Nikon has announced the release of two new products to its expanding mirrorless collection; a black version of the iconic Nikon Z fc and a retro-inspired NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2 (SE) lens.
It feels like retro-inspired cameras are in right now. You only have to look at the reception of the latest Fujifilm X-T5 (opens in new tab) and its traditional design, or the resurgence in the popularity of film cameras (opens in new tab) and instant cameras (opens in new tab) to know that.
Rather than designing a whole new camera or lens, it feels clever for manufacturers to release its current products in new colorways or designs, giving consumers more choices when it comes to expressing themselves. Let's look at the new products more closely.
Nikon Z fc Black Edition
The Nikon Z fc was originally released in July 2021 in silver, and it's proved to be a popular camera thanks to its old-school look but performance to match.
Unlike other Nikon cameras that sport a more modern cut, the Z fc combines a ‘heritage’ design with high-end mirrorless technology. Nikon is hoping to cash in on the popular original silver version by releasing a Black Edition exclusively for the Nikon Store. As well as black, another six new colors for the Premium Exterior have been added too, making a grand total of 12 different color variations for the Z fc Silver and Z fc Black combined.
Nikon Z 40mm f/2 (SE) lens
Nikon's second 'new' product is the NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2 (SE), with the SE standing for "special edition." This is a compact and lightweight prime lens with the same optical performance as the current Nikon Z 40mm f/2 – just with a design more in keeping with Nikon's heritage lenses.
With knurls on the focus and control ring, the lens design is inspired by manual Nikkor lenses from the era of Nikon's film cameras. Nikon UK says: "The lens inherits its design from the classic NIKKOR lenses, which were released in the same period as the Nikon FM2 film camera – the heritage model that inspired the Z fc. Its arrival expands the choice of lenses which are suited to the Z fc’s retro design."
The lens has a standard angle of view which is suited to shooting snapshots, street and portraiture, and the 40mm focal length becomes 60 mm when mounted on an APS-C size/DX-format camera.
It's a great walkabout lens, thanks to weighing just 170g and measuring 45.5mm, and should be perfect for photographers looking for Nikon Z lenses that match the look of their Nikon Z fc. Will Nikon release more of its lenses with a heritage look in the future? We'll have to wait and see.