For me, the main reason for considering the Z system would be optical performance, not the electronic viewfinder and small body compared to an SLR.

Undoubtedly this larger diameter lens throat (compared to Nikon ‘F’ Mount), gives more room for optical designers to manoeuvre, while the short back focus distance (lack of extra space needed as there is no SLR mirror to move) enhances that.

That said, ‘F’ mount optics are not poor performers. Most are top notch by existing standards.
And when you consider the uses they are successfully put to day in day out around the globe, do you need any more?

Or are you going to complicate your workflow, possibly trying to take out aspects that make an image more aesthetically pleasing with even better optical performance?

Earlier this week for example shooting in bright sunshine, the against the light flare of an older design AF-D Nikkor lens, with Nikon’s ’Super Integrated Coating’, gave me a more pleasing image than a later Nikkor lens with the excellent current extra ’N’ (nanocrystal) coating.

No flare with that, but less pleasing, lacking lighting ‘character’.

Having previously been ‘The Advisor Of Photography’ for the corporation in the UK, and been fortunate to also write a book on AF Nikkor lenses (it was disappointing the publishers thought the speed of new lens introductions problematic to update),  I know the various generations of autofocus and earlier manual focus optics well.

I try to keep up with the Nikkor line and some others in particular,  so today’s ’S’ series optics for the Z mount bodies are particularly fascinating.

Obviously the 58mm f/0.95 is a technical achievement, not just optically but physically it seems top notch. In fact dare I say it, in this aspect it reminds me a little of the equally impressive Zeiss Otus line.

Here we go with the official details, including proposed timeline for other optics. Although not a good idea to become obsessed with theoretical quality, high quality may be an understatement if they live up to the billing.

Thankfully as mentioned in our first post, there is an FTZ adapter for many ‘F’ mount optics to give some compatibility on the larger mount bodies:

Nikon releases three S-line NIKKOR Z lenses, the Mount Adapter FTZ and develops 58mm f/0.95 S Noct

Designed exclusively for the Nikon Z mount system, featuring a new, larger-diameter mount

London, United Kingdom, 23rd August 2018: Nikon is pleased to announce three new lenses compatible with its Z mount system’s full-frame (Nikon FX format) mirrorless cameras, and the new Mount Adapter FTZ. The standard zoom NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S, the wide-angle prime NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S, and the standard prime NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S will operate with the system’s new larger-diameter mount.
NIKKOR Z lenses pursue a new dimension in optical performance. They take advantage of the superior design flexibility made possible by the combination of the larger Z mount with its 55 mm inner diameter, and a short flange focal distance of 16 mm. The lenses offer sharp resolution with both still-images and movie recording, and are equipped with functions that include: compensation for focus breathing (the shifting of the angle of view when focus is adjusted), quiet operation, smooth exposure control, a control ring, and performance that are well suited to movie recording.






The NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S, NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S, and NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S are S-Line interchangeable lenses. The S-Line is a newly designated grade of NIKKOR Z lenses that adhere to a new benchmark in optical performance, while creating new definitions of quality and design. These lenses realise rendering performance that surpasses that of conventional f/4 and f/1.8 lenses.

Additionally, the Mount Adapter FTZ has been designed to allow users of Nikon SLR cameras to utilise their existing NIKKOR F mount lenses with the Z mount system and enjoy taking advantage of a wide variety of lens characteristics with their photography.

Development of the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct
Nikon is currently developing the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct, a standard prime manual focus lens. It will pursue ultimate optical performance, and will be positioned at the top of the S-Line.

In addition to this lens, Nikon is planning on releasing a variety of new lenses. Nikon will continue to expand its line of attractive, high-performance NIKKOR Z lenses that further extend photographers’ creative expressions.

NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S primary features
• Standard focal-length range from wide-angle 24 mm to medium-telephoto 70 mm can effectively cover a wide variety of scenes and subjects with rendering performance that will change the perception of zoom lenses with a maximum aperture of f/4
• Optical design that suppresses variations in aberrations from shooting distances of close-up to infinity, demonstrating sharp resolution even in the peripheral areas of the frame from the maximum aperture; and fine point-image reproduction
• Achieved a minimum focus distance of just 0.3 m across the zoom range,
• Adoption of an ED glass element, an aspherical ED lens element, and three aspherical lens elements,
• Nano Crystal Coat adopted to suppress ghost and flare
• Has the size needed to deliver an extremely high standard of optical performance, yet provides outstanding portability; employs a retracting mechanism that can be set on/off without pressing a button and reduces total length for a compact lens that can easily be taken anywhere
• In consideration to a dust- and drip-resistance, the entire lens, including moving parts, has been sealed
• Fluorine coat applied to front lens surface

NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S primary features
• Rendering performance that overturns the perception of an f/1.8 lens
• Sharp resolution even in the peripheral areas of the frame from the maximum aperture. Effective suppression of sagittal coma flare that enables superb point-image reproduction when capturing point light sources in night landscapes, and the soft and natural bokeh characteristics expected of a fast (bright) lens
• Adoption of a new multi-focusing system achieves quiet, fast, and accurate AF control, as well as high image-forming performance at any focus distance
• Adoption of two ED glass, and three aspherical lens elements
• Nano Crystal Coat adopted to suppress ghost and flare

• In consideration to a dust- and drip-resistance, the entire lens, including moving parts, has been sealed

NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S primary features
• Superior rendering for exquisite image expression that redefines perceptions of what a 50mm f/1.8 lens can do
• Thorough suppression of axial chromatic aberration ensures superior resolution with faithful reproduction of the fine textures in subjects from maximum aperture
• Sharp and clear rendering of details from the center of the frame to the peripheral edges, regardless of the shooting distance
• The soft and beautiful bokeh characteristics at any shooting distance possible only with a fast lens
• Adoption of two ED glass elements, and two aspherical lens elements
• Nano Crystal Coat adopted to suppress ghost and flare
• Adoption of a new, powerful stepping motor (STM) enables quiet and accurate AF control with both still-image and movie recording
• In consideration to a dust- and drip-resistance, the entire lens, including moving parts, has been sealed

Mount Adapter FTZ primary features

• Shooting with AE, or AF/AE, is available with approximately 360 NIKKOR F lenses from AI type onwards*
• The unique characteristics of NIKKOR F mount lenses can be applied to Z mount system image quality
• In-camera VR (Vibration Reduction) available when attaching a NIKKOR F lens without built-in VR; in-camera VR also performs well with movie recording
• When attaching a NIKKOR F lens with built-in VR, lens VR and in-camera VR effectively work together to compensate for camera shake by enabling three-axis VR
• Various sections are effectively sealed to ensure dust- and drip-resistant performance equivalent to that of NIKKOR F lenses
• Designed to be lightweight yet tough with consideration for superior operability as a part of a complete system

* Shooting with AF/AE is not possible with some lenses

Development of the new NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens that pursues ultimate optical performance

The NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct that Nikon is currently developing will be a large aperture, standard 58mm prime focal-length, manual-focus lens positioned at the very top of the S-Line. It will symbolise the Nikon Z mount system’s new dimension in optical performance.
It has inherited the design concept behind the original AI Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2, a standard prime lens released in 1977, named for “nocturne” (a musical composition inspired by or evocative of the night), and popular for its ability to finely reproduce point light sources as point images. This new Noct lens that is currently in development will take advantage of advanced design flexibility, afforded by the Z mount, pursuing ultimate optical performance. Development continues with the goals of achieving an extremely fast maximum aperture of f/0.95, offering the ultimate in NIKKOR rendering performance with superior detail and sharpness. Additionally, the goal is to achieve beautiful blur characteristics, or bokeh, with good continuity, and ensuring outstanding point-image formation capabilities for more compelling, three-dimensional imaging.

The NIKKOR Z Lens Roadmap

*Information in the roadmap, including release dates, is subject to change. Product names after the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct are not yet finalised.









End. (23/08/18).