Nikon Z 28-75mm F2.8 Review

March 3, 2022 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


Nikon Z-series owners are certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to standard zoom lenses. The new Nikon Z 28-75mm F2.8 is the sixth such model released in the past few years for Nikon mirrorless cameras, joining the Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, Z 24-70mm f/4 S, Z 24-120mm f/4 S. Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 and the Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR.

In terms of positioning, it fits in between the most expensive Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S pro zoom and the more entry-level Z 24-70mm f/4 S f4 S kit zoom, offering the fast F2.8 maximum aperture of the former at a similar price to the latter.

Unlike those two lenses and also the Z 24-120mm f/4 S, which offers the greatest zoom range, the new 28-75mm notably doesn't have the "S" moniker, which Nikon reserves for their best lenses. And unlike all the other zooms, the range starts at 28mm rather than 24mm, reducing the angle of view by 9 degrees.

Which isn't to say that the Z 28-75mm F2.8 is a bad lens - far from it - but it does go some way to explaining why you can now buy a Nikon F2.8 standard zoom lens for the same price as an F4 maximum aperture lens.

The first compromise is image quality at the edges of the frame. Where the "S" lenses tend to be sharp across the frame at virtually all apertures and focal lengths, the Nikon Z 28-75mm F2.8 is bitingly sharp in the centre but not so good at the edges, requiring you to stop down to f/5.6 to get the best results.

Vignetting is also a little more obvious than hoped for, as is flare when shooting directly into the sun, but chromatic aberrations and distortion are well controlled and it's capable of creating very nice sunstars at f/22.

It’s also capable of creating some attractive shallow depth of field effects thanks to the combination of the 9-blade aperture and the maximum F2.8 aperture.

Secondly, this is a very no-frills lens. There are absolutely no external controls at all apart from the configurable control ring, which is somewhat hamstrung by it also being the manual focus ring.

The lack of built-in vibration reduction may prove off-putting for some, especially for Z50 and Z fc owners whose cameras don't feature in-body stabilisation, but that's perhaps an unfair criticism given that all the other zooms except the 24-200mm also don't have that feature.

On a more positive note, the lens is drip and dust resistant, although Nikon state that it can't guarantee that in all situations and under all conditions.

This is also a relatively lightweight, compact lens, especially when you consider that it offers such a fast maximum aperture - the Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S weighs in at 30% more than the Z 28-75mm F2.8.

Auto-focusing proved to be quick and quiet on the brand new Z9 camera that we tested it with, making it ideal for both stills and video. Another great feature is the close minimum focusing distance of 0.19m (0.63ft) through to 0.39m (1.28ft) at 75mm, which delivers good macro performance at either end of the range.

The asking price of £9499 / $1199 in the UK and the US is very reasonable for this lens, making it half the price of the Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S and similar in price to the Z 24-70mm f/4 S and Z 24-120mm f/4 S.

In summary, you really can now buy an F2.8 standard zoom lens for the price of an F4 one for your Nikon mirrorless camera, just with the caveats that we've outlined above.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 4.5