Nikon Z 26mm f/2.8 review

The Nikon Nikkor Z 26mm f/2.8 pancake prime has a super-skinny build but fairly weighty price tag

Nikon Nikkor Z 26mm f/2.8
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Less than an inch thick, this is Nikon’s slimmest Z system lens to date. It gives a generous viewing angle on full-frame cameras and a very natural ‘effective’ 39mm focal length on DX (APS-C) bodies like the Z 50 and Z fc. Build quality is good and despite weighing just 125g, the lens has a metal mounting plate and weather-seals. It’s ideal for candid street photography and is very travel-friendly, while punching well above its weight for image quality. However, autofocus could be quicker and quieter and it’s much pricier than previous compact lenses in Nikon’s Z line-up, at about £120/$115 per ounce.


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    Just 23.5mm / 0.9” thick

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    Very lightweight at 125g

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    Impressive image quality


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    Twice the price of the Z 28mm and 40mm

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    Autofocus is pedestrian and audible

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    Filters only attach via the hood

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The Nikon Z 26mm f/2.8 is so small and lightweight that when you take delivery, you might feel you’ve been handed an empty box. Nikon’s skinniest Z system lens to date, it follows in the diminutive steps of the Z 28mm f/2.8 and Z 40mm f/2, both of which are available in standard and SE (Special Edition) flavors. Those two lenses aren’t massively bigger or heavier, at 70x43mm, 160g, and 70x46mm, 170g respectively.

Another lightweight is the 135g Z DX 16-50mm F/3.5-6.3 VR which is a mere 70-32mm in size, although that’s mostly due to its retractable design, and the lens extends to as much as 60mm in length when in use. Ultimately, if you’re in the market for the smallest and most lightweight lens in Nikon’s Z line-up, and one that’s ideal for candid street photography and taking on your travels, you’ve come to the right place.

For the sake of comparison, here’s how the Z 26mm sizes up against the Z 40mm and the Z DX 16-50mm zoom in its retracted state. The Z 26mm is pretty much the same weight as the Z 40mm. (Image credit: Matthew Richards)

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.