A few months after announcing its development in June, today Nikon formally announced the compact Z-series 40mm f/2 lens and revealed its full specifications. The lens will go on sale “later this fall” according to Nikon, with a suggested retail price of $300.
Here are the lens’s full specifications:
- Mount Type: Nikon Z Mount
- Focal Length: 40mm
- Angle of View (DX): 57°
- Angle of View (FX): 39°
- Maximum Aperture: f/2
- Minimum Aperture: f/16
- Aperture Blades: 9
- Filter Size: 52mm
- Lens Elements: 6
- Lens Groups: 4
- Special Elements: 2 aspherical
- ARNEO Coating: No
- Nano Crystal Coating: No
- Super Integrated Coating: Yes
- Fluorine Coated Front Element: No
- Electronic Diaphragm: Yes
- Vibration Reduction: No
- Internal Focusing: Yes
- Control Rings: One (generally used for manual focus)
- Function Buttons: No
- Focus Motor: Stepping motor
- Minimum Focus Distance: 0.29 meters (0.95 feet)
- Maximum Magnification: 0.17× (1:5.9)
- Mount Material: Plastic
- Weather/Dust Sealing: Yes
- Dimensions (Length × Diameter): 46 × 70 mm / 1.8 × 2.8 inches
- Weight: 170 g / 0.37 lbs
- MSRP: $300
At 170 g (0.37 pounds), this is one of the lightest full-frame Nikon Z lenses yet. It keeps company with the Z 28mm f/2.8 (160 g) and Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 (195 g).
Compared to the existing Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S, the 40mm f/2 has some clear advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, it is significantly less expensive at $300 versus $600 (though the 50mm occasionally goes on sale for $500). The 40mm f/2 also weighs much less at just 170 grams compared to 415 grams, and it’s far more compact – a similar diameter but roughly half the length. Further, in terms of light-gathering capabilities, the difference between f/2 and f/1.8 is only 1/3 of a stop. Here’s the lens’s construction diagram:
However, not everything about this comparison is in the 40mm f/2’s favor. It has lower-end construction than the Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S, with a plastic lens mount and no water-resistant fluorine coating on the front element. Optically, the 40mm f/2 doesn’t have as many bells and whistles. There’s no nano crystal coating or extra-low dispersion glass elements, and it has a simpler optical construction with 6 elements compared to 12. We won’t know how this translates to image quality until we test the lens in person, but it probably isn’t reasonable to expect this lens to outperform Nikon’s other Z-series primes. Here’s the MTF chart that Nikon supplies:
Of course, some compromises are necessary when designing pancake (or at least small) lenses, and the 40mm f/2 fills a much-needed slot in Nikon’s Z-series lineup. Almost all the Nikon Z lenses so far have been excellent in image quality, but they do sometimes sacrifice a bit of portability to get there. (An example goes back to the 50mm f/1.8 S – hardly a massive lens, but noticeably bigger and heavier than its F-mount counterpart.)
Since mirrorless cameras are so often good choices for travel and hiking photography, I’m glad to see Nikon putting effort into making some compact lenses these days. I expect that this lens, like the 28mm f/2.8, will sell very well, both due to its price and its portability. Personally, I’m considering getting one to complement my travel kit of the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S and 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR.
You can pre-order the lens at the following links, which I definitely recommend if you want to be near the front of the line:
Nikon also included several sample images for the 40mm f/2. I’ve added the ones with full EXIF below.
Official Sample Images
Below is Nikon’s full press release for the 40mm f/2:
FUN, FAST & AFFORDABLE: THE NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2 ULTRA COMPACT PRIME LENS
The Expansion of the NIKKOR Z Lens Line Continues
MELVILLE, NY –
Today Nikon announced the new NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2, a compact yet capable FX-format prime lens that provides fantastic image quality, fast aperture, a practical field of view and extraordinary bokeh for everyday image and video capture.
Affordable, portable and bright, this new optic checks all the right boxes for a lightweight lens to carry just about anywhere for nearly any occasion. Whether seeking a lens for everyday snaps, unobtrusive street photography or as a travel companion that easily fits in your carry-on, the new 40mm lets you capture with incredible sharpness, fast focus and gorgeous blurred backgrounds. Additionally, the fast aperture affords excellent low light performance and exceptional image quality – from portraits to food, or still life to 4K video, users can expect vivid colors and lifelike three-dimensional depth.
“Many creators have told us that they want extremely small lenses with fast apertures to complement their lightweight mirrorless Z series cameras,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “The new 40mm f/2 delivers as a great lens for travel, street photography or everyday use.”
The 40mm f/2 is a versatile lens that can be used with any Nikon Z series full frame or DX-format camera. The lens is small enough to pair perfectly with a Z 50, Z fc or Z 5, yet suitable for Z 6II and Z 7II users looking for a light and compact “walk-around” lens.
NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2: All-Purpose Prime with Beautiful Bokeh
- A compact, versatile prime lens that is ideal for everyday applications such as close-ups, casual portraits and food photography.
- Delivers fantastic bokeh and a dramatic separation of the subject from the background.
- The standard focal range hits the sweet spot of a natural angle of view, while still being wide enough for street photography. When mounted on a DX-format camera, the lens is equivalent to 60mm, which is a great focal length for flattering portraits.
- Ultra-compact, weighing in at merely 170g and only 1.8” long, making it easy to carry around for day-long outings.
- Built with 6 elements in 4 groups with a 9-blade diaphragm that creates a gorgeous, circular bokeh that draws attention to the subject.
- Utilizes an electromagnetic diaphragm for precise aperture control and stable exposure during continuous shooting.
- The NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2 offers a short 0.96ft (0.29m) minimum focusing distance, which is excellent for capturing food and top-down photos of décor and tablescapes.
- Designed with consideration for dust and drip-resistant performance with a sealing that prevents dust and water droplets from entering the lens.
- Video shooters will benefit from the quiet operation, natural focus shift that allows for fluid changes when going from close focusing to infinity, reduced focus breathing and smooth aperture control.
- The lens features an integrated control ring, which can be customized and assigned to adjust focus, ISO, aperture and exposure compensation.
Pricing and Availability
The new NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2 compact prime lens will be available starting later this fall (US) for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $299.95*. For more information about the latest Nikon products, including this new NIKKOR Z lens and the entire Nikon Z series, please visit nikonusa.com.
Nikon Inc. is a world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and technologies for photo and video capture; globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for an award-winning array of equipment that enables visual storytelling and content creation. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional Z Series mirrorless camera, digital SLR cameras, a vast array of NIKKOR and NIKKOR Z lenses, Speedlights and system accessories, Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras and Nikon software products. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit www.nikonusa.com, which links all levels of photographers and visual storytellers to the Web’s most comprehensive learning and sharing communities. Connect with Nikon on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo and Flickr.
# # #
The appearance of the product may differ from the photo shown above.
Specifications, equipment, and release dates are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.
*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.
What’s with the green color cast on the last image? Are these OOC images? Did Nikon borrow the awful Sony colours?
There’s no way these are out of camera. The first and second images also have a color cast “filter” look to them. It’s a stylistic choice by the photographer. Not my favorite look either, though.
It could be a welcome addition to my Z 50mm and 85mm lenses for portraiture. Occasionally, 50mm are a bit too long, and changing to the 35mm F-mount lens with FTZ is an unwelcome break in the flow of the session. So mounting 40mm from the start could be the solution (given that I do not intend to use a 24 – 70mm zoom)
I definitely see a case for it. 40mm + 85mm is a great combo if you just want to carry around two lenses. To me, 50mm has always felt a tad long.
Looking forward to your review Spencer! I actually have the 50mm f2.8 MC as well, and while it’s a bit of an apple vs orange situation, I’m quite torn whether to spend the money to get the 40mm f2. Hopefully you’ll do some comparisons especially in terms of lens character/rendering.
My main lens is still the 35mm f1.8 S, but as a daily walk-around lens, it is a somewhat heavy & bulky, and there are days when I would reach for my 50mm f2.8 MC instead simply because it’s lighter. (I would still keep the 50mm f2.8 MC to use with my ES-2)
The 50mm MC is a great lens too. I tend to say that you don’t need the 40mm if you’ve already got the 50, but it really depends on your situation. If the extra compactness and f/2 aperture are going to be useful for you, well, at least the 40mm f/2 is fairly inexpensive!
Thanks for your thoughts! Looking forward to reading your full review of the 50mm MC & 40mm! Always a fan of your writings!
Finally a truly compact Z prime within the ‘standard’ range. Its length is even smaller than the F-mount AF-S 50mm f/1.8G, with no FTZ adapter in the way! Looking forward to see the results when you test it.
Yeah, I can’t wait to test this one.
At last Nikon is starting to realise that a large percentage of mirrorless users, do so to save weight, when out and about shooting or travelling.
I have always been a Nikon user, but long ago went to Sony for travel or outdoor photography.
Thanks John. I’m glad that we’re getting some ultralight primes at this point although I agree that it would have been nice to prioritize them earlier. Hopefully these sell well and convince Nikon to make others with different focal lengths. A 3-4 lens set of ultralight pancakes would be killer for travel!
I think Nikon should bundle it with Z5 and discount it. It will be a very cost effective way of moving to mirrorless FX for lot of folks still on fence with a D5xxx/D7xxx series in their hands.
It would make an excellent pair! So would a bundle with the 28mm f/2.8, or with both these new lenses.
After seeing it’s construction (with the plane rear lens) and reading “no ARNEO, no nano coating” I’m very curious to see the amount of crazy colour blob clouds in front light and high contrast situations. It’s shorter and lighter than my Sigma 35/2 i-Lens, but as the diameters of 70 mm are the same it won’t give so much more space in a bag.
And compared to the Sigma the MTF looks rather mediocre, but not as low as the price suggests. Would have been cool if Nikon would have attempted to give it internal led and macro like Canon did with their 35/2.8 Macro. Which is about the same price, a tad wider and might be a better (=more versatile) lens to carry around.
It very well might end up having a lot of flare, but keep in mind that the 40mm f/2 has a very simple 6-element, 4-group design. There aren’t so many surfaces for reflections to bounce off of. We’ll test it as soon as possible though.
Will we see your test in the near future?