With the Nikon Z mirrorless system firmly established with a wide choice of optics, we’ve picked out the best of them. From wide-angle primes to telephoto zooms, users of Nikon mirrorless cameras will find plenty among the following with which to fill up their kit bags – regardless of budget.

We’ve been stringent with our criteria for this guide. Only lenses that have been reviewed by our technical team, and received either a top score of 5 stars or 4.5 stars, are eligible for inclusion. We only recommend the best of the best here. This doesn’t limit us only to the expensive stuff; there’s a lens priced at under $300 / £300 on this list. If we think a lens justifies its price tag, then it makes the list.

We haven’t forgotten about Nikon’s APS-C cameras, including the Nikon Z30, Nikon Z50 and Nikon Z fc. These can take full frame Nikon Z lenses directly, but with standard or ‘kit’ lenses, you’re better off with Nikon’s specially designed Nikkor Z DX lenses. These include the:

Nikon is bringing out new lenses frequently as it fills out its Z-mount lens range, including the Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.2 S, Nikkor Z 26mm f/2.8 and Nikkor Z 70-180mm f/2.8.

The main lenses included in this guide are a mix of types and of focal lengths, and range from budget to top-end prices. They all have one thing in common though – they’re seriously impressive lumps of glass!

How to choose the best Z-mount lens

You may wonder what focal length of lens you need. This depends largely on what you want to shoot. If planning to capture wide vistas in landscape, or large frame-filling architecture shots, a wide-angle (anything less than 28mm or so) is a good bet. For a good naturalistic walk-around lens, then a standard lens (35-50mm) is your port of call. For portraiture, a short telephoto (about 85mm) will work, as this will flatter facial features and help you get plenty in the frame. And if you’re capturing distant subjects, then a long telephoto of more than 150mm will be essential.

This is a good general approach. Other considerations will arise as we get into the lenses. You may also want to consider a zoom lens to provide you with multiple perspectives in one optic. This is useful, but does tend to have an impact on image quality. Prime lenses, i.e. those with a fixed focal length can’t be beat for delivering ultimate sharpness.

All of Nikon’s full-frame Z-series cameras feature in-body image stabilisation (IBIS), and this helps keep images sharp when using slower shutter speeds. But you’ll still benefit from a lens with built-in Vibration Reduction (VR), as this will also help, particularly with longer telephoto lenses.

If you own an APS-C (DX) camera, then note that these cameras (the Z30, Z fc and the Z50) don’t have IBIS, and will therefore benefit from a VR lens. Also, there aren’t many DX-format Z lenses yet. While you can use a full-frame lens on a DX body, they will be subject to a 1.5x crop factor that increases their effective focal length (for instance, a 50mm lens would provide the equivalent perspective of a 75mm lens)

So, read on for our round-up of the current Best Z-Mount Lenses for Nikon cameras

Best DX-format fast aperture prime lens: Nikkor Z DX 24mm f/1.7

The DX 24mm f/1.7 is Nikon's first dedicated prime for its DX-format Z-mount mirrorless system

The DX 24mm f/1.7 is Nikon’s first dedicated prime for its DX-format Z-mount mirrorless system. Photo credit: Amy Davies

At a glance:

  • 9 elements in 8 groups
  • Weight: 135g
  • Price: $276 / £289

With its attractive price and fast maximum aperture, this Z DX 24mm prime will appeal to photographers wanting the perfect walkaround lens. It is small and light and meshes wonderfully with cameras such as the Nikon Z30, Zfc and Z50. Coverage-wise, it gives the full-frame focal length equivalent of 36mm so it’s ideal for street, travel and family record photography. An extra dimension is its ability to focus as close as 18cm from the sensor.

In our test it proved a capable optical performer too, especially bearing in mind its tempting price, giving good sharpness at f/1.7 with the best performance coming at f/2.8-4.


  • Small
  • Lightweight
  • Fast maximum aperture


  • Limited weather sealing
  • Plastic mount
  • No optical image stabilisation

Read our Nikkor Z DX 24mm /1.7 review

Best standard zoom lens for Z-Mount: Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S

Nikon Z7 II with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens (MT)

Nikon Z7 II with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens (MT)

At a glance:

  • 17 elements in 15 groups
  • Weight: 805g
  • Price: $2,096 / £2,069

The Nikkor Z 24-70mm f2.8 S lens is a premium “standard” zoom lens, giving an f/2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range, weather sealing, and professional level build quality. Nikon has managed to make a smaller and lighter lens when compared to the F-Mount 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, however, the F-Mount lens features VR, whereas the Z 24-70mm lens relies on in-body image stabilisation. One thing to note, is the price, which could be too expensive for some, but Nikon also offer a clever retracting 24-70mm f/4 lens and a Nikkor Z 28-75mm f/2.8, both of which are half the price.


  • Superb build quality and weather sealing
  • Outstanding sharpness and contrast


  • On the pricey end
  • No built-in stabilisation

Read our Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S review

Best long standard zoom for Z-Mount: Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S

Nikkor Z 24-120mm f4 S review image

Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S. Photo credit: Amy Davies

At a glance:

  • 16 elements in 13 groups
  • Weight: 630g
  • Price: $1,096 / £1,034

The Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S strikes a nice balance between a broad focal length, a fixed aperture, the promise of superior image quality and a reasonably travel-friendly size and weight. At $1,096 / £1,034, it’s just over half what you’d pay for the 24-70mm f/2.8. As part of Nikon’s pro-level S-series you’d expect good performance and the 24-120mm doesn’t disappoint. A great option for travel photography or if you’re looking for a good zoom range and to keep the weight down in your kitbag.


  • Built just right for travel
  • Good optical performance
  • Affordable price


  • F/4 can be limiting
  • No built-in stabilisation

Read our Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S review

Best premium wide-angle Z-mount zoom: Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S

Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S with Z7

Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S with Z7, Photo: Michael Topham / AP

At a glance:

  • 16 elements in 11 groups
  • Weight: 650g
  • Price: $2,497 / £2,249

The Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S wide-angle zoom offers an f/2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range, and gives highly impressive image quality. There’s a customisable control ring, and like other premium Z mount lenses features a built-in display panel. There’s weather sealing, as you’d expect, as well as excellent flare resistance. There’s only one downside to this lens, and that’s the price, at $2,497 / £2,249.


  • Outstanding image quality
  • Rubberised zoom/focus rings
  • Lighter than F-mount counterpart


  • Control ring somewhat over-sensitive
  • Painful asking price

Read our Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S review

Best telephoto zoom for Z-Mount: Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S

Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S

Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S. Photo credit: Michael Topham

At a glance:

  • 21 elements in 18 groups
  • Weight: 1,360g
  • Price: $2,396 / £2,339

The telephoto zoom lens offers stunning image quality, with fast and quiet autofocus. As a pro lens, you’ll also find that it is weather sealed, keeping it safe in inclement weather conditions. Vibration Reduction (VR) is included and works in combination with IBIS if the camera has it. Being priced at $2,396 / £2,339, quality doesn’t come cheap, but the lens does deliver exceptional optical performance, and is well justified.


  • Built in Vibration Reduction
  • Gorgeous image quality with excellent aberration control
  • Removable tripod foot


  • Very expensive
  • Just as heavy as F-mount equivalent

Read our Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S review.

Best mid-price Z-mount wide-angle zoom: Nikkor Z 17-28mm f/2.8

Nikon Nikkor Z 17-28mm f/2.8 Review

The Nikon Nikkor Z 17-28mm f/2.8 lens. Photo credit: Angela Nicholson.

At a glance:

  • 13 elements in 11 groups
  • Weight: 450g
  • Price: $996 / £1,079

While this isn’t one of Nikon’s top-flight ‘S’ lenses, it carries a four-figure price tag so that makes it premium in our book. Fortunately, the Nikkor Z 17-28mm f/2.8 acquits itself well, covering a useful standard focal range with a constant aperture of f/2.8 that gives the user real versatility in the field. Image quality is excellent across the frame, and while the construction isn’t fully weather sealed, the rubber gasket around the mount helps keep out dust and moisture.


  • Pleasingly lightweight for an f/2.8
  • Can close-focus
  • Image quality is excellent


  • Minimal physical controls
  • Quite a narrow zoom range

Read our Nikkor Z 17-28mm f/2.8 review

Best long telezoom for Z-Mount: Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S

Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S review image

Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S. Photo credit: Amy Davies

At a glance:

  • 25 elements in 20 groups
  • Weight: 1,435g
  • Price: $2,696 / £2,339

Up until the arrival of this Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S telephoto zoom the longest focal length in the Nikkor zoom lens range for full-frame Z-series cameras only went up to 200mm. This versatile zoom can be paired with 1.4x (making up to 560mm) or 2x (making up to 800mm) teleconverters to further boost focal length capabilities for sports and wildlife. It also includes Vibration Reduction, which promises up to 5.5 stops of compensation. Overall it’s a very pleasing performer and earned a GOLD in our review.


  • Versatile, useful zoom range
  • Teleconverter compatibility
  • Excellent sharpness


  • Pricey for a zoom

Read our Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S review

Best Z-Mount macro lens: Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S

Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S lens review shot

The Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S is a superb macro lens. Photo credit: Angela Nicholson

At a glance:

  • 16 elements in 11 groups
  • Weight: 630g
  • Price: $946 / £944

The Nikon Nikkor Z MC 105mm f2.8 VR S is Nikon’s premium macro lens for the Z system, priced at $946 / £944, the lens offers excellent levels of sharpness, weather-sealing, and built-in Vibration Reduction (VR). With an aperture of f/2.8 this lens also makes a good option for portrait photography. Nikon currently offer two Z-mount macro lenses, this one, and the cheaper Nikkor MC 50mm f/2.8, priced at $597 /£611.


  • Exceptionally good sharpness
  • Full weather sealing
  • Big focus ring with manual override


  • Diffraction at smallest apertures

Read our Nikon Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S review

Best Z-Mount wide-angle prime: Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.8 S

Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.8 S review image

Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.8 S. Photo credit: Angela Nicholson

At a glance:

  • 12 elements in 10 groups
  • Weight: 450g
  • Price: $997 / £989

Available for around $997 / £989, the Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.8 S lens is a compact, and lightweight alternative to the 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens, and is brighter with an f/1.8 aperture, making it great if you are going to be shooting in low-light conditions. The lens is a great choice for landscape, street, and interior photography. There’s a close focusing distance of 25cm, so you can get nice and close to your subject.


  • Wide aperture gives beautiful bokeh
  • Close focusing distance
  • Precise, reliable autofocus


  • Relies on in-camera stabilisation

Read our Nikon Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.8 S review

Best Z-Mount 85mm portrait lens: Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S

Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 S

At a glance:

  • 12 elements in 8 groups
  • Weight: 470g
  • Price: $696 / £719

The Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S offers a weather-sealed body, and a great focal length for portraits. With an aperture of f/1.8, the lens gives pleasing background blur, and bokeh. Optical quality of the images produced by the lens is impressive. The lens is available for $696 / £719.


  • Well-optimised for portraits
  • Excellent optical quality
  • Solid build


  • Quite expensive for an f/1.8
  • Physically large

Read our Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S review

Best affordable Z-Mount standard prime: Nikkor Z 40mm f/2

Nikkor Z 40mm f/2 review image

Nikkor Z 40mm f/2. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • 6 elements in 4 groups
  • Weight: 170g
  • Price: $276 / £233

Selling for an affordable £249, the Nikkor Z 40mm f/2 lens is a mixture of strong optical performance at a keen price. Slotting between the established ‘standard’ 35mm and 50mm prime focal lengths this 40mm weighs just 170g and is just 45.5mm long. The autofocusing on the lens is pretty snappy and is both silent and accurate. Overall it has decent optics, reasonably bright aperture, portability and responsive AF.


  • Very affordable and good value
  • Optical quality impresses
  • Slender and lightweight


  • Sharpness suffers up close
  • Noticeable vignetting at f/2

Read our Nikkor Z 40mm f/2 Review

If you’re looking for a different lens, then here is our handy, at-a-glance list of all the Nikon Nikkor Z-Mount lenses currently available:

Z-Mount Prime Lenses

Z-Mount Zoom Lenses

DX (APS-C) Lenses


  • Z Teleconverter TC-1.4x
  • Z Teleconverter TC-2.0x

Nikkor Z-series roadmap (updated November 2022)

Nikon Nikkor Z lens roadmap

Future Nikkor Z-series lenses on roadmap (as of November 2022):

  • 26mm compact prime
  • 35mm S-Line
  • 85mm S-Line
  • 135mm S-Line
  • 200-600mm
  • 600mm S-Line

Find more great buying advice, in our buyers guides section!

Further reading

Best Nikon Mirrorless Cameras To Buy in 2023

Best Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras in 2023

Best Nikon F-Mount lenses to buy

Nikon Z9 review

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