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Nikon Z 40mm f/2 Review

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When I swapped out the Nikon Z f/1.8 primes (35/50/85) for the Z f/2.8 zoom (28-75), I did find myself looking for something small and light for the Z fc. Still having the Z 28/2.8, I was thinking of perhaps a less expensive option for the 40-60mm focal length, possibly third party. Instead, I decided to give the Z 40mm f/2 a shot. At the time, I found a good price on a used standard version. I really wanted to get an SE to match the 28/2.8 and the Z fc styling. I may still some day.


The 40mm is not an S line lens, so how does it fair against the S line primes? Let’s dig in and find out!


Disclosure – images were post processed to my liking and in various styles. Some were processed from RAW and others may be out of camera JPG.




This is a nice, small lens. Plastic, yes, but that helps keep the cost and weight down. There is just one ring, by default it controls manual focus.


It is small enough to drop into a camera bag and take up very little space, similar to the Z 28/2.8. I found it handled just fine on any of the Z bodies tested – the Z fc, Z6 and Z8.




Weather Sealed
Nikon rates this for dust and drip resistance. Not to the same level as an S line lens, but some protection is there.




Image Quality
So here is what most want to know. Sharpness is here! Is it as good as a Z 35/1.8 or 50/1.8 S prime? No. Center sharpness is excellent even at f/2, but you can see where the optical design needed to make compromises. The edges and wide open is it’s weakest…however, stopping down a little starts bringing the whole image together.


What it lacks in edge to edge sharpness, it does make up for in color, contrast and character.


Images speak louder than any of my words, so please judge the results I’ve been able to get from this lens.


This lens is perfectly usable, but if you are a perfectionist or pixel peeper, you’ll probably want to stick with the 50mm f/1.8 or faster aperture 50mm Z lens.




Focusing is quick and confident for both stills and video. No complaints.



VR (Vibration Reduction Stabilization)
This lens has no VR. If VR or stabilization is needed/desired, pair this lens with the IBIS equipped Z bodies.




Bottom Line
the Z 40/2 is a good, if not great, small prime. If you want exceptional, then look to the Z-line lenses. Please note though that you have to look at the descriptive words I’m using here. The Z lenses, primes or zooms are all more than “normal” in their image quality. We really are splitting hairs here when we look at that they are capable of providing in output.


Bottom Line = Recommend.


If you value smaller, lighter and cost effective over optimal IQ, then this is a good lens for you. If you want the nth degree and edge to edge sharpness, don’t mind paying possibly double or more of the Z 40/2 then the S line primes are where you want to be.



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See my content here:

http://www.visualohio.com | BESTLIGHTPHOTO BLOG | 500px Profile & Pics


I shoot Nikon, Olympus, Minolta, Pentax and Leica.  Probably not enough!  LOL

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