Nikon has unveiled the specifications, pricing, and release date for two lenses that were first mentioned in a development announcement earlier this year.
The first lens is a compact 26mm f/2.8 full-frame lens. This is Nikon’s slimmest and lightest ever FX lens, weighing just 125g (0.28 lb) and measuring just 24mm (0.94″) long. For Nikon Z system users with FX cameras, the 26mm focal length provides a moderately wide angle option well-suited to travel and all-day use. For DX-format users, the 39mm field of view equivalent enables the lens to be used as a standard prime for the so-called normal field of view associated with 40-50mm lenses.
Despite the small size of the lens, Nikon has included a control ring that can be customized to alter your choice of focus, aperture, and exposure compensation. A lens hood is supplied and features a 52mm filter thread. The lens will be available for $499.95 in early March 2023.
The second lens on today’s Nikon launch list is the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.2 S which has been on the Nikon lens roadmap for some time. This is Nikon’s first 85mm lens with an f/1.2 aperture and the second f/1.2 lens in the Nikon Z lens lineup alongside the NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2. The lens features a weather-sealed magnesium alloy construction and 11 rounded diaphragm blades to produce what Nikon calls a dreamy and opulent background blur with smooth and circular bokeh. Nikon says the pair of STM focus motors deliver rapid AF performance, and for video shooters, the lens has been designed to exhibit minimal focus breathing.
The 85mm focal length has always been popular with wedding and portrait photographers. Until now, Nikon Z-system users had limited choices in this area. The new 85mm f/1.2 S lens exists alongside the current 85mm f/1.8 S. While the f/1.8 lens is good, it doesn’t have the background destroying bokeh that an f/1.2 aperture can provide. Moreover, Nikon still doesn’t have a fast aperture 105mm or 135mm prime, which would be the other usual focal lengths in the bag of portrait professionals.
This new lens was a much-needed addition to the Z lens catalog, and I’m sure it’ll sell like hotcakes. Pre-order if you want to stand any hope of getting it close to the late March 2023 launch date. It’ll cost you a hefty $2,799.95.
These two new lenses have been added to our Nikon Z lens database, allowing you to compare the specifications of all Nikon Z lenses quickly.
Where to Buy
As always, it is appreciated when you use our links for your camera gear purchases.
- Nikon Z 85mm f/1.2 S – Amazon / B&H / Adorama / Lensrentals / WEX (UK) / digiDirect (AUS) / Camera Canada
- Nikon Z 26mm f/2.8 – Amazon / B&H / Adorama / Lensrentals / WEX (UK) / digiDirect (AUS) / Camera Canada
Flawless & Flattering: The New Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.2 S Prime Lens
Nikon Also Announces the Ultra Slim and Lightweight NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8 Pancake Lens
Melville, NY (February 6 2023) –
Today, Nikon Inc. has announced the highly anticipated NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.2 S, a professional-level ultra-fast prime lens that exemplifies the powerful potential of the Nikon Z Mount for those capturing stills or video footage, whether it be studio head shots, weddings, events, high fashion, b-roll, close ups and more. This 85mm portrait lens with an incredibly fast f/1.2 aperture delivers the ultimate in image quality for the most discerning clients, plus the benefits of a flattering, compressing focal length that dissolves the background into a beautiful and intoxicating bokeh. Nikon has also released the slimmest and lightest full-frame AF NIKKOR lens ever created1, the NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8 “pancake” lens. This new ultra-compact lens is made for creators, offering versatility for capturing all kinds of content from street style and landscapes to everyday casual snaps.
“The NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.2 S is a lens that unquestionably exhibits the extraordinary potential of the Z mount to resolve amazing details and dimensionality, and I’m confident this lens will quickly establish itself with legendary status among its users,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “The NIKKOR Z line continues to expand to benefit all kinds of creators, and those who adore the idea of carrying a super slim, light, sharp and fast walk-around lens will love NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8.”
NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.2 S: Beautiful Bokeh and Precise AF
The view from this premium S line lens is nothing short of captivating. Ultra-high-resolution and intense sharpness renders skin texture and hair realistically, with a striking yet gradual depth of field and abundant light gathering ability that only a lens with a wide f/1.2 aperture could offer. Focus on the eyes creates a deep human connection between the viewer and the subject, with three-dimensional rendering that portrays a heightened level of emotion and depth.
What makes the new NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.2 S lens extraordinary isn’t immediately apparent; the outstanding optical performance goes beyond the impressive sharpness to create a truly unique optic, with special emphasis given to the distinct character of the bokeh and out-of-focus area. The background blur is soft and natural, while the transition from the plane of focus is subtle and gradual. Wide open, the depth is utterly astounding, and even when stopping down it’s downright dreamy and opulent with smooth and circular bokeh that drives attention to the subject to create a glamourous appearance that’s desirable for fashion, boudoir and brides.
Similar to the coveted NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 NOCT, the optical construction includes 11 rounded diaphragm blades, which work together with the fast aperture to melt away point light sources into round and soft circles. Additionally, the use of ED glass suppresses color fringing, while the position of lens elements is carefully considered to eliminate any kind of “onion-ring” characteristics.
The new NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.2 S benefits from Nikon’s advanced multi-focusing system for enhanced optical performance at close distances as well as rapid AF performance that enables precise accuracy even with the razor-thin depth of field at f/1.2. This is the precision that helps to capture what’s most important; from a model’s dynamic poses, a couple’s fleeting emotional embrace, or intricate event details. To achieve this level of performance, the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.2 S’s multi-focusing system consists of two stepping (STM) motors to coordinate positioning of two focusing lens groups simultaneously. These small-diameter, high-torque STM’s in the AF mechanism ensure outstandingly quiet, fast, and accurate operation.
Additional Features of the new NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.2 S
- A Nikon first, f/1.2 aperture on an 85mm lens, provides shallow depth of field, gorgeous bokeh and amazing light gathering capability.
- A minimum focusing distance of only 2.8ft / 0.85m lets you get close to subjects for immaculate details.
- Embrace shooting with challenging backlight thanks to a Nano Crystal Coat that suppresses ghosting and flare.
- Videographers will appreciate the quiet operational sound and fast AF afforded by the STM motors, the minimized focus breathing2 as well as the support for manual linear focusing on select cameras.
- The independent control ring and an additional L-Fn button are fully customizable.
- The optical formula consists of 15 elements in 10 groups with 2 aspherical elements and one ED element. The ED lens effectively reduces chromatic aberration while the aspherical lens reduces spherical aberration, distortion, and other aberrations.
- The lens is constructed of durable magnesium alloy, while superior dust and drip-resistance is ensured by sealing in various areas including movable parts of the lens barrel and mount.3
The NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8: A Premium Pancake for Every-Day Carry
The new NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8 is a super-thin wide angle prime for Z series mirrorless cameras, and it’s Nikon’s slimmest and lightest full-frame AF lens ever. Despite its small size, the lens packs a tremendous punch with superior sharpness and beautiful blurred backgrounds with a fast f/2.8 aperture. This is the first NIKKOR Z lens to be slender and light enough to be considered a true “pancake”, with a total length of less than one inch (23.5mm) and a weight of approximately 4.5oz (125g).
The new NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8 is so small and lightweight, it’s easy to take anywhere to capture photos and video with maximum impact. Whether shooting street photography, travel vlogs or landscape shots in a unique location, the NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8 has you covered as the perfect companion wherever the journey may lead.
Additional Features of the NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8
- The slimness and lightness are achieved thanks to the adoption of an All-element focusing system, as well as three aspherical lens elements.
- When mounted on a DX-format camera, the focal length becomes 39mm (equivalent), similar to a standard angle lens.
- A minimum focus distance of approx. eight inches (0.2m) lets users to get close to their subjects.
- Use of an STM motor enables a highly accurate AF drive.
- Functions such as aperture and exposure compensation can be assigned to the control ring.
- Includes a new lens cap and a lens hood that has been specially designed to be slim and work with 52mm filters (filters sold separately)
- The lens is fitted with a durable metal mount, and the body is designed carefully considering dust- and drip-resistant performance enabling it to be taken anywhere with greater confidence.3
Price and availability:
The new NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.2 S will be available in late March 2023 for a suggested retail price of $2,799.95*, while the NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8 will be available in early March for $499.95* SRP. For more information about the latest Nikon products, including other NIKKOR Z lenses and the entire collection of Z series cameras, please visit nikonusa.com.
1. Slimmest among full-frame/FX-format AF lenses for mirrorless cameras, available as of February 7, 2023; statement based on Nikon research and lightest among NIKKOR Z lenses available as of February 7, 2023.
2. Focus breathing may be noticeable depending on the distance between the lens and the subject due to the characteristics of the lens.
3. Thorough dust- and drip-resistance is not guaranteed in all situations or under all conditions.
*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.