though, this might not be an issue if the focus peaking works well.

Nikon Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.8 S – $846.95

Yes, you read it right, 850 bucks for a 35mm f/1.8 lens. With the F Mount Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G coming in at a mere $527 by comparison, may be better off just buying that and the FTZ lens mount adapter above. Of course, until we see how that combination compares to the Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.8 S in the real world, that saving might not be worth the performance difference.

  • Focal Length: 35mm
  • Max aperture: f/1.8
  • Mount: Nikon Z
  • Format: Full Frame
  • Field of view: 63°
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9, rounded
  • Image Stabilisation: None

Nikon says that the Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.8 S offers “rendering performance that redefines perceptions of what a 35mm f/1.8 lens can do”. It’s a pretty bold statement and may actually justify the $300+ price difference over the F Mount option.

The 35mm f/1.8 S features a pair of AF drive units, to provide a lot of fast power at high speed as well as high accuracy allowing for a quiet and accurate autofocus. it also contains a pair of ED glass elements and three aspherical elements with nanocrystal coating to minimise ghosting and flare. It’s also “dust and drip” resistant, and the entire lens “including moving parts” have been sealed.

Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S – $596.95

The price on this lens is a little more reasonable than the 35mm above. However, it still costs almost three times as much as the F Mount Nikon 50mm f/1.8G at around $220. It’s is even more expensive than the F Mount Nikon 50mm f/1.4G costing $447. Again, though, I’ll wait until I see how this lens stands up against those in the real world once they become available.

  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • Max aperture: f/1.8
  • Mount: Nikon Z
  • Format: Full Frame
  • Field of view: 47°
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9, rounded
  • Image Stabilisation: None

The Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S features a new powerful stepper mtoor (STM) which Nikon says offers quiet and accurate autofocus sshooting both stills and video. It features two ED elements and two aspherical elements with the same nanocrystal coating mentioned above to prevent aberration. Also, like the 35mm, the 50mm is “dust and drip” resistant and the entire lens has been sealed.

Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S – $996,95

Unlike the two prime lenses mentioned above, this one appears to be quite reasonably priced. Coming in at a little under a grand, the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S is substantially less expensive than the F Mount Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR. which tips the scales around $2,400. Of course, this lens doesn’t feature VR, but then it doesn’t need it, as the Z6 and Z7 cameras feature 5-axis in-body image stabilisation.

So, how about the 24-70mm f/2.8E’s predecessor? The Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED? Well, it’s much less expensive than that lens, too, which is sstill selling for around $1,800. So, around $1,000 is probably about what we’d expect to pay had Nikon released a 24-70mm f/4 lens for the F Mount.

  • Focal Length: 24-70mm
  • Max aperture: f/4
  • Mount: Nikon Z
  • Format: Full Frame
  • Field of view: 84° – 32° 20′
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7, rounded
  • Image Stabilisation: None
  • Filter thread: 72mm

I can potentially see the Nikon Z6 with the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S becoming a popular combo for people getting started with Nikon mirrorless. I’m curious to see how well the primes will sell given their prices, though, especially the 35mm. They’re going to have to be some extra special lenses.

The Lens Roadmap

With the exception of the Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens coming sometime next year, it looks like we’re going to have to wait until 2020 before we see anything faster than f/1.8. At least we’ll have a couple of f/2.8 zooms.

Next year, the lineup looks to expand fairly considerably with six new lenses.

  • Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct
  • 20mm f/1.8
  • 85mm f/1.8
  • 24-70mm f/2.8
  • 70-200mm f/2.8
  • 14-30mm f/4

With three more scheduled for 2020

  • 50mm f/1.2
  • 24mm f/1.8
  • 14-24mm f/2.8

Nikon says that the names are not finalised on most of the lenses, although I’ll bet most of them will start with “Nikkor Z” and end with “S”. There’s a lot of extra blank space in that list for 2020 and 2021, though, so who knows what else we’ll see. It’s nice that we won’t have to wait too long to see the “Holy Trinity” come to the new Z Mount.

One thing that’s potentially intriguing about the new Z Mount with its super short flange distance. Will we see Sigma release a new version of the MC-11 adapter, allowing us to potentially use Canon EF & Sigma SA mount lenses as they did for Sony? Probably not. Nikon doesn’t exactly have the lens deficit that Sony did (and still does, really).

All three lenses and the FTZ mount adapter are available to pre-order now. They’re all set to ship on October 3rd, except for the 50mm which is expected on October 26th.

More on that Nikon Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct coming soon!

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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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One response to “Nikon introduces 35mm, 50mm, 24-70mm lenses & FTZ mount adapter for Z Mirrorless cameras”

  1. pandacongolais Avatar
    pandacongolais

    Anybody else noticed the size of the Z mount ?
    Was it perspective on the pictures, or is it much larger than the F mount ?
    Is Nikon preparing a camera with sensor larger than Full Frame ?