Nikon has had at least a couple of all-in-one lenses for their DSLRs. These have their shortcomings, but often prove appealing to amateurs, thanks to their large focal range capabilities. So far, only one of these lenses exists in the Nikon Z mirrorless lineup. That might change in 2024 according to a recent report. And if the specs are right, this could be their best one yet.
One of the prosumer lenses from Nikon that we most enjoyed reviewing was their Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR. Boasting an impressive 8x zoom capability, this lens is lightweight, equipped with commendable weather sealing, and delivers more than satisfactory image results. All this for under USD 900. In my opinion, this lens makes for an excellent travel companion for amateur photographers embarking on long holidays. Pair it with a decent low-light performer like the Nikon Z5, and you probably won’t feel the need to carry any other lenses with you.
Yet, not every traveler finds contentment with a maximum zoom of 200mm. Having often travelled with just a 24-70mm and maybe a 70-200mm too (both heavy lenses), there are instances when I’ve personally yearned for the reach of a 70-300mm lens to capture landmarks and mountain ranges with greater detail. If you’ve shared this desire for extended zoom capabilities, Nikon’s forthcoming lens is one to watch closely.
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What’s Coming Up?
According to a new update by NikonRumors, a Z 28-400mm f/3.5-6.3 lens could be on the way from Nikon soon. Known for its reliable and accurate insights into Nikon’s upcoming products, they suggest a potential announcement in 2024. This lens isn’t on Nikon’s current roadmap aligning with a statement Mark Cruz, Senior Marketing Manager at Nikon USA, about them not releasing any more such roadmaps. Much like what he said in this interview, this could be a “pleasant surprise” when it is released next year. I know a lot of amateur and mid-level photographers would be pleased with such a lens.
400mm Benefits For Travelers
The 4mm you’re sacrificing at the wider end (compared to the 24-200mm) is a small price to pay for the additional 200mm you’d be gaining on the longer end. This is a massive bonus when you consider that you can carry just one lens. It could also be at the same f6.3 aperture as the 24-200mm lens,. We’re now talking about many possibilities when you’re going around the world. Tight shots of the full moon juxtaposed against famous landmarks. Ice-capped mountain ranges filling the frame. Go from taking a shot of the whole of the Burj Khalifa to just the tip of it, without having to change lenses. Look down from the Top Of The Rock and photograph street life below in NYC.
Being able to shoot the same landscape at a wide angle and shoot it tighter from afar for a different perspective gives an excellent balance to your travel photos of a city. When you’re on the go for days at a stretch, you’ll really begin to appreciate not having too much gear on your hands. If you use a high-megapixel camera like the Nikon Z7 or Z8, you’d benefit even further with more room for cropping. Not a fan of cropping? Then pair this lens with a DX line body like the Nikon Zfc to get an effective 42-600mm focal range. Could you possibly need more zoom when taking a foreign trip or hiking to a nearby mountainside?
Probably Not An S-Line Lens
Just as the Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR wasn’t an S-line lens, it would be foolhardy to assume this one would be. Still, seeing how sharp the image results from the former were, I have no doubts this lens would produce similar results. I can’t imagine it won’t be expensive; it it could probably be twice as expensive as the 24-200mm. But it’s nice to see that Nikon hasn’t limited themselves to drawing the line at 300mm, like what was done with their AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED and AF-S FX NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G F-mount lenses. These weren’t exactly top performers in the image quality segment, but they gave a large focal range for Nikon DSLR users who preferred an all-in-one lens.
Managing multiple lenses while on holiday can be challenging, especially in public spaces where the risk of theft is a concern. The bigger the bag, the more likely you are to be a target for pickpockets too, who nowadays seem to understand that cameras and lenses can fetch a pretty penny. And of course, there’s the scenario where a perfect frame lines up, only for it to go away by the time you’ve swapped out for a longer zoom lens. For mirrorless users seeking a convenient all-in-one solution for their adventures, a 28-400mm f/3.5-6.3 lens would be ideal. Not only would this eliminate the need for constant lens changes, it would help bring down the weight of your gear considerably.
The lead image for the article shows a silhouetted mockup of the Z 28-400mm f/3.5-6.3 against a screenshot of a lens lineup from NikonUSA