12 lenses of Christmas: May 2023 saw Nikon make a prime example of a DX Z-lens

Nikon Z DX 24mm f/1.7
(Image credit: Matthew Richards)

About time too! That was our reaction to Nikon finally launching a prime Z DX lens. Naturally, you can use any FX (full-frame) Z-system lens on a DX (APS-C) format body like the Z 30, Z 50 and Z fc. The Z DX 24mm f/1.7 came as good news, however, as it’s comparatively compact and lightweight, and competitively priced.

The Z DX 24mm f/1.7 actually became the fifth DX-format Nikon Z lens, but the first of the bunch to be a prime rather than a zoom. (Image credit: Matthew Richards)

Choice of wide-angle lenses for Fujifilm X-system cameras was extended in May. Fujifilm launched its widest prime lens to date, in the diminutive shape of the Fujinon XF 8mm f/3.5 R WR. Prefer the versatility of a zoom lens? There was also the launch of the Tamron 11-20mm f/2.8 Di III-A RXD, previously available in Sony E-mount but reborn in X-mount for Fujifilm cameras. 

With an ‘effective’ focal length of 12mm in full-frame terms, the APS-C format Fujinon XF 8mm f/3.5 R WR is compact and lightweight, at 53mm long and 215g. (Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

With an eye on cost-cutting, we brought news of a 7artisans 24mm f/1.4 prime for crop-sensor Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, Nikon and MFT mirrorless cameras. Stepping up to full-frame, there was also a new Viltrox AF 16mm F1.8 FE, company’s sixth autofocus lens for Sony cameras and the first with an LCD info display. And if info screens on lenses doesn’t strike you as strange, try the frankly bizarre AstrHori 18mm f/8 macro probe lens with built-in LED lighting array, for APS-C cameras.

The inclusion of an info display panel in the Viltrox AF 16mm F1.8 FE certainly isn’t unique, but it’s certainly uncommon, especially in such a budget-friendly lens. (Image credit: Viltrox)

The first lens through our test lab in May was the Canon RF-S 55-210mm F5-7.1 IS STM, which is also the first Canon telephoto lens in RF-S mount for APS-C format EOS R-system cameras. Indeed, it was still only the third RF-S lens, period. We followed that up with an AstrHori 12mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens, somewhat going to the opposite extreme to the company’s macro probe lens that we reported in our news, as well as testing the Canon RF 28mm f/2.8 STM pancake prime.

The full-frame compatible AstrHori 12mm f/2.8 Fisheye is available in Sony E, Canon RF, Nikon Z, Leica L and even GFX mount options. (Image credit: Beth Nicholls)

A sample of the new Fujinon XF 8mm f/3.5 R WR was quick to arrive, so we ran a full review of Fujifilm’s latest wide-angle prime. And finally for May, we tested the new Sigma 17mm F4 DG DN | C, Sigma 23mm F1.4 DC DN | C and Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN | C ‘Contemporary’ primes, being particularly impressed with the two 17mm and 50mm full-frame compatible lenses.

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 


His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 


In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.