Lens review

Nikon Nikkor Z 26 mm f/2.8

16 May 2023
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

Nowadays few companies decide to produce pancake-type lenses; that's why you won't see a great number of such models in our chart. The tested Nikkor is stacked up against its older 28 mm brother and also instruments produced by Leica and Voigtlander. As you can notice, the Nikkor Z 26 mm f/2.8 is physically the lightest and the shortest in this group. As it features a mount with a big diameter, it is also quite wide.

In the photo below the Nikkor Z 26 mm f/2.8 is positioned between the Voigtlander Apo Lanthar 2/50 and the Sigma C 17 mm f/4 DG DN.

Nikon Nikkor Z 26 mm f/2.8 - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount which surrounds contacts and a plastic, black 24x21 mm frame that is also properly matted. On this frame you find information that the lens was produced in Thailand. Right under the frame you see a rear element, 28 mm in diameter. It moves, hiding inside the casing over 0.5 cm deep with the lens set at the minimum focusing distance, and revealing parts of a properly blackened inner tube. As you see you can't talk about the lens being properly sealed.

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Nikon Nikkor Z 26 mm f/2.8 - Build quality

A black, plastic ring which doesn't move is the first part of the tested Nikkor's proper barrel. It's just 13 mm in diameter and on its surface you can find a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, and an inscription with parameters of the lens. On the other side you can find the lens's serial number, and the focusing mechanism working range (∞-0.20 m/0.66ft). Looking from the above, on the left you also notice the logo of the producer.

Nikon Nikkor Z 26 mm f/2.8 - Build quality

Then you find a manual focus ring, just 11 mm wide. It is a focus-by-wire construction that moves smoothly, and is properly damped. It comes without any distance or depth-of-field scale.

Its focus throw depends strongly on the speed of your turning – it amounts to 45 deg if you move the ring fast, when you turn it slower you are able to reach even over 160-170 degrees, a value that allows you very precise settings. It's also worth noticing that the change of the focus is done at intervals even if you move the ring very smoothly, a feature that certainly won't please video-recording users.

Nikon Nikkor Z 26 mm f/2.8 - Build quality

The front element is small, just 10 mm in diameter, and it moves: with the focus set at infinity it is positioned at the same level as the rest of the casing and when you pass to the minimum focusing distance it extends on a small tube about 6 mm forward. The element is surrounded by a black casing with ribs. The tube, inside which it is positioned, is surrounded additionally by a part of the casing with inscriptions stating the name and parameters of the lens and a non-rotating filter thread, 52 mm in diameter.

Nikon Nikkor Z 26 mm f/2.8 - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 8 elements positioned in 6 groups. Inside you can find as many as three aspherical elements, along with an aperture with seven diaphragm blades that can be closed down to a value of f/16 at the maximum.

Buyers get in the box with the lens: two caps, and a specific hood.

Nikon Nikkor Z 26 mm f/2.8 - Build quality