3 Fantastic Lenses to Adapt to Nikon Z Cameras You’ll Love

Nikon is pretty big on telling photographers to adapt their old F-mount lenses onto their Z-mount cameras. And if you’ve been a long-time Nikon camera user, then maybe it’s time to come to mirrorless. The Nikon Z system has really grown up. And best of all, you don’t have to throw away all your old lenses. We’ve reviewed lots of Nikon lenses over the years. Here are some of the best lenses to adapt to Nikon Z cameras.

The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear that we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Pro Tips on Choosing Lenses to Adapt to Nikon Z Cameras

Here are some pro tips when considering lenses to adapt to Nikon z cameras:

  • With the Nikon Z lineup of cameras, all you really need is an adapter like the Nikon FTZ device. But if you’re using a more manual lens, then anything can work. By that, we mean if you’re using an old school lens with an aperture ring built in.
  • Nikon E lenses removed the old interface for aperture control. So you really need the FTZ adapter for them. These may be some of the most difficult lenses to adapt to Nikon Z cameras.
  • Go for older lenses. They’ve got a bit of charm and sparkle to them. Plus, they can be had pretty affordably.
  • With a lot of Nikon F mount glass, you’ll lose weather sealing when adapting to a Nikon Z camera.
  • If we really had to choose one camera, we’d say go for the Nikon Z5. It’s got a lower resolution sensor and will hide flaws of older lenses easily. Years ago, Nikon even talked about this themselves

Nikon 28mm f1.4 E

Why This Lens?: The Nikon 28mm f1.4 was one of my favorite Nikon F mount lenses made in the mount’s later days. The colors tell the entire story.

In our review, we state:

“If you’re a fan of Nikon’s colors, then you’ll be happy to know that the Nikon 28mm f1.4 is pretty much consistent with everything that you’ve come to expect from Nikon. This lens is fantastic is so many areas of image quality parameters. It keeps the distortion down, doesn’t suffer from fringing issues when dealing with images right out of the camera, has nice bokeh, and is pretty darned sharp. For a lens that’s right under $2,000 you have to expect that the quality is just top notch. And in all honesty, that’s all that I’d truthfully expect from a lens like this.”

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Nikon 35mm f1.8 G ED

Why This Lens?: The Nikon 35mm f1.8 is a full frame lens that pretty solid image quality at a very affordable price point.

In our review, we state:

“Wedding photographers, enthusiasts, and photojournalists will all be more than happy with the sharpness that this lens can deliver in the right situations.  Granted, this lens is most targeted at the enthusiast, and we feel that as far as sharpness goes this is the best that you can get.”

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Zeiss 15mm f2.8 Milvus

Why This Lens?: The sharpness, build quality, and weather sealing from this Zeiss lens are beyond fantastic. Plus, there’s an aperture ring, so you can use it on your Nikon film cameras too if you wish.

In our review, we state:

“Since this lens is an ultra wide angle lens, there is almost no point to try to get any bokeh from it. So you’re better off just going for straight sharpness. Indeed, this lens delivers that and you’ll appreciate how sharp the images will come out. Beyond f11, there is almost no point in stopping down unless you’re shooting film and using the Sunny 16 method.”

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.