Nikon has released a stream of Z-mount lenses this year, and it looks like they are far from done for 2023. According to NikonRumors, a 35-150mm Z-mount lens might be announced as early as next week. While the branding and look of this one will be all Nikon, the mechanics inside it are probably Tamron.
As a Z-mount camera user, I’ve often seen unique lenses come from other brands that I wish Nikon had. Our Editor’s Choice Award-winning Tamron 35-150mm F2-2.8 was one of these lenses. In our review, we stated:
When you first hold the Tamron 35-150mm f2-2.8 Di III VXD, you realize it’s the most solid lens they’ve made for mirrorless cameras so far. It focuses incredibly fast and offers innovations that other lenses don’t. This is a perfect lens for anyone who shoots portraits, events, landscapes, photojournalism, etc.
The 35-150mm f2-2.8 focal and aperture range would make the perfect all-purpose lens for most photography genres. Aside from the lack of internal stabilization, Tamron delivered a winner of a lens with this model. At the time of its launch two years ago, it was the first f2 aperture capable zoom lens among Sony E-mount lenses. When I first read about its announcement, I hoped it would soon make its way to the Nikon Z-mount. Alas, Nikon didn’t open its Z-mount technology to Tamron until a year later. The first (and so far, only) lens that Tamron has listed on their website for the Z-mount is the 70-300mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III RXD lens.
Who Would This Lens Be Perfect For?
My current workhorse is the 24-120 F4 Z lens. A lens that even today, astounded me with the sharpness it delivers in almost all scenarios. But there have been days when I wished it was an f2.8 lens at the longer focal length. I suppose I could be tempted to give up 11mm on the wider side if I found myself shooting more between 120-150mm. Keeping it between 35mm and 50mm would be ideal for street photography. At 85mm it’d do a decent job for portraits. And when I need just a little extra focal length, it would still max out at just F2.8.
These are all scenarios that I find myself experiencing whenever I am traveling the world. Especially for this, I think a Nikon Z-mount 35-150mm F/2-2.8 would be the ideal travel photography partner. I could also carry the lightweight 14-30 F4 or 17-28mm F2.8 lens for ultrawide shots. But the 35-150mm could handle most of my photography on the go. Street scenes, travel portraits, and tight landscapes could be handled with aplomb in this focal range.
Does The Nikon Badge Justify A Higher Price Tag?
We’ve seen a few lenses clearly coming from Tamron, being branded as Nikon and having a higher price tag slapped on them. Nikon’s affordable non-S-line trinity of f2.8 zoom lenses comprising the 17-28mm F2.8, the 28-75mm F2.8, and the very recently announced 70-180mm F2.8 lenses are prime examples of this. Design aside, the parameters for communication between these lenses and the Z camera processors would have immense input from Nikon’s R&D teams. But there’s no denying these lenses are essentially just Z-mount versions of existing Tamron lenses.
I Hope Nikon Prices This Right
This brings about a very valid question. Why isn’t Nikon allowing more of these Tamron lenses to remain branded under Tamron’s umbrella? If Nikon prefers having its familiar Z lens look and feel on these lenses, is it really necessary to charge such a premium for them? Given that these lenses already exist in Tamron’s lineup, it’s a dead giveaway that these lenses aren’t unique to Nikon. Then why do loyal Nikon Z-mount users need to shell out hundreds of extra dollars? Isn’t buying an AF adapter like the Megadap ETZ21 and purchasing the cheaper Tamron FE-mount lens more cost-effective?
It’s really nice to see Nikon continuing to churn out more Z-mount lenses from their own factories. We can hope that they allow more 3rd party lenses on this mount system to be branded under their original names.