The Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 fits into a crowded part of Nikon’s lens lineup – midrange zooms. Compared to the other options, the 28-75mm f/2.8’s selling point is the wide f/2.8 aperture and the low price of $900-1200 (depending on sales). That’s enough to make it stand out, even though I wish Nikon had prioritized some other types of lenses in their lineup first.
As for image quality, the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 does what it needs to do. It performs above average in terms of vignetting, distortion, and chromatic aberration. The sharpness numbers are reasonably good, too. Although the lens doesn’t set any performance records, it doesn’t have any fatal flaws, either.
In terms of lenses that pair well with this one, the obvious choice is the “budget f/2.8 zoom” trio that Nikon is building. Alongside this lens, there’s the Nikon Z 17-28mm f/2.8 and the upcoming 70-180mm lens on the Nikon Z roadmap (which will likely be based on Tamron’s existing 70-180mm f/2.8). Photographers who want the utmost performance can pick Nikon’s S-line f/2.8 zooms, while everyone else will be well-served with these three lenses instead.
Here’s how I’d sum up the pros and cons of the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8.
- Fast, accurate autofocus with good low-light focusing capabilities
- Excellent build quality with tight tolerances and good weatherproofing
- Vignetting, chromatic aberration, distortion, and flare are kept to reasonable levels for a wide-aperture zoom
- Very lightweight for a wide-aperture zoom, at 565 grams / 1.25 pounds
- Great price for a native f/2.8 lens when on sale for $900
- Widest focal length of 28mm is less versatile than 24mm
- Relatively weak sharpness at the longer focal lengths
- Somewhat busy bokeh
- Very few handling features, not even an M-A switch
- Adapted from the older G1 Tamron rather than the newer, better G2 version
- Launch price of $1200 is frustrating compared to the original Tamron’s price of $800
I like the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 overall. I’d characterize it as a “classic Nikon DSLR lens” in its performance – a bright maximum aperture, low levels of distortion, and solid sharpness. (Contrast that with “modern Nikon mirrorless” performance, which involves narrower maximum apertures, higher levels of distortion, and extremely high sharpness.)
One of the best parts of the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 is its weight. At 565 grams, the lens isn’t much heavier than the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S. Combine that with the bright f/2.8 aperture – always useful for indoor photos or nighttime street photography – and I consider this lens one of Nikon’s finest travel lenses yet.
Even so, I would only buy the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 if you meet two conditions first:
- You buy it on sale. The new price of $1200 is high in context of the original Tamron lens, but luckily this lens goes on sale all the time. If you find it under $1000, it’s a good value.
- You’re a real-world photographer. The 28-75mm f/2.8 is a sharp lens, but it has some inconsistent areas, too. For example, pixel-peepers will be annoyed that the corners at 50mm and f/2.8 are weak. (Most photographers will not take a lot of real-world photos where that matters.)
Nikon users are blessed with a broad range of midrange zoom choices. Even if the two conditions above apply to you, you may still be happier with a lens like the Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4 S or the Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR for their greater zoom ranges. It really depends on your situation. But if f/2.8 would be helpful for your photography, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this lens.
I hope that you found this review of the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 to be helpful! If you want to purchase the lens, you can thank Photography Life for the work that went into this review by using the link below:
The 28-75mm f/2.8 is also selling for some nice prices on the used market if you’re looking for a deal:
Photography Life is part of B&H and eBay’s affiliate partner programs, and buying anything through the links above (not just the 28-75mm f/2.8) is one of the best ways to support our site without costing you anything extra.
Feel free to ask me any questions about the lens on the last page of this review, “Reader Comments.” You can also see more sample images on the following page of the review.
Below, the star rating for “value” is based on a sale price of $1000. At the full price of $1200, I would give this lens a 4/5 for value; at the steepest sale price of $900, I would give it a 5/5 for value.
Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8
- Optical Performance
- Build Quality
- Focus Speed and Accuracy
Photography Life Overall Rating
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