The Nikon Z 28mm F2.8 is a wide-angle prime lens for full-frame Nikon FX sensor mirrorless cameras with a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture.
It is also a full-length wide prime lens when used on Nikon DX APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras, where it provides a 42mm equivalent focal length.
The 28mm F2.8 for Nikon was first announced in November 2021 and released in December 2021. This lens is made in Thailand.
The Nikon Z 28mm F2.8 is identical to the Nikon Z 28mm F2.8 SE lens we reviewed in 2021 – the only difference between them is purely cosmetic, with the non-SE version featuring a modern black finish rather than the more classic the look and feel of the Special Edition lens, which resembles AI Nikkor lenses from the era of SLR film photography.
It features 9 elements in 8 groups, including two aspherical elements to help limit spherical aberrations and distortion, while the Super Integrated Coating suppresses flare and ghosting.
The Nikkor Z 28mm features a dust and splash proof structure and has a minimum focusing distance of 19cm / 0.63ft with a maximum magnification of 0.2x.
It has a rounded 7-blade diaphragm that creates attractive blurring of out-of-focus areas of the image, and an internal focusing mechanism that means the lens barrel doesn’t move.
This lens uses dual stepping motors for fast, quiet and precise autofocus and full-time manual focus override is also possible.
The Nikon Z 28mm F2.8 lens is available now for £259/$299 in the UK and US respectively.
Ease of use
Weighing 155g / 5.7oz 160g / 5.46oz, the Nikon Z 28mm F2.8 plastic body is very light for a full-frame lens. In fact, it’s the lightest Nikkor Z prime lens released to date, beating its Special Edition sibling by 5g/0.18oz.
It measures 70mm x 43mm / 2.8″ x 1.7″, making it the smallest lens currently available for Nikon’s Z-series mirrorless cameras.
Its overall size and weight make it more than a little incongruous when mounted on a big camera like the FX-format Nikon Z9 we tested it with, as seen in the product photos – it would be a lot more comfortable on a smaller camera like the Z5.
The build quality is good, exceeding what you might expect from such an affordable prime lens, although the all-plastic construction may prove less durable in the long run.
The Special Edition (SE) version of this lens has a classic look and feel designed to match the Nikon Z fc camera, from the knurled texture of the control ring and even down to the matching fonts used for the lens name. the goal.
In contrast, the “regular” Z 28mm F2.8 lens we’re reviewing today has Nikon’s standard modern black finish that matches all other Z-series camera bodies much better.
It incorporates a plastic mount, rather than metal, and a plastic lens barrel with a single control, the generously sized focus ring.
If you’re someone who rarely uses manual focus, you can assign the focus ring to control a different function, such as aperture, ISO speed, or exposure compensation. This is something you can set via the main camera menu and can be very handy in certain circumstances.
Somewhat surprisingly given the modest asking price, this lens features a dust and moisture sealed design to support shooting in tougher conditions.
The Nikon Z 28mm F2.8 lens accepts 52mm filters via plastic threads on the front of the lens.
The lens lacks built-in optical image stabilization, instead relying on the camera body’s stabilization system.
The Nikon Z 28mm F2.8 lens has a wide, ridged motorized focus ring that is quite well damped. Manual focus is possible by selecting it on the camera body or full-time manual focus override is also possible in AF mode.
As the focus ring is not mechanically coupled, there are no hard stops at either end of the range, which makes adjusting the focus at infinity a bit more difficult. Polarizer users should be pleased that the 52mm filter thread does not rotate on focus.
The Nikon Z 28mm F2.8 lens uses dual AF stepping motors that produce near-silent, smooth, and fast autofocusing, making it well suited for both stills and video shooting, the full length of the lens remaining constant during focusing.
As for the autofocus, it proved to be very fast on the Nikon Z9 camera we tested it with. We didn’t experience much “hunting” either in good or bad lighting, with the lens focusing accurately almost all the time.
This lens only comes with front and rear lens caps – there is no lens hood or any type of case included in the box.
28mm focal length provides an angle of view of 75° on a full-frame 35mm FX-format camera and 53° on an APS-C DX-format camera, equivalent to a focal length of 42mm .
Chromatic aberrations, usually seen as blue or purple fringing along contrasting edges, weren’t really apparent in our test shots, only showing up in very high contrast areas.
With the Nikon Z 28mm F2.8 lens set to its maximum aperture of f/2.8, there is obvious light falloff around the corners, forcing you to stop at least 3 f-stops to prevent it completely.
Fortunately, there is hardly any obvious barrel distortion in JPEG or RAW files.
Sunstars and Flares
The Nikon Z 28mm F2.8 doesn’t produce very nice sunstars even when stopped at f/16, as shown below, and it’s also a bit prone to flare when shooting directly in the sun.
The Nikon Z 28mm F2.8 is not a macro lens, offering a minimum focusing distance close to 0.19m/0.63ft and a maximum magnification of 0.2x. The following examples show how close you can get to your subject.
Bokeh is a word used for out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth/creamy/hard, etc.
In the Z 28mm F2.8 lens, Nikon used an iris diaphragm with 7 rounded blades, which resulted in quite attractive bokeh for what is after all a moderately wide-angle lens.
We realize, however, that bokeh assessment is subjective, so we’ve included several examples below for your perusal, all shot wide-aperture at f/2.8.
In order to show you how sharp the Nikon Z 28mm F2.8 lens is, we provide 100% crops on the next page.