Nikon’s ‘new’ Z 28mm f/2.8 is its smallest Z-mount prime yet

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

Nikon has announced that the Z 28mm f/2.8, a compact and lightweight prime lens for Nikon Z series cameras, will go on sale December 2021. However, while this is the first time it's been available standalone, it's not an entirely new lens – but essentially a pure-black version of the kit lens that launched alongside the retro-inspired Nikon Z fc (opens in new tab), minus the silver band on the lens barrel.

With a total length of just 43mm and a weighing in at a mere 155g, it's the smallest and lightest own-brand Z prime lenses. And with a minimum focus distance of just 0.63 ft (0.19m), it's handy for close-up photography. 

While its f/2.8 aperture isn't quite as fast as the f/1.8 rating typically found on Nikon's upmarket S-line primes, coming in at 1 1/3 stops slower, this does allow it to be be  extremely compact, while still allowing good low-light performance and beautifully rendered bokeh. 

Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 paired with a Nikon Z 50 (opens in new tab) mirrorless camera. (Image credit: Nikon)
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The wide angle 28mm focal length is ideal for capturing everyday snapshots, group portraits, landscapes, cityscapes and more on a full-frame Z-series camera, while on an APS-C-sensor model this becomes an effective 42mm standard prime, and so will appeal to both FX and DX Nikon Z-series mirrorless users.

Adoption of a multi-focusing system realizes natural rendering across the entire shooting range, as well as fast and accurate AF control, while maintaining a smaller body size.

Functions such as aperture and exposure compensation, as well as the default manual focus, can be assigned to the control ring. The lens is sealed for dust and drip-resistant performance, enabling shooting with confidence in all manner of environments. And when it comes to video, the 28mm focal length is a cinematic classic, while the near-silent operation and minimal focus breathing ensure footage remains smooth.

The lens has a suggested retail price of $299.95 / £249.99 / AU$429.95.

NIKKOR Z 28mm f/2.8 key details 

(Image credit: Nikon)
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Nikon lists the key features of the Z 28mm f/2.8 as follows:

Bright f/2.8 wide-angle lens: 28 mm focal length captures wide-angle shots with rich colour and contrast.

Ultra-portable: the lens is approx. 43 mm long and weighs in at approx. 155 g. Easily small enough to keep on the camera or slip into a coat pocket.

Beautiful bokeh: the wide Z mount and fixed f/2.8 rounded 7-blade aperture enable incredibly soft, natural-looking bokeh.

Superb up close: a minimum focus distance of 0.19 m allows users to focus sharply at close range.

Fast, silent AF: powered by an ultra-quiet stepping motor and enhanced by the additional light gathered by the Z mount, focusing is fast, accurate—and silent.

Great for video: Focus breathing is dramatically reduced so focus can be adjusted without affecting the shot's angle of view.

42 mm DX crop: offers a 42 mm angle of view when used with a DX-format Nikon Z camera.

Easy control: the silent control ring can be set to control focus, aperture, exposure compensation, or ISO.

Well protected: sealed for protection against dust and water droplets.

Pre-order at BH Photo (USA) (opens in new tab)

Pre-order at Wex Photo (UK) (opens in new tab)

Pre-order at Ted's Cameras (AU) (opens in new tab)

Read more
Best Nikon Z lenses (opens in new tab)
Best Nikon cameras (opens in new tab)
Best Nikon lenses (opens in new tab)
Nikon Z lens roadmap (opens in new tab)

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Adam Waring

Adam has been the editor of N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), so his wealth of photographic knowledge isn’t solely limited to the Big N.