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Nikon’s Z lenses reach new heights

As if the announcement of the new pro-spec mirrorless Z 9 body wasn’t enough, Nikon has also announced three new Z lenses, a new FTZ mount converter and updated its Z lens roadmap. 

The Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S is a telephoto to super-telephoto zoom, and as part of Nikon’s S-Line, promises sharpness and optical quality to match its versatility. It should therefore be a natural fit for sports, action and wildlife fans, and when it goes on sale this winter it’ll be the longest native Z mount lens available so far. It also works with the recent Z teleconverters for even more reach. It uses 25 elements in 20 groups, including six ED and two Super ED elements and has Nano Crystal Coating and Arneo coatings to remove flare and ghosting. 

Despite its promised quality, it’s light, weighing only 1,355g and measures 222x98mm. It’s weather sealed and has a fluorine-coated front element, while handling features include the now-standard Z series customisable control ring, a focus limiter, OLED display panel, zoom and manual focus rings, and two L-Fn buttons. It’ll take 77mm filters. 

For quick and quiet AF, the Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S uses a pair of stepping motors and its minimum focus distance is 75m at the wide end and 98cm at the long. The front element racks out as the lens zooms, but Nikon says it uses Inner Balance Technology to counter any shifts in weight and keep its handling steady. On the same score, its optical Vibration Reduction promises 5.5 stops of compensation. It’ll set you back £2,699 and here are some examples from the new lens.

Next comes the Z 24-120mm f/4 S, which offers a bit more range than the standard Z 24-70mm f/4 S that launched alongside the original Z 6 and Z 7 in 2018, making it even more versatile but with the same constant aperture. As a 5x zoom, it’s certainly not going to leave you short of framing options. 

This new standard-to-telephoto zoom weighs only 630g and measures 118x84mm. It uses 16 elements in 13 groups, including three ED, three aspherical and one aspherical extra-low dispersion elements, along with Nano Crystal and Arneo coatings for improved image quality. AF is taken care of by twin stepping motors and it can focus as close as 35cm regardless of focal length. Maximum magnification is 0.39x, it takes 77mm filters and is weather-sealed with a fluorine coated front element to aid cleaning. It’s priced around £1,099. Here’s some shots taken with it.

Not enough for you? Well there’s also a new mount adapter in the shape of the FTZ II. This does exactly the same as the original FTZ, but in a more streamlined design. The original, with its incorporated tripod mount, had some problems fitting with other accessories like tripod QR plates and grips. This new model shaves off the bump, so it’s happy days. As before it allows backwards compatibility with Nikon F mount lenses from AI type onwards. It’ll be priced £249.

Finally, Nikon has announced development of the Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S, a super-telephoto prime lens with a built-in 1.4x teleconverter. It promises supreme optical performance, thanks in part to a new coating that delivers “the highest anti-reflection performance in Nikon lens history.” Along with that, there’s an updated lens roadmap with some intriguing yellow blobs and silhouettes, including a 26mm compact prime and a DX 12-28mm wide-angle zoom.