Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 Lens Assessment: Tiny, Mighty, And Low-cost

There was a variety of chatter and pleasure surrounding the Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 lens when it was introduced as a particular pairing (along with a special version) with the Z fc digicam. As one of many smallest and lightest lenses launched for the Z mirrorless system that comes paired with one of many shorter focus distances, the $297 “pocket” lens packs a variety of punch in a tiny and reasonably priced bundle.

The tiny full-frame wide-angle lens (interprets to about 42mm on a crop sensor) is generally product of plastic and fairly a bit lighter than Nikon’s higher-end glass. It weighs a scant 155 grams (5.5 ounces) which makes it fairly simple to hold round as an on a regular basis lens. The shut focus distance (7.5 inches) and claimed climate sealing solely add to this.

The lens is technically positioned in between the 24mm f/1.8 S and the 35mm f/1.8 S lenses however lacks the “S” designation of its siblings. Given the attention-grabbing focal size, it would shine higher on a crop sensor physique. On a full-frame system, this lens provides customers a 75-degree subject of view however on a DX system just like the Z fc or Z50 it provides a little bit nearer to the “human eye” perspective. For the aim of this evaluate, I examined it on a number of full-frame methods, nevertheless, I imagine the 28mm lens was meant to do larger issues if it had been hooked up to a DX system just like the Z fc or Z50 (neither of which I had entry to, sadly).

Construct High quality and Design

Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 Lens mounted on the z9 body.

The compact lens is kind of related in design to Nikon’s 40mm f/2 lens with very related dimensions and exterior look. The one management ring on the lens controls the main target ring by default, however it may be personalized to regulate the aperture or different options relying on the digicam. Additionally, just like the 40mm f/2 lens, the 28mm additionally excluded the Auto/Guide (AF/M) focus change and acquainted lens hoods usually accompanying most Nikon lenses.

Inside, the lens is relatively much like its 40mm sibling as a result of it too is lacking inner picture stabilization. Since all the Nikon Z mirrorless methods have IBIS, it’s on no account a dealbreaker however having just a few further steps of stabilization for these low mild moments would have been good.

When in comparison with the S-line of lenses, the 28mm f/2.8 body and lens mount is made largely of plastic making it really feel a little bit extra fragile. I suppose the good thing about the plastic physique means it’s a lot lighter, and naturally, retains the value a lot decrease. And regardless of it being product of plastic, the lens does nonetheless really feel surprisingly sturdy and well-balanced.

One other draw back of it not being an S-lens is it’s lacking the extra “fancy” coatings, and whereas it’s largely unnoticeable in the event you search for it and do some heavy comparisons with pictures shot in harsh backlit conditions (like taking pictures into the solar) the variations between the excessive and low-end Nikon glass will begin to turn into obvious.

Nikon Z 28mm F/2.8 Lens Top View Mounted on Z6

Picture High quality and Efficiency

Whereas I discovered the lens to be a little bit of an “in-between” focal size on my full-frame our bodies (I examined it with the Nikon Z6, Z6 II, and Z9), the pictures had been fairly clear, sharp, and the autofocus was extremely fast (and quiet) when monitoring shifting objects, attaining correct focus in beneath a second in just about each state of affairs I might throw at it.

The management ring on the lens, being completely customizable, is of a “clickless” design (which is helpful for video shooters) and there’s no haptic suggestions obtainable for minimal or most focus/aperture ranges. Nevertheless, when focusing manually, there’s a little little bit of focus respiratory when pulling from its most to minimal focus distances. The magnification, a minimum of in my testing, was barely even noticeable had I not been taking pictures with a tripod on static targets, and even then it’s so minimal that it shouldn’t be a difficulty for informal stills or video work.

28mm HDR Image

When stepped all the way down to f/2.8 via f/4, there may be some very minor aberration and vignetting within the pictures that will be largely unnoticeable had been you not searching for it particularly. As soon as the aperture is ready to above f/4 there are subsequent to no points in readability, sharpness, or aberration for the remainder of its vary. Like many of the lenses of this nature, I discovered the sharpest focal candy spot to be round f/5.6 to f/8 for many eventualities. With such a large subject of view, when taking pictures objects shut up, it is ready to create a robust separation between the topic and the background even at larger f-stops, which means creatives don’t have to really feel caught within the f/2.8 zone for his or her pictures.

As for the bokeh, whereas the separation is easy and simple to handle, the precise bokeh sample appeared to be the blandest of the Nikon Z lenses I’ve been ready to make use of to date. It’s not unhealthy by any means, it simply didn’t stand out in any approach.

It’s price noting as properly that when taking pictures on the Z mirrorless system an choice is offered for “Vignette Management.” If that is enabled, even simply on “regular” the minimal quantity of vignetting current turns into nearly invisible, apart from when taking pictures broad open at f/2.8. At that aperture, the acute corners will nonetheless have seen vignetting within the uncooked recordsdata. (All of that is simply adjusted in publish and/or by making use of the lens profile to the pictures)

LA Wide Angle - 28mm f2.8
LA Vast Angle – 28mm f/2.8
LA Wide Angle - 28mm f5.6
LA Vast Angle – 28mm f/5.6
LA Wide Angle - 28mm f8
LA Vast Angle – 28mm f/8
LA Wide Angle - 28mm f11
LA Vast Angle – 28mm f/11
LA Wide Angle - 28mm f16
LA Vast Angle – 28mm f/16

Beneath are a set of pattern pictures taken with Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 lens:

Tiny, Mighty, And Low-cost

Whereas the Z-mount 28mm f/2.8 lens from Nikon could not ship the identical top-notch high quality because the S-line of lenses, it does ship quite a bit at a considerably cheaper price than those self same S-line lenses command. It performs constantly with minimal aberration and has a top-notch and quiet autofocus motor making it moreover useful to videographers. Additionally, did I point out it’s low cost?

An important characteristic of this lens is its small measurement and weight, particularly in comparison with its price. Whereas the efficiency was not mind-blowing on an FX system, I get the impression when linked to a DX digicam, any of the problems I had with aberration or vignetting across the corners could be negligible.

Both approach you take a look at this lens, it’s discreet and durable sufficient to journey with photographers as a part of their “on a regular basis” package.

Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 mounted on z9 body, side profile

Are There Alternate options?

Nikon already has a number of S-line options for this lens that sit on both facet of its focal vary, however they’re considerably larger priced. This consists of the $997 24mm f/1.8 S and the $847 35mm f/1.8 S. Whereas each are “shut” in focal vary and are bigger and heavier. It must also be famous that they’re far much less discreet than the 28mm f/2.8 for one thing like avenue images.

Trying past Nikon, the $429 Viltrox AF 24mm f/1.8 is fairly related, sooner, and a little bit nearer to the value of the Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8. I can’t converse to the standard of the photographs it produces, nevertheless.

Ought to You Purchase It?

Sure, if you’re searching for a lens to fill within the gaps between the opposite focal lengths or just need a very reasonably priced walkabout lens for journey and avenue images. The $297 28mm f/2.8 lens is well worth the low price of entry.

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