Nikon launched its full-frame mirrorless camera system in 2018, and with the arrival of the Z 6 and Z 7 came a new lens system using the Nikon Z mount. This mount was not directly compatible with the Nikon F mount which had been used, in different variations, on Nikon's SLRs and DSLRs since 1959, so that means Nikon had to get started designing new lenses for these cameras.
The good news for Nikon fans, however, is that in the meantime they can use all current Nikon DSLR lenses on the new cameras, without focus or exposure restrictions, using the specially-designed Nikon FTZ Z Mount Adaptor often sold with the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7.
This means that although the cameras were initially launched with three lenses, the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f4 S lens, NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S and NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S, Nikon DSLR owners could migrate their existing lenses to the new cameras straight away.
The new Nikon Z lens mount has a diameter of 55mm, making it 17% bigger than the F-mount - and with that comes the promise of faster lenses than we have seen before (Nikon has a super-fast NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct in the pipeline). The flange distance (the distance between the back of the lens and the sensor) is just 16mm – as there is no mirror to build into the light path.
Building a new lens system from scratch takes time – so new zooms and primes using the Z mount are being gradually introduced by Nikon. The company is keen to get users on board with the new system, sos it's published a Nikon Z lens roadmap (above), which gives a view of the lenses it would introduce following the launch of the new cameras.
The current roadmap stretches through until 2020 - and contains 12 different lenses. With the arrival of the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S, five of these are now on sale, including two 2019 lenses already released – the NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S ultra-wide zoom and the pro-spec NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S constant-aperture f/2.8 standard zoom.
Current Nikon Z lenses
This short telephoto has the ideal wide aperture and focal length for people shots. It is a key lens for portrait, social and wedding photographers.
This is the first zoom for the Nikon Z camera – and the one most commonly sold in kits if you buy a Z6 or Z7 body.
This classic standard lens prime is remiscent of the lenses that many people got as their kit lens when they bought an SLR back in the 1960s and 70s.
This was the first prime to be launched for the Z system of lenses.
The first new Z mount lens to launch in 2019, the 14-30mm is a super-wide-angle zoom - and uncharacteristically for a lens of this type can be used with a front-mounted filter.
Nikon FTZ Mount Adaptor
This adaptor was available at launch of the Z7, and allows Nikon F mount lenses to be used with either the Z6 or Z7. A large number of Nikon lenses can work with the adaper, and many of the most recent ones will also allow autofocus (check the FTZ compatibility guide for full details).
Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8S
The latest Z mount lens to go on sale is be the first pro zoom for the system - the highly-anticipated 24-70mm f/2.8. This is one of the holy trinity of f/2.8 constant aperture that many pros have in their kit bag (the others being a 70-200mm f/2.8, and a 14-28mm f/2.8)
Nikon Z lenses for 2019
We've already seen the release of three of the NIKKOR Z lenses Nikon has promised for 2019, but there are still three more to come before the year is out:
Nikon Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 Noct S
Probably the most anticipated lens on the Nikon Z lens roadmap... this monster prime lens has a phenomenal f/0.95 maximum aperture. We expect this Noct lens to weigh heavily on the arms and the pocket!
Nikon Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.8 S
When the 24mm and 85mm and launched, there will be four f/1.8 primes in the range.
Nikon Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S
A must-have lens for any pro - this fast aperture tele zoom is an essential workhorse for weddings, news, and sports.
Nikon Z lenses for 2020
The Nikon Z lens roadmap stretches into 2020, and next year we are promised the following three lenses:
Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.2 S
A faster 50mm prime, that will be welcomed by documentary and street photographers.
Nikon Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8 S
This will be the fifth f/1.8 prime in the range.
Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S
This will complete the holy trinity of f/2.8 pro zooms for the Z system.
Third party Z mount lenses
Samyang is so far the only major third party manufacturer to announce lenses for the Z mount. Both lenses are manual focus primes:
We expect other manufacturers to start supporting the lens mount over the next year or two.
Nikon camera rumors
Nikon Nikkor Z 24-30mm f/4 S review
Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S review
Nikon Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.8 S review
Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S review
Nikon Z7 full review
Nikon Z6 full review