Nikon Z Lens Roadmap

Nikon once again updated its Z lens roadmap, and we now know of a total of ten Z mount lenses that will be released in the coming years. The most exciting part is that we will soon be seeing top-of-the-line 400mm and 600mm super-telephoto primes in the line-up! Here’s a first look at the new lenses you can expect to see.

Table of Contents

The Updated Nikon Z Lens Roadmap

Here is the latest version of the Nikon Z lens roadmap, updated as of October 14, 2020:

Nikon Z October 2020 Roadmap

And here is the roadmap it replaces:

Nikon Z Updated Roadmap 2020

As you can see, Nikon added another 85mm prime to the roadmap (most likely an 85mm f/1.2 S lens), as well as two super-telephoto primes – 400mm and 600mm! These are probably going to be exotic Nikon Z 400mm f/2.8 S and Z 600mm f/4 S lenses that are specifically designed for sports and wildlife photographers. With the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters already out, Nikon will finally have a nice set of super-telephoto glass, which is very exciting!

In total, every Nikon Z lens we know about is as follows. Lenses that have not yet been formally announced are marked in bold:

  • 14-24mm f/2.8 S
  • 14-30mm f/4 S
  • 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 DX
  • 18-140mm DX
  • 20mm f/1.8 S
  • 24mm f/1.8 S
  • 24-50mm f/4-6.3
  • 24-70mm f/2.8 S
  • 24-70mm f/4 S
  • 24-105mm
  • 24-200mm f/4-6.3
  • 28mm pancake lens
  • 35mm f/1.8 S
  • 40mm pancake lens
  • 50mm macro lens
  • 50mm f/1.2 S
  • 50mm f/1.8 S
  • 50-250mm f/4.5-5.6 DX
  • 58mm f/0.95 S
  • 70-200mm f/2.8 S
  • 85mm f/1.2 S
  • 85mm f/1.8 S
  • 100-400mm
  • 105mm macro lens
  • 200-600mm (non-S lineup)
  • 400mm f/2.8 S
  • 600mm f/4 S
  • 1.4x Teleconverter
  • 2.0x Teleconverter

We don’t yet know the maximum aperture values of some of these lenses, including the 400mm and 600mm primes, but we can roughly tell what they are going to be based on their previous designs. Hopefully, Nikon will release more information soon.

When Are These Lenses Coming Out?

The new roadmap doesn’t list any date projections for when the unannounced Z lenses will go on sale. It is hard to predict what specific lenses will be announced in 2021 for a number of reasons. First, Nikon has released some surprises that were not previously on the roadmap (1.4x and 2x teleconverters, as well as the new Z 24-50mm zoom). And second, given the current economic conditions and COVID 19, it might push new releases further into the future.

Analyzing the Future Lenses

A lot of Nikon’s upcoming lens lineup looks very interesting. In particular, it’s great to see a company put specific effort into releasing pancake lenses, as well as exotic super-telephotos. The latter has been a major pain point for all mirrorless systems, and it is great to see that Nikon will be releasing high-end 400mm and 600mm S-line primes. I really hope Nikon can push the optical design of these lenses even further compared to their F-mount counterparts, so that we end up with much lighter and sharper lenses that would couple well with both 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, especially when it comes to autofocus. Imagine being able to take sharp, properly focused images at 1200mm f/8 – it could be a game-changer!

It’s also nice to see not one, but two dedicated macro lenses on their way for the Z system. I would have preferred a 150mm+ macro lens rather than a 50mm and a 105mm, but I’m not complaining. The Z cameras are great for close-up photography for a few reasons – focus stacking, in-viewfinder magnification, focus peaking – and they deserve more than an adapted lens.

The 100-400mm also seems interesting to me. The biggest gap in the entire Z lens lineup was – and still is – a small aperture telephoto lens. Heck, I’d be first in line to buy the Nikon Z 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3… if it weren’t DX only. Most likely, the 100-400mm will still be too heavy to be ideal but at least it’s something. Still, you’ve got to wonder why Nikon continues to hold out and not release a lightweight telephoto zoom for what is, ostensibly, a travel-friendly camera system.

We also get the first super-telephoto Z lens – the 200-600mm, though no word on its maximum aperture – which very well could win fans for wildlife and sports photography. Seeing as though it’s not an “S” series lens, chances are good that it will mimic something like the Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 VR, a well-regarded budget super-telephoto lens.

What Nikon really needs to push to its Z lens roadmap, is a sharp and lightweight 70-200mm f/4 S. Nikon, please, make this a surprise announcement – it should be on the priority list way before any of the specialized or exotic primes.

Nikon Z Lenses Announced So Far

The list below keeps track of all the Nikon Z-mount lenses that have been announced so far, in order from least to most recent:

2018

2019

2020

  • Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S
  • Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S
  • Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 S
  • Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR
  • Nikon Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3
  • Nikon Z 50mm f/1.2 S
  • Nikon Z 1.4x Teleconverter
  • Nikon Z 2x Teleconverter

If you want to find out more about the Nikon Z lenses, see Nikon Z Mirrorless Lenses page at Nikon USA.

Nikon Z Lens Delivery Issues

At this point, the biggest issue Nikon is facing is delivery issues due to COVID 19 and other logistical issues. Although the Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S was released a while ago, it is still nowhere to be found as of October 2020, with very limited availability across all major retailers.