Nikon cooking up a pair of pancake primes for its Z-series mirrorless cameras

Nikon Z 40mm f/2 & Z 28mm f/2.8
(Image credit: Nikon)

Nikon has announced the expansion of its Z mount lens range with the development of the NIKKOR Z 28mm f/2.8 and NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2. While both these have appeared on Nikon's Z Lens Roadmap in its 'compact primes' section, this is the first time we've been given detail on the maximum aperture or seen images of the new lenses – though Nikon caveats these images with the disclaimer "The appearance of the lenses may differ from the photo shown".

Other than that, details remain scant. The exact dimensions haven't been released, although they are clearly much slimmer than the existing range of Z-mount lenses. Thanks, in part, to the slower maximum apertures. That said, the 40mm f/2 is a mere 1/3-stop slower than the f/1.8 apertures typically seen in Nikon's Z primes, while the 28mm f/2.8 isn't exactly pedestrian. 

The Z 28mm f/2.8 is being developed as a wide-angle prime lens for everyday snapshots. In contrast, the Z 40mm f/2 is being designed as a standard prime lens, which Nikon says will allow "users to easily enjoy bokeh as part of their imaging expression" – suggesting a it will boast a rounded aperture that will give out-of-focus highlights an attractive quality. The company goes on to say that "both lenses will be easy to use by a broad range of users, including those new to mirrorless cameras, in a wide variety of daily scenarios".

Neither lens comes with the 'S-line' moniker, reserved for the most upmarket lenses, suggesting that they will come with a more affordable price tag. And while these are full-frame lenses, they will be well suited to the APS-C sensor Z 50 (and rumored forthcoming Z 30), with their slimmer form factor being a good match for these more lightweight bodies. The 28mm lens would then have an effective focal length of  42mm, while the 40mm lens would have a 60mm reach.  

We don't currently have pricing details or a release dates, aside from a vague "the lenses are scheduled for release in 2021".

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Adam Waring

Adam has been the editor of N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine for almost 12 years, and as such is one of Digital Camera World's leading experts when it comes to all things Nikon-related. 

Whether it’s reviews and hands-on tests of the latest Nikon cameras and lenses, sharing his skills using filters, tripods, lighting, L brackets and other photography equipment, or trading tips and techniques on shooting landscapes, wildlife and almost any genre of photography, Adam is always on hand to provide his insights. 

Prior to his tenure on N-Photo, Adam was also a veteran of publications such as PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, so his wealth of photographic knowledge isn’t solely limited to the Big N.