Nikon releases two new lenses for their Z-mount arsenal in the 50mm f/1.2 S and 14-24mm f/2.8 S
posted Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 12:01 AM EDT
Our friends at Nikon are at it once again, this time with not one but two exciting new lenses for their ever-growing Z-mount system. Meet the Z 50mm f/1.2 S, which is super-bright and aimed at those of you demanding the highest possible image quality, and the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S, which will no doubt appeal to anyone needing a super-wide yet lightweight zoom that even allows for both front and rear filters.
Nikon is closing in on a total of 24 lenses for the Z-mount by 2021, as this relatively new line becomes fully filled out. The S-series, of course, represents the top tier amongst the Z-line. Today sees two important areas filled, on somewhat differing ends of the shooting spectrum, so let's dive right in to get the details on both!
Photographers needing a bright prime for their Z6 or Z7 camera will certainly rejoice today in the news of the Z 50mm f/1.2 S. Other than the Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct, which will set you back $8000, there are as yet no lenses in the Z-mount arsenal brighter than f/1.8, that is until today. At just $2100, this super-bright lens will no doubt draw the eye of both still photographers and videographers needing the best IQ available in a super-bright prime lens, with the almost $6K savings compared to the ultra-bright Noct lens.
Announced as a "Lens for the ages," the 50mm f/1.2 S is rated on paper to wow photographers in both image quality and performance. Promising both "intense sharpness" as well as "dreamy bokeh," the lens most assuredly comes with high billing.
Let's take a quick look at the basic overview of features offered:
- f/1.2-16 aperture range with 9-bladed diaphragm
- 2 ED elements / 3 Aspherical elements
- Minimum focus distance: .45 meters / 1.48 ft
- Nano Crystal Coat + Arneo coating for protection and reducing ghosting/flaring
- Focus via STM drive + Multi-focus system
- Lens information panel
- 82mm filter thread
- Dust + drip resistant
- 150mm length / 1095g weight
This is Nikon's first f/1.2 lens to incorporate STM motors for focusing, and actually employs two of these operating simultaneously to offer super-fast focusing capabilities. It also promises stable exposure in changing light conditions, which is exceptionally important for video producers.
The Z 50mm f/1.2 S will be available in December 2020 for US $2100. Given the high billing of this lens, we look forward to getting a sample into our lab and bringing you a wealth of images once we do!
Dubbed by Nikon as "The ultimate wide-angle zoom," the new Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S most assuredly has eye-catching specs and features to back that bold claim. And for all that it's reported to offer, the lens comes in at a surprisingly nimble weight for a bright full-frame zoom at just 650 grams!
This weight is roughly 35% less than the popular AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8 for F-mount, which is a significant weight saving. The lens also incorporates an electromagnetic aperture diaphragm to help maintain smooth exposure adjustments as light changes, which yet again is a big benefit to video producers.
Let's talk for a bit about the most obvious difference in this lens vs ultra-wide-angle zooms from the past: Where's the hugely bulbous front element?? Well, thanks to the specs for the Z-mount regarding mount diameter to flange distance, the physical design of the lens allows for clever engineering and a relative flattening of the front element. This not only helps in avoiding damage to what was once a protruding piece of glass out front but also now allows for threaded filters!
Indeed, shooting without the ability to add filters has heavily compromised many wide-angle zooms that have come before, but those frustrating days are over for Z-mount wide-angle shooters. The Z 14-24mm f/2.8 actually comes standard with two lens hoods, one of which allows for 112mm screw-on filters. In addition, you can even add the old-school gel filters to the rear of the lens should you choose.
Let's take a closer look at the feature set from this lens:
- f/2.8 - 22 aperture range with 9-bladed aperture diaphragm
- 4 ED elements / 3 Aspherical elements
- Minimum focus distance: 0.28 meters / .92 ft
- Nano-crystal Coat + Arneo coating + Fluorine coating for protection and reducing ghosting/flaring
- Focus via STM drive
- Lens information panel
- 112mm filter thread on HB-97 hood (included) / 40.5mm gel filter slot in rear
- Dust + drip resistant
- 124.5mm length / 650g weight
At this reduced weight and packed with so many features, the lens aims to please both still photographers and videographers with robustness, performance and image quality as well. As with the 50mm f/1.2 S, we can't wait to try one of these out for you, especially for video!
The Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S lens will be available in November 2020 for US $2400. Stay tuned for much more to come from us here at IR on both of these exciting new lenses.