Best lenses for Nikon Z9 and Z8 in 2024

Nikon Z9 with Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S lens
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

Choosing the best lenses for the Nikon Z9 and Z8 sounds an easy job. You just pick the most expensive S-line version of every lens, right? Well it's not that straightforward, since Nikon now offers different choices within a specific focal range and for different user types, so we need to steer a path through these different options.

The Nikon Z9 and Nikon Z8 are the best Nikon cameras so far, and true that the best Nikon Z lenses are obvious candidates to go with them, but these can get VERY expensive, so if we can think of more affordable alternatives, we'll mention them. It all depends on what you use your camera for. 

For social and wedding photographers, for example, the best constant-aperture 'S' lenses are must-haves, while longer-range telephotos or ultra-wide lenses might be needed only occasionally, so you maybe don't need to spend quite as much!

And if you're a pro wildlife or sports photographer, you'll probably going to be looking at Nikon's top-flight super-telephoto primes, including the NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S, NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S and NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S, which are highly expensive and just a little outside the scope of our list. 

Otherwise, these are the lenses we would pick out for general travel, landscape, commercial and other photography. Be ready for some fairly stiff prices, but then if you're looking for the best lenses for the Nikon Z9 and Z8, you'll know you've already entered a new price bracket, and that 45.7-megapixel sensor common to both cameras is going to test even the best lenses.

So let's get on with the list! 

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at