Lens review

Nikon Nikkor Z 40 mm f/2.0

26 November 2021
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between basic parameters of different 35-45 mm lenses designed for full frame mirrorless cameras that are as fast as f/1.8 or slower. A very simple optical construction of the Nikkor sticks out at once – the lens features just six elements while the Sony, a slower lens aperture-wise, has nine of them. Still, a small number of elements doesn't mean the lens is physically the lightest. The faster Samyang weighs less than the Nikkor and the Sony is almost equally heavy.

In the photo below the Nikkor Z 40 mm f/2 is positioned between the reflex camera Canon EF 35 mm f/2 IS USM and the Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D, mentioned in our introduction.

Nikon Nikkor Z 40 mm f/2.0 - Build quality

The lens starts wit a mount made of plastics that surrounds contacts and a black 30×23 mm frame that hides an immobile rear element, 29 mm in diameter. Everything is nicely blackened and matted here and the lens remains weather-sealed at the same time.

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Nikon Nikkor Z 40 mm f/2.0 - Build quality

The proper barrel of the lens starts with a ring made of plastics that doesn't move; it features the name and parameters of the lens, its serial number, the logo of the producer, information that the lens was made in Thailand and its minimum focusing distance that amounts to 0.29m/0.96ft.

Nikon Nikkor Z 40 mm f/2.0 - Build quality

A ribbed manual focus ring, 16 mm wide, is the next part of the lens. It's a focus-by-wire construction that doesn't feature any markings, distance or DOF scale but is properly damped. Its focus throw amounts to an angle of about 110 degrees when you turn it fast but it can increase to even 270 degrees if you move the ring slower. These values ensure you a good precision of settings.

Nikon Nikkor Z 40 mm f/2.0 - Build quality

The front element of the Nikkor Z 2/40 doesn't move and is 22 mm in diameter. It is surrounded by a part of the barrel with inscriptions stating the parameters of the lens and a non-rotating filter thread, 52 mm in diameter. The lens doesn't have any hood mount.

Nikon Nikkor Z 40 mm f/2.0 - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction it can be called very simple – just 6 elements positioned in 4 groups. Even the elderly Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D was more complex, featuring 6 elements in 5 groups. Of course you should mention the fact that the construction of the Nikkor Z 40 mm f/2 features two aspherical elements – they certainly made it more difficult to produce. Apart from that you get an aperture with 9 blades so here the situation is a bit better than in case of two cheap 50 mm f/1.8 devices.

Nikon Nikkor Z 40 mm f/2.0 - Build quality

Buyers get in the box with the lens just two caps – a very modest accessory kit indeed. After all the much cheaper Nikkor AF-S 50 mm f/1.8G featured also a hood and a case that was defintely more robust than a thin piece of cloth.

Nikon Nikkor Z 40 mm f/2.0 - Build quality