Nikon Z DX 16-50mm F3.5-6.3 VR Review

November 23, 2021 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Nikon Z DX 16-50mm F3.5-6.3 VR is an incredibly tiny, lightweight standard zoom that is perfect for general everyday shooting, especially if you pick it up with the Nikon Z fc or Z50 cameras where it's sold as an economical kit lens option.

We reviewed it in conjunction with the Nikon Z fc, where its main selling points are its diminutive size and weight, versatility, built-in stabilisation and the fact that its styling matches the retro Z fc very well.

This lens is a surprisingly good performer optically given its modest price-tag, being sharp in the centre throughout virtually all of the frame, even when shooting wide-open. The edge performance isn't in the same league as the centre, but that's forgivable given the low asking price.

Chromatic aberrations and distortion are well-controlled in both the JPEG and Raw files and the bokeh from the 7-blade aperture is quite nice.

On a less positive note, 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.

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 construction, you'll need to look elsewhere.

There are also no accessories included with the Z 28mm, other than front and rear lens caps, so there's no hood or case included in the box.

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 £329 / $299 in the UK and USA respectively. It's even better value if you buy it in a kit with the Nikon Z fc or Z50 cameras.

Overall, the Nikon Z DX 16-50mm F3.5-6.3 VR is a good standard zoom that is a step above most starter kit lenses. If you're new to either Nikon or mirrorless then this lens makes a lot of sense from both a financial and performance point of view...

4 stars

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