Nikon’s latest optics offer features unique to the Z lens line

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Nikon’s mirrorless cameras now have access to a lens that doesn’t have an equal for DSLR shooters. On September 16, Nikon unveiled the Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.2 S and the Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S. As part of the company’s previously shared lens road map, neither lens is a complete surprise, but both offer a set of hard-to-find features from the f/1.2 aperture to a filter-friendly hood on the ultra-wide zoom.

While Nikon has manual focus F-mount f/1.2 lenses, the Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.2 uses a stepping autofocus motor with two motors, one for each lens group. Nikon says the lens is also the first f/1.2 with an STM autofocus motor, a type of autofocus that the company says tends to be quieter than ultrasonic systems.

Developing an f/1.2 lens in the F-mount with autofocus would likely have been too hefty a lens to wield. The new f/1.2 is twice the weight of the earlier Z-mount nifty fifty, with 1.2x larger optics. The lens, however, is also better balanced by moving some of the larger optics towards the back, a change that the F-mount would not have supported.

Today’s announcement also completes the company’s f/2.8 zoom trilogy with the Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8, which joins the earlier 24-70mm and 70-200mm mirrorless lenses. Nikon says the lens is the shortest and lightest 14-24mm f/2.8 lens yet, at 1.43 pounds, while it takes a similar design approach in moving heavier lens elements towards the back for better balance.

The wider Z-mount allows the 14-24mm to reduce the extreme curve found on the similar F-mount lens, which gave Nikon the opportunity for the lens to accept filters. Filters attach to the lens hood, which is designed with openings to allow photographers to tweak a polarizing filter with the lens hood still attached. Both a compatible polarizing filter and protective filter will be available at a later date, Nikon says. A filter slot for colored gels is also located at the rear of the camera lens. A lens hood without a filter spot is also included, as well as two lens caps, one that allows the lens to be stored with the hood and filter in place.

As part of the S series, both the 14-24mm and the 50mm f/1.2 have Nikon’s highest level of weather-sealing. Both house a digital lens info panel, custom control ring, and two shortcut buttons.

The 14-24mm will go on sale in November, listing at about $2,400. The 50mm f/1.2 doesn’t yet have a ship date, but is expected to retail for about $2,100.

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