Nikon Z 40mm F2 Review

November 16, 2021 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Nikon Z 40mm F2 is a tiny, lightweight moderate wide-angle prime that makes a great walk-around lens for everyday shooting.

Its main selling points are its rather unique angle of view, tiny size and weight, and the fact that it's currently the cheapest prime lens that you can buy for Nikon's FX full-frame sensor camera range.

This lens is a surprisingly good performer optically given its modest price-tag, being pin-sharp in the centre throughout virtually all of the frame, even when shooting wide-open at f/2. The edge performance isn't quite as good, with f/4 to f/11 producing the sharpest results, but we can forgive that.

Vignetting is a little heavy when shooting wide-open, sunstars at f/16 aren't particularly well defined and flare is evident when shooting directly into the sun.

On a more positive note, chromatic aberrations and barrel distortion are well-controlled in both the JPG and Raw files and the bokeh is very nice thanks to the combination of the f/2 maximum aperture and 9 rounded aperture blades.

This lens' main concession to its low price-point is build quality - it has an all-plastic construction, right down to the plastic lens mount and filter threads. Whether this causes any long-term issues remains to be seen, but if you're a stickler for a metal mount, you'll need to look elsewhere.

There are also no accessories included with the Z 40mm, other than front and rear lens caps, so there's no hood or case included in the box.

Conversely, the use of plastic and the lack of frills does give this lens a significant financial advantage.

At a time when cameras and lenses are seemingly getting ever more expensive with each passing year, it's great to see Nikon release a lens that is priced at only £249 / $299 in the UK and USA respectively, and such a good lens to boot.

The 40mm focal length and low price means that the Nikon Z 40mm F2 doesn't have too many direct rivals.

The Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 S and Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S offer a slightly wider and narrower angle of view respectively, whilst offering a slightly faster maximum aperture, but they're significantly bigger, heavier and more expensive than the new Nikkor Z 40mm.

Overall, the Nikon Z 40mm F2 is a brilliant little lens that doesn't cost the earth and is definitely worthy of earning the title of "nifty-forty"! We think every Nikon Z shooter should at least give it a try...

4.5 stars

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