The Nikkor Z 26mm f/2.8 pancake has been a polarizing lens. Those who really like it, such as myself, appreciate its compactness and terrific image quality. While others think it's too slow focusing and noisy.
After spending some time with this wide angle on my Nikon Zf full-frame mirrorless camera, I can say that the 26mm has been wonderful for travel, street photography, and events. Let's take a closer look to see what you think.
What I Like About the Nikkor Z 26mm
- Compact (0.9" long)
- Wide Angle of View (79 degrees)
- Bright Maximum Aperture (f/2.8)
- Dust and Drip Resistant
- Metal Lens Mount and Solid Construction
- Outstanding Center Sharpness
- Close Focusing Capability Is Very Useful
- Includes Clever Lens Hood and Slip-On Cap
- Looks Fantastic on the Nikon Zf
What I Don't Like About the Nikkor Z 26mm
- Pricy ($496)
Some reviewers have complained about the focusing noise. Yes, you can hear it - not so much on the street, but sitting in a quiet room. So I would say that this isn't an optic for weddings and funerals. But for my purposes, noise isn't an issue.
Another complaint I've read is that it is slow-focusing. For example, if you compare it to the Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S ($626 and 3" long), the 26mm will be slower. It's even slower than my Nikkor Z 24mm-50mm zoom. That being said, I don't think I lost one shot in San Francisco due to its focusing ability. My recommendation is that you don't use it for fast-action photography.
Photography is about tradeoffs - figuring out what you need for a shoot, and what you can live without. In my view, the Nikkor Z 26mm f/2.8 is well-suited for travel photography, urban work, and most events. Its pluses are compactness, a relatively fast aperture, and excellent sharpness.
Once you recover from having spent $200 more than you would have for the Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 lens, you're likely going to be happy with your investment. The 26mm f/2.8 is a gem of a lens. It makes full-frame photography so much more portable. And the images it produces are beautiful.
A Few Pictures with the Nikkor Z 26mm on a Nikon Zf
Photos by Derrick Story.