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Home » Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 Compared – Every Day is Pancake Day!

Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 Compared – Every Day is Pancake Day!

Nikon Z 26mm F2.8

Newly announced to the Nikon Z Mount is the Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 – a compact 26mm lens designed, according to Nikon, “as an ideal lens for advanced amateur photographers who take their camera everywhere so as not to miss a moment.”

And that sounds about right, with its smartphone-esque 26mm focal length producing a wide, user-friendly 79-degree angle of view. Unfortunately, these days, Nikon’s use of the word amateur implies cheap construction, especially compared to its more affordable but better-built F-mount lenses. Of course, we shall see. Jump to Conclusion


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What is the Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 Lens?

There is little known about the Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 other than its focal length, aperture, and tiny form. Indeed, if Nikon intends to produce a lens for those looking to make their Z camera as small as possible, it appears they have succeeded.

Nikon Z 26mm F2.8

Focal length

As the name suggests, the Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 features a 26mm focal length resulting in a smart-phone style angle of view of 79 degrees. As a result, the Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 fits the brief as a decent take-in-the-scenes lens for your next holiday.

Alternatively, slap the Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 onto one of Nikon’s APS-C Z-Mount cameras, such as the Nikon Z50 or ZfC, and enjoy an angle of view of 57 degrees – similar to that of a 40mm lens on a full-frame camera. Which, in my opinion, is even better for a walkabout lens. Read What is Focal Length in Photography.

Aperture

The Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 features a moderately bright F2.8 allowing your camera’s sensor to soak up almost twice as much light as the average kit lens set to a similar focal length.

Furthermore, it should be possible to squeeze a little background blur out of the lens – despite the Nikon Z 26mm’s shorter blur-unfriendly focal length. Read What is Aperture in Photography.

Who is the Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 for?

As a walkabout lens, the Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 lens could be for almost anyone. And who doesn’t like a small, compact lens that performs well?

But, in my option, 26mm is getting a little wide for an everyday lens. On the one hand, the Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 wide angle-of-view will be suitable for landscapes, scenes, and group photos. On the other, its short focal length will distort up-close shots of loved ones (and less loved ones) by enlarging noses and shrinking eyes and ears.

However, I would enjoy using the Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 with one of the Nikon’s APS-C Z-Mount cameras as its 57-degree 40mm-equivalent focal length is close to ideal – for me, at least.

The Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 Compared

Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 vs Nikon Z 28mm F2.8

Nikon Z 26mm vs Nikon Z 28mm F2.8 – Estimated size difference.

Compared to the Nikon Z 28mm F2.8, the Nikon Z 26mm is much smaller and yields a wider 79-degree angle-of-view versus the 28mm’s 79 degrees.

Regarding features, both are as well specified as a drop toilet. Thus, assuming similar image quality, your decision will primarily rest on price and size.

Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 vs Nikon Z 40mm F2

Nikon Z 26mm vs Nikon Z 40mm F2 – Estimated size difference.

The Nikon Z 40mm F2 is a moderately expensive lens that feels cheaper than more affordable alternatives. On the plus side, it’s very light and compact and, compared to the Nikon Z 26mm F2.8, has a twice-as-bright F2 aperture for more light, lower ISO, and superior background blur.

And for me, 40mm is a better focal length for everyday photography, but you may feel differently.


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Conclusion

Do we need the Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 and Nikon Z 28mm F2.8? Well, Nikon certainly thinks so. On the upside, the Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 looks even more diminutive than the already small Nikon Z 28mm F2.8. Thus, assuming similar image quality, the Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 may render the larger Nikon Z 28mm F2.8 redundant.

Whether you consider a 26mm lens ideal for a walkabout is up to you. Since I photograph both scenes and people, I prefer a longer focal length and, as a result, would go for the Nikon Z 40mm and its faster, blurrier F2 aperture.

What do you think? Will you be buying a Nikon Z 26mm F2.8? Leave a Comment.


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2 thoughts on “Nikon Z 26mm F2.8 Compared – Every Day is Pancake Day!”

    1. Agreed. I think Nikon would be crazy not to pair the Nikon Z 26mm with its Zfc and z50. Plus, I expect the full-frame Z 26mm will be soft in the corners – something APS-C owners won’t have to worry about.

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