Nikon brings a classic workhorse lens to the Z series with new 24-70mm f/2.8 S

The 24-70mm f/2.8 is a workhorse lens favored by many photographers for its useful zoom range that combines both wide-angle and telephoto perspectives with a fast f/2.8 aperture — and now Nikon is bringing one to its mirrorless Z series cameras. Nikon unveiled the new Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S on February 13, updating a classic focal length with new optics and enhanced custom controls. The professional lens won’t come cheap, with an MSRP of $2,300, but that actually puts it about $100 less than Nikon’s DSLR version of the lens.

Thanks to characteristics inherent to the Z mount, Nikon says the Z 24-70 offers improved sharpness and is also a bit shorter than the comparable F mount lens. The 24-70mm is the largest aperture zoom for the young Z series, following two f/4 zooms, including another 24-70mm. Where the f/4 version offers a more compact solution, the larger f/2.8 model will perform better in low light and produce a shallower depth of field thanks to the wider aperture.

With this lens, Nikon is also introducing a new coating called ARNEO, which is used alongside Nikon’s more traditional Nano Crystal Coating to reduce flare and ghosting. ARNEO, Nikon says, works better on combatting flare from light coming into the lens at vertical angles, which is often caused my light sources within the image frame.

The lens is constructed with 17 elements in 15 groups, yet it is roughly 25-percent lighter and 18-percent shorter than its DSLR equivalent 24-70mm f/2.8 ED VR F-mount lens. The Z-mount lens can be built lighter thanks in part to not needing an optical stabilization system, as Z-mount cameras have sensor-shift stabilization built into the bodies. Autofocus is achieved with what Nikon calls a Multi-Focus System, in which the lens moves two element groups at once for faster performance focusing as well as better focus on close subjects. Nikon says the focus motor is also quiet and prevents focus breathing, allowing the lens to be used for video work as well.

nikon nikkor 24 70mm s lens announced f28 01 av 8630 a3
Sample image from the new Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens. Ami Vitale / Nikon

The new lens also builds in several novel design features. While earlier S lenses introduced a focus ring that can be customized to different controls, the 24-70mm has a custom control ring that’s completely separate from the focus ring, similar to what Canon is doing with its EOS R lenses. Additionally, an information panel displays either aperture and focal length or focus distance and depth of field directly on the lens. There’s also lens function (L.Fn) button that gives photographers an additional shortcut to commonly used functions, with up to 20 different programmable options. The lens is slated for release this spring.

Product Review

Canon democratizes full-frame with the EOS RP, but keep your expectations low

At just $1,300, the RP is Canon's least expensive full-frame camera yet, but it was born into a world of high-end, high-cost lenses where it doesn't yet feel at home.
Photography

From f/1.2 primes to the mysterious DS, here are Canon’s upcoming RF lenses

Canon's EOS R mirrorless series will gain six new lenses this year. Canon just shared a list of six lenses under development, including four zooms and two prime lenses. One has a mysterious new feature called Defocus Smoothing.
Photography

Nikon will bring eye-detection autofocus to the Z6 and Z7 in May

An upcoming firmware update will bring Eye AF to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 -- along with improved autofocus performance in low light. The update will also give the cameras support for the CFexpress format.
Photography

Olympus packs an enormous zoom ability in its latest interchangeable lens

The Olympus Digital ED M.Zuiko 12-200mm F/3.5-6.3 has the widest zoom range of any interchangeable lens with a 16.6x zoom. The lens, which covers a 24-400mm equivalent, is also weather sealed.
Photography

Fujifilm’s X-T30 is a semi-pro, feature-rich camera that’s affordable to boot

Fujifilm's newest mirrorless camera delivers the premium features of the X-T3 without the premium price, giving aspiring enthusiasts a lower-cost option that can still match the image quality of Fuji's flagship.
Photography

Fujifilm XP140 squeezes more durability, low-light ability into a waterproof cam

Fujifilm's waterproof compact can now head even further underwater. The Fujifilm XP140 features several upgrades, including a more durable body, a wider ISO range for low light, and expanded auto modes.
Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.
Photography

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…
Photography

Photography news: Wacom’s slimmer pen, Leica’s cinema special edition

In this week's photography news, Wacom launches a new slimmer pen for pro users. Leica's upcoming M10-P is designed for cinema, inside and out, with built-in cinema modes in the updated software.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.
Photography

The Panasonic FZ1000 gets a much-needed update alongside the smaller ZS80 zoom

Panasonic's 2014 superzoom camera with a larger sensor has finally seen an update. The new Panasonic FZ1000 II has a sensor that's better for low light, more physical controls, and new 4K Photo Mode features.
Photography

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.
Photography

Luminar’s libraries gain speed, drop need for you to manually import images

Luminar 3 just got a performance boost. Skylum Luminar 3.0.2 has improved speed over December's update, which added the long-promised libraries feature giving editors a Lightroom alternative.