If you’ve got a Nikon Z mirrorless camera, you need some of the best Z mount lenses, and we’ve got the essentials right here. From wide-angle primes to telephoto zooms, we’ve got the lenses here for any Nikon mirrorless user to fill up their kit bags with – no matter their budget.

We’ve been strict with our inclusions for this guide – only lenses that have been reviewed by our technical team, and received either a top score of 5 stars or a close-to-top score of 4.5 star, are eligible to be included. That means we’re only recommending the best of the best here. But that doesn’t mean this is just the expensive stuff; there’s a lens priced at £249/ $276 on this list. If we think a lens justifies its price tag, then it makes it onto this list – that’s all there is to it.

Nikon is bringing out new lenses frequently as it fills out its Z-mount lens range – the firm recently announced the development of a Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.2 S and a Nikkor Z 26mm f/2.8 lens, which you can expect to see pass through our testing procedure the instant they’re available. At the end of this guide we’ve also appended a full list of all the Nikon Z lenses currently available, as well as the most recent roadmap for the future

At the bottom of this guide, we’ve also provided a complete list of every Nikon-branded that’s available for the Z-mount right now, as well as the latest roadmap for the future of the line, so you can thoroughly explore your options.

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

How to choose the best Z-mount lens

You may be asking yourself what focal length of lens you need. This is going to depend largely on what you want to shoot. If you’re planning on capturing wide vistas in landscape, or large frame-filling architecture shots, a wide-angle (anything less than 28mm or so) is a good bet. If you want a good naturalistic walk-around lens, then a standard lens (35-50mm) is your port of call. For portraiture a short telephoto (about 85mm) is a good bet, 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.

There’s more to it of course, as we will discuss as we get into the lenses, but this is a good way to start thinking about it. You may also want to consider a zoom lens to allow you to have 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 it’s worth noting that these cameras (the Zfc and the Z50) don’t have IBIS, and will therefore benefit from a VR lens. Also, there aren’t that 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 Z-Mount macro lens: Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S – 5 stars

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: £1,049 / $1,046

The Nikon Nikkor Z MC 105mm f2.8 VR S is Nikon’s premium macro lens for the Z system, priced at £1,049, 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 £649.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • 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 – 5 stars

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: £1,009 / £996

Available for around £1,009, the Nikkor Z 24mm f1.8 S lens is a compact, and lightweight alternative to the 24-70mm f2.8 zoom lens, and is brighter with an f1.8 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.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Relies on in-camera stabilisation

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


Best standard zoom lens for Z-Mount – Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S – 5 stars

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: £2,119 / $2,396

The Nikkor Z 24-70mm f2.8 S lens is a premium “standard” zoom lens, giving an f2.8 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 f2.8 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 at £1999 could be too expensive for some, and Nikon also offer the 24-70mm f4 lens which is available for around £999.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • On the pricey end
  • No built-in stabilisation

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


Best telephoto zoom for Z-Mount – Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S – 5 stars

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: £2,419 / $2,696

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 £2,419, quality doesn’t come cheap, but the lens does deliver exceptional optical performance, so is easily justified.

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Read our Nikkor Z 70-200mm f2.8 VR S review.


Best long telezoom for Z-Mount – Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S – 5 stars

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: £2,699 / $2,696

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.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Pricey for a zoom

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


Best premium standard Z-mount 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: £1,199 / $1,196

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.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Minimal physical controls
  • Quite a narrow zoom range

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


Best premium wide-angle Z-mount zoom: Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S – 4.5 stars

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: £2,319 / $2,496

The Nikkor Z 14-24mm f2.8 S wide-angle zoom offers an f2.8 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 £2389.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Control ring somewhat over-sensitive
  • Painful asking price

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


Best Z-Mount 85mm lens – Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S – 4.5 stars

Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 S

At a glance:

  • 12 elements in 8 groups
  • Weight: 470g
  • Price: £699 / $796

The Nikkor Z 85mm f1.8 S offers a weather-sealed body, and a great focal length for portraits. With an aperture of f1.8, the lens gives pleasing background blur, and bokeh. Optical quality of the images produced by the lens is impressive. The lens is available for £699.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Quite expensive for an f/1.8
  • Physically large

Read our Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S review


Best compact, wide-angle Z-mount zoom: Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S – 4.5 stars

Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S lens

Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S lens

At a glance:

  • 14 elements in 12 groups
  • Weight: 485g
  • Price: £1,169 / $1,346

The Nikkor Z 14-30mm f4 S is a more affordable wide-angle zoom, compared to the 14-24mm f2.8 lens, being available for £1129. It’s a very compact lens for those looking to keep the size (and weight) of their camera down, with a retractable design, and provides a useful zoom range from the ultra-wide 14mm zooming to 30mm. The lens is sharpest at the wide-angle end of the lens, but makes a great choice for those looking for a compact wide-angle zoom lens.

Pros:

  • Very lightweight
  • Hood allows for attaching filters
  • Retractable design makes it very compact

Cons:

  • f/4 can be restrictive

Read our Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S review


Best affordable Z-Mount standard prime: Nikkor Z 40mm f/2 – 4.5 stars

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: £249/ $276

Selling for a highly 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.

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Read our Nikkor Z 40mm f/2 Review


Best wide-tele zoom for Z-Mount – Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S – 4.5 stars

Nikkor Z 24-120mm f4 S review image

Nikkor Z 24-120mm f4 S. Photo credit: Amy Davies

At a glance:

  • 16 elements in 13 groups
  • Weight: 630g
  • Price: £1,199 / $1,096

The Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S offers a good compromise between a broad focal length, a fixed aperture, the promise of superior image quality and a reasonably travel-friendly size and weight. At £1,199, 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.

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

Read our Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S 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 that are currently available:

Z-Mount Prime Lenses

Z-Mount Zoom Lenses

DX (APS-C) Lenses

Teleconverters:

  • 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):

  • DX 24mm (36mm equivalent)
  • 26mm compact prime
  • 35mm S-Line
  • 85mm S-Line
  • 135mm S-Line
  • DX 12-28mm PZ
  • 70-180mm
  • 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

Nikon Z9 review


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