Is the NIKKOR Z 17-28mm f/2.8 a Good Option for Filmmakers?

Is the NIKKOR Z 17-28mm f/2.8 a Good Option for Filmmakers?
Credit: Nikon
The NIKKOR Z 17-28mm f/2.8 wide-angle zoom is an affordable full-frame lens option. But who is this lens for?

Vintage Nikon lenses are some of the best glass around, with some of its AI-S lenses being rehoused for cinema use. Remember all the stop-motion work in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? All that was done using a Nikon lens. With its Z-series camera, Nikon has made its way into the world of mirrorless cameras, and the lenses in its lineup are some pretty interesting pieces of tech. 

Recently, Nikon announced a new full-frame zoom lens, the NIKKOR Z 17-28mm f/2.8. It's a nice wide-angle lens that pairs well with the other NIKKOR Z full-frame lenses. While it's not designed for cinema use, the quality of its predecessors seems to be ready to support photographers and video shooters alike.

Let's dive in a bit more.   

The NIKKOR Z 17-28mm f/2.8

The new NIKKOR Z 17-28mm f/2.8 full frame lens is a compact lens, weighing in at just 15.9 ounces (450 g), and is a solid choice for capturing some nice wide-angle shots. Think landscapes, or the inside of a room, office, etc.

Credit: Nikon

The lens features a high-speed STM (stepping motor), a fixed aperture of f/2.8, and a smooth control ring giving creatives subtle control over zooms while filming. There's a 67mm filter thread, and it has a minimum focusing distance of 7.56 inches (19.2 cm).

It’s part of the affordable f/2.8 NIKKOR line of zoom lenses, giving creatives a lot of options without breaking the bank. It pairs perfectly with the 28-75mm f/2.8 zoom lens.

Night image taken with the NIKKOR f/2.8 17-28mm full frame zoom lensCredit: Nikon

Given how wide it is at 17-28mm (especially on a full-frame sensor), it's ideal for those in real estate photography and videography. If you're feeling extra creative, you can channel your inner Terrence Malick. Filmmakers and photographers will also appreciate being able to get a master shot, either inside or out, with enough range in the focal length to cover at least 3 prime lenses. Since it also opens to f/2.8, it can be used for night shots.

The NIKKOR Z 17-28mm f/2.8 full frame lens will arrive in late October at a fairly affordable price of $1,199.95, given its features.

Learn more at Nikon’s site.

NIKKOR History and Future

​Nikon has a very rich history when it comes to NIKKOR glass. There are lenses built in the 70s that photographers and even filmmakers and production pros are still using to this day.

NIKKOR lenses came before Nikon cameras, with the first glass released in 1933. Over the next decades, NIKKOR was a pioneer with a massive release of quality lenses, including the world's first telephoto lens for still cameras in 1959, internal focus (IF) introduced in 1975 to keep the size and weight lower on large lenses, and the start of Phase Fresnel (PF) lens elements in 2015 to ensure lenses are lighter in weight. 

NIKKOR and Nikon dream setCredit: Nikon

What used to make NIKKOR glass a must-buy was their longevity. Even the lenses used on Nikon's entry-level mirrorless and DSLRs.

I have an uncle who buys a new full-frame Nikon every five years and still uses the same manual lenses my grandpa bought nearly 50 years ago. Will these new Z-mount lenses be the same? Or are they just another series of clinical mirrorless lenses? Time will tell. Until then, we have a long roadmap to look forward to. 

Check out the history section on the NIKKOR page to learn even more about the brand’s history. It’s really fascinating.

And if you're a Nikon shooter, let us know in the comments what you think of the new Z-series and Z-mount lenses!     

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1 Comment

This lens is from a Tamron collaboration. It’s a good price-performance ratio.

I’m a prime fella, and I love filming on Nikons 20mm f/1.8. It’s hard to go wrong with Z glass.

September 30, 2022 at 5:04AM

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