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11 Best Nikon Z Lenses in 2023 (For Outdoors, Travel & More)

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If you have a Nikon mirrorless camera, you will want to pair it with one of the best Nikon Z lenses. There are many to choose from now that the line has been out for over 10 years. But we have whittled down the long list into a solid top 11.

We have deconstructed each lens and noted the best photographic genres for each one. And our top choice is the Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 zoom lens. It has a great focal range for an everyday lens and up-to-date features. And it also is available for an amazing price! 

Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 ED Zoom Lens
Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 ED Zoom Lens
A versatile zoom lens that offers a wide range of focal lengths. It’s perfect for capturing any scene.
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What Is the Best Nikon Z Lens?

Here is a quick round-up table of our top 11 choices. After that, we go into all the Nikon Z lenses in depth.

Lens Name
Why We Love It
Buy From
Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 ED Zoom Lens
Our Top Choice
  • Versatile 24-200mm focal length
  • Constant f/4-6.3 aperture
  • Fast, precise autofocus
  • High-quality ED glass elements
  • Compact, lightweight design
Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens
Best for Professionals
  • Wide 24-70mm zoom range for versatile shooting
  • Constant f/2.8 aperture for low-light shooting
  • Fast and accurate autofocus (AF)
  • High-quality optics for sharp pictures
  • Lightweight and compact for easy portability
Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens
Best Wide-angle Lens
  • Super wide-angle zoom lens
  • Constant f/2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM) for fast and quiet AF
  • ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and Aspherical lens elements for superior image quality
  • Weather sealing for use in tough conditions
Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 Prime Lens
Best Prime Lens
  • Sharp and clear image quality
  • Fast f/1.2 maximum aperture
  • Silent Wave Motor for fast autofocus
  • ED glass elements to reduce chromatic aberration
  • Compact and lightweight
Nikon Z 17-28mm f/2.8 ED Zoom Lens
Best for Travel Photography
  • Close-up capability with a minimum focus distance of 0.28m
  • Fast f/2.8 aperture for low-light shooting
  • Silent Wave Motor for fast, accurate AF
  • ED glass for improved clarity and sharpness
  • Compact and lightweight design
Nikon Z 105mm f/2.8 VR Prime Lens
Best for Macro Photography
  • VR image stabilization for sharp photos
  • Fast f/2.8 maximum aperture
  • Silent wave motor for quick autofocus
  • Nano crystal coating for reduced glare
  • Dust- and moisture-resistant design
Nikon Z 40mm f/2.0 Prime Lens
Best Budget Prime Lens
  • High-quality optics for sharp images
  • Ultra-fast f/2.0 aperture
  • Silent Wave Motor for fast and quiet AF
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Weather-sealed construction for durability
Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens
Great All-Around Lens
  • High-quality optics
  • Constant f/2.8 aperture
  • Silent Wave Motor for quiet, fast AF
  • Nano Crystal Coat to reduce ghosting and flare
  • 4.3 ft minimum focus distance
Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 Prime Lens
Best Budget Lens
  • Superb sharpness and clarity
  • Ultra-wide f/1.8 aperture
  • Silent Wave Motor for fast and quiet AF
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Durable dust- and moisture-resistant construction
Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR Zoom Lens
Best Telephoto Lens
  • Versatile focal range
  • High quality images
  • Fast and quiet autofocus
  • Vibration Reduction (VR) for steady shots
  • Compact and lightweight
Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 Prime Lens
Highly Recommended Prime
  • Versatile wide-angle lens
  • Superb image quality
  • Fast and silent autofocus
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Durable build and weather sealing

11 Best Nikon Z Lenses

Read about each Nikon Z lens in depth to find out if it’s the perfect one for you! You will want to find a lens that matches your preferred style of photography.

1. Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 ED Zoom Lens

Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 ED Zoom Lens
Brand Nikon
Release Date 02/11/2020
Release Date 02/11/2020
Lens Mount Z-Mount
Maximum Aperture f/ 4-6.3
Focal Range 24-200 mm
Image Stabilization Yes
Key Features Portable, light design
Best For Street and travel photographers or anyone looking for an all-round budget lens

It was a tough choice, but our top pick is the Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3. Nikon describes this lens best as an “ultra-compact telephoto zoom lens.” The lens size is a huge selling point, as it perfectly suits the compact nature of the best mirrorless cameras.

Another attractive feature of this lens is its price. Lenses can be expensive, especially ones specifically built for mirrorless cameras. This 24-200mm lens gives you a broad focal range for a great price, making it the ideal lens for a mirrorless photographer on a budget.

Nikon has provided an almost perfect all-around lens. It captures great results in terms of image quality and provides deep contrast. And there is in-lens Vibration Reduction (VR), a feature that allows you to shoot faster in low-light situations.

This Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 is a must-have lens for any Nikon mirrorless photographer! It suits travel photography or street photography thanks to its size and weight.

2. Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens

Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens
Brand Nikon
Release Date 06/10/2022
Lens Mount Z-Mount
Maximum Aperture f/ 2.8
Focal Range 24-70 mm
Image Stabilization No
Key Features Lens Function button, OLED information panel
Best For Professional photographers who want a wide-angle zoom lens with a medium focal range

Our number two choice is the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8. It is an incredibly beautiful lens aimed at professional photographers.

One reason it didn’t take the top spot is its price. It is aimed at the higher end of the photographic market. This S-Line lens has won awards, and it’s not surprising to see when you look at the image quality and depth it can produce.

Everything in this lens is manufactured to the highest degree. Nikon crafts the lens design to provide the smoothest possible experience for the photographer. From the zoom and focus ring’s torque to the OLED information panel.

You even get a control ring that you can use for silent aperture control or exposure compensation.

A feature I like on this Z 24-70mm f/2.8 is the Lens Function button. This allows you to assign a range of functions to an easily accessible button on the side of the lens.

The focal range is ideal for a range of photography styles. And it is rare to see such great performance from a focal range like this. You can guarantee sharp and versatile photos with a fast f/2.8 aperture and a minimum focus distance of 0.38 m.

3. Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens

Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens
Brand Nikon
Release Date 18/10/2022
Lens Mount Z-Mount
Maximum Aperture f/ 2.8
Focal Range 14-24 mm
Image Stabilization No
Key Features Customizable control ring, durable design
Best For Professional who want a wide-angle zoom, landscape photographers and photojournalists

The Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 places high on our list as it is another award-winning lens. Also, I’m a sucker for a wide-angle, and this Nikon lens is beautiful. The sharpness and image quality you get from this lens is incredible. The only downside is its price.

Its edge-to-edge sharpness is superb, leaving the corners of your photos almost as sharp as the rest of the image. Even at its widest!

The lens performs to the high standards of Nikon’s S-Line of lenses. You also find the same three rings as mentioned on our second choice—the third ring being customizable.

The Z 14-24mm f/2.8 may seem relatively big and heavy, but this is almost incomparable to similar lenses just 10 years ago. Nikon has made a special effort to make this lens tough and reliable.

This makes it an ideal lens for a landscape camera and photography where the environment may be wet, windy, and cold. And this lens is also great for photojournalists.

4. Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 Prime Lens

Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 Prime Lens
Brand Nikon
Release Date 16/09/2022
Lens Mount Z-Mount
Maximum Aperture f/ 1.2
Focal Range 50mm mm
Image Stabilization No
Key Features Wide focus ring, OLED information panel
Best For Professional photographers who want the best 50mm

Now we have possibly the world’s best 50mm lens, the Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2. This prime lens is specially designed for professionals looking for the only 50mm they’ll ever need to buy!

The most obvious quality is the super small f/1.2 aperture. This allows you to take photos with an extremely shallow depth of field. Of course, the price reflects its professional status.

A shallow depth of field requires a great autofocus (AF) system, and this 50mm has it. The Nikon AF system is fast and reliable, giving you crisp results.

You will notice that the autofocus is almost silent. This suits photographers working at quiet events or when you don’t want to disturb your subject. You will also notice Nikon made a special effort to counter focus breathing and focus shift.

Overall, the Z 50mm f/1.2 is a spectacular lens. If you are looking for a 50mm and budget isn’t an issue, then you cannot miss out on this prime lens. Its build quality seems strong enough to last you over a decade of constant shooting.

5. Nikon Z 17-28mm f/2.8 ED Zoom Lens

Nikon Z 17-28mm f/2.8 ED Zoom Lens
Brand Nikon
Release Date 22/09/2022
Lens Mount Z-Mount
Maximum Aperture f/ 2.8
Focal Range 17-28 mm
Image Stabilization No
Key Features Portable, close-up, low-light features
Best For Architectural, landscape, and travel photographers

Now we have another great lens for wide-angle lovers, the Nikon Z 17-28mm f/2.8. This is one of the newest lenses available, making its way onto the market in late 2022.

This particular lens will give you a portable wide-angle lens with great close-up abilities. It is also incredible in low-light settings.

The 17-28mm focal length is ideal to pair with a travel camera. It can convey a full landscape and do justice to grand, striking buildings.

On the other side of the scale, you can get up close and personal with your subject. This is evident by its incredible minimum focus distance of just 19 cm! This gives you macro shots in a wide-angle format.

This Z 17-28mm f/2.8 lens is very compact for its focal range. You will notice that nothing is on the lens barrel, making it easy to operate.

One of my favorite aspects about this lens is its price. For a great all-around, wide-angle lens, it will be hard to find a similar one that stands up to this for the same price.

6. Nikon Z 105mm f/2.8 VR Prime Lens

Nikon Z 105mm f/2.8 VR Prime Lens
Brand Nikon
Release Date 06/02/2021
Lens Mount Z-Mount
Maximum Aperture f/ 2.8
Focal Range 105 mm
Image Stabilization Yes
Key Features Lens Function button, control ring
Best For Photographers who want professional macro abilities

The Nikon Z 105mm f/2.8 VR is the best Nikon Z lens for a macro photographer working with Nikon mirrorless cameras. It is another award-winning lens from Nikon’s S-Line.

This is a prime lens with a 1:1 reproduction ratio. So it is perfect for photographers who want true-to-life images.

One of my favorite features is how Nikon created a beautiful lens bokeh. This is thanks to their rounded 9-blade aperture that gives you an incredibly smooth bokeh. This will also make the sharp subjects look incredibly crisp.

The Vibration Reduction (VR) and different coatings on the glass also hugely enhance the clarity. The VR helps in low light, and the coatings get rid of ghosting or flares in bright light.

The autofocus is another feature that has to be on-point for a macro lens. Nikon has spent time developing an AF system that operates faster at shorter distances. The minimum focusing distance for this lens is 29 cm—perfect for getting up close to your subject.

The Z 105mm f/2.8′s AF system is also quiet. So it is ideal for sensitive subjects like animals.

7. Nikon Z 40mm f/2 Prime Lens

Nikon Z 40mm f/2.0 Prime Lens
Brand Nikon
Release Date 17/01/2023
Lens Mount Z-Mount
Maximum Aperture f/ 2.0
Focal Range 40 mm
Image Stabilization No
Key Features Compact Lens
Best For Photographers on a budget who want a great prime lens

The Nikon Z 40mm f/2 is the newest pancake lens available from Nikon. It fills a gap in its range for a simple 40mm prime lens. But this lens is more complex when it comes to its performance and image quality.

One of the best features is its price. These smaller lenses have less advanced features, but their prices can be dramatically reduced because of this.

Its compact nature is also one of its strong points. Photographers know that a big lens can be invasive, especially in street photography. This small 40mm allows you to blend in more to get those tricky candid shots.

Another plus in its compact design is its weight. If you like to shoot with a single lens for the majority of the time, this 40mm won’t leave your shoulder slumped.

I enjoy shooting with prime lenses as they make me more active as a photographer. This often leads to better and more interesting photographs. So if you are looking for a cheap lens that can make you more experimental as a photographer, I recommend the Z 40mm f/2.

8. Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens

Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens
Brand Nikon
Release Date 01/07/2020
Lens Mount Z-Mount
Maximum Aperture f/ 2.8
Focal Range 70-200 mm
Image Stabilization No
Key Features Features 2 Lens Function buttons
Best For Photographers looking for a great all-around telephoto

Now we have one of the best Nikon Z telephoto lenses, the Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8. This professional medium-range telephoto lens has won multiple awards. This is thanks to its amazing performance.

Its clarity, fast AF, and great bokeh make it a must-have for photographers. This is particularly relevant for sports, events, and reportage photography.

It has all the great extras you can expect from Nikon’s S-Line lenses. You will notice that this lens includes 2 Lens functions buttons! This is a welcome feature for professional photographers.

You can now select between two tasks for the camera to perform with the push of a button. This will ensure that you get all the right settings for time-sensitive subjects.

Its reliable autofocus is an important factor that makes the Z 70-200mm f/2.8 special. Telephoto lenses need to have a sharp and crisp output. Otherwise, it just looks like a badly cropped image.

This AF system is smooth, fast, and silent. It is the perfect combination for any lens.

9. Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 Prime Lens

Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 Prime Lens
Brand Nikon
Release Date 31/01/2023
Lens Mount Z-Mount
Maximum Aperture f/ 1.8
Focal Range 35 mm
Image Stabilization No
Key Features Wide focus ring, weather sealing
Best For Street, outdoor, or travel photographers

The Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 is an incredible 35mm prime lens from Nikon. Even though it has an aperture of f/1.8, Nikon claims it outshines the f/1.4 prime lenses that have come out before it! This is a massive claim, but looking at this lens, they seem to be correct!

The versatility you get from an f/1.8 35mm prime lens makes it ideal for many photographic genres. It is ideal for street or travel photography.

This is thanks to its fast autofocus motors and ability to deal with light well. This relationship with light comes from its glass elements. They ensure crisp images with rich color and deep contrast.

The big ring you get on the lens barrel is a control ring. This is automatically assigned as the focus ring in Manual Focus (MF) mode. But if you’re using autofocus, you can use the control ring for several functions, such as exposure compensation.

As it is from Nikon’s S-Line of lenses, you can expect a durable build quality. Every movable part of the lens is sealed from dust and water droplets. This makes the Z 35mm f/1.8 a perfect lens for long shoots out on location.

10. Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR Zoom Lens

Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR Zoom Lens
Brand Nikon
Release Date 28/10/2021
Lens Mount Z-Mount
Maximum Aperture f/ 4.5-5.6
Focal Range 100-400 mm
Image Stabilization Yes
Key Features Lens Function button, OLED information panel
Best For Professional photographers who want an ultra-telephoto lens

Now we’ll look at one of the best super-telephoto Nikon Z lenses, the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR. This is a professional-grade telephoto lens that excels in a number of different areas.

It is a heavyweight amongst the Nikon Z lenses due to its incredible performance. In fact, if you enjoy shooting with super-telephoto lenses, it may be hard to put down!

One of the points we covered earlier in this list is the importance of a good AF system in a telephoto lens. The  AF doesn’t disappoint with this super-telephoto. Nikon still provides you with fast and reliable autofocus.

The Vibration Reduction (VR) on this lens is incredible. It gives you an equivalent of 5.5 stops compensation. This is incredibly important for sharpness, especially at the longer end of the focal range.

A lens like this lends itself to many subjects, from wildlife to studio shoots. The most beneficial genres are sports, wildlife, aviation, and portraits. It is such a versatile lens that you can easily use it for other genres to produce interesting results.

The downside is the price. But if you have the budget, the Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 is a must-have lens.

11. Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 Prime Lens

Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 Prime Lens
Brand Nikon
Release Date 21/10/2022
Lens Mount Z-Mount
Maximum Aperture f/ 2.8
Focal Range 28 mm
Image Stabilization No
Key Features Extremely compact lens
Best For Urban, landscape, or travel photographers, or those on a budget who want a fun prime lens

The final Nikon Z lens on this list is the compact Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8. This pancake lens makes the list thanks to its great abilities and, most importantly, its affordable price.

If you have a Nikon Z lens and want to shake up your kit bag without spending much money, this could be the lens for you.

As a prime wide-angle lens, this 28mm is great for capturing the environments you find yourself in. This makes it ideal for travel photography, landscapes, and cityscapes.

On the flip side, this Nikon Z lens has a minimum focus distance of 19 cm. Therefore this simple, compact lens offers great versatility, perfect for creatives.

You are also able to use this lens on a DX mirrorless camera. This is a cropped sensor mirrorless camera. Of course, as it’s cropped frame, the focal length changes. So this lens becomes a 42mm prime lens.

And finally, I am a big fan of its compact nature. The Z 28mm f/2.8 will save you from carrying heavy lenses on holiday!

Buyers Guide FAQ

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about Nikon Z lenses.

What Is the Difference Between DX and FX Lenses?

These two acronyms tell us what sensor size Nikon lenses are made for.

  • DX lenses are specifically made for crop sensor cameras
  • FX lenses are for full frame sensor cameras

Nikon produces both crop sensors and full frame mirrorless cameras. You can buy Nikon Z lenses in DX and FX formats. As the lens mount system is the same, you can use FX lenses on DX cameras.

Be aware that this changes the focal range of the lens due to a lens’s covering power. If you use a DX lens on an FX camera, you will notice black edges around the frame.

Top view of a person holding a Nikon Z lens on a mirrorless camera
Our top lens choice, the Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3

Which Features Should I Look For in a Nikon Z lens?

Nikon Z lenses are all made to a high standard of optics. So image quality shouldn’t be an issue to look out for. You may want to consider the photographic genre you are most interested in or the environments in which you will use the lens.

If you are traveling a lot and don’t want to take multiple lenses with you, a lens with a long zoom range may be beneficial for multiple photography styles.

If you need to shoot fast or in low light, Vibration Reduction (VR) lenses will dramatically improve your photography. These are lenses like the Nikon Z 105mm f/2.8 VR prime lens and the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR zoom lens.

What Are the Best Zoom Lenses For My Nikon Z Camera?

A good zoom lens is a must-have for any photographer. Our favorite choice is the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S which covers the wide-angle to medium focal ranges.

If you’re looking for a Nikon Z telephoto zoom lens, we suggest the Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8. This beautiful lens is perfect for travel photography.

If you need more zoom, look at the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR. This lens is perfect for wildlife photography.

Are Nikon Z Lenses Weather Sealed?

Most Nikon Z lenses are fully weather sealed. Nikon will seal them to prevent dust and water droplets from getting into the lens. Make sure you double-check the lens’s construction before ordering a lens if you will be using the lens outdoors a lot.

Conclusion: The Best Nikon Z Lens

The Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 zoom lens is the best Nikon Z lens on the market. It is an excellent choice for those looking for a lens that can be used in a variety of settings. It features a powerful zoom range and excellent image quality. It is also lightweight and compact, making it an ideal choice for photographers who need to travel light.

The Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 is an excellent choice for photographers of all levels, from beginners to professionals. And it is a great investment to help you capture stunning photos and videos.

Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 ED Zoom Lens
Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 ED Zoom Lens
A versatile zoom lens that offers a wide range of focal lengths. It’s perfect for capturing any scene.
Buy from Amazon
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