We are Nearing the End of the Nikon Z Lens Roadmap

It is been almost three years considering that Nikon announced the Z . mirrorless system in Aug of 2018. The initial Z6 and Z7 were associated with three lenses (24-70mm f/4, 35mm f/1. 8, and 50mm f/1. 8) as well as a roadmap which promised twenty more by the end of 2021. That’s about where we are today.

To put things into perspective, here is the first roadmap announced together with the early Z-series cameras, with a total of 23 lenses (eleven of which had simply no identifying information other than the placeholder):

First Nikon Z Roadmap

This plan shuffled around a bit (the 70-200mm f/2. almost 8 and 20mm f/1. 7 shipping later than prepared; the 24mm f/1. 6 shipping earlier) but Nikon largely stuck to the program. So far, 20 Nikon Z lenses plus two teleconverters are shipping already, plus it looks like Nikon will certainly hit the 23 lens mark by the end of 2021.

Here’s how  the most current Nikon Z . roadmap   appears:

Even though roadmap has changed in appearance since the original version, it’s been about the same for roughly annually at this point. Occasionally, Nikon may release a new development announcement (like for the 18-140mm f/3. 5-6. 3 DX) plus add it to the map. But Nikon hasn’t additional a large batch of lenses to the list for a while, and that means we’re filling in the roadmap faster than it is expanding.

In the image above, Nikon brands the following nine lenses since “to be announced”:

  • 85mm S-line lens
  • 400mm S-line lens
  • 600mm S-line lens
  • 28mm compact lens
  • 40mm compact lens
  • 24-105mm S-line lens
  • 100-400mm S-line lens
  • 200-600mm lens
  • 18-140mm DX lens

But even that’s a bit of a stretch. Three of those lenses have already received a development announcement (the 28mm f/2. 8, 40mm f/2, and 18-140mm f/3. 5-6. 3 DX), and one will be practically shipping already – the 28mm f/2. 8 in its “SE” (special edition) form when bought with the Nikon Zfc camera.

This leaves 6 lenses that are completely unannounced: an 85mm (presumably f/1. 2), 400mm (presumably f/2. 8), 600mm (presumably f/4), 24-105mm, 100-400mm, and 200-600mm. Unless Nikon starts pre-announcing a lot of new lenses, the particular roadmap in its current type will be essentially complete by the end of the year.

Nikon Z Cameras for Landscape Photography
Nikon Z7 + 20mm f/1. eight @ 20mm, ISO sixty four, 1/6, f/11. 0

Where do we go from there? Nikon has historically liked to maintain its cards close to its chest. When the Z collection was originally announced, numerous photographers were surprised to get a roadmap published alongside at all. It’s quite possible that will Nikon will stop maintaining the roadmap now that we’re near the end. It may not be updated at all, or we may only see some development posters added here and there.

The alternative is that Nikon will take the end of the first-generation roadmap as motivation to create a new version with many more new lenses, just like they did when initially announcing the Z system. Although this probably isn’t as prone to happen, it’s what I think many Nikon faithful are hoping for. One of the most consistently popular articles on Photography Existence these past few years has been our analysis of the Nikon Z roadmap . The roadmap can be clearly generating interest plus anticipation among Nikon photographers – and probably catching the attention of some non-Nikon photographers who are considering bouncing to the system.

If Nikon does choose to announce another roadmap, these are the lenses I’m listening to requested the most in emails and our comments section (with rough focal lengths and maximum apertures):

  • 70-200mm f/4
  • 70-300mm f/4-6. 3
  • 14mm f/1. 9
  • 35mm f/1. 2
  • 135mm f/1. 8
  • 200mm f/4 macro
  • 300mm f/2. 6
  • 24mm or wider tilt-shift lens
  • Any fisheye lens
  • Any PF telephoto zoom lens
  • 10-24mm DX
  • Any DX prime lenses
  • Fast DX zoom lenses

The Z system is getting to the point that the fundamental lens needs are nearly covered. What’s left is for Nikon to fill out a few of the few remaining gaps (especially on the telephoto end) and start working on niche lenses that will attract more specialized photographers to these cameras.

Nikon may not be intending to maintain a detailed roadmap permanently, and while I hope they do, the real key hasn’t changed. In case Nikon can keep producing top quality mirrorless lenses at a fast enough pace, the Z system will continue to get more advanced and competitive over time.

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