The first promoting level of the new Nikon Z 26mm f/2.8 pancake lens from Nikon is its extremely small dimension. At simply 23.5mm in size, it’s the slimmest AF lens for full-frame Nikon mirrorless cameras obtainable, and at simply 125g it’s barely noticeable in your package bag – and even your pocket.
This makes it interesting as a walk-around digital camera for topics resembling road images the place discreetness is welcomed, but additionally with its broad angle, landscapes and structure are additionally apparent typical topics.
All that mentioned, it’s a bit oddly positioned within the present Nikon Z line-up, with it not offering an excessive amount of which you can’t decide up elsewhere for higher worth. For instance, there’s already a 28mm f/2.8 lens, which you’ll decide up for lower than half the worth of the 26mm. Admittedly, it’s not a pancake lens, but it surely’s nonetheless fairly small (43mm / 170g), so until you’re desperately craving that additional 2mm of width, it’s maybe exhausting to see the 26mm interesting an excessive amount of – until it dramatically comes down worth.
Though it’s designed as a full-frame lens, it will also be used on Nikon’s APS-C mirrorless cameras, such because the Z50, Z30, or the Zfc. Right here, it’s arguably a greater match to the small dimension of such fashions, whereas giving a 39mm equal focal size which can be extra appreciated by road photographers, too. Once more although, it’s in all probability a bit costly for that type of consumer – who can once more decide up the 28mm and luxuriate in a fairly shut 42mm equal.
Nikon Z 26mm f/2.8 Options
The optical design of this lens contains eight parts in is teams, together with three aspherical parts. There are seven diaphragm blades.
This isn’t designated as a macro lens, and the closest focusing means is 0.2m. Whereas that’s moderately shut for many topics – particularly at a large angle) – it’s not one thing you’re going to have the ability to use for frame-filling topics. Relying on the context you may from time to time create element photographs with a blurred background. The magnification ratio is 0.19x.
Regardless of its small dimension and light-weight weight, Nikon hasn’t scrimped on together with a steel mount, whereas the lens barrel and all transferring components are sealed towards mud and water droplets.
Video shooters and vloggers could discover the focal size helpful, particularly for capturing to digital camera in comparatively small areas. Remembering in fact that if you happen to use it with an APS-C digital camera, a 1.5x crop shall be utilized. We’ll contact on video recording with the lens later within the evaluation.
Nikon Z 26mm f/2.8 Construct and Dealing with
As already talked about, the Nikkor 26mm f/2.8 is extremely small and light-weight. You possibly can simply maintain it within the palm of your hand, so slipping it right into a pocket could be very a lot a risk if you happen to simply need to seize an additional lens whereas out and about – notably if it enhances no matter else you occur to be capturing with.
I used the 26mm f/2.8 with each the Z6 II and the Z7 II, which share a physique design. The lens could be very small on these our bodies, maybe making it really feel a bit of grip-heavy if you happen to’re used to capturing with heavier lenses more often than not. You get used to this after some time although. Though I haven’t tried it with an APS-C physique, I think about with the Z50 or the Zfc it could be a superb match for the smaller physique form.
When focusing, the interior barrel will poke out from the centre of the lens as you attain the minimal focusing distance, whereas at infinity focus, it’s utterly contained throughout the lens housing.
Unsurprisingly, the outward design of the lens could be very minimalist. There’s a guide focusing ring on the entrance of the lens, taking over about half of the general dimension of the unit. It doesn’t have exhausting stops at both finish, however there’s a respectable quantity of resistance to assist with making exact, small changes to guide focus.
For those who’d desire, you should utilize this ring as a management ring, setting it to regulate ISO, aperture, publicity compensation or switching between guide and autofocus settings. You’ll want to move into the digital camera’s settings to assign it to a particular perform. Setting it as much as regulate aperture is probably possibility for road photographers who need to make fast settings modifications on the fly, for instance.
There’s no guide focus change on the lens, so having the management ring set to change between guide and autofocus is likely to be , fast workaround if you happen to’re any person that likes to steadily change between the 2. In any other case you may set to MF through the fast menu accessed through the “i” button on the again of the digital camera.
Equipped within the field is a lens hood (HB-111), which provides a bit of size to the general dimension of the lens, bringing it nearer in dimension to the 28mm f/2.8 lens. You’ll want to connect the lens hood if you wish to use filters, because it’s this which they connect to.
Focusing in good mild is fairly fast, although we’ve seen a lot faster performances from different lenses within the Nikkor vary – together with from the 28mm. In different circumstances, resembling low mild or if you happen to’re making an attempt to change from shut focus to distant focus, it may be slower than is preferable and will even result in some missed photographs, notably in quickly evolving conditions, resembling road images.
One other adverse right here is the quantity of the focusing mechanism, which is noticeably audible, particularly in moderately quiet situations and when the lens has to work to attain focus. It’s tough because of this to suggest the lens for video work, as until you’re recording audio at a distance from the lens, you’re very more likely to decide up undesirable focusing noise in your recordings.
Nikon Z 26mm f/2.8 Picture High quality
Though it’s maybe tough to identify too many use instances for a lens like this, one suggestion is that if you happen to’re in any other case capturing with an all-rounder lens just like the 24-70mm f/4 or 24-200mm f/4-6.3 and wish one thing which is broad angle but additionally provides a wider aperture, and is a bit of sharper.
Utilizing the 26mm f/2.8 on the 45 megapixel Z7 II exhibits off that it’s able to producing some very pleasingly sharp outcomes. Sharpness is superb on the most aperture of f/2.8, but it surely’s a bit of sharper – if you happen to’re analyzing very intently – at f/5.6. Throughout all the apertures, the general impression of sharpness is superb if you happen to’re printing or viewing at regular sizes.
There’s little to no chromatic aberration current within the overwhelming majority of photographs, even when capturing in high-contrast conditions. Distortion is stored below management nicely by the in-camera distortion correction. For those who change this off, you’ll see some noticeable distortion, so it’s finest to depart it on.
Some vignetting may be seen when capturing at f/2.8 in sure situations – resembling when capturing blue skies. Some could discover this to be fairly a lovely impact, however if you happen to don’t, it’s simply corrected in post-production, or you may shoot at a narrower aperture, the place it turns into a lot much less noticeable at f/4 and past. You too can regulate the in-camera vignette correction from the conventional setting to Excessive for a greater efficiency in digital camera.
The seven-bladed diaphragm produces some pleasing out of focus areas (bokeh), with a pure drop off from the primary topic, and the chance to create some close-ups with an attractively blurred background.
Nikon Z 26mm f/2.8 Verdict
It’s truthful to say that the Nikon 26mm f/2.8 is able to producing some nice photos. Outcomes are sharp, there’s little distortion or chromatic aberration and though vignetting does seem in sure conditions, it’s not displeasing.
Nevertheless, the identical may be mentioned of different lenses, notably the 28mm f/2.8 which provide very related specs in a bundle – albeit an even bigger one – at half the worth.
The slowness and noisiness of the autofocus mechanism is disappointing too, particularly for one which is touted for its discreetness and road work. It’s straightforward to think about lacking sure photographs by the point it’s caught up. Video work is more likely to be marred too, which is a disgrace for vloggers who would possibly in any other case respect the moderately broad angle.
General, the 26mm is a little bit of a complicated lens. 26mm looks like an odd focal size for many photographers. It’s not broad sufficient to be “extremely broad”, and it’s not slim sufficient to be generally used for road images and the like – besides maybe for APS-C customers the place the 39mm equal focal size is a little more regular. However, for that type of consumer, the worth is more likely to be an excessive amount of.
For those who’re in search of a large angle prime lens, it’s tough to suggest this over different cheaper optics, until you’re notably determined to have one thing which is so small and light-weight.
Whereas Nikon might need proved simply how slim a full-frame lens may be with this, for many unusual customers, the 28mm is just a greater wager. If the worth comes down dramatically within the coming months / years, it could be price reconsidering.
For extra choices take a look at one of the best Nikon Z mount lenses, or check out one of the best Nikon mirrorless cameras.
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