Nikon once again updated its Z lens roadmap, this time adding the recently-announced Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 S to its mirrorless Z System. This lens comes in addition to several lenses announced alongside the Nikon Z9, plus some surprise lenses like the 28-75mm f/2.8. Let’s take a look at those lenses – along with all the upcoming lenses for Nikon’s mirrorless system – today.
Table of Contents
The Updated Nikon Z Lens Roadmap
The following is the latest version of the Nikon Z lens roadmap, announced on December 14, 2021 and still current as of May 2022:
When releasing the October 2021 version of the roadmap, Nikon said it’s an “expansion to 2023.” However, it’s likely that we’ll see more lenses added to the roadmap before the end of 2023 than just these, because a total of eight lenses is a bit sparse to cover the next 26 months.
The lenses added to the roadmap most recently are:
- An 800mm f/6.3 supertelephoto with Nikon’s phase fresnel glass
- A 28-75mm f/2.8 non-S lens
- A 26mm compact prime lens
- A 24mm compact DX compact prime lens
- A 12-28mm DX wide-angle zoom
- A 400mm S-line prime lens (not just the 400mm f/2.8)
The other unannounced lenses – all three of which have been on the roadmap for a while now – are:
- A 600mm S-line prime lens
- An 85mm S-line prime lens
- A 200-600mm non-S zoom lens
The roadmap has changed a bit over the years. For example, here’s how it looked in late 2019:
As you can see, Nikon has added a lot since then, including an additional 85mm prime and all the lenses I listed above. While the official specifications of the unannounced lenses remain unknown, it’s likely that the 600mm will be an f/4 lens, and the 400mm will be a lightweight PF (phase-fresnel) design. With the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters already out, Nikon will finally have a nice set of supertelephoto glass, which is very exciting!
In total, every Nikon Z lens we know about is as follows. Lenses that have not yet been formally announced are marked in bold:
- 12-28mm DX
- 14-24mm f/2.8 S
- 14-30mm f/4 S
- 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 DX VR
- 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 DX VR
- 20mm f/1.8 S
- 24mm f/1.8 S
- 24mm compact DX
- 26mm compact
- 24-50mm f/4-6.3
- 24-70mm f/2.8 S
- 24-70mm f/4 S
- 24-120mm f/4 S
- 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR
- 28-75mm f/2.8
- 28mm f/2.8 SE
- 28mm f/2.8
- 35mm f/1.8 S
- 40mm f/2
- 50mm f/2.8 macro lens
- 50mm f/1.2 S
- 50mm f/1.8 S
- 50-250mm f/4.5-5.6 DX VR
- 58mm f/0.95 S
- 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S
- 85mm S (likely f/1.2)
- 85mm f/1.8 S
- 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S
- 105mm f/2.8 VR S macro lens
- 200-600mm (non-S lineup)
- 400mm f/2.8 S
- 400mm S (likely PF)
- 600mm S (likely f/4)
- 800mm f/6.3 S PF
- 1.4x Teleconverter
- 2.0x Teleconverter
We don’t officially know the maximum aperture values of some of these lenses, but we can roughly tell what they are going to be based on their previous designs. Hopefully, Nikon will release more information on the other lenses soon.
When Are These Lenses Coming Out?
The new roadmap doesn’t list any date projections for when the unannounced Z lenses will go on sale. However, it should be noted that the unannounced lenses which have been on the roadmap the longest are the 85mm S, 200-600mm, and 600mm S. It’s possible that those three lenses will ship before the others.
At the same time, it is hard to predict what specific lenses will be announced in 2022 versus 2023 for a number of reasons. First, Nikon has released some surprises that were not previously on the roadmap (1.4x and 2x teleconverters, as well as the Nikon Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 and 28-75mm f/2.8 zooms). And second, given the current supply chain issues that many companies are having, it might push new releases further into the future.
This graphic is also worth keeping in mind:
This image is from January 2022, and it shows all of Nikon’s newest Z-series lenses including the 800mm f/6.3 S. I find it a useful graphic for determining the rough sizes and shapes of the unreleased lenses. For example, by the size of the unannounced S-line 400mm lens, we can infer that Nikon is trying to make it as compact as possible, hence why I say it’s likely to be a PF (phase fresnel) lens.
Analyzing the Future Lenses
A lot of Nikon’s upcoming lens lineup looks very interesting. The high-end 600mm and 800mm S-line look very impressive, especially with at least the 800mm including a phase-fresnel element to make it substantially lighter than usual, and the remarkably low launch price of $6500 (uniquely low for a Nikon exotic super telephoto). These lenses have the potential to be game-changers to sports and wildlife photographers, especially coupled with the Nikon Z9.
It’s also nice to see that Nikon is continuing with their line of compact prime lenses with the unannounced 24mm DX and 26mm FX lenses. Compact lenses pair very well with the lightweight Z cameras, and I’d love to see a comprehensive set of them some day. However, since there’s already a 28mm f/2.8, I do wonder where the upcoming 26mm compact lens will fit in – maybe as an f/2 that’s slightly bigger, or an f/4 that’s a true pancake? In any case, it should be exciting to find out.
We also will be seeing another supertelephoto Z lens – the 200-600mm – which very well could win fans for wildlife and sports photography. Seeing as though it’s not an “S” series lens, chances are good that it will mimic something like the Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 VR, a well-regarded budget supertelephoto lens.
What Nikon really needs to push to its Z lens roadmap is a sharp and lightweight 70-200mm f/4 S. Nikon, please, make this a surprise announcement – it should have been on the priority list a long time ago, but especially now that the Z system is otherwise starting to look so complete. Two years ago, I already was calling the lack of a Z-series 70-200mm f/4 a “lingering issue” and “the most obvious lens that’s missing.” It feels even more glaring now.
Nikon Z Lenses Announced So Far
The list below keeps track of all the Nikon Z-mount lenses that have been announced so far, in order from least to most recent:
- Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S (our review)
- Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 S (our review)
- Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S (our review)
- Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S (our review)
- Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S (our review)
- Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 S (our review)
- Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S (our review)
- Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 S
- Nikon Z 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 DX VR (our review)
- Nikon Z 50-250mm f/4.5-5.6 DX VR (our review)
- Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S (our review)
- Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S (our review)
- Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 S (our review)
- Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR (our review)
- Nikon Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 (our review)
- Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S
- Nikon Z 1.4x Teleconverter
- Nikon Z 2x Teleconverter
- Nikon Z MC 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
- Nikon Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro Lens
- Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8
- Nikon Z 40mm f/2
- Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 SE (same optics as 28mm f/2.8)
- Nikon Z 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 DX VR
- Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4 S
- Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S
- Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8
- Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 VR S
- Nikon Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S
If you want to find out more about the Nikon Z lenses, see Nikon Z Mirrorless Lenses page at Nikon USA.
Nikon Z Cameras
All the lenses above are Nikon Z mirrorless only, meaning they will not fit on any Nikon DSLR regardless of the adapter you use. At the moment, these are the only cameras which work with Nikon Z lenses:
- Nikon Z50 (our review)
- Nikon Zfc
- Nikon Z5 (our review)
- Nikon Z6 (our review)
- Nikon Z6 II (our review)
- Nikon Z7 (our review)
- Nikon Z7 II (our review)
- Nikon Z9
Of these cameras, the Nikon Z50 and Zfc have a DX sensor (AKA 1.5x crop sensor), while the others have a larger FX camera sensor. However, all of Nikon’s Z lenses fit on all of these cameras, DX or not. If you use one of Nikon’s DX lenses on an FX camera, your photos will be automatically cropped to fit the DX area. See more at Nikon DX vs FX.