Nikon surprises with impressively-fast but low-cost 28-75mm f/2.8 standard zoom

Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8
(Image credit: Nikon)

It's not often that we don't hear so much as a whispering about new glass from camera manufacturers before the official announcement, but Nikon has sprung the release of a new full-frame Z-series standard zoom upon us – and it's an intriguing prospect.

The Z 28-75mm f/2.8 boasts a versatile wide-angle to telephoto zoom range and a fast constant f/2.8 aperture, making it a great workhorse lens suitable for everyday shooting situations, from street photography to landscapes to portraits. 

Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 review

The 28-75mm focal length range is a little less wide-angle and a little more telephoto than Nikon's top-of-the-line Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, but is just as fast with a matching f/2.8 aperture, yet costs roughly half as much, with a launch price of $1,200 / £1,099 / AU$1,599.95 – compared to a typical price tag of $2,299 / £1,999 / AU$3,699.95 for the older lens. You won't have to wait long either – the lens will be available in early 2022. At the same time, Nikon has announced that its Z lens roadmap is to be further expanded, announcing that a Nikkor Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S is in development.

The new 28-75mm doesn't have is an 'S-Line' tag, suggesting that it's not built to the same exacting standards as in the most upmarket Z lenses, so while Nikon claims that the lens offers sharp optics and fast focusing, we're looking forward to getting the lens into our labs to see exactly who well it fares compared to its costlier sibling. 

Nevertheless, the versatile zoom range covers a number of classic focal lengths, and the f/2.8 constant aperture should enable users to easily capture the mood of dimly lit situations or explore the creative potential of shallow depth of field. They will also be able to shoot with faster shutter speeds in available light and freeze motion without sacrificing brightness.

Nikon Z 28-70mm f/2.8 paired with a Nikon Z6 II mirrorless camera. (Image credit: Nikon)

Nikon promises that the lightweight (1.2lb/565g) build of the  Z 28-75mm f/2.8 focuses quickly and sharply, thanks to a quiet stepping motor with superior response, allowing the lens to quickly focus on moving subjects, as well as being able to shoot up close to a subject (with a minimum focus distance of 0.62ft/0.19m) while the f/2.8 aperture renders beautiful bokeh that will let users take their portraiture to the next level. It goes on to say that the lens is also well-suited to video as the zoom range can cover wide establishing shots and medium shots, and focus breathing is suppressed. The lens has been designed with antifouling coating for easy cleaning and sealed to prevent dust and water droplets from entry.

Rob Harmon, Senior Commercial Lead, Nikon Northern Europe, says: “Lenses with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 have traditionally been developed for professionals, but the optical advantages of the Z mount mean we can offer the NIKKOR Z 28-75mm f/2.8 at a more affordable price. We’re excited to see even more photographers take their skills to the next level as they take advantage of the artistic possibilities that a fast constant aperture lens like this can offer.”

NIKKOR Z 28-75mm f/2.8 key details 

(Image credit: Nikon)

Nikon lists the key features of the Z 28-70mm f/2.8 as follows:

Standard zoom range: fit in more of the scene at 28 mm. Nail compelling portraits at 75 mm.

f/2.8 maximum aperture: the fast, constant aperture allows consistent exposure across the zoom range and clear shots in low light. Users can also shoot with faster shutter speeds in natural light.

Beautiful bokeh: the large Z mount and f/2.8 rounded 9-blade aperture enable incredibly soft, natural-looking bokeh.

Superb up close: minimum focus distance is just 0.19 m at 28 mm, and 0.39 m at 75 mm.

Fast, confident focus: focusing is smooth, silent, and tack sharp – even when shooting at close range.

Great-looking video: focus breathing is suppressed so focus can be adjusted without affecting the shot’s angle of view. Smooth aperture control enables beautifully natural-looking shifts in brightness.

Intuitive control: the smooth click-less control ring can be used for precise manual focusing or to adjust aperture, ISO, or exposure compensation.

Dust and drip resistant: the NIKKOR Z 28-75mm f/2.8 is dust- and drip-resistant, with a coating that makes the lens easy to clean.

Read more
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Nikon Z lens roadmap

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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. 

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