NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8
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The slimmest1, lightest2 Z series lens. Less than one inch thick and featherlight, yet capable of delivering lifelike sharpness, blurred backgrounds, versatile low light performance and a creative field of view. This is a pancake prime ideal for street photography and video work with any Z series camera.
*1 Among full-frame/FX-format AF lenses for mirrorless cameras, available as of February 7, 2023. Statement based on Nikon research. *2 Among NIKKOR Z lenses available as of February 7, 2023.
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NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8
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I Like It!I am happy I own one. Ever since I bought a Nikkor 40/2 I had been eying the 28/2.8 as a wider companion lens. At the same time, I was looking at the 26/2.8 on Nikon’s lens roadmap and was waiting anxiously to read/watch its reviews. So I hemmed and hawed over buying the already available 28 or waiting for the yet unknown 26. I am glad I waited. After studying reviews of both lenses I chose the 26 primarily because of its superior image quality. That superiority was demonstrated nicely in a video review by Ricci Chera, a Nikon Europe Ambassador. His swan photo in that video is nothing short of stunning. Mounted on a Nikon Z 7II with ISO set to its base level of 64, the 26 tends to favor cool tones while generating the rich colors Nikon is noted for. Auto focus is quick and accurate in good light but may search in dim scenes. The 26’s size and weight make for nimble use and allow also for handheld long exposures. This latter characteristic is valuable for an old guy like me who no longer has the steady hand of youth. Nonetheless, I’ve managed to handhold some stunningly acute photos at 1/10 sec. In addition, one of the things that makes this lens so fun for me is that it is a new (for me) prime focal length. Learning to use it properly keeps me fully engaged in the composition and the camera positioning stages of making a photo. It presents the stout challenges of avoiding distortions of perspective and of exaggerated object length. And, as with any new lens, it takes attentive practice to have images look like the ones in my mind’s eye. I find it fun.I was a bit leery about review comments noting focus motor noise and vibration. The comments are true: the lens is audible and does vibrate lightly while focusing. I shot the first few frames indoors and my reaction was, “Oh, blast!” However, after taking shots outside I was mollified that the sound and vibration diminished. As I use the lens more and more both effects seem less and less apparent. So, all in all, I am no longer concerned. I had also read the lens hood falls off easily. I experienced that until I took a good look and saw the hood mounts just like a lens to a camera body. One only needs to line up the flanges correctly, push the hood firmly into place, and then rotate the hood a quarter turn. It locks in place snugly.Another fun challenge for me with this lens is staying within the compositional guideline that less is more. With its greater field of view than my favorite 50, the 26 includes a lot more area and so requires a careful survey of what to leave in and what to leave out. Being old school I still try to get my composition and camera settings correct in-camera so that I need only one frame without having to make edits in post. Therein lies the enjoyment of doing - as well as the satisfaction of creating a keeper - when I manage to score.I have now used this lens for a variety of applications and subjects. I am happy with the results. Consequently, I recommend the Nikkor 26/2.8 with the caveat to include in your decision to buy - or not - awareness of its tendency to hunt for focus when light is dim and that it may be more audible than what you are used to. Considering this proviso, my score is 4.5 stars.