Nikon & Their Mirrorless Lens Roadmap – Will There Be An Update Soon?
When the Z series was launched, a LOT of buzz was behind it. Finally, Nikon was branching into the mirrorless world, starting to compete with the likes of Sony, Fuji, and Panasonic with a “pro” level system. Along with that launch was a roadmap leading into 2021, but with a LOT of empty “TBA” spaces. The last update we saw was back in January of 2019 when it showed 3 lenses slotted for 2020 and 4 empty slots….and well…a LOT more empty beyond that.
So far, Nikon has kept up with it’s projections, (we still have 4 more months to the 2019 year), with 2 lenses still to be officially released and 1, the 58mm f/0.95 Noct, listed as current, but still hanging on the site with a “coming soon.” We should also point out that even though there’s no “official” confirmation on the details for that Noct lens, it’s rumored to be released this fall with a super-affordable price tag of up-to $8,000 US! (Insert sarcasm sound on that “super-affordable” part. but still….wow I wanna get hands on with that thing). But, considering the Leica Noct 50mm f/0.95 cine lense is about $16K, this one for the Nikon is literally 1/2 the price. (In case you missed it, that was the sound of me justifying it to my credit card and bank).
Like many of you Nikon shooters out there, i’ve been hanging on to this list with baited breath. Waiting patiently for updates and hints as to what’s coming to fill in the gaps on the native lenses so I can eventually leave my FTZ adapter behind when packing my kit. Granted, there have been a plethora of announcements lately of 3rd party companies launching lenses for the mirrorless world, but like most, we want to keep that branding on point as much as possible.
[Related Reading: Nikon Z6 Wins Best Camera of the Year – See Other Major 2019 EISA Winners]
So what’s this mean for Nikon and their currently slightly dusty roadmap? Well, we’re hoping that the rumor of the Noct lens release this September is true, and when that lens launches we SHOULD get an update on the rest of the 2019 and at least part of the 2020 schedule. Since the majority of the “holy trinity” basic glass has been released and/or scheduled for a nearby release, moving forward we’re likely to start seeing some of the more “Niche” lenses.
[Related Reading: Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S Review | Is this Nifty Fifty Worth $600?]
Realistically, it’d be smart for Nikon to start working on lenses that would benefit from the larger mount and mirrorless system they’ve developed with the Z rather than just filling in the gaps of the F1.4, and F1.2 versions of the already released lenses. Lenses that could get smaller and sharper if made with this new system. Some that come to mind would be a pro-sumer level super-zoom like the 24-120mm f4-6.3 or 24-200mm type lens that could sit in the “affordable” under 1500$ mark that could pair with the rumored “Consumer” body that may be coming soon. Or maybe, they’ll go the route of the “Unicorn” and make more lenses for the pro level like the Noct 58mm and create a flagship 180-400mm type lens to pair with a new rumored flagship pro body, or perhaps some Macro glass like a 105mm. Better yet, why not really take advantage of the larger mounts and build a super wide fish-eye!
Sure these are all pretty random options, but I think it’ll be advantageous for Nikon to make some obscure glass to fit natively on the Z system to start creating some truly unique images! It’s either that, or just continuing to create more of the same selection of lenses at sharper apertures than the current 1.8 line ups. Which, don’t get me wrong, is great! But i’d like to see more variety in the types of lenses rather than just more of the same with sharper glass at this point.
How about you? What you do you think will be next up on the list? Any projections and wishes for the mirrorless glass? Think we’ll see a line up of f2 and 1.4? Or do you think we’ll start seeing some new “Unicorns” pop up?
In the meantime, we just got our hands on the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 14-30mm f/4 lenses for the Z system, so stay tuned for our full reviews on those lenses soon!