Lens review

Nikon Nikkor Z 40 mm f/2.0

Nikon Nikkor Z 40 mm f/2.0
26 November 2021
Maciej Latałło

1. Introduction

In the era dominated by digital reflex cameras every producer wanted rather badly to feature at least one cheap fixed focal length lens in their line-up in order to show beginner photographers the advantages of such optical instruments.

In case of Nikon it was the Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D, launched in February 2002 and sold for almost a decade, a very well-put-together optical construction. What's the most important, it was also cheap - you could buy it for a sum of about $130. In 2011 we were shown its successor, the Nikkor AF-S 50 mm f/1.8G. The number of elements was increased by one and, additionally, you got one aspherical element and an SWM autofocus motor. The price also increased to near $220 but still that lens could be called relatively cheap.

When the mirrorless Nikon Z system was launched on the market I was curious what the approach toward cheap fixed focal length lenses would be. After all, Nikon started to build the new system from relatively expensive fixed focal lenght instruments as fast as f/1.8, not leaving a lot of room for cheap models with similar aperture fastness.

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The answer was given in September 2021. Instead of 1.8/50 parameters we got 2/40 – most likely because the company didn't want to duplicate three 50 mm instruments, already being the part of the system. It was a very sensible move, especially that the 40 mm focal length provides a more universal angle of view getting more fans of photography interested in such a lens.

Still, you get here also a slower aperture, a barrel made completely of plastics (it's worth reminding here that both cheap Nikkors 1.8/50 featured metal mounts) and a higher price, increased to over $265. Is the Nikkor Z 40 mm f/2 a lens worth recommending nevertheless? We hope next chapters will provide the answer – enjoy your reading!

We would like to thank Nikon for lending us one specimen of the lens so we could test it properly.

You are also invited to get acquainted with our test procedure, described in the article "How do we test lenses?" If you feel it’s still not enough, please go to our FAQ section where you can find some further explanation.

Nikon Nikkor Z 40 mm f/2.0 - Introduction

Nikon Nikkor Z 40 mm f/2.0 - Introduction