Nikon Quietly Unveils Two New Z Mount Lenses Alongside Z9 Announcement

Nikon has announced the upcoming release of two new Z series lenses: the Nikon Z 24-120mm f/4 S and the Nikon Z 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 VR S.

Although these lenses haven’t received much press, standing in the shadow of the huge Z9 announcement, they are useful lenses that hold a valuable place in the Z mount line-up. 

Nikon has not yet released a full rundown of specifications and detailed build pictures, but the company has given some details as to the key specifications and features, before the full announcement due in early 2022. 

NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S

The 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 has become a photographer favourite in recent years. From the Canon EF version through to the Sony FE mount model, for most camera brands it has been one of their best selling telephoto zoom lenses.

Until now, Nikon users have only had third party 100-400mm lenses to choose from. But, alongside the announcement of the new Z9, Nikon has announced the upcoming NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S. 

The NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S is the first super-telephoto zoom model in the NIKKOR Z S-Line lineup. As part of this lineup, Nikon promises for the lens to deliver optimal quality with the best optics it has to offer, with all of the optical coatings that users have come to expect from high-end NIKKOR glass.

Nikon claims that the lens will deliver “outstanding resolution from maximum aperture while thoroughly reducing colour bleeding and fringing”.

Nikon also states that, despite being a super-telephoto lens that covers a broad focal-length range, it is capable of “the shortest minimum focus distance in its class” at just 0.75m, with a maximum magnification of 0.38x.

© saizou – example photo from Nikon press release.

The new 100-400mm lens is designed to be compact in design, and as such is claiming the title of “the lightest weight in its class”, weighing in at 1,355 grams.

The compact size and versatility make the lens ideal for outdoor photographers on the move, as it can be carried around for a long period of time with less burden.

The light weight of the lens is made more impressive with the inclusion of a Nikon VR image stabilisation system, and the inclusion of two control rings and function buttons in the lens build.  

Additionally, the lens houses “inner balance technology”, which is a first for Nikon lenses. This technology reduces the shifting centre of gravity when the lens opens and closes, as users zoom in and out of the focal range. 

The lens features one of the most complex designs ever seen in a Nikon lens, built up from 25 elements in 20 groups.

NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S

Another camera bag essential, day-to-day lens for many photographers is the 24-70mm, or perhaps the 24-105mm lenses.

Well, the new Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S packs that focal range and then some, giving a little extra wiggle room to push closer when framing subjects. 

Weighing in at an impressive 630 grams (just 130 grams heavier than the NIKKOR 24-70, while packing an extra 50mm of focal range), it seems an obvious choice for photographers who are travelling, or are on the move and wanting to carry a consolidated kit bag.

Much like the 100-400, the new 24-120 has a maximum magnification of 0.39x, making it a versatile lens that can cover most subjects, from landscapes through to close-up and portrait photography. 

As expected in an S-Line lens, the 24-120mm features “dust and drip” resistance, again making it an ideal travel lens for outdoor photographers who need additional protection when working in the elements. 

The lens uses a multi-focusing system that utilises two STMs (stepping motors), apparently enabling fast, precise, and quiet autofocusing operation, ideal for both photography and videos. 

© Erik McRitchie – example photo from Nikon press release.

The lens employs three ED glass elements, one aspherical element, and three aspherical lens elements in the optical system, with Nikon original Nano Crystal Coat and ARNEO Coat applied throughout, in order to minimise ghosting and flare in difficult and backlit lighting situations. 

Mount Adapter FTZ II

The Mount Adapter FTZ II is designed for users who own NIKKOR F lenses from traditional Nikon DSLR camera bodies. It has been developed to allow users to continue using their legacy lenses with the new Nikon Z mount mirrorless system as much as possible.

By removing the tripod mounting collar from the original adapter, the new adapter apparently provides a streamlined design at a lighter weight, and ensures stable holding in vertical shooting, as well as unobstructed pairing with various accessories.

The new adapter fully supports approximately 360 NIKKOR F lenses, including AF, AE, and VR support, with a full list being released with the adapter. 


The new lenses are available for pre-order from most online and high street vendors and are priced as follows:

  • The NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S will begin shipping before the end of 2021 and is priced at £2699 UK and $2696 US.
  • The Nikon Z 24-120mm f4 S will also begin shipping before the end of 2021 and is priced at £1099 UK and $1096 US.
  • The Nikon FTZ II Adapter is also due to begin shipping before end of 2021 for £249 UK and $249 US

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Joe is a photographer, camera and drone operator with a focus on conservation and the natural world. Having worked for a number of wildlife and conservation NGOs, Joe is now working for the BBC NHU on an upcoming landmark series.

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