Nikon Z 50mm F1.2 S Nikkor Hands-on Review: One of Nikon’s best Z lenses yet


posted Thursday, November 11, 2021 at 2:59 PM EST

Click here to read our Nikon Z 50mm F1.2 S Hands-on Review


The Nikon Z system launched with the Z 50mm F1.8 S, a very good 50mm prime lens with a fast aperture, good build quality, compact form factor and palatable $600 price tag. However, fans of the 50mm F1.4G lens for F mount may have been left wanting. Nikon skipped right past F1.4 with the Z 50mm F1.2 S lens, which harkens back to the old Nikkor 50mm F1.2 for F mount. While the old film camera F1.2 prime was compact and lightweight, Nikon's modern Z 50mm F1.2 S lens is large and heavy. However, as you can read in our hands-on review, the heavy glass produces superb image quality.

Nikon Z 50mm F1.2 S Nikkor

While a hefty 50mm prime lens, the Z 50mm F1.2 S features great build quality. The lens has a large focus ring with an impressive overall feel. The lens also includes a control ring and an OLED information display. The weather-sealed lens is built to professional standards inside and out. The lens includes a lot of glass. In total, there are 17 elements across 15 groups. Of these elements, there are three aspherical elements and two extra-low dispersion elements. Plus, the lens has ARNEO, Super Integrated and Nano Crystal coatings.

Shot with Nikon Z7 II. F1.2, 1/250s, ISO 100

The sophisticated glass design results in outstanding image quality. Even at F1.2, the lens is sharp across the frame. As you stop down slightly, sharpness improves, as expected, but the lens is very capable without stopping down. If you're buying an F1.2 lens, you're likely interested in soft bokeh. The 50mm F1.2 S delivers excellent bokeh in spades. The out-of-focus rendering is buttery smooth and bokeh has a clean, natural-looking appearance. Even as you stop the lens down, perhaps after slightly better resolution, bokeh continues to be nice and soft.

Shot with Nikon Z7 II. F1.8, 6s, ISO 3200. This image has been edited.

There's not a lot bad to say about the Nikon Z 50mm F1.2 S lens. It's large, yes, and it's also pricey at $2,100, but it's an outstanding addition to the Nikon Z system. To read more about the lens's advantages and disadvantages, head over to our full hands-on review. To see more images shot with the fast prime lens, head to our Gallery.

Nikon Z 50mm F1.2 S Hands-on ReviewGallery