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The Best Lens for the Nikon Z6 II

Rajib Mukherjee Avatar
Rajib Mukherjee
15 October, 2022 • Updated 22 days ago
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The Nikon Z6 II is the updated version of the highly successful Z6. Among all the mirrorless and DSLR cameras currently being sold by Nikon, the Z6 II assumes an important position simply because mirrorless is the future and because the Z6 II’s price and features place it in a sweet spot in the Nikon line-up.

The Z6 II’s 24.5MP full-frame BSI CMOS sensor, dual-EXPEED six image processor, UHD 4K video, and 14 fps continuous shooting speed make this one of the best cameras for both amateurs and professionals alike. If you’re looking for an all-rounder, the Z6 II is one camera that you need to take a look at.

But, like any great camera, the Z6 II requires a great complementary lens. So, today, I will discuss the best lens for the Nikon Z6 II.

Related Post: 10 Best Lens for Nikon Z5

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EDITOR’S PICK
4.9
+470
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Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 SNikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S
  • Fixed aperture of f/2.8 across the focal length
  • Weather sealed design
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $3200
  • Fixed aperture of f/2.8 across the focal length
  • Weather sealed design
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $3200
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TOP PICK
4.8
+150
+150
Nikon NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR SNikon NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S
  • Fixed aperture of f/2.8 across the focal length
  • Multi-focus system powered autofocusing
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $2800
  • Fixed aperture of f/2.8 across the focal length
  • Multi-focus system powered autofocusing
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $2800
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MOST REVIEWED
4.8
+490
+490
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 SNikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S
  • Autofocusing is powered by stepping motor AF technology
  • Lens coating includes a nano coating and super integrated coating layer
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $700
  • Autofocusing is powered by stepping motor AF technology
  • Lens coating includes a nano coating and super integrated coating layer
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $700
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BUDGET PICK
4.8
+100
+100
Nikon NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2Lens
Nikon NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2LensNikon NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2Lens
  • Programmable control ring for quick control
  • Construction includes two aspherical elements
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
  • Programmable control ring for quick control
  • Construction includes two aspherical elements
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
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Best Lenses for the Nikon Z6 II Reviewed

Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S

Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S

Features

  • Weather sealed design
  • Programmable control ring
  • Multi-focus stepping motor powers autofocusing system
  • Designed for the Z mount camera systems
  • f/1.2 maximum aperture
  • OLED panel

The Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.2 S is a full one-stop faster than the Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S that I cover later in this article. A full one-stop extra wide f-stop means you can capture a lot of extra light. This comes in handy when shooting in low-light situations. Another commendable feature is the fast wide aperture that can produce stunning background and foreground blur (bokeh).

In terms of construction, this lens is a decent piece of equipment. Despite the construction using a fair amount of plastic to keep the weight down, the lens still weighs a shade over one kilogram. At the rear of the lens, you will find the lens mount, which is all metal. The lens comes with a weather-sealing gasket that ensures that the lens can work even in inclement weather without any issues. This is one of the largest 50mm primes you will encounter. It’s significantly heavier than the other lenses I have worked with.

17 Lens elements are arranged in 15 groups, including three aspherical elements that suppress spherical aberrations. The lens also has two extra-low dispersion elements that significantly reduce the chances of chromatic aberrations and color fringing in the images.

On top of that, the lens also features ARNEO and nanocrystal coatings that ensure that the lens can withstand the effects of ghosting and flares.

Autofocusing is powered by Nikon’s Multi-focus system that incorporates two separate AF drive units synced to ensure a smooth, fast, and precise autofocusing performance. The manual focusing ring is very responsive to turns and works well.

The lens has a programmable ring, just like any other Z mount Z series lens. This ring can be programmed to control aperture, ISO, exposure compensation, or any of the camera’s other functions.

The 50mm prime is a versatile photography tool. It’s also a great piece of glass for video shooting, thanks to the beautiful bokeh that the lens can produce. I love the shallow depth of field that this lens allows for as it helps me to create those lovely cinematic sequences.

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Pros
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Weather sealed design
  • Programmable control ring for easy access
  • OLED panel offers information on several shooting parameters
Cons
  • Pricey and heavy for a 50mm prime

Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S

Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S

Features

  • Maximum aperture of f/1.8
  • Autofocusing is powered by stepping motor AF technology
  • A programmable control ring ensures you can have easy access to controls
  • Designed for the Z mount series cameras
  • Lens coating includes a nano coating and super integrated coating layer
  • Nine-blade aperture diaphragm

It’s time to look at the Z mount 50mm f/1.8 mentioned above. Despite being a full stop slower than the f/1.2, this lens is a great little tool for shooting a wide variety of subjects. You can capture weddings, street photos, fashion shoots, portrait shots, and everything in between. The only genres you cannot shoot with this lens are wildlife, birding, and sports photography. The lens has nowhere near the kind of optical reach for capturing those genres.

Still, the f/1.8 is good enough for capturing beautiful bokeh in shallow depths of the field shots. But more than anything, this wide-open focal length is handy for shooting stunning low-light photography.

This lens consists of two aspherical elements and two extra-low dispersion elements. The two aspherical elements ensure that the lens can counter the effects of spherical aberrations and distortions. The two extra-low dispersion elements counter chromatic aberrations’ effects and prevent color fringing from messing up the contrast of the images. The overall construction includes 12 elements arranged in 9 groups.

The lens features both a nano crystal and a super-integrated coating. These two coatings ensure that the lens can withstand the effects of flares and ghosting, which can interfere with the image quality. The result is that the images are sharper, and the lens can capture better contrast and color fidelity.

Continuing with the lens’s construction, a weather-sealing gasket ensures that it can hold its own even in inclement weather.

A stepping motor-driven AF technology powers Autofocusing. This technology ensures that the lens can autofocus in a smooth transition and not make jerky movements like in traditional SWM motors.

Pros
  • Smooth autofocusing in video mode
  • Weather sealed construction
  • The maximum aperture is wide open at f/1.8
  • Produces a beautiful background blur
Cons
  • The manual focusing ring is a touch less responsive than others

Nikon NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2Lens

Nikon NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2Lens

Features

  • Stepping motor powers autofocusing technology
  • Programmable control ring for quick control
  • Maximum aperture of f/2
  • Construction includes two aspherical elements
  • Super integrated coating
  • 9-blade aperture diaphragm

This is an inexpensive 40mm prime lens with a maximum aperture of f/2. The f/2 aperture is smaller than the aforementioned f/1.2 aperture, but for all conceivable reasons, the f/2 aperture is fast enough. It can capture a lot of light even in low-light situations, and the shallow depth of field this lens produces is also beneficial for capturing those shallow depth-of-field shots.

The construction of the lens includes six elements arranged in four groups. This is one of the most simplistic designs for a prime lens. Two aspherical elements are included for the suppression of spherical aberrations. A super-integrated coating has also been applied, taking care of flares and ghosting. This results in superior lens performance, including greater color fidelity and contrast, despite the simplistic design.

Their stepping motor-powered autofocusing technology powers autofocusing in the lens. This is smoother than the traditional SWM-driven autofocusing technology. Manual focusing override is also available, which allows you to grab hold of the focusing ring and tweak it to adjust focus at any time.

Speaking of autofocus, there is a programmable ring on this lens, much like most of the other Z mount S series Nikkor lenses. This programmable ring ensures the lens can adjust a series of shooting details. You can control the exposure compensation and manually control focus, aperture, and other shooting parameters.

There are a few disadvantages to this lens too. For one, the lens is constructed mainly of plastic; even the lens mount is made of plastic. This makes this lens less sturdy and reliable than many competitors.

Being a prime lens, it also has some shooting limitations. For example, you can’t zoom, which means you will have to walk for a suitable composition. But on the flip side, the lens’s small size means there will be very little attention drawn towards you, and you could get your compositions while remaining inconspicuous. The other disadvantage is that the lens does not have weather sealing, so you can’t take this lens outdoors in gloomy weather.

Pros
  • Beautiful background blur
  • Programmable control ring for the lens
Cons
  • Heavy use of plastic
  • No weather sealing

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S

Features

  • Weather sealed design
  • Multi-focus stepping motor powers autofocusing
  • ARNEO and nano crystal coatings for suppression of flares and ghosting
  • Maximum aperture of f/4
  • Three aspherical elements
  • Three ED elements
  • Programmable control ring
  • Multi-focus powered stepping motor AF

This general-purpose lens is designed for everyday photography, travel photography, and everything in between. It’s versatile, so you can afford to keep it mounted on your camera and never take it off. The 5x optical zoom is handy for a travel photographer and someone who loves to always have a camera in hand for those fleeting everyday moments.

In terms of construction, this lens is primarily made of plastic. However, the lens mount is made of metal. Close inspection reveals that the lens has a weather-sealing gasket at the rear mount, which should keep environmental elements at bay. There are 16 elements in the lens arranged in 13 groups. These include a combination of three ED elements and one aspherical ED element. There are three aspherical elements as well. Thus, spherical aberrations and chromatic aberrations are very well suppressed.

The programmable control ring is smooth to operate, and you can use it to control the exposure compensation, the ISO, or any other shooting settings. Alternatively, you can choose not to control any of the settings with this control ring.

The barrel of the lens extends when the zoom ring is turned. This must be considered if you use a gimbal or any other stabilization system because you’ll need to recalibrate your stabilizer to maintain the right balance.

Autofocus is very fast, and it finds and locks focus very quickly. The focusing ring is large and smooth to turn and gives full-time manual focusing control. You can grab the large manual focusing ring and twist it to precisely adjust focusing at any time.

Focusing is internal, so the barrel length does not change the lens’s focus. Also, there is a very negligible amount of focus on breathing.

Apart from these, the lens also features an ARNEO coating and a nano crystal coating. This prevents ghosting and reflections, and flares improving the overall sharpness of the image and the color accuracy.

Coming to the performance of the lens, it’s very sharp right in the middle of the frame. Corner sharpness isn’t as good as the middle of the frame when wide open but it’s still decent.

Pros
  • This is a weather-sealed design
  • ARNEO and nano crystal coating
  • Provides good aberration protection
Cons
  • The maximum aperture is locked at f/4
  • The barrel extends when the zoom ring is turned

Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S

Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S

Features

  • Weather sealed design
  • Stepping motor-powered autofocusing technology
  • Constant aperture of f/2.8
  • 16 elements are arranged in 11 groups
  • Four ED elements and three aspherical elements
  • ARNEO and Nano crystal coating are provided in the lens

This wide-angle lens is the stuff of dreams for landscape photographers and those shooting any diverse and large subjects. The 14-24mm focal length means that this lens is wide angle all the way. Sure, this lens has some disadvantages, like you can’t get too close to the action, and you may have to walk a few steps to get a tighter composition. But then again, this isn’t a lens designed for a tighter composition. This lens is designed to shoot landscapes, cityscapes, and other wide-angle shots. The f/2.8 aperture, though not at the same level as some of the f/2, f/1.8, and faster aperture lenses that I have mentioned here, still holds its own when the situation warrants it.

The construction of the lens is top-notch. This lens has a metal mount and good weather sealing. There are a total of 16 elements arranged in 11 groups. It includes four extra-low dispersion elements and three aspherical elements. There are also nano crystal and ARNEO coatings to ensure that the lens can withstand the effects of flares and ghosting.

The lens features a programable control ring towards the end of the barrel. You can set it to control the exposure compensation, aperture, ISO, or anything else you fancy. You can also decide to keep it without any control if it’s not your style.

The manual focusing ring on the lens works without any issues. Autofocusing is very smooth and locks focus very fast. That said, autofocusing does produce a slight whirring noise. This is compensated for in video mode, as autofocusing slows down considerably to become noiseless.

Wide open at 14mm, the lens performs admirably well. The images have a lot of detail, and the sharpness is excellent. Even corners are perfect and sharp. Stopping down does, however, improve corner brightness.

Pros
  • Weather sealing is present on the lens
  • Programmable control ring for easy control of features
Cons
  • No image stabilization built in

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S

Features

  • Fixed aperture of f/2.8 across the focal length
  • Weather sealed design
  • Stepping motor powers autofocusing mechanism
  • ARNEO and nano crystal coating
  • OLED display

The 24 to 70mm focal length is a fantastic optical range because you can shoot wide-angle scenes as well as genres like portrait and street, wedding and fashion, and everything in between.

If you’re a portrait photographer, the 70mm focal length will come in handy—especially the longer end of the focal length. Plus, the f/2.8 aperture produces a beautiful background blur.

The lens has been constructed with ample metal parts and a metal lens mount. A weather-sealing gasket on the lens also ensures that the lens can work in inclement weather without the associated risk of water seepage, dust, and dirt.

There are 17 elements in the lens, including four aspherical elements and two extra-low dispersion elements. On top of that, the lens also features ARNEO and nano crystal and super integrated coatings to ensure the lens delivers high-quality images, higher contrast, and better color fidelity.

Like any other Z mount S series lens, the 24-70mm f/2.8 also has a programmable ring that you can customize to control any shooting parameters. It also has an OLED display that displays whatever information you program the customizable ring to control. So, if you’ve set the customizable ring to control the aperture, the display will show the aperture values. The only noteworthy this is that this feature is declicked. So, if you’re used to a clicking aperture ring, you will initially find the ring a little weird to get used to.

Focusing is very fast, and manual focusing is also very smooth thanks to the manual focusing ring, which is electronically coupled with the focusing motor. A little bit of focus breathing is evident when you manually adjust the focus.

The lens is very sharp in the middle of the frame, wide open, and shooting at 24mm. Corners tend to be a little soft. Stopping down the lens improves corner sharpness by a little bit.

Pros
  • Diverse focal length
  • Weather sealed construction
Cons
  • One of the more expensive zoom lenses that I have listed here
  • A little bit of focus breathing is present

Nikon NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S

Nikon NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S

Features

  • Fixed aperture of f/2.8 across the focal length
  • Excellent focal length of 70-200mm
  • Weather-sealed design
  • Multi-focus system powered autofocusing
  • Designed for Z mount camera system

Designed as a medium telephoto lens for the Nikkor Z mount camera system, the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S is a fantastic lens for the discerning photographer. The 70-200mm shoots excellent portrait photography as it covers all the best focal lengths (85mm, 105mm, and 135mm) for shooting portrait photos.

The construction of the lens includes 21 elements arranged in 18 groups. These include six extra-low dispersion elements to suppress chromatic aberrations and color fringing. One fluorite element and one short-wave refractive index element also help suppress color fringing and chromatic aberrations.

Additionally, two aspherical elements suppress spherical aberrations. Finally, ARNEO and nano crystal coatings ensure that the lens can withstand the effects of flares and ghosting, improving your images’ overall contrast and color fidelity. All these features are further complemented by corner-to-corner sharpness.

Autofocusing is powered by a multi-focus system that incorporates two separate AF drives. These two are synced to ensure that the lens offers a fast and accurate AF performance. The stepping motor technology is very quiet and is great for someone looking to shoot videos or not frighten subjects.

The rubberized front ring is the manual focusing ring. It’s worth noting that the lens does not extend when focusing.

There is a programmable control ring like on most other mirrorless Z-mount lenses that Nikon has made in recent years. This control ring turns very smoothly too. You can use this for any exposure controls, including aperture, ISO, or other shooting settings like exposure compensation, focusing distance, etc. Overall, this is one of my favorite lenses to have and pair with the Nikon Z6 II.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality with a weather-sealed gasket
  • Silent autofocusing
  • Built-in vibration reduction feature
Cons
  • One of the priciest lenses on this list

Nikon NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S

Nikon NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S

Features

  • Weather-sealed construction
  • Nano crystal coating and super integrated layer
  • Stepping motor powers autofocusing
  • Two ED elements
  • Nany crystal and super integrated coatings

This is a fantastic lens for shooting portrait photography. You cannot do without this lens if you’re a portrait photographer on the Nikon Z platform. The maximum aperture of this lens is f/1.8 and allows you to get sharp portrait photos with the right perspective with minimum effort and less-than-ideal lighting. The 85mm is widely considered the best focal length for portrait photography.

The lens has been designed with many plastic elements, yet it appears well-made and feels solid in the hands. The lens mount is made of metal and comes with rear weather sealing that protects the lens against moisture and dust.

Autofocusing is powered by a multi-focus stepping motor AF system. This ensures that the lens can lock focus very smoothly and accurately. Additionally, the lens does not make much noise when acquiring focus. If you’re planning on shooting videos, this lens will help you get clean footage without any metallic whirring sound that many photographers have had to gripe with.

The extensive manual focusing features are easy to operate. It provides smooth operation and allows you to lock focus manually. That said, we have noticed some amount of focus breathing. As you turn the manual focusing ring, you will notice that the lens zooms in and out.

One thing to note about this lens is that image stabilization isn’t built in. I don’t think that would be a significant problem because the Z6 II has a built-in image stabilization system, so the 85mm f/1.8 S becomes image stabilized automatically.

Now about the optical capability of the lens. The lens is optically sharp; even when you’re shooting wide open at f/1.8. That said, we have seen lenses sharper than the 85mm f/1.8 S. I have noticed some vignetting at the corners when shooting at the widest aperture. This is, however, no major reason to discount the lens.

Pros
  • Weather sealing ensures protection from moisture and dust
  • Programmable control ring for precise control over shooting parameters
Cons
  • Focus breathing is present
  • There is no programmable control ring
  • The lens does not have built-in image stabilization

Nikon NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S

Nikon NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S

Features

  • A stepping motor powers autofocusing
  • Weather-sealed construction
  • Programmable control ring
  • Three aspherical elements
  • Maximum aperture of f/1.8
  • Two ED elements
  • Designed for the full frame Z mount camera system

This standard prime lens is a versatile piece of optic. You can take this lens and apply its optical capabilities to several shooting situations across several genres. You can use this as your primary street photography lens or you can use this lens for shooting weddings, group photos, landscapes, and other genres.

This lens is designed out of 11 elements arranged in nine groups. The lens has two extra-low dispersion elements and three aspherical elements that suppress the effects of chromatic aberrations, color fringing, and spherical aberrations.

Additionally, the lens has a nano crystal coating and a super-integrated coating. Together these elements ensure that the lens can bypass the effects of flares and ghosting, which is otherwise normal when working in difficult lighting situations.

Autofocusing is powered by a stepping motor-powered mechanism that’s very smooth and delivers precise focusing performance. The manual focusing system with a full-time manual focusing override ensures you can grab hold of the focusing ring and tweak it to adjust focus at any given time. I have noticed that the manual focusing ring lags a little when you turn it.

Coming down to the lens’s performance, I have noticed that the corners are slightly soft when shooting with a wide-open aperture of f/1.8. If you stop down the lens to f/2.8, there is a noticeable jump in corner sharpness. Along with that, the contrast improves too. Looking at the center of the frame, the lens performance improves over the performance seen at f/1.8. Stopping down the lens even more to something like f/4 improves the overall performance.

Pros
  • Weather sealed design
  • Programmable control ring
Cons
  • The manual focusing ring lags a bit when tweaked

Nikon NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8 S

Nikon NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8 S

Features

  • The maximum aperture of f/1.8
  • Weather sealed design
  • AF is powered by a stepping motor
  • Includes three extra-low dispersion elements
  • Three aspherical elements

I love a wide-angle prime. I am particularly interested in anything shorter than 50mm with a fast aperture. It’s neither too wide to be rectilinear and therefore challenging to manage when working with straight lines, nor is it too long not to be able to work within tight situations. I believe the 20mm is an excellent lens if you’re shooting with the Z6 II because the high resolution and the ability to work the acute angles make it an ideal combination for shooting real estate and landscape photography.

The lens’s construction includes 14 elements arranged in 11 groups. These include three aspherical elements and three extra-low dispersion elements. Together these elements suppress spherical and chromatic aberrations, respectively. Color fringing is also suppressed.

In terms of the material used, the lens is made mainly of plastic. There is a metal-made lens mount and rear gasket sealing, which ensures that the lens can withstand the vagaries of nature and dust. On top of that, the lens also features a nano crystal coating and a super-integrated coating. These elements ensure that flares and ghosting do not affect your image’s color saturation and contrast.

Autofocusing on the lens is powered by a multi-focus mechanism. Two separate AF drives use the stepping motor technology. The stepping motor technology ensures that the autofocusing performance is smooth and precise. The lens incorporates an internal focusing mechanism, meaning the barrel length does not change when the lens focuses.

Additionally, the lens features a full-time manual focusing override. This is very handy when you want to quickly grab hold of the focus ring and manually adjust the focus according to your requirement.

There is also a programable control ring. As I have already mentioned, that ring can be programmed to control any shooting function.

Pros
  • Fast maximum aperture
  • Nice bokeh and shallow depth of field capabilities
  • Weather sealing enables the use of the lens in inclement weather
  • Programmable control ring
Cons
  • Focus breathing is present to a degree
Rajib Mukherjee Avatar
Written by
Rajib Mukherjee
Rajib is an avid travel photographer and an overall shutterbug. The first time he ever clicked an image was with an Agfa Click IV back in 1984. A medium format film camera. From that auspicious introduction to photography, he has remained hooked to this art form. He loves to test and review new photography gear. Rajib travels quite a lot, loves driving on Indian roads, playing fetch with his Labrador retriever, and loves photography. And yes, he still proudly owns that Agfa Click IV!