Nikon has announced a new wide-angle power zoom lens, the NIKKOR Z DX 12-28mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ VR. The new lens is designed for DX-format cameras, which have an APS-C-sized sensor.
Nikon says the new 12-28 mm lens is the widest NIKKOR Z DX-format lens yet. As an ultra-wide angle lens, it is ideal for vlogging and wide establishing shots. You can also use it for landscapes, interior photography and city streets. The 12-28 mm lens is lightweight, only weighing around 7.3 ounces. It’s also small, measuring 2.5 (63.5 mm) inches in length and 2.9 inches (72 mm) in diameter.
The power zoom has a linear drive, providing a smooth optical zoom function. You can operate the zoom by twisting the zoom ring on the barrel or with designated buttons on the camera body. In addition, you can use the ML-L7 Remote Control, which comes with the Z 30 Creator’s Accessory Kit. You can choose from 11-speed settings for the zoom, ranging from 0.55 seconds to 36 seconds.
The autofocus on the 12-28 mm Nikon lens works with the eye-detection AF in Nikon cameras to keep your subject in focus. The lens also features an STM motor drive which is silent when focusing. This is great for video, as you don’t need to worry about motor noise affecting your audio. In addition, the 12-28 mm lens has a close minimum focus distance of only 0.62 feet (0.19 m).
Vibration Reduction is Nikon’s name for optical stabilization. The Vibration Reduction (VR) on the 12-28 mm lens provides a stabilization effect equivalent to a shutter speed of 4.5 stops faster for still photography. This is also a great feature for video as it smooths out your footage when shooting handheld or when you are on the move.
The Nikon 12-28 mm lens has 12 elements in 11 groups, including one extra-low dispersion and one aspherical element. At 12 mm, the maximum aperture is f/3.5, and at 28 mm, it is f/5.6. This means the aperture isn’t constant, so your exposure will change as you change the focal length. It’s also not a very wide maximum aperture, so the lens isn’t going to be the best at shooting in a low-light situation.
What we think
The NIKKOR Z DX 12-28mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ VR power zoom lens is a compact, lightweight lens ideal for content creators. The Vibration Reduction will help smooth your handheld footage, and the power zoom is useful for quick reframing. It’s a shame the maximum aperture isn’t wider and that the aperture isn’t constant. However, both of those features would make the lens much bigger and heavier. If you don’t need a lens optimized for low light situations, the 12-28 mm power zoom lens could be a great choice.
Pricing and availability
The NIKKOR Z DX 12-28mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ VR will retail at about $400. Nikon says it will be available in May 2023.