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Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 Compared

Nikon Z 28-75mm F/2.8 Compared

Nikon’s recent roll continues with the announcement of the Nikon Z 28-75mm F/2.8. Set to be released early in 2022, the Nikon 28-75mm F2.8 will cost just US$1195. That’s almost half as much as the pro-grade Nikon Z 24-70mm F/2.8.

However, the Nikon 28-75mm F/2.8 suffers some heavy competition. Despite its smaller F/4 aperture, the nano-coated Nikon 24-70mm F/4 is cheaper, more compact, and possesses a wider angle of view. So, which lens is right for you? Let’s take a look. Jump to Conclusion

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Table of Contents

What is the Nikon Nikkor Z 28-75mm F/2.8?

The Nikon Nikkor Z 28-75mm F2.8 is an everyday zoom for Nikon Z cameras that, in many ways, resembles the kit lenses of old.

Large F/2.8 Aperture

But unlike any kit lens, the Nikon Z 24-75mm features a large F/2.8 aperture throughout its zoom range. Read: What is Aperture.

This is a big deal for several reasons. First of all, an F2.8 aperture passes twice as much light as an F4 lens and four times as much as an F5.6 lens. As a result, you’ll be better able to keep those shutter speeds high and those image degrading ISOs low. Read What is ISO.

And thanks to that brighter aperture, your Nikon camera’s autofocus system has more light to work with. Last of all, larger apertures reduce your depth-of-field. In other words, the Nikon Z 28-75mm’s large F2.8 aperture is better able to melt those backgrounds to blurry goo.


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Handling

The Nikon 28-75mm F/2.8 weighs just 569 grams. This is considerably lighter than its pro-grade counterpart, the Nikon Z 24-70mm F/2.8. As for size, the Nikon Nikkor Z 28-75mm F2.8 measures 120mm long by 75mm wide.

Otherwise, the Nikon Z 28-75mm’s handling is pretty typical. You have a zoom ring towards the front of the lens and a customizable control ring near the lens mount. And that’s about it.

Performance

Adding to the Nikon Z 28-75mm F2.8’s versatility is a minimum focus distance of 19cm resulting in maximum magnification of 0.34. Perfect for a little semi-macro work.

For all you video lovers, Nikon specifies that the Z 28-75mm F2.8’s autofocus is silent and well corrected for focus breathing.

As we’ve seen with many Nikon zooms, the Nikon 28-75mm F/2.8 does not feature image stabilization. In my opinion, this is sensible enough. After all, all full-frame Z cameras feature sensor-based image stabilization. And not including optical stabilization within the lens has its advantages. But if you happen to have a non-stabilized Nikon Z camera such as the Z50 or Zfc – you’re out of luck.

Being a cheaper lens, the Nikon 28-75mm F/2.8 does miss out on a few luxuries. For instance, it lacks nano and fluorine-coated lens elements. I rather like nano-coated Nikon lenses and if you do, you will need to buy the slower Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 or the pro-grade Nikon Z 24-70mm F/2.8 lens

Nikon Nikkor Z 28-75mm F2.8 Image Quality

At present, I cannot say how good the image quality will be. However, Nikon has yet to produce a lemon for its Z mount. For now, all we can do is soak up the Nikon Z 28-75mm F2.8’s MTF charts.

Based on the MTF chart, it appears the Nikon 28-75mm F/2.8’s center is extremely sharp at 28 and 75mm. However, it does fall off at the corners – especially when set to 75mm.

Nikon Z 28-75mm F/2.8 Specifications

Lens SpecificationsNikon Z 28-75mm F/2.8
Focal length28-75 mm
Angle of view75 – 32 degrees
Maximum aperturef/2.8
Minimum aperturef/22
Diaphragm blades9 Rounded Blades
Lens construction15 elements in 12 groups
Optical Image StabilizationNo
Minimum focus distance19cm
Maximum reproduction ratio0.34x
Filter-attachment size67 mm
Dimensions (approx)75-120.5mm
Weight (approx)565 grams

Nikon Z 28-75mm F2.8 Compared

Let’s see how the Nikon 28-75mm F/2.8’s specifications compare against those of the Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 and the Nikon Z 24-75mm F/2.8.

SpecificationsNikon Z 28-75mm F/2.8Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8
Focal length28-75 mm24-70 mm24-70 mm
Angle of view75 – 35 degrees84-34 degrees84-34 degrees
Maximum aperturef/2.8f/4f/2.8
Minimum aperturef/22f/22f/22
Diaphragm blades9 Rounded Blades7 Rounded Blades9 Rounded Blades
Lens construction15 elements in 12 groups14 Elements in 11 Groups17 Elements in 15 Groups
Optical Image StabilizationNoNoNo
Minimum focus distance19cm30cm38cm
Maximum reproduction ratio0.34x.03x0.22x
Filter-attachment size67 mm72mm82mm
Dimensions (approx)75 x 120.5mm77.5 x 88.5mm89x126mm
Weight (approx)565 grams500 grams805 grams

Nikon Z 28-75mm F/2.8 vs Nikon 24-70mm f/4

For me, choosing between the Nikon 28-75mm F/2.8 and the Nikon Z 24-70mm F/4 is extremely difficult. On one hand, the Nikon Nikkor Z 28-75mm has that large light-soaked background-blurring F/2.8 aperture.

But on the other hand, the Nikon 24-70mm F4 is cheaper, more compact, and features special lens coatings that improve contrast and reduce flare.

However, the main difference between the two lenses is focal range. Whilst 4mm might not sound like a lot, the difference between 24 and 28mm is substantial and I would much rather have an 84-degree angle-of-view over the 28-75mm’s 75 degrees.

As for the telephoto end, the 28-75mm’s extra reach counts for little providing a 32-degree angle-of-view over the 70mm’s 34-degrees.

Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 MTF Chart

Overall, I believe the Z 24-70mm f/4 is more likely to get a better shot more often. But if you’re looking to shoot portraits, you might prefer the 28-75mm larger and blurrier F2.8 aperture.

Nikon Z 28-75mm F/2.8 vs Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8

If you want a fast aperture, lens coatings, and a decent wide-angle – buy a Nikon Z 24-70mm F/2.8.

Of course, zero compromise doesn’t come cheap and neither does the Nikon Z 24-70mm F/2.8. At nearly US$2300, it’s more expensive than the other two lenses combined. But in practice, it is both lenses combined.

Nikon Z 24-70mm F/2.8 MTF Chart

Aside from the cost, the other reason why you might not want the Nikon Z 24-70mm F/2.8 is its size and weight. That being said, it’s much smaller than the old Nikon AF-S 24-70mm F2.8 VR it replaces.

So, if you want performance above all else, buy a Nikon Z 24-70mm F/2.8.


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Conclusion

The Nikon Z 28-75mm F/2.8 continues Nikon’s impressive run towards 2022. With its decent focal range, impressively large F/2.8 aperture, and reasonable price – I expect the 28-75mm to be a huge success.

However, the main reason not to buy a Nikon Nikkor Z 28-75mm F/2.8 is the Nikon Z 24-70mm F4. Whilst it may be a Stop slower, the Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 is smaller, cheaper, and includes premium features such as advanced lens coatings.

Then there is focal range. Whilst the Nikon Z 24-70mm F/4 starts at an impressively-wide 84-degrees – the best the 28-75mm can do is 75-degrees. That’s a huge difference – particularly if you like to shoot landscapes or take photos in confined spaces.

However, the Nikon Z 28-75mm has that large F/2.8 aperture – a premium feature in itself. With it, the Nikon Z 28-75mm can flood your camera’s sensor with twice as much light as the Nikon 24-70mm F4 as well as being better able to blur those backgrounds.

Therefore, it’s perhaps best not to view the Nikon Z 28-75mm F/2.8 as an everyday lens, but as a budget alternative to the Nikon Z 24-70mm F/2.8. On these terms, the Nikon’s 28mm wide-angle hardly matters but that large F2.8 aperture does.

In conclusion, the Nikon Z 28-75mm F/2.8 may not match the Nikon Z 24-70mm F/4’s versatility as an everyday lens, but it does offer Nikon shooters a cheaper and lighter alternative to the portrait orientated Nikon Z 24-70mm F/2.8. To that end, the Nikon Z 28-75mm F/2.8 appears to be a home-run and another reason for F-Mount users to cross the divide and get with the Z.

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