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The $1,200 Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 is a more affordable alternative to the brand’s $2,300 Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens

Who it’s for

The new Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 lens
The compact and lightweight design coupled with a versatile focal range should make this a great walk-around lens. Nikon

This lens is aimed squarely at cost-conscious folks seeking an f/2.8 constant aperture wide-to-telephoto zoom for full-frame Z-mount. However, the lens is also compatible with crop sensor Z-mount bodies including the Z50 and Z fc. Mounting it on either will result in a slightly awkward 42-112mm equivalent focal range. 

But on a full-frame body, like the Z5 or Z6 II, the 28-75mm focal range is extremely versatile and well-suited to a wide range of photographic disciplines. Plus, the f/2.8 max aperture should result in good subject separation when shooting wide open, and should also allow for use in low light. In short, this is one versatile piece of glass.

A sample captured with the new Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8
A sample captured with the 28-75mm, shot at f/2.8. Nikon

Build-quality

The Z 28-75mm is 30% lighter than Nikon Z 24-70 f/2.8 S and narrower too. It takes a 67mm filter ring, compared to its sibling’s 82mm ring. And weighs in at a reasonably lightweight, 1.2-pounds (656g) compared to its sibling’s 1.8-pound weight (805g). 

The body of the Z 28-75mm consists of a large zoom ring at the front and a customizable control ring toward the base. This can be set to change ISO, aperture, or exposure compensation, as well as used to control focus. The lens is also dust and moisture-sealed. 

The new Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 lens
The lens is dust and moisture-sealed. Nikon

Optical design & aperture

Optically, there are 15 elements arranged in 12 groups with three aspherical elements, one ED element (extra-low dispersion element), and one Super ED element. We’ve yet to handle the lens, but the samples we’ve seen show excellent sharpness and well-controlled chromatic aberration. And the bokeh produced by the lens’ 9-blade aperture also looks pretty appealing. 

A sample captured with the new Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8
Bokeh balls, captured wide open. Nikon

Autofocus

A stepping motor (STM) powers focus in a near-silent and presumably zippy fashion. Focusing is internal, so the lens doesn’t extend as it racks. And focus breathing—a phenomenon where the field of view shifts when the focus is adjusted—is also well controlled, making this a serious option for video shooters. 

Adding to the lens’ versatile is an impressive minimum focus distance of just 7.5 inches (0.19m) at 28mm and 15-inches (0.39m) at 75mm. 

Price and availability

The new Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 lens
Nikon says the new lens will be available in early 2022, but given the situation with global supply chains, that could end up getting pushed back. Nikon

The Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 should ship in early 2022 for $1199.95. 

Nikon Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S 

Nikon also announced the development of a Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S super-telephoto prime lens, but outside of its focal length and max aperture, we don’t know much. We do know the lens will include image stabilization and be a member of the brand’s pro-level S-line. Details on price, availability and/or size/weight are forthcoming. Stay tuned.

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