Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 Review
Generally, a lens that’s pleasing to make use of will discover a everlasting place in your bag, even when it has some optical flaws. That’s how I really feel concerning the Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8, which is considered one of Nikon’s smallest and lightest lenses ever. I carried the Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 around the globe to Iceland, Zion Nationwide Park, and Yosemite Nationwide Park for months of area testing at Photography Life. The lens was so small and transportable that I hardly seen it in any respect. In at present’s evaluate, I’ll dive into every little thing I found concerning the Z 28mm f/2.8 so that you could determine if it’s the correct lens for you.
Nikon launched the 28mm f/2.8 in June 2021. Technically, it was the “SE” or “Particular Version” of the 28mm f/2.8 that was introduced in June, whereas the traditional model of the lens was introduced later that year in November. The one distinction between the 2 lenses is that the 28mm f/2.8 SE has a retro-styled exterior, whereas the usual 28mm f/2.8 doesn’t. The optical design is precisely the identical. Observe that the Particular Version prices a whopping $10 greater than the common model ($310 vs $300, though seasonal gross sales can change issues).
Even contemplating the Particular Version, the 28mm f/2.8 was launched slightly late. Light-weight mirrorless cameras want light-weight lenses to pair with them, or else they lose an enormous promoting level. But for about three years, Nikon didn’t have any true pancake lenses (or “muffin” lenses like this one) to pair with their Z-series cameras, apart from the underwhelming 24-50mm f/4-6.3.
Fortunately, the 28mm f/2.8 righted the ship. The 40mm f/2 that got here alongside quickly afterwards (September 2021) added one other good light-weight possibility, and the 26mm true pancake lens on Nikon’s roadmap additionally seems to be fascinating. Ideally Nikon would additionally launch an ultra-wide muffin lens like a 20mm f/4, and a reasonable telephoto alongside the identical strains, like a 70mm f/2.8. Personally, I hope that the 28mm f/2.8 and 40mm f/2 promote properly sufficient to persuade Nikon it is a good concept!
Talking of promoting properly, with a value of $300, I anticipate this lens to just do that. It’s considered one of Nikon’s least costly Z-series lenses to date, and it has a flexible focal size that pairs properly each with FX cameras and DX cameras (the place it’s roughly equal to a 40mm lens). The 28mm f/2.8 is the optimum dimension and value to make use of as a journey pictures lens, or as a body-cap alternative to maintain in your camera by default. When Nikon first introduced it, I felt prefer it had a number of potential.
Nonetheless, in an effort to notice that potential, the lens must carry out properly and have the correct options. Plenty of lenses commerce picture high quality for portability, and that’s not a tradeoff that everybody needs to make. How does the Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 carry out, then? Usually, it’s a strong lens, however it isn’t excellent.
That impression begins with its specs. Right here’s the total record:
Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 Specs
- Mount Sort: Nikon Z Mount
- Focal Size: 28mm prime
- Angle of View (DX): 53°
- Angle of View (FX): 75°
- Most Aperture: f/2.8
- Minimal Aperture: f/16
- Aperture Blades: 7, rounded
- Filter Measurement: 52mm
- Lens Components: 9
- Lens Teams: 8
- Particular Components: 2 aspherical
- ARNEO Coating: No
- Nano Crystal Coating: No
- Tremendous Built-in Coating: Sure
- Fluorine Coated Entrance Component: No
- Digital Diaphragm: Sure
- Vibration Discount: No
- Inside Focusing: Sure
- Management Rings: One (usually used for handbook focus)
- Operate Buttons: None
- Focus Motor: 2 STM
- Minimal Focus Distance: 0.19 m (7.6 inches)
- Most Magnification: 0.2× (1:5)
- Mount Materials: Plastic
- Dimensions (Size × Diameter): 43 × 70 mm (1.7 × 2.8 inches)
- Weight: 155 g (5.5 oz)
- MSRP: $300
- Lowest Sale Seen: $280 (check current price)
We’re not taking a look at cream-of-the-crop specs right here. The Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 lacks most of Nikon’s anti-flare coatings, and it loses some factors for water resistance with the dearth of a fluorine-coated entrance aspect and rear rubber gasket. The plastic lens mount and simplistic design present that Nikon is utilizing a few of its cheaper parts to make the 28mm f/2.8.
Right here’s the lens aspect diagram of the Z 28mm f/2.8:
Apparently, within the diagram above, the entrance of the lens is on the left. In different phrases, the smallest lens parts are on the entrance, and the biggest parts are on the again. That’s actually uncommon for a wide-angle lens – not good or dangerous, simply totally different. It’s in all probability as a result of Nikon had totally different design objectives for the 28mm f/2.8 in an effort to make it as small and light-weight as doable.
Talking of dimension and weight, the Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 definitely is a small lens. At 155 grams, it’s the lightest full-frame Nikon Z lens but, though the 26mm pancake on the roadmap is certain to be lighter. If portability is your high concern, you may’t do a lot better than the Z 28mm f/2.8. Solely the Nikon Z 40mm f/2 and Nikon Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 are in the identical ballpark amongst Nikon’s full-frame lenses, at 170 g and 195 g respectively. All the things else is double the load or extra.
Construct High quality
As anticipated of a light-weight lens, the Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 is generally made from plastic. I don’t discover that to be a lot of a priority; it saves weight in comparison with metallic, and it’s actually no much less sturdy. There’s just one space of the lens have been the plastic development offers me pause, and that’s the lens mount.
Nikon’s alternative of a plastic lens mount slightly than metallic is definitely their most controversial resolution on the Z 28mm f/2.8. I’ve lengthy thought-about metallic to be the higher, extra sturdy materials for lens mounts over years of utilization. Nonetheless, within the curiosity of equity, I ought to level out that plastic lens mounts have supporters of their very own within the feedback part of my Nikon Z 40mm f/2 evaluate. One argument is that the plastic-metal interface is extra waterproof than metal-metal interface of most lenses. One other is that the lens mount doesn’t simply degrade over time, even when they’re plastic.
I go away the choice in your arms, however I like to recommend testing the total dialogue within the 40mm f/2’s remark part right here if you happen to’re skeptical. (Additionally included within the feedback is a way to switch the plastic lens mount with a metallic one, if you happen to’re daring sufficient.) It’s nonetheless a case of Nikon cheaping out, however possibly it’s of no actual concern for a lens as light-weight as this.
As for the remainder of the construct high quality options, the lens has no shifting exterior elements apart from the management ring. The filter thread is a tiny 52mm, which suggests you’ll want a step-up ring if you wish to use extra frequent 62mm+ filters on this lens.
Past that, because of the lack of a fluorine coating, water and dirt have a tendency to stay to the entrance aspect of the 28mm f/2.8 greater than on some Nikon Z lenses. The minuscule dimension of the lens’s entrance aspect helps considerably in wet situations, however it’s nonetheless some extent towards the lens for utilization in harsh climate.
Aside from that, I’m truly pleasantly stunned with the 28mm f/2.8’s construct high quality and development. All the things is constructed to tight tolerances, and there are inside mud/water seals for utilization in robust environments. In my months of testing this lens – together with greater than per week testing it in Iceland within the winter – it at all times functioned like regular.
Now let’s cowl the dealing with options of the Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8.
The Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 has only a few dealing with options in any respect. There aren’t any switches on the lens, and there’s just one management ring (which 99% of photographers will hold assigned to handbook focus). This places it on the identical stage because the Nikon Z 40mm f/2 as considered one of Nikon’s sparsest lenses in a long time.
At minimal, I might have preferred to see an AF-M swap such as you’d discover on most different Nikon Z lenses. As a result of there isn’t one, you’ll want to open the AF settings on the camera itself everytime you wish to disable autofocus.
Nonetheless, the dearth of dealing with options signifies that there’s not a lot to complain about, both. It’s a really easy lens that will get out of your approach more often than not.
Subsequent up, I’ll cowl the optical traits of the Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8, together with focusing efficiency and sharpness assessments within the lab. Click on the menu under to go to the subsequent web page of this evaluate, “Optical Options”:
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