- Well constructed lens with nice finish and weathersealing
- Extremely compact and lightweight for an f/2.8 telephoto zoom
- Very fast and accurate autofocus
- Very good sharpness wide open and excellent across the frame stopped down
- Generally pleasing bokeh
- Good control of chromatic aberration
- Excellent color and contrast
- Minimal flare and ghosting
- Takes Nikon Z teleconverters
- No image stabilization
- Baked in distortion correction
- Close-up feature is limited to 70mm, and is only usable in the center of the frame
- Nikon uses a slightly slower focus motor than the linear motors Tamron used in their version of the lens
The Nikkor Z 70-180mm f/2.8 is ultimately a Nikon-clad launch of the Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 on the Z mount. As such, the lens doesn’t break any new ground, but it is very much a welcome addition to the Nikon Z system. I have always enjoyed shooting with f/2.8 telezooms, but until the original 70-180mm f/2.8 on E-mount, I never liked carrying them around. While some people have no issue having a 1.5kg lens in their bag every day, I simply love having a compact and lightweight lens that still provides the excellent subject separation and versatility of an f/2.8 telezoom.
The Nikon-specific exterior is a step up from the original Tamron version, with a high quality polycarbonate build with a nice texture. The optics are familiar and good, with good to excellent sharpness at f/2.8 that improves when stopped down. Bokeh is overall very nice, while falling short of the best lenses in the category. Add good control of aberrations and the ability to use Nikon Z teleconverters, and you’ve got a winning package. Definitely recommended.
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