Camera - - WHAT’S NEW -

of a full-func­tion adapter for fit­ting F mount lenses to the new Z se­ries mir­ror­less cam­era bod­ies, Nikon’s chal­lenge will be to de­liver as many new Z mount lenses as it pos­si­bly can and as quickly as it can… es­pe­cially if it’s to match Sony’s re­cent ef­forts.

Three lenses have been launched with the sys­tem to cover the ba­sics, and the pub­lished roadmap will ex­pand the range to 12 lenses by 2020, but it’s miss­ing some­thing that’s im­por­tant to many of Nikon’s pro D-SLR users – fast prime tele­pho­tos.

The Z mount lenses have been chris­tened “S Line” which sig­ni­fies a par­tic­u­lar stan­dard of op­ti­cal per­for­mance (it’s not clear whether there will be non-S Line Z mount lenses down the track). The launch trio com­prise a 24-70mm f4.0 zoom, a 50mm f1.8 stan­dard prime and a 35mm f1.8 wide-an­gle. Next up is an in­ter­est­ing su­per­fast Z Nikkor 58mm f0.95 Noct prime which is made pos­si­ble by the Z mount’s larger in­ner di­am­e­ter of 55 mm. In­ter­est­ingly, it’s a man­ual fo­cus only lens. It’s sched­uled for launch in early 2019 and will be fol­lowed by a 20mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 24-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8 and a 14-30mm f4.0. Slated for launch in 2020 are a 50mm f1.2, 24mm f1.8 and14-24mm f2.8.

Nikon says “Nikkor Z lenses pur­sue a new di­men­sion in op­ti­cal per­for­mance, by tak­ing ad­van­tage of the su­pe­rior de­sign flex­i­bil­ity made pos­si­ble by the com­bi­na­tion of the larger Z mount with its in­ner di­am­e­ter of 55 mm, and a short flange fo­cal dis­tance of 16 mm. The lenses of­fer sharp res­o­lu­tion with both still-image and video record­ing, and are equipped with func­tions that in­clude: com­pen­sa­tion for fo­cus breath­ing (the shift­ing of the an­gle of view when fo­cus is ad­justed), quiet op­er­a­tion, smooth ex­po­sure con­trol, a con­trol ring and “per­for­mance that is well suited for video cap­ture”.

All three of the launch lenses fea­ture weather-sealed de­signs to match the pro­tec­tion of the Z 6 and Z 7 cam­era bod­ies, while the 24-70mm ad­di­tion­ally had a flu­o­rine coat­ing on the ex­posed sur­face of the its front el­e­ment to help bet­ter re­pel mois­ture and grease.

The FTZ mount adapter main­tains full AF and AE func­tion­al­ity with 90 Nikkor F mount lenses and will sup­port – to vary­ing de­grees – a to­tal of 360 mod­els from the Ai mount up­date (Au­to­matic max­i­mum aper­ture In­dex­ing) from 1977 on­wards. Three-axis image sta­bil­i­sa­tion is avail­able with both non-VR (Vi­bra­tion Re­duc­tion) and VR op­ti­cally-sta­bilised lenses via the sen­sor-shift sta­bil­i­sa­tion in the cam­era bod­ies (which pro­vides five-axis cor­rec­tion with Z mount lenses). With VR-equipped lenses which have two-axis cor­rec­tion, the cam­era’s sys­tem is pro­vided the third-axis cor­rec­tion for roll. The FTZ adapter is also weather-sealed and while no lo­cal pric­ing is be­ing re­leased, we es­ti­mate it will sell lo­cally for around $350-400. It will also be pack­aged with the cam­era bod­ies as a kit op­tion (and sub­se­quently cheaper) which is a sen­si­ble move given the vast reser­voir of Nikkor F mount lenses in cir­cu­la­tion.

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