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Top 10 Best Nikon Nikkor Z-Mount Lenses 2021

Here, we round up the best Nikon Z lenses we've reviewed on-site so far. From primes to wide-angle and standard zooms, which one sits at the top? Find out which lens is best for your Nikon Z camera here.

|  Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S in Interchangeable Lenses
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Nikon Z is Nikon's mirrorless mount and the native mount of the full-frame Z7 and Z6, as well as the APS-C Nikon Z50, which were released in 2018 and 2019. There's also the newer Nikon Z5, Z6 II, and Z7 II, released in 2020. It's still relatively young format and so there aren't masses of lenses available just yet - but those that are available have performed extremely well in our reviews. In fact, they've almost all gained Editor's Choice awards!

From primes to wide-angle and standard zooms, there's something for everyone. Here's our rundown of the best Nikkor Z lenses we've reviewed so far.

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1. Nikon Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.2 S -

Nikkor Z 50mm F1,2S Front Oblique View

There are very few 50mm f/1.2 or faster lenses, and the Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.2 S is at the top of the game, as indeed all the S-Line lenses reviewed so far have proven to be. If quality is the only criterion, then the answer is totally clear, this is a lens of refinement and choice. The Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.2 S has plenty of performance and plenty of character to justify its price. A definite Editor's Choice.

 

2. Nikon Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8 S 

Nikon Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8 S

 

There are just so many excellent lenses on the market, from all marques, that we could end up spoilt for choice. In terms of pure performance, the Nikon Z lenses are right at the top of the tree, and time and again they have released superb optics. They also handle extremely well.

The only bugbear is the price, but then again there is a cost attached to quality, and value for money is not just about price. In terms of what we get for our cash and how we can make the lens work for us, this is yet another absolutely superb offering.

20mm is a true ultra-wide and capable of being a very rewarding creative tool. Coupled with the dramatically excellent performance, the Nikon Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8 S is without a doubt an Editor's Choice.

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3. Nikon Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S

Nikon Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S

 

The quality is there, so much quality, and basically, this is a truly outstanding zoom lens. The focal length range is highly desirable, giving so much scope and versatility in subject matter from portraits to landscapes to sport and much more. Sometimes lenses with such high sharpness can be a bit ragged in terms of bokeh, but here even the bokeh is as smooth as butter. The cost may be high, but falls within expectation and what we get in return for our cash is a lens that is outstanding in every respect. Without a doubt an Editor's Choice.

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4. Nikon Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.8S - 

Nikkor Z 24mm F1,8S Front Oblique View
This bright prime lens has no compromises. From the wide and well-damped focus ring to the optical construction and lens coatings, no expense has been spared to make this lens top in its field. The autofocus is driven by two near-silent motors and the lens offers outstanding sharpness, virtually zero CA (chromatic aberration) and excellent flare resistance. 

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5. Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S - 

Nikkor Z 85mm F1,8S Front Oblique View
This mid-range prime for Nikkor Z cameras excels in its category. It features a manual focusing ring which is silent in operation and can be programmed to adjust aperture or exposure compensation, which also makes the lens an excellent choice for video applications. It's a great focal length for flattering portraits and the bright maximum aperture should give you excellent bokeh in the highlights. We love this lens' excellent flare resistance, quality manufacture and excellent sharpness.

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6. Nikon Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct - 

Nikkor Z 58mm F0,95S Front Oblique View

The manual focus Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is something incredibly special, featuring an f/0.95 aperture for outstanding low light performance and bokeh. It's a large lens that also comes with a large price tag - it's in league with Leica lenses of a similar spec. If you're looking for the very highest quality in a full-frame lens for your Nikon Z camera then this will fit the bill. With sublime handling and no distortion, the price of over 8 grand is the only dampening factor. The lens is quite rare and can be bought from Nikon's online store when it's in stock. 

 

7. Nikon Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S - 

Nikon Z 14 30mm F4 Front Oblique View
This ultra-wide to standard zoom is a great choice for landscapes and offers a compact body with smooth and ergonomic controls. The lens offers dust and moisture resistance, excellent flare resistance which is a great quality for a landscape lens and excellent handling as well as quality manufacture.

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8. Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Pro - 

Nikon Z 24 70mm F2,8 Front Oblique View
This standard-zoom full frame lens features 3 rings - one for manual focus, one for zoom and a third near the back of the lens which can be programmed to additionally give on-lens control to aperture or exposure. It's quite a chunky lens but it's well-made and offers outstanding sharpness. There's also the added bonus of an OLED display for seeing key settings.

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9. Nikon Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR 

Nikon Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR

The Nikon Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR is a complex lens in terms of construction and also in terms of performance. However, there's no doubt that as a general-purpose travel zoom it could be just so useful that any disadvantages become far outweighed. It is compact, light, well made, weather-resistant and an excellent performer. The very restricted maximum apertures available may be compensated for by the excellent VR performance, although that is only fine for stationary subject matter. Wildlife, for example, will still need higher shutter speeds, so high ISOs might have to be employed.

On the principle that we will succeed by following the maxim of “f/8 and be there” then with this lens it is almost set up to deliver maximum performance at that point. It does much more than that of course, but the essence is that it is light enough and convenient enough to actually be with us wherever we are.

At the price, if we have the need for a travel zoom of maximum versatility then for Nikon Z users we may well have a “no brainer” here.

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10. Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S

Nikkor Z 12 24mm F2,8S Front Oblique View | 1/4 sec | f/16.0 | 78.0 mm | ISO 100

The Nikon Nikkor Z 12-24mm f/2.8 S lens offers an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens, with a constant aperture of f/2.8 available throughout. The Nikon lens does not disappoint with what it delivers - it is clearly splendid and yet another example of Nikon being right at the top of their game. An amazing performance, with outstanding sharpness, and lovely handling. The only drawback is the price, which is also at the top of the game.

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Looking for more? Find a variety of lens roundups to help you choose the right optic in our 'Best Lenses' section. 

 

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