Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S Review

January 5, 2021 | Amy Davies | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


Considering the high price of the Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S, especially in comparison to the 50mm f/1.8 S lens, you have to perhaps really crave that extra aperture to be willing to make the extra outlay.

As the first in Nikon’s f/1.2 series, it gives us a good indication of what is to come from other premium lenses down the line, including other prime focal lengths, such as 35mm and 85mm. Professional photographers are likely to be pleased that these are now starting to become available.

The Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S is undeniably an excellent lens, which creates beautiful shots, and is a flexible enough focal length to make it ideal for a number of different subjects. For wide aperture portraits and still life shots, it creates wonderful bokeh which is more impressive than the f/1.8 version.

Sharpness is also fantastic, while ghosting, flare, distortion and chromatic aberrations are kept to an absolute minimum - as we’d expect from a premium lens. Build quality is fantastic, with the extra bonus of having the display screen and function buttons on the lens to make usability very good.

All that said, it’s not just the high price that needs to be considered when thinking about this lens. Despite the added usability benefits, it’s also considerably larger and heavier than its f/1.8 brother, meaning it takes up more space in your kit bag and is certainly less viable as a walk around type lens.

If you’re a professional photographer who typically shoots subjects which would benefit from a very wide aperture 50mm lens, it’s a fantastic option to have. For the average enthusiast, it would also be fantastic, but the high price means that probably only those who shoot a lot of similar types of subjects - such as portraits - would get the best value for money from it.

For most people who crave the 50mm focal length, the f/1.8 version will most likely suffice for most scenarios. However, if you want the best of the best, the sharpest results and the best bokeh - then the Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S lens is simply superb. If you’re on the fence, you might want to consider renting the f/1.2 first to see if you think it’s worth the extra outlay.

We look forward to seeing further f/1.2 introductions from Nikon for the Z system in the hopefully not too distant future.

4.5 stars

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