Nikon Launches The Much Anticipated Z 85mm f/1.2 As Well As The Pancake 26mm f/2.8

Nikon Launches The Much Anticipated Z 85mm f/1.2 As Well As The Pancake 26mm f/2.8

Professional photographers rejoice. Today, Nikon has finally announced the release of two new lenses, including the highly anticipated NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.2 S and the pint-sized Z 26mm f/2.8.

The 85mm f/1.2 S has perhaps not been the best kept secret in the camera industry for those of us paying attention. Ever since an accidentally misprinted warranty card for an 85mm f/1.2 found its way into the wrong lens box a few months back, Nikonians have been clamoring for the release of the high-end prime. For a long time, 85mm has been considered the go-to focal length for many portrait photographers as well as a popular choice among wedding photographers, fashion shooters, and more. Similar to the release strategy for their 50mm primes, Nikon has long had the Z 85mm f/1.8 S available to customers. But, just as the Z 50mm f/1.8 S inherited a more powerful big brother in the Z 50mm f/1.2 S, now, the 85mm range has received the same treatment.

The only question remaining would be the relative stats for the new addition. The new lens sports 11 rounded diaphragm blades. It has super precise and fast focus courtesy of the advanced multi-focusing system. This system used two distinct stepping (STM) motors inside the lens to operate on different zones of focus. This provides the lens the ability to shift focus from the closest areas to the farthest with razor-sharp precision. A minimum focus distance of only 2.8 feet should allow you to get in close to your subjects to capture intricate detail. For videographers, Nikon has again minimized focus breathing and ensured the quietest focusing possible while recording sound. All in all, there are 15 elements in 10 groups, with two aspherical elements and one ED element.

But how big is it? Likely, this is one of the first questions many will ask. The lens comes in at 1,160 grams or two pounds and nine ounces. It is 4.1 inches by 5.6 inches. And, much to my approval, sports an 82mm filter diameter which will allow me to share the same filter I currently use with my 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8.  

The lens should be available in late March 2023 and has a suggested retail price of $2,799.95. Get your orders in early, as I imagine this lens will be popular.

On the complete opposite side of the size spectrum is the new Z 26mm f/2.8 pancake lens. While the size of the 85mm will no doubt help you stand out from the crowd, the new 26mm pancake is angling to have you go unnoticed. The lens, which only comes in at 125 grams, gives a wide full frame view. When mounted to a crop sensor camera, the focal length would be roughly a 39mm equivalent. Personally, I’m curious to see how small this lens mounted to my Z fc would be in combination. Perhaps the perfect pocketable size for travel photography and street shots, especially given the minimum focus distance of only eight inches.

The 26mm f/2.8 pancake will also be available in late March and expects to sell for $499.95.

Which of these two, or both, do you plan to add to your kit?

Christopher Malcolm's picture

Christopher Malcolm is a Los Angeles-based lifestyle, fitness, and advertising photographer, director, and cinematographer shooting for clients such as Nike, lululemon, ASICS, and Verizon.

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$500 for the 26? Ah hell no.

Similar to Fuji 27mm.

Can't wait for the comparisons with the obvious...


Well there's already one video by Manny Ortiz comparing it to the Canon RF 85mm 1.2L ;-)

Well Tony Northrup will slag it off, though doubt Nikon will give him a pre-release to trial as he's a cock.

I'm curious to see how this lens looks as a video lens. Unfortunately I wasn't as impressed with the Z7II and returned it. I love Nikon for stills but just wasn't able to jive with their mirrorless yet.

I love the concept of the 26mm, it'd be ideal for some of what I do. At NZ $1100 - (US$500) for a non S line prime though, it isn't cheap or cheerful anymore. I'm a little gutted, I was looking forward to this lens.

Me too. I really want one, but I'm definitely going to need to pace myself as it's not super inexpensive for how I would likely use it.