The Nikon Z 70-180mm F2.8 is one of eight new lenses to appear on the latest version of Nikon’s Z Lens Roadmap. And this is excellent news for those of us looking for a decent, fast-aperture telephoto lens yet unwilling to haul the heavyweight Nikon Z 70-200mm F2.8.
But although the Nikon Z 70-180mm F2.8 is yet to receive a release date, it may already be here.
What is the Nikon Z 70-180mm F2.8
The Nikon Z 70-180mm F2.8 is a fast medium-range telephoto zoom lens for Nikon Z mount and a lightweight alternative to the pro-grade Nikon Z 70-200mm F2.8. But more specifically, it could be a rebadged Tamron 70-180mm F2.8. Read What is a Fast Lens.
This wouldn’t be the first time Nikon has claimed a third-party lens as its own. The recently released Nikon Z 28-75mm F2.8 is based on the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8. Read Nikon 28-75mm F2.8 Compared.
What is the Tamron 70-180mm F2.8
The Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 is a medium-range telephoto zoom built by Tamron for Sony’s E mount and, by many accounts, is a good lens.
As well as being a lighter alternative to pro-style 70-200mm F2.8, it’s also smaller than many 70-200mm F4 lenses despite featuring a large, twice-as-bright F2.8 aperture.
Of course, there’s no such thing as free lunch, and in this case, the Tamron and Nikon 70-180mm lose 20mm at the long end of the zoom. As a result, the Tamron and Nikon Z 70-180mm angle-of-view maxes out at 13.7-degrees compared to the 12.3 degrees at 200mm.
On the plus side, the Tamron 70-180 mm minimum focus distance means it has a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4.6, which is impressive.
Is the Nikon Z 70-180mm F2.8 worth it?
The Tamron 70-180 is an excellent lens and presents a unique alternative to the typical 70-200mm F2.8 and 70-200mm F4 lenses. So long as you don’t mind giving up 20mm, the Nikon Z 70-180mm F2.8 is a very bright and compact lens suitable for many kinds of photography, such as sports and portraiture.
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This post is based on the assumption the Nikon Z 70-180mm F2.8 will be a rebadged Tamron 70-180mm F2.8. In reality, Nikon may be making a bespoke alternative.
What the Nikon Z 70-180mm F2.8 means for the still absent Nikon Z 70-200mm F4 remains to be seen. Traditionally, Nikon hasn’t been too enthused about the 70-200mm F4 format, only producing one for its DSLR F Mount while making at least three versions of the 70-200mm F2.8.
Regardless, the Tamron 70-180mm is a refreshing take on an old formula that required you to choose between a smaller lens or a large aperture. With the 70-180mm F2.8, you can have both so long as you’re happy to be taxed 20mm.
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