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Nikon Z 17-28mm F/2.8 Lens Review

John Riley has been out capturing images with Nikon's lightest full-frame wide-angle mirrorless zoom lens to date: the Nikkor Z 17-28mm f/2.8.


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Nikon Z 17-28mm F/2.8 Lens Review: Nikkor Z 17 28mm Front Oblique View | 0.3 sec | f/16.0 | 115.0 mm | ISO 100
 

Nikon continues their expansion of the Nikon Z mirrorless system with a compact, lightweight ultra-wide to wide 17-28mm f/2.8 zoom lens. Light enough to carry anywhere, with a fast, bright constant maximum aperture and close focusing, it all adds up to exciting possibilities for travel, reportage, street, landscape and any other ultra-wide requirements. Can Nikon once again produce a winning lens for their Z series cameras? We find out, using the 45.7MP Nikon Z 7 II mirrorless body, doing our best to dodge the rain and wind on the way.

 

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Nikon Z 17-28mm F/2.8 Handling and Features

When the weather turns bad, it is a huge benefit to have this lens's sealing against dust and water droplets. Although Nikon reminds us that the lens is not guaranteed to be water resistant under all circumstances, nonetheless it does add a layer of protection that can be approached with just a little common sense and is still an enormous benefit. Continuing the theme of water resistance, the front element is also Fluorine coated to help repel dirt, fingerprints and smudges.

There is a provided petal lens hood, and as usual, it clicks cleanly into place and shows no sign of being dislodged in normal use. There is no locking catch needed, nor is one provided. Within the bayonet fit for the hood is a conventional 67mm filter thread.

 

Nikon Z 17-28mm F/2.8 Lens Review: Nikkor Z 17 28mm Rear Oblique View | 0.3 sec | f/16.0 | 100.0 mm | ISO 100
 

Extensive use of high-quality polycarbonate gives us a compact lens, 75mm diameter and 101mm long, that weighs in at a modest 450g. Internal focusing means no dimension change to the lens during focusing. The zoom action, also electronic, has a slight tendency to overshoot, sometimes giving a disconcerting correction to the field of view through the viewfinder. This is not a major issue, but it is sometimes just detectable. Zooming does extend the lens, but within the outer barrel so the overall length does not alter.

Focusing is down to 0.19m, depending on the focal length. The maximum magnification is 0.19x.

 

Focal Length Min. Focus (Meters) Min. Focus (Feet)
17mm 0.19m 0.63 feet
20mm 0.23m 0.76 feet
24mm 0.26m 0.86 feet
28mm 0.26m 0.86 feet

 

AF is driven by a virtually silent stepping motor and is fast and accurate.

There is a wide zoom ring that is accurately marked at 17mm, 20mm, 24mm and 28mm. This is really a very versatile range, taking in several classic ultra-wide/wide focal lengths into one convenient lens.

Optical construction is 13 elements in 11 groups, including 2 ED (Extra Low Dispersion), 1 Super-ED and 3 Aspherical. There are 9 blades to the diaphragm, the objective being to produce as round an aperture as possible for relaxed, smooth bokeh.

 

Nikon Z 17-28mm F/2.8 Lens Review: Nikkor Z 17 28mm Front Element View | 0.5 sec | f/16.0 | 78.0 mm | ISO 100
 

The only other control on the lens is the control ring, which by default is the manual focus ring. This is of course electronic and works totally smoothly, with just the right amount of resistance. Apart from manual focus it can be programmed via the camera menu to alter aperture, exposure compensation, ISO or to have no function at all. The no function optional might be useful if any user found that they were accidentally nudging the ring and changing values when it was not required.

The actual handling of the lens is absolutely straightforward and there are no real hazards in use. Everything works smoothly and exactly as expected. If the performance matches the ease of use then we may well have another highly desirable optic. Let's find out.

 


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