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The Finest Nikon Z Lenses for Portrait Pictures


If you shoot portraits and use the Nikon camera system, then you’re probably really happy. The colors can be really pleasant in the right situations. You’d also be one of the folks who owns one of the best Nikon Z lenses for portrait photography. Some of you are probably still trying to figure it out though. So we’re rounding up a bunch of the best Nikon Z lenses for portrait photography that we’ve tested. Dive in with us.

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The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

How We Chose the Best Nikon Z Lenses for Portrait Photography

  • Our roundups include only products we’ve fully reviewed. You’ll never see a product that we haven’t fully reviewed in a roundup. We’re linking to each of our reviews as well.
  • This roundup of the best Nikon Z lenses for portrait photography only has lenses that can deliver what a photojournalist needs.
  • All of the best Nikon Z lenses for portrait photography are weather resistant. Our torture tests are often some of the most renowned in the photo industry.
  • For the most part, we’re recommending the Nikon mirrorless full-frame lenses on the higher end. The Nikon autofocus has improved over the years.
  • Portrait photography is best done with face and eye detection. These lenses will surely help you get everything you need.
  • The product images and sample images in this roundup of the best Nikon Z lenses for portrait photography were all shot by our staff of photographers.

Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 S

Pros

  • Sharp image quality
  • Weather sealing
  • Smallish size
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • It’s held back by Nikon’s autofocusing abilities (or lack thereof), but they’ve gotten better.

How’s the Image Quality?

In our review, we state:

“The photographers who most likely will be springing for the Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 are portrait photographers. However, we also have to make an exception for those who like to take candids while feeling like they’re a fly on the wall. An 85mm lens does a great job with that. With this in mind, those photographers will surely care about the bokeh. And with nine aperture blades, the bokeh on the Nikon Z 85mm f1.8 is fantastic. It’s creamy and beautiful. In fact, I haven’t seen boken I’ve liked this much from a Nikon lens since using the 105mm f1.4 prime. Photographers will also be happy with the sharpness, the color, and the fact that there are no technical problems with this lens.”

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Nikon Z 70-200mm f2.8 S

Pros

  • Spectacular bokeh and color
  • Excellent sharpness
  • Weather-sealed
  • Plenty of controls
  • Much closer focusing than other 70-200mm lenses
  • Stabilized

Cons

  • Autofocus missed about 20 percent of the time for sports.
  • Hood lock is annoying but does loosen up with use.

How’s the Image Quality?

In our review, we state:

“The lenses are the reason to consider the Z system, and the Nikon Z 70-200mm f2.8 VR S does not disappoint. Sharpness is only a touch removed from a Z mount prime, bokeh is spectacular, and colors are excellent.”

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Nikon Z 50mm f1.2 S

Pros

  • Excellent balance between sharp and sterile
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Accurate colors
  • Weather-sealed
  • Digital lens info display

Cons

  • Long and heavy
  • Autofocus is slower than the competition.

How’s the Image Quality?

In our review, we state:

“I expected big things from the images shot with the Nikon 50mm f1.2 S — and I wasn’t disappointed. The lenses are really the best part of the Z series. The 50mm continued the trends that I’ve seen from other Z lenses with excellent sharpness and minimal aberrations.”

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