NIKKOR S lenses – what makes them different?

Nikon Team Spotlight On18 Sept 20233 min read
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Glass for the Nikon Z mount come in two flavours, so what is it about the pro-level S line that sets them apart?

All NIKKOR Z lenses are fantastic pieces of engineering. From great value kit lenses that come bundled with cameras, right up to marvels such as the super-telephoto NIKKOR Z 600mm f/4 TC VR S.


S branded products are at the top of the line-up of NIKKOR Z lenses and were developed by Nikon engineers aiming at the very highest levels of optical performance. The Z mount itself is key to their development, as both the large mount opening and the much shorter distance between the mount and the sensor created totally new possibilities in optical design and construction.


As such, the S line lenses are beloved by professionals, as they provide distinct advantages such as the ability to shoot wide open with near-zero drop in sharpness right across the frame. The large size of the Z mount also allows for a lens such as the NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8 S to have better performance that its f/1.4 F mount equivalent – while also allowing the lenses to often be smaller and lighter.


Superior resolution in S lenses means that that details are beautifully rendered with no colour fringing, while superb, creamy bokeh gives lots of artistic and storytelling options. And for storytellers using moving images, S line lenses feature focus breathing compensation and a control ring for smooth control of the diaphragm, ensuring your footage will be exactly how you want it.


In S line lenses, there is a new multi-focus system using two AF motors, which not only provide fast, accurate focusing but also reduce aberrations such as fringing. Lenses such as these are built to last, with extensive weather sealing, while specialist coatings, Nano Crystal, Arneo and Meso Amorphous, minimise ghosting and flaring, no matter what direction the light is entering the lens.


After more than a century of optical expertise the S line represents Nikon’s pinnacle of lens design, allowing image makers to push the boundaries of their creativity further than ever.


Check out the full range of NIKKOR Z S lenses here.

Nikon Team
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