Nikon announces new flagship D6 camera plus two new Nikkor lenses for Z-mount
posted Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 12:00 AM EDT
Nikon has today announced the D6, their new flagship sports camera and successor to the popular D5 from 2016. Along with this news comes word of two new Z-mount Nikkor S lenses, a 20mm f/1.8 prime and a 24-200mm f/4 zoom, which begins to fill out their growing arsenal of high-end Z lenses for Z6 and Z7 photographers out there as the total for the S-series now reaches double digits at 10.
This camera comes as no surprise of course, as Nikon teased word of its development to the camera world back in early September 2019, calling it their "most advanced DSLR to date." And the other reason this news is no surprise is that Nikon, Canon and Sony have all long since moved to routinely unveiling their top-tier professional sports cameras on or near the beginning of a Summer Olympics year. 2020 is, of course, no exception, as we've also now seen word of the Canon 1D X III and Sony A9 II.
Nikon did not provide us with full advance press materials for the D6, but did give us some clue as to what's housed within, so dive into our early Nikon D6 Preview to hear more details, and we'll certainly bring you more information as we receive it from the source.
For the fifth f/1.8 prime lens in its high-end S series of lenses for Z cameras, Nikon goes wide. The Z 20mm f/1.8 S is the widest prime to date for Z shooters, joining the 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm in rounding out the 5 most classic focal lengths for prime lenses across the board.
With such a generously wide angle the 20mm f/1.8 S is of course designed with landscape shooting and architectural photography squarely in mind. As with other f/1.8 primes in the series, we're treated to a big focus ring which is a reassuring comfort in the field. The 20mm f/1.8 S is weather sealed of course, as we'd expect from this high-end line, and is reported to have minimal focus breathing.
For the technical among you, the lens is comprised of 3 ED elements and 3 aspheric elements. It has 9 aperture blades for smooth bokeh representation, and comes with Nikon's Nano Crystal Coat for reduced ghosting and lens flare. It also employs Nikon's new "multi-focus" AF system, replacing the older CFC system.
At just 1.1 lbs (505g) this lens looks to be a terrific addition for Z shooters both for stills and video, and we'll look forward to getting one into our lab for testing.
We've not yet been given pricing nor availablilty information.
And on the zoom side of the coin, Nikon brings to the table the fifth high-end S series zoom for Z-mount in the 24-200mm f/4-6.3, a lens that arguably has "Travel Zoom" practically stenciled onto its side. Weighing in at just 1.2 lbs (570g) this 8.3x zoom lens seems poised and ready to pair up with your new Z6 camera and hit the beaches or the mountain trails. With such a versatile zoom range at your disposal you'll be hard-pressed to miss a shot along the way.
In technical terms the 24-200mm S lens houses 2 ED elements, 2 asherical elements and 1 ED asherical element. It's enhanced with Nikon's Neo Coat and also employs a fluorine coating to minimize finger smudges. Interestingly, the Neo Coat is reportedly better than the Nano Coat at reducing vertical reflections. The lens boasts a minimum focus distance of .5 meters at the wider 24mm focal length, and it's built with an all internal focusing mechanism.
For your handheld shooting, the lens comes equipped with 4.5 stops of Vibration Reduction onboard, and this works in combination with the IBIS onboard the Z6 and Z7. It also of course will come in handy when pairing the lens with a Z50, which does not have IBIS.
Lastly, this travel zoom is reported to be very well weather sealed, making it an obvious candidate for worldly travel.
The Z-mount S line is now 10 lenses strong in total, and we firmly believe that this brings the arsenal into more mature territory for seasoned shooters looking to make the switch from DSLRs. In addition, Nikon reports that yet another 10-11 lenses will be forthcoming in the next few years, and that by the end of 2021 the system will offer roughly 25 lenses in total. Very mature, indeed!
Stay tuned for more from IR as we get these lenses into our test lab for review.