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Nikkor Z 28-75mm f2.8 Zoom lens Full Review

The Nikkor Z 28-75mm f/2.8 is an intriguing lens. Technically it’s not quite a trinity lens, although it features a continuous f/2.8 aperture and near S-lens performance. It's obviously longer but not as wide as its trinity sibling, the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, but it has a huge price advantage: it's around half the price. With everything from the continuous fast aperture to weather sealing, getting trinity trappings in a lens like this makes it one of the top Nikon Z lenses for professionals and enthusiasts alike. Indeed, we put it to the test on the Nikon Z 9 in some extremely demanding indoor sports situations, and we'd gladly take it on any pro commission.

Nikkor Z 28-75mm f2.8 Zoom lens Full Review

So, how excellent is it, and is it better than the Z 24-70mm f/2.8 lens?


Performance

While this is not an S-line lens, it provides excellent optical performance. The centre sharpness is particularly impressive across the focal and aperture ranges, notably when shooting wide open. Corner sharpness, on the other hand, doesn't really become noteworthy until you reach f/8 or thereabouts. The focusing is sharp and responsive, more than competent of keeping up with the Nikon Z 9 when following unpredictable subjects, and it easily handles ordinary shooting scenarios. The 28-75mm f/2.8's AF system is also extremely quiet, making it perfect for videography.

We had no trouble focusing in low-light situations, which may have had something to do with the Z 9, but it speaks strongly of this lens that it can keep up with the flagship camera without the S label. The rendering quality is excellent, capturing true three-dimensionality, and the bokeh is also extremely pleasant. Portraits with almost prime-worthy subject separation can be captured by shooting wide open at the long end.

 

Specifications

Mount: Nikon Z

Full-frame: Yes

Lens construction: 12 elements in 10 groups

Angle of view: 71.5-105.3ยบ

Autofocus: Yes

Image stabilisation: No

Max aperture: f/2.8

Min aperture: f/16

Max magnification ratio: 0.25-0.13x

Min focusing distance: 0.15-0.24m

Diaphragm blades: 7

Weather sealing: Yes

Filter size: 67mm

Dimensions (L x D): 86 x 73mm

Weight: 335g

 

Fringing Short 0.12 Long 0.12

At all focal lengths and apertures, colour fringing is virtually non-existent, becoming hardly apparent at 28mm with narrower apertures.

Distortion Short -2.52 Long 1.49

At 28mm, there is visible barrel distortion, which progresses to significant pincushioning at 50mm and further.

Sharpness

Sharpness in the centre of the frame is excellent at all focal lengths and apertures up to f/16. Corner sharpness is lacking, and wide open performance is unimpressive.

 

Verdict

This is a compact, lightweight, very sharp (at least in the centre) optic that gives you a valuable bit of extra reach at the cost of reduced width. The 24-70mm S lens has somewhat higher corner sharpness, although both lenses are optically comparable. If the slightly unusual focal length appeals to you, the 28-75mm f/2.8 is an unqualified recommendation. The zoom ring has been fine-tuned for quick and precise pacing, and creep isn't an issue. The focal length of 28-75mm has undoubtedly turned a few heads. This is the ideal all-around lens, especially for video.

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