Nikon Z 50mm F1.8 S
One of three lenses launched alongside the Nikon Z6 and Z7, on the face of it the Z 50mm F1.8 S might appear the most pedestrian of the group. It’s hard to get too excited about a medium-fast 50mm these days, but in its promotional literature Nikon claimed that its latest standard prime is anything but a standardstandard. In fact, the company claimed that the Z 50mm S would offer superb resolving power, low aberrations and excellent wide-aperture performance, impressive enough to challenge assumptions about what lenses of this type should be capable of.
The Nikon Z 50mm F1.8 is twice as heavy, twice as large and about twice the price of the company’s equivalent lens for F mount – but is it twice as good? We’ve been shooting with one for a few weeks, and one thing’s for sure – it’s a radically different lens.
- Focal length: 50mm
- Format: Full-frame
- Aperture range: F1.8-16 (1/3EV steps)
- Filter thread: 62mm
- Close focus: 0.4m
- Hood: Included HB-90, bayonet attachment.
- Length / Diameter: 76 x 86.5mm
- Weight: 415g (14.7oz)
- Optical construction: 12 elements in 9 groups, including Nano Crystal Coating
- Special elements: 2 ED, 2 Aspherical.
Compared to its nominal F-mount equivalent, the Z 50mm F1.8 S is an obvious step up in terms of optical technology. Featuring advanced coatings, almost twice the number of elements (including two aspherical and two ED) and three additional groups, the new prime is substantially more complex. Compare this to the single aspherical element in the F-mount version (itself a novelty when the lens was introduced in 2011) and it’s obvious that Nikon has taken the opportunity to completely redesign its newest standard lens for the radically different dimensions of the new Z mount.