Nikon announces compact and affordable Z 17-28mm F2.8 wide-angle lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras

by Jeremy Gray

posted Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. EDT

Nikon has announced a new affordable zoom lens, the Nikkor Z 17-28mm F2.8. The wide-angle zoom joins the Z 28-75mm F2.8 as the new budget F2.8 zoom.

With a suggested retail price of $1,199.95, the Z 17-28mm F2.8 is about $1,300 cheaper than Nikon’s excellent Z 14-24mm F2.8 S lens, albeit with a slightly different range of focal lengths. The Z 17-28mm F2.8 brings fast-aperture wide-angle photography within reach for more Nikon Z users.

“The number of NIKKOR Z lenses continues to grow at a rapid rate, providing all kinds of creators with mirrorless lenses featuring the latest optical innovations,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “The new NIKKOR Z 17-28mm f/2.8 is derived from the same common concept as the recent NIKKOR Z 28-75mm f/2.8 lens, establishing a series of affordable zooms that open a gateway to fast aperture performance and absolute versatility. »

The Nikon Z 17-28mm F2.8 lens has another advantage over the expensive S-series 14-24mm F2.8 S lens: the new lens is much smaller and lighter. The Z 17-28mm F2.8 lens is 101mm (4 inches) long and has a maximum diameter of 75mm (3 inches). The Z 17-28mm F2.8 is also an internal zoom lens, meaning it doesn’t expand as you change the focal length. The lens weighs 450 g (15.9 oz). In contrast, the Z 14-24mm F2.8 is 124.5mm (5 inches) long and has a maximum diameter of 88.5mm (3.5 inches). The 14-24mm F2.8 weighs 200g more, a difference of around 30%.

Nikon Z 17-28mm F2.8 lens on the Nikon Z6 II

The 17-28mm F2.8 Z lens has a 67mm filter thread, while the 14-24mm F2.8 S lens’ specialized lens hood accepts 112mm filters, which are exceptionally large . Of course, it should be pointed out that there is a significant difference between the 14-24mm F2.8 and 17-28mm F2.8 technical lenses. The extra field of view doesn’t come cheap.

Nikon says the new lens is sealed to keep out dust and water droplets, so the lens should be well suited for outdoor photography. Nikon says, “The lens is designed for creators who aren’t afraid to think outside the box when researching their content.”

Z 17-28mm F2.8 lens includes extended weather sealing

As for the glass, the Z 17-28mm F2.8 lens has 13 elements organized into 11 groups. This is three elements less than the Z 14-24mm F2.8 S. In addition, the new Z 17-28mm F2.8 is devoid of Nano Crystal and ARNEO coatings, which are characteristic coatings of the lenses of the S series.

Autofocus is provided by a high-speed stepping motor (STM). The STM system promises fast and near-silent autofocus during photo and video recording. The lens promises minimized focus breathing, which should benefit video content creators. The lens also features a clickless control ring for quiet and smooth exposure transitions. The minimum focusing distance of the lens is just 0.19m (7.6in) at 17mm and 0.26m (10.3in), giving a maximum magnification of 0.19x at 17mm and 0.17x to 28mm.

Nikon Z 17-28mm F2.8

The Nikon Z 17-28mm F2.8 Nikkor lens will be available in late October for $1,199.95.

The latest Nikon Z lens roadmap

Nikon has also updated its Nikkor Z lineup roadmap to version 5.0 (until 2023). The Z 17-28mm F2.8 is now on the roadmap alongside the Z 28-75mm F2.8 lens. There are still nine lenses on the roadmap that have yet to be announced, including seven for full-frame (FX) Z cameras. A 70-180mm lens is on the roadmap, which could be an F2.8 zoom. Furthering this theory, Tamron is offering a 17-28mm F2.8 zoom lens for E-mount cameras with 13 elements in 11 groups, the same minimum focusing distance, and nearly identical dimensions as the new Z. 17-28mm F2.8. You may recall that the Z 28-75mm F2.8 shares a lot in common with Tamron’s original 28-75mm F2.8 lens for mirrorless cameras. By the way, Tamron sells a 70-180mm F2.8 lens for E-mount cameras.

There are two other zoom lenses on the roadmap: a 12-28mm PZ DX lens and a 200-600mm lens for full-frame cameras. As for compact lenses, Nikon will release a 24mm for DX cameras (35mm equivalent) and a 26mm for full-frame cameras. Four S-Line prime lenses are on the way, including 35mm, 85mm, 135mm and 600mm lenses. It’s safe to assume that the 600mm lens will be a 600mm F4 lens for the Z cameras. It’s reasonable to expect the 35mm and 85mm primes to be F1.4 or faster, given that There are already 35mm F1.8 S and 85mm F1.8 S S-Line primes in the Z system. As for the 135mm lens, F1.4 or F1.8 makes sense.