Nikon Z 70-180mm f/2.8 review

The Nikon Z 70-180mm f/2.8 completes an alternative, lightweight trinity of f/2.8 zooms for Z-system cameras.

Nikon Z 70-180mm f/2.8
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Building on the success of the excellent Nikon Z 17-28mm f/2.8 and Z 28-75mm f/2.8 lenses, this new Z 70-180mm completes an alternative trinity of fast, constant-aperture f/2.8 zooms. Like the other two lenses in the trilogy, it’s relatively compact, lightweight and inexpensive, compared with full-on pro-grade counterparts. It’s a shame the lens lacks optical VR (Vibration Reduction), especially if you’re using it with a DX format Z-system camera, none of which have IBIS, so far at least. Even so, the 70-180mm is nicely built, simple to use and capable of gorgeous image quality, combining very good sharpness with beautiful bokeh.


  • +

    Constant f/2.8 aperture

  • +

    Relatively compact and lightweight

  • +

    Beautiful bokeh


  • -

    No optical VR

  • -

    Extending inner barrel

  • -

    Rudimentary onboard controls

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The Nikon Z 70-180mm f/2.8 proves that relatively fast f/2.8 constant-aperture telephoto zooms don’t have to be big and heavy. Indeed, while most ‘trinity’ wide-angle, standard and telephoto zooms are typically hefty affairs, Nikon’s Z 17-28mm f/2.8, Z 28-75mm f/2.8 and this new Z 70-180mm lens are relatively compact and lightweight. Sure, the wide-angle and standard zooms don’t have quite such a wide maximum field of view as typical trinity lenses, and the 70-180mm doesn’t quite stretch to the usual 200mm, but they’re not far short and much less expensive to buy. A plus point for filter fans is that all three lenses have the same 67mm attachment thread.

(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.