Nikon Announces the Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens, Their First Professional-Grade Zoom for Z-Series Mirrorless Cameras

Nikon Announces the Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens, Their First Professional-Grade Zoom for Z-Series Mirrorless Cameras

Early adopters to Nikon's Z-series mirrorless full-frame cameras have so far been without fast, professional native zoom lenses. Today, the announcement of the Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S changes that.

This release will be the first Z-mount lens to feature the Nikon-designed ARNEO coating which works in conjunction with Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat to "significantly minimize flare and ghosting." It will also be the first to have a dedicated manual focus ring, a customizable function button, and an Organic EL Lens Information Panel on the topside that will display focus distance, depth of field, aperture, and focal length.

The Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S is almost 25 percent lighter and 18 percent shorter than the DSLR F-mount AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR. Inside there are 17 elements in 15 groups, including 2 ED glass elements and 4 aspherical elements. The new zoom lens uses a stepping motor (STM) and the Multi-Focus System which uses two actuators to move two focus groups at once.

For video shooting, Nikon claims the Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S has minimal focus breathing, while the autofocus is quiet and the Z-series cameras' in-body image stabilization (five-stop compensation) allows for smooth handheld operation.

The outside of the Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S is dust and moisture resistant and features a flourine coat on the front element to repel dust, water, and grease.

The Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S is priced at $2,296.95 and is available now to preorder. Shipments begin in spring 2019.

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Rob Mitchell's picture

This does leave me with a dilemma. Any professional photographer needs to continue investing is his/her business. This involves kit upgrades, rotation, etc. Costs are needed to keep the account happy and to keep the tax man/woman at bay.
I have the first generation 24-70 F mount, which still works, and works well, even on the Z7 with the FTZ. No client has ever sucked air through their teeth and suggest my lens was a bit soft in the corners or lacks a NANOSOMETHING coating whoosh would prevent the bit of flare they like their shots.
Then this comes along, newer, better, lighter. Optimised for the Z, fresh, new smelling, crisp, no battle scars.

Out the old one which is still earning money and buy this one, or skip this one and carry on using the F mount lens. Which is in fact my least used 2.8 zoom, favouring the 14-24.

Not expecting suggestions or answers, just mulling over the ideas as I sip my tea. Over 2000 drinking tokens on a lens I already have, or on something I don't.

I do wonder how many other working professionals go through this thinking process too.

Matt Williams's picture

I'm buying new S lenses based on 1) if it's a focal length I already have, is it one that I use a lot, and is it a substantial enough improvement? and 2) is it a focal length I don't have and can I make use of it? My first priorities are getting the new 50 1.8 and 24mm when it comes out.

If I were you - and I'm not obviously - but if I didn't use my 24-70 much, I would just keep using it with the adapter and buy either something you don't have, or something that you use a lot. 2 grand would be a lot for me to upgrade a lens that I don't use much.

Edgar Moskopp's picture

First of all it is not that much lighter - only 18%. I will doubt you will feel it's lighter... Second of all you write yourself you don't use that lens very often anyway.

I ususally find the best question to this:
Will a new thing you buy (may it be a lens or a camera or something else) make you take better pictures OR will it make more fun?

I guess all your answers to these questions are no... so you could easily skip this.

Jared Wolfe's picture

"..Their First Professional-Grade Zoom for Z-Series..."

With canon already producing the 28-70 f2 and also just announcing 5 more lenses - 3 of which are professional zooms this really just seems kinda sad.

Matt Williams's picture

and yet Canon doesn't even have a high-end FF mirrorless body.

Most people are using these new Canon/Nikon cameras with adapters. Makes a lot more sense to me to roll out affordable but still optically excellent lenses first. Rather than tons of high-end lenses that most people can't afford when you don't even have your flagship body out. They'll have released a 50mm 1.2 and TWO 85mm 1.2's before a single, basic 1.8 prime.

Well... Canon had only just caught up with their recent announcement to the roadmap Nikon published on day one when the Z system was announced. You are having things reversed here. :-)

Nikon has focused on delivering first very high quality lenses that are compact and a good match for the bulk of the bodies. Makes sense to me.

Spy Black's picture

I'm at a loss as to why a lens has to be large aperture lens in order to be considered "professional". For instance, the new Z Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 is not considered "professional" because it's not an f/1.4, yet it's overall construction is robust, and it has been optically compared to the Zeiss OTUS in IQ.

But somehow the Z 50mm and all the other Z lenses so far, all exceptional quality, are somehow not "professional".

Ryan Mense's picture

The third ring, better coating, a function button, and info display are also differences not in the other lenses. The 2.8 brings more than a wider aperture. I'd argue the third ring and function button make it better suited for professional use over the others.

Spy Black's picture

Yeah, I dunno...

Matt Williams's picture

The 24-70 f/4 is definitely more of a "kit" lens, though an optically great one.

But yes, this entire idea that lenses have to be f/1.4 or 1.2 otherwise they're consumer garbage is the most inane nonsense I've ever heard.

Give me a brilliant lens like the 50 1.8 S over a larger, more expensive 1.4 version any day.

Michael Kormos's picture

“The Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S is almost 25 percent lighter and 18 percent shorter than the DSLR F-mount AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR”

It’s not quite fair to compare its size and weight to the DSLR VR version, which is larger and heavier due to its VR components. How much lighter and shorter is this new lens compared to the DSLR AF-S non-VR lens?

Apples to apples, Ryan.

Ryan Mense's picture

It's a comparison of an object that many Nikon photographers have actually held in their hands. Fairness has nothing to do with it.

Michael Kormos's picture

I think you missed what I said. You’re comparing this to the bigger, heavier DSLR 24-70 - the VR version.

Most full frame DSLR shooters use the non-VR version. Would be helpful to compare that instead.

True, but what matters in the end is the value delivered to the user. And since the Z bodies have IBIS, it makes sense to compare the VR DSLR lens to the non VR Z lens.

Matt Williams's picture

The non-VR DSLR appears to be about 16% lighter and 14% shorter than the VR version. So, this is a little shorter than that (though not much) and a little lighter.

Michael Kormos's picture

Thanks for that useful info. I would adopt Nikon's mirrorless system if it didn't require a whole new set of lenses. I'm sure they had their reasons, but for someone who has a a full line of DSLR lenses, the proposition isn't very appealing.

I find that my bag is much smaller when I carry my Z7 instead of my D850. The 50mm f1.8 S is a great replacement for my Otus 55mm, I often carry with it my 105mm f1.4 of FTZ and a wide lens.