Nikon’s Z lens roadmap only has 4 DX lenses and 3 of them have already been released
Nikon’s Z-series mirrorless cameras have been a big hit, no one can argue with that. And after the launch of its full-frame Z6, Z7, smaller and cheaper APS-C models were the obvious next step.
It’s a pattern repeated by Nikon, Canon, Sony and Pentax DSLRs – a range of dual-barrel cameras with full-frame cameras for enthusiasts and professionals split into two and cheaper APS-C cameras and smaller format for beginners and photographers who want to travel light.
In each case, smaller format cameras can use the full frame lenses, but only with a high crop factor of 1.5 to 1.6x, which means these lenses are not only bigger and heavier than ‘they should, but often also less useful.
Camera manufacturers who make APS-C cameras therefore strive to ensure that these cameras have a good range of suitable APS-C lenses designed specifically for them – usually.
But the latest Nikon Z lens roadmap still only has four DX-format Nikon Z lenses, and three of them have already been released. Both the Nikon Z50 and the very stylish Nikon Z fc are great cameras, but let down by the limited availability of lenses.
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Nikkor Z DX lenses so far
• Nikkor Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR: This little retractable lens is a great match for the Z50 and Z fc, but there’s no sign of a constant aperture ‘pro’ version.
• Nikkor Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR: An excellent “hobbyist” telephoto zoom, but not particularly appealing to serious enthusiasts, we suspect.
• Nikon Z DX 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 VR: A handy “standard zoom” extended zoom range, but did we really need another one?
And here’s the remaining lens on the Nikon Z lens roadmap:
• Nikkor Z DX 12-28 mm (other specifications unknown): This fills a major gap in the range of a DX-format wide-angle zoom, but we don’t yet know for sure when that will arrive.
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So what should Z50 and Z fc users do?
We COULD allow the Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 SE lens sold with the Nikon Z fc as an alternate candidate due to its size and cost, but it is actually a full frame lens.
So what should Nikon Z50 and Z fc users do? You CAN use full-frame Nikon Z lenses on the DX-format bodies, but that’s an expensive and clumsy solution. And you CAN use Nikon DX DSLR lenses using the very good Nikon FTZ adapter, but that also feels like a clumsy stopgap solution.
So while we really like the Nikon Z50 and Z fc, what we really want to say to Nikon is: “where are the DX lenses?”
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