Nikon 28-75mm f/2.8 vs. Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8: A Comprehensive Showdown for the Lens Throne

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Step into the vibrant world of photography where every detail matters, every angle holds a secret, and every lens tells a story. If you’re navigating the wide sea of camera lenses, considering a high-performing addition to your Nikon camera gear, or simply contemplating a lens upgrade, we’re about to make your decision a little easier.

In the spotlight today are two front-runners in the photography world, the Nikon Z 28-75mm lens and the Nikon Z 24-70mm lens. Both lenses boast a maximum aperture of f/2.8, delivering impressive performance in low-light conditions. From capturing stunning landscapes to documenting intimate portraits or the hustle-bustle of event photography, these lenses cover a broad spectrum of photographic genres.

We’re diving deep into their performance and features, focusing on everything from their construction and handling to the nuances of image quality, aberration control, and distortion. Whether you’re a budding amateur photographer yearning for a versatile lens or a seasoned professional in search of the next gear upgrade, this comparison will serve as a compass guiding your decision-making.

Stay tuned to this engaging ride where we not only decode the specifications but also unveil the real-world performance of these lenses. You’ll get insights into their suitability for various photography styles, proficiency levels, and shooting conditions. By the end, you’ll be equipped with a comprehensive understanding that goes beyond the technical jargon, helping you choose a lens that truly resonates with your artistic vision.

So, ready your gear and pack your passion for photography as we embark on this fascinating journey comparing the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 and Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8.


Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm F2.8 SNikon NIKKOR Z 28-75mm F2.8
Max ApertureF2.8F2.8
Aperture TypeFixedFixed
Focal Range (mm)24-7028-75
Mount TypeNikon ZNikon Z
Max Format35mm FF35mm FF
Zoom Ratio (X)2.92.7

The Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 and the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 share a number of similarities. Both have a maximum aperture of f/2.8 and a fixed aperture type. This means that they maintain the same maximum aperture throughout the entire zoom range, which allows for better performance in low light conditions and a more consistent image quality across the zoom range. They both have the Nikon Z mount type and are suitable for a full frame (35mm FF) format.

However, there are differences that distinguish the two. The 28-75mm lens has a slightly more extended focal range than the 24-70mm lens, which means it can provide a bit more telephoto reach. This can be useful in scenarios where you can’t get closer to your subject. On the other hand, the 24-70mm lens has a wider focal range, which can be beneficial in capturing more of the scene in your frame, making it an excellent choice for landscapes, architecture, or group shots.

In terms of the zoom ratio, the 24-70mm lens has a slightly higher zoom ratio (2.9X) compared to the 28-75mm lens (2.7X). The zoom ratio signifies the extent of the lens’s zoom capability, and a higher ratio means the lens can cover a wider range of focal lengths. Therefore, the 24-70mm lens has a slightly more versatile zoom range than the 28-75mm lens.

Design and Ease of Use

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm F2.8 SNikon NIKKOR Z 28-75mm F2.8
Diameter x Length (mm)⌀89×126mm⌀75×120.5mm
Weight (gr)805565
Filter Thread (mm)8267
Weather SealingYesYes
Zoom MethodRotary (extending)Rotary (extending)
Distance ScaleNoNo
DoF ScaleNoNo
Hood SuppliedYesYes
Hood CodeHB-87HB-93A

The Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 and the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 exhibit distinct differences in terms of their physical dimensions and weight, which can influence their usability and handling in practical photography scenarios.

First, let’s discuss the 28-75mm lens. This lens is smaller, with a diameter of 75mm and a length of 120.5mm. It also weighs significantly less than the 24-70mm lens, at just 565 grams. This more compact size and lighter weight can significantly enhance portability and handling. If you often travel or walk around for extended periods while shooting, this lens would likely be less tiring to carry. Its smaller size could also contribute to a better balance with your camera, avoiding the front-heavy feel that might result from a larger lens. Furthermore, this lens’s smaller size would make it less conspicuous, a useful feature for street photography, and easier to swap out in fast-paced shooting scenarios. It would also occupy less space in your bag, leaving room for other gear.

The 24-70mm lens, on the other hand, is larger, with a diameter of 89mm and a length of 126mm, and heavier, weighing 805 grams. While this lens’s size and weight could negatively impact portability and balance, it’s important to note that size and weight often correlate with a lens’s build quality, optical elements, and potential image quality. Larger, heavier lenses often contain more sophisticated optical designs, leading to better overall image quality. However, these lenses may not be as comfortable to handle during long shooting sessions and can take up more space in your bag.

In conclusion, if portability, handling, and balance are of great importance to you, the 28-75mm lens would likely be the superior choice due to its smaller size and lighter weight. However, if you prioritize image quality and are comfortable with a larger and heavier lens, the 24-70mm lens could potentially offer superior results.

Lens Mount and Barrel

Let’s start with the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8. Its lens mount, fabricated from sturdy metal, ensures a firm bond between the camera body and the lens, thus enhancing reliability and durability. The mount also integrates a rubber gasket, enhancing the lens’s resilience against environmental challenges such as dust and moisture. This feature can be particularly beneficial for photographers venturing into challenging weather conditions, safeguarding the lens and camera internals.

As for the lens barrel of the 28-75mm lens, it employs premium black plastic. Despite plastic’s perceived vulnerability compared to metal, high-quality plastics can provide a lightweight and reasonably durable structure. The barrel includes a wider zoom control ring and a smaller control ring near the base, thereby providing easy handling. Additionally, this lens extends while zooming but maintains its length during focusing adjustments due to the internal focus mechanism. This is advantageous when using polarizing or graduated filters as it prevents rotation that could affect image quality.

Moving on to the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8, it comes with a metal lens mount with a protective rubber gasket, much like the 28-75mm lens. The metal provides robustness, while the rubber gasket adds a layer of protection against dust and moisture, enhancing the lens’s longevity and dependability.

The lens barrel of the 24-70mm lens boasts a blend of metal and plastic elements, striking a balance between durability and weight. A standout feature is the ergonomically designed bevel and rubberized surfaces on the zoom ring, offering superior grip. Moreover, this lens features an internal zoom mechanism, maintaining a constant size irrespective of the zoom level, which can make handling more comfortable and predictable.

In conclusion, the 28-75mm lens, with its lightweight plastic barrel and a solid metal mount, is preferable if you prioritize ease of handling and portability. However, if durability and a constant form factor, regardless of zoom level, are essential, the 24-70mm lens is a better choice with its combined metal and plastic barrel construction and robust metal mount.

Weather Sealing

The Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 and the 24-70mm lenses both offer notable weather sealing features, essential in providing the robustness needed for photographers to freely explore different shooting environments without undue concern about the elements.

Starting with the 28-75mm lens, its weather sealing features include a rubber gasket on the lens mount, an element crucial in warding off dust and water infiltration into the camera body. The lens also incorporates internal seals to shield the moving components like the zoom and focus rings, thereby enhancing its durability in adverse conditions. The lens’s external structure is designed to resist dust and moisture ingress. Additionally, a fluorine coating is applied to the front element, which repels water, dust, and dirt, making the lens easier to maintain. While this lens offers commendable protection against light rain and mist, it’s not designed for extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain or underwater use. For maximum protection during harsh conditions, usage of a rain cover is recommended.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 sports extensive weather sealing, providing excellent resilience against dust and moisture. Seals are present at the lens mount, control rings, buttons, switches, and joints between different components. The rubber gasket at the rear part of the lens further bolsters the lens’s defense against dust intrusion. A fluorine coating is also applied on the front and rear lens elements, resisting moisture, fingerprints, and smudges. Such comprehensive weather sealing makes the lens suitable for a wide range of challenging weather conditions, ensuring reliable performance and extending its lifespan.

In conclusion, while both lenses are designed with weather sealing, the 24-70mm lens has a more comprehensive protection system. It extends the sealing to more components, including buttons and switches, and applies a fluorine coating to both the front and rear elements. This suggests that the 24-70mm lens offers superior resistance to the elements compared to the 28-75mm lens.


The Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 and the 24-70mm lenses exhibit varied design aspects in relation to their rings, thus giving photographers unique manipulation experiences based on the inherent features and functionalities.

Let’s start with the 28-75mm lens, which is equipped with a zoom ring and a control ring. The zoom ring is positioned in the middle of the lens barrel, it’s large and has a ridged texture for improved grip. With smooth operation, this ring facilitates effortless zoom adjustments, even though it displays a bit of zoom creep. However, its resistance makes it slightly challenging to operate with a single finger due to its short throw of about 60 degrees.

The control ring is smaller, situated near the base of the lens. It’s customizable, capable of regulating various settings like manual focus, exposure compensation, ISO, or aperture. Its ease of turning and staying in place offers fingertip control, albeit it might feel overly responsive and finicky. Both rings lack hard stops, which could make it challenging to ascertain the limit of focusing or adjustment. The lens provides a distance scale on the camera’s screen or viewfinder during manual focus.

In contrast, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 exhibits a trio of rings: a focus ring, a zoom ring, and a customizable control ring. Positioned at the forefront of the lens, the focus ring provides a responsive interface, allowing for precise adjustments that adapt to the speed at which they are made. The zoom ring, positioned in the middle, requires some force to turn, which prevents unintended movement. It covers the zoom range in a quarter-turn, offering consistent resistance across the focal lengths.

The control ring, located near the rear, can be tailored to manage the lens’s aperture, ISO sensitivity, or exposure compensation. This lens also lacks a windowed distance scale or depth-of-field indicator, but features a small OLED display that shows focal length, focus distance, and aperture. Interestingly, this lens doesn’t exhibit zoom creep, and the amount of manual focusing distance relies on the speed of turning the focus ring. The lens is built to maintain focus consistency across varying distances and provides an extended zoom range from 24mm to 70mm.

In conclusion, both lenses showcase distinct design aspects and functionalities of their rings. While the 28-75mm lens’ rings demonstrate user-friendly customization and an enhanced grip, the three-ring system on the 24-70mm lens offers more precise control and richer functionality, such as the ability to maintain focus consistency across different distances. Moreover, the OLED display adds to the intuitiveness and accessibility of information. As such, the 24-70mm lens appears to deliver superior performance in terms of ring design and functionality.


The Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 and 24-70mm lenses present different philosophies in their implementation of switches and buttons, offering unique interaction experiences to photographers based on their distinct design choices.

Starting with the 28-75mm lens, it adopts a minimalist design strategy, forgoing any physical buttons or switches on its body. Instead, its primary interface is a control ring located on the lens barrel. Despite its lean approach to controls, this configuration contributes to the lens’s overall compact and lightweight character, making it highly user-friendly and comfortable for extended periods of use. However, this minimalism translates into a reliance on the camera’s menu system for controls, which may not be ideal for all users, particularly those who prefer tactile feedback and quick access to certain settings.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 features a more traditional configuration with an AF/MF slide switch for alternating between autofocus and manual focus modes. Alongside this, it boasts a programmable L-fn (Lens Function) button, assignable to various functions like autofocus lock, subject tracking, or image playback, providing quick access to these vital functionalities. It’s positioned adjacent to the Display mode button, used to toggle through different OLED display modes such as focal length, aperture, or focus distance. The design and placement of these buttons are intended for easy access and user-friendliness, offering a convenient alternative to navigating through the camera’s menu system for these settings.

In summary, both lenses present differing approaches to controls with their distinct merits. The 28-75mm lens scores points for its minimalist, compact design that caters to photographers who prefer lighter gear, while the 24-70mm lens triumphs with its dedicated buttons and switches, allowing for more direct control and quick adjustments. If quick access to specific settings and more tactile control are essential to your photography, the 24-70mm lens offers superior functionality in terms of switches and buttons.

Filter Thread

The Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 and the 24-70mm lens exhibit distinct differences when it comes to their filter thread specifications, showcasing their unique adaptations to photographers’ needs.

For the 28-75mm lens, it offers a filter thread size of 67mm. This size, being relatively smaller and narrower compared to some other lenses such as the 24-70mm, gives the lens certain advantages. Notably, the 67mm size is quite prevalent and typically more budget-friendly than larger sizes, making it easier for photographers to find and utilize various filters for diverse photographic effects. Constructed of plastic, the filter thread is light in weight and somewhat forgiving in the event of accidental drops, but it could show wear with repeated use. Its design incorporates internal focusing, implying the front element and the filter thread do not rotate during focus adjustments, a feature particularly beneficial when using polarized or graduated filters.

Switching to the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8, it boasts an 82mm filter thread, a standard size for top-tier 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses. Despite larger filter sizes typically being more expensive, this common size ensures a wide array of filters is available for photographers. The front element and filter thread stay static during focusing, mirroring the 28-75mm lens’s advantage in preserving filter orientation during focus shifts. Yet, mounting and adjusting polarizing filters can be a bit of a challenge when the lens hood is on. The lens also employs a locking mechanism on its petal-shaped plastic hood, reducing the chance of unintended detachment and boosting ease of use with filters.

In conclusion, both lenses have their distinct strengths. The 28-75mm lens, with its smaller, cost-effective filter size and lightweight plastic construction, is an appealing choice for photographers on a budget or those prioritizing portability. Conversely, the 24-70mm lens, equipped with a larger, more common filter size and practical design features, offers more flexibility in filter options and usability for photographers. If you are looking for compatibility with a broader range of filters and additional functional features, the 24-70mm lens takes the lead in filter thread superiority.

Lens Hood

The Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 and the 24-70mm lens differ notably in their lens hood design, illustrating distinct philosophies in function and aesthetics.

Starting with the 28-75mm lens, the lens hood, known as the HB-93A, comes packaged with the lens. It features a petal-shaped design, constructed from plastic, without any standout aesthetic detail. While this hood may not match the sturdiness of the hood that accompanies the 24-70mm lens, it performs its primary function of reducing lens flare and safeguarding the lens element competently. The lens hood attaches securely to the 67mm filter thread, locking in place to guard against accidental detachment. A rotating mechanism aids in attaching and detaching the hood, and its reversible nature permits compact storage for ease of transportation. Despite its somewhat economical feel compared to other lens hoods, the HB-93A offers solid practical value.

Moving to the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8, its lens hood is also included with the lens. Crafted from plastic, the hood comes with a black velvet-like interior coating, designed to diminish internal reflections. The design ensures easy attachment and detachment, thanks to the thoughtfully designed ergonomic bevel. In contrast to the 28-75mm lens’s hood, the 24-70mm lens hood lacks a locking mechanism but maintains easy and smooth rotation. For storage or transport, the hood can be reversed onto the lens, further enhancing its practicality.

In conclusion, while both lens hoods fulfill their primary roles of minimizing flare and providing lens element protection, the lens hood of the 24-70mm lens, with its velvet-like internal coating and ergonomically beveled design, offers superior functionality and convenience. However, it’s important to note that the selection between these two lenses would ultimately rest on your individual requirements and preferences. If the feature of a locking mechanism is paramount for your work, then the 28-75mm lens’s hood might appeal more. But, if a more refined design and high-quality materials are key, the 24-70mm lens hood would be the superior choice.

Focusing and Optical Stabilization

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm F2.8 SNikon NIKKOR Z 28-75mm F2.8
AF MotorStepper motorStepper motor
Rotating Front ElementDoes not rotate on focusingDoes not rotate on focusing
Min Focus Distance0.38m0.19m(28mm);0.39m(75mm)
Max Magnification (X)0.220.34
Full-Time Manual FocusYesYes
Focus MethodInternalInternal

Focusing Performance

Analyzing the focusing performance of the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 first, it sports an efficient autofocus system that operates silently and rapidly, making it suitable for videography or situations demanding discretion. The autofocus speed, while not blazingly fast, is satisfactory for most general uses, focusing from infinity to 0.85m in about half a second at 75mm. In low-light scenarios, the f/2.8 maximum aperture of this lens facilitates enhanced focusing performance by allowing a larger amount of light to reach the sensor. Despite occasional instances of minor focus hunting near its minimum focusing distance, the lens is remarkably adept at tracking and maintaining focus on moving subjects.

However, the manual focusing experience on this lens might be challenging for some, as the control ring lacks hard stops, which makes it difficult to gauge the full extent of the focusing range. Nevertheless, for those primarily reliant on autofocus, this wouldn’t be a significant issue. The lens, having an internal focusing design, maintains constant length, thereby ensuring balance and minimizing dust intrusion. As for focus breathing, it exhibits a minuscule amount, making it ideal for video applications where shifts in apparent focal length can be distracting.

Turning to the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8, it demonstrates exceptional autofocus performance with minimal noise, taking roughly 0.5 seconds to focus from infinity to 0.77m at 70mm. It functions efficiently even in low-light conditions, with any focusing hesitation typically due to the camera’s autofocus, not the lens. The lens’s initial autofocus acquisition speed is fast and accurate, guaranteeing precise focusing on subjects.

It also offers manual focus override, allowing rapid adjustment of focus when necessary. A seamlessly smooth manual focus action is facilitated by the lens, while its internal focusing design maintains a consistent length and ensures that the front element remains stationary, eliminating any rotation during the focusing process. This thoughtful design choice enhances overall usability and convenience. This lens also minimizes focus breathing, which proves especially advantageous when shooting video or focus stacking.

In conclusion, while both lenses demonstrate admirable focusing performance, the 24-70mm lens appears to have a slight edge due to its quieter operation, faster focusing speed, smoother manual focus action, and superior performance in low-light conditions.

Optical Stabilization

Beginning with the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8, it’s important to note that the lens itself lacks Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), sometimes referred to as IS or VR in Nikon’s parlance. Despite this, it’s designed to integrate with certain Nikon camera models’ in-body stabilization systems. Specifically, when combined with the Nikon Z9, the lens benefits from the camera’s inherent stabilization, resulting in a reported 3 to 4 stops of real-world improvement. This suggests that the lens, coupled with the in-camera stabilization, can accommodate slower shutter speeds without the risk of pronounced image blur due to minor camera shake.

In contrast, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 doesn’t incorporate built-in optical image stabilization either. It relies on the Nikon Z body’s sensor-shift stabilization, which delivers up to 5-axis stabilization. This silent and effective stabilization offers a tangible improvement of 3 to 4 stops. It implies that you can get sharp, handheld shots at slower shutter speeds than you could without stabilization. While the exact shutter speeds yielding sharp images would depend on the specific focal length, the lens demonstrates excellent stabilization performance across its entire range.

In sum, the optical stabilization performance of both lenses appears to be quite similar, as both lack built-in optical image stabilization but are designed to make use of the in-body stabilization of Nikon camera bodies.

Image Quality

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm F2.8 SNikon NIKKOR Z 28-75mm F2.8
Special Elements4 ED and 2 aspherical elements + Arneo and Nano Crystal coatings3 aspherical elements, 1 ED element, 1 Super ED element
Diaphragm Blades99


Starting with the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8, it displays commendable control of chromatic aberration, maintaining an average of around 1.5 pixels across various focal lengths and apertures. In essence, chromatic aberration, which usually appears as colored fringes around high-contrast edges in an image, is largely inconspicuous in photographs taken with this lens due to its adept management.

As for coma, which can distort points of light in image corners, this lens isn’t the typical choice for situations where coma could be a significant factor, such as astrophotography. Nevertheless, in regular day-to-day photography, coma is barely visible, but could become more noticeable under specific circumstances like shooting starlit skies. Regarding spherical aberration, the lens demonstrates some spherochromatism, a more complex form of chromatic aberration. This effect may result in green fringes on backgrounds and magenta fringes on foregrounds in out-of-focus highlights, especially at larger apertures. However, it’s worth noting that the presence of spherochromatism doesn’t necessarily imply poor lens quality; it’s a common occurrence in fast lenses with a moderate focal length.

Conversely, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 showcases remarkable control over chromatic aberration. Its longitudinal chromatic aberration is minimal and can be easily managed in post-processing. Additionally, lateral chromatic aberration is well controlled, scarcely affecting image quality, and can be corrected automatically by software such as Lightroom.

In terms of coma, this lens effectively manages the effect, minimizing the distortion of points of light in the corners of the frame. Its handling of spherical aberration, or spherochromatism, is notable, with the aberration virtually absent. This makes the lens a strong candidate for generating smooth, out-of-focus backgrounds free of unwanted color fringes. The lens’s robust performance across various types of aberrations contributes positively to its overall image quality.

In comparison, both lenses demonstrate good control over chromatic aberration, but the 24-70mm lens outperforms the 28-75mm lens in managing spherical aberration and coma, contributing to higher overall image quality. Therefore, the 24-70mm lens would be the superior choice when considering aberration performance.


Starting with the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8, it delivers strong performance in sharpness. The center sharpness is consistently excellent across various focal lengths and apertures, ensuring crisp and detailed images. Particularly, from the widest aperture of f/2.8 up to f/11, impressive sharpness is observed at 28mm, 35mm, and 50mm focal lengths. However, sharpness starts to diminish at f/16 and f/22 due to diffraction, a phenomenon where light waves interfere with each other, reducing the image quality.

Regarding corner sharpness, it tends to vary. At the widest angle of 28mm, the lens achieves the sharpest corners at f/5.6. At 50mm, however, the corners show disappointing sharpness at f/2.8, which can be improved by stopping down to f/4. At wider angles, reducing the aperture to f/4 or f/5.6 enhances contrast and sharpness further. Nevertheless, beyond f/16, images start losing sharpness due to diffraction. At the maximum focal length of 75mm, the corner performance appears to be better than at 50mm, although the center sharpness suffers slightly at f/2.8, presenting some softness. However, reducing the aperture to f/4 improves the overall center sharpness.

Contrarily, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 demonstrates remarkable sharpness throughout its aperture range. The center sharpness is particularly notable and remains very good even at wider apertures like f/2.8. It achieves peak performance at f/5.6 for most focal lengths.

The corner sharpness, while a tad softer when the lens is wide open, improves notably upon stopping down to f/5.6 or f/8. The lens’s best performance is generally between f/5.6 and f/8, depending on the focal length, with f/11 still delivering exceptional results. However, as with the 28-75mm lens, there’s a slight reduction in sharpness at f/16 and f/22 due to diffraction.

In comparing the two lenses, it’s evident that while both perform well in terms of center sharpness, the 24-70mm lens stands out with consistent sharpness across the aperture range. The 28-75mm lens, although showing some variability in corner sharpness, still performs admirably and can offer superior sharpness in the mid-frames and center compared to some other models. However, considering sharpness across the entire aperture range and in terms of corner performance, the 24-70mm lens would be the preferred choice. Its versatility makes it an excellent tool for capturing detailed and textured scenes in photography genres like landscape and architecture, where edge-to-edge sharpness is often crucial.

Bokeh Quality

Diving into the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 first, it’s noted for generating a fairly pleasing bokeh, which refers to the aesthetic quality of the out-of-focus parts of an image. This pleasing effect is attributed to the lens’s nine-blade rounded aperture diaphragm and fast maximum aperture, which together create a desirable shallow depth of field effect. This softness in the out-of-focus areas can lend a certain charm to images, allowing photographers to isolate subjects effectively.

However, this lens can sometimes exhibit strongly defined edges in the out-of-focus specular highlights, which might create a slightly busier look depending on the background. Another interesting aspect of this lens’s bokeh is its enhancement during close-focus distance shots, where it renders out-of-focus elements softly. It’s worth noting, though, that the quality of bokeh can fluctuate depending on the backdrop; some scenarios may yield more visually appealing results than others. In comparison with other lenses, while the bokeh it produces isn’t as smooth and clean as the Z 24-70mm F2.8 S lens, it still does a notable job in blurring out non-focal areas.

Moving on to the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8, it generates a generally pleasing bokeh, characterized by smooth, creamy, and blurred backgrounds. This quality makes it a versatile choice for a variety of subjects, from portraiture to still life, where the subject isolation is key.

However, the bokeh is not without its flaws. It can occasionally display certain issues such as busy bokeh in slightly defocused regions or transition zones, and sometimes noticeable cat-eye patterns appear in hectic backgrounds. These elements might slightly detract from the overall bokeh quality. Visible outlines inside background highlights may also sometimes be observed. While the bokeh is largely satisfactory, if your photography work specifically calls for a creamy bokeh, you might want to consider alternatives optimized for such highlights, such as the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G lens.

In conclusion, when comparing bokeh quality, both lenses do a commendable job of creating an appealing background blur.


Focusing initially on the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8, we find that it generally exhibits commendable control over flare and ghosting, particularly within shorter focal lengths. This means that the lens can effectively minimize these unwanted optical effects, especially when the light source is positioned thoughtfully. An important tip for users would be to prevent the light source from aligning with the lens’s long end to avoid the formation of a pronounced halo with a discernible rainbow border. When the lens is set to narrower apertures, such as f/11 or f/16, it forms sunstars, particularly at its widest 28mm focal length. While this is typical for a lens of its class, the double-pronged spikes might not be as visually satisfying as the sharper spikes from other lenses.

It’s also important to remember that, like many zoom lenses with multiple elements, this lens might exhibit more ghosting and reflections when the sun is included within the frame. That said, it handles these issues better than many other Nikon mirrorless lenses. Some red dot flare, which is common for mirrorless lenses, is observable, but the lens manages to maintain high contrast even with the sun in the frame. Finally, shooting at wide angles minimizes the concern of flaring, and with the appropriate shooting techniques such as a narrow aperture and careful angling relative to the light source, the lens performs commendably against bright light.

Turning to the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8, it displays exceptional control over flare and ghosting. The use of Nikon’s ARNEO coat and Nano Crystal Coat greatly mitigates these optical phenomena, even when capturing bright light sources. As such, flare and ghosting are infrequently observed in images, particularly when the light source is carefully placed within the frame. This lens maintains minimal veiling glare and preserves deep blacks, thereby surpassing the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E VR.

Despite this, some flare and ghosting might appear at the corners under certain circumstances, such as when the light source lies just outside the corner at 24mm or 70mm focal lengths. Nonetheless, this lens is highly appreciated for its resistance to flare, glare, and ghosting.

Concluding, both lenses demonstrate strong flare and ghosting control, albeit with slightly different strengths. However, the 24-70mm lens, with its advanced coating technology and superior control of flare and ghosting, provides an edge over the 28-75mm lens. These features make it the superior lens in terms of flare and ghosting control, even though the 28-75mm lens also performs admirably in this area.


Starting with the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8, it’s clear that there is a marked presence of vignetting, particularly at its widest aperture of f/2.8. This darkening at the edges of the frame becomes even more conspicuous at the extreme ends of the lens’s zoom range, i.e., at 28mm and 75mm. Even though the lens comes equipped with a built-in profile designed to offset this optical issue, it only provides a modest 0.5 EV lift in the extreme corners.

However, this lens features a controllable vignetting setting which can be toggled between normal and high levels, giving users some flexibility in managing the effect. While vignetting can become a distracting element when photographing uniformly lit scenes such as plain walls, it tends not to draw attention in busier compositions. Indeed, some photographers may appreciate the way vignetting can guide the viewer’s gaze towards the center of the image. For those who prefer to minimize it, post-processing tools like Adobe Lightroom and Capture One Pro offer lens profiles that can be applied to mitigate this optical distortion. If JPEG is the chosen capture mode, in-camera corrections can also be utilized to address this issue. Additionally, closing down the aperture helps curb the vignetting effect, making it less pronounced.

Shifting our attention to the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8, it exhibits a moderate level of vignetting, primarily at wider focal lengths. It demonstrates an improved design over the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR by having less than two stops of light fall-off at the wide end and slightly less than one stop at the telephoto end. Nonetheless, it doesn’t quite match the performance of the original Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G, which has virtually no discernible light drop-off past f/4.

It’s crucial to note that while vignetting might cause a noticeable light fall-off in the corners of the frame, this doesn’t significantly detract from the overall image quality which remains high, with the lens offering excellent sharpness and performance. As with the previous lens, vignetting in this lens can also be easily rectified using post-processing software such as Lightroom.

In conclusion, while both lenses exhibit some degree of vignetting, the 24-70mm lens has a slight advantage with its better control over light fall-off, particularly at wider focal lengths. However, it’s important to remember that vignetting can often be corrected in post-processing or even used creatively. Hence, although the 24-70mm lens displays better performance in terms of vignetting, the 28-75mm lens might still be a desirable choice depending on the specific needs and stylistic preferences of the photographer.


Analyzing the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 first, it’s clear that it exhibits both barrel and pincushion distortions across its focal length range. Barrel distortion, which imparts a mildly bulging effect to images, is conspicuous at the wide 28mm end, and this is a characteristic trait seen in many wide-angle lenses. Such distortion, notably perceptible when capturing scenes with straight lines towards the edges, can give photos a unique, ‘fish-eye’ like effect. As you zoom in, the lens distortion transitions from barrel to pincushion type, particularly noticeable at the maximum 75mm focal length.

Pincushion distortion gives images an impression of pinching at the center, making it seem as if the sides of the image are bowing inward. This is a common occurrence in telephoto lenses. However, the lens provides robust sharpness and contrast across various apertures and focal lengths, even with the distortion. The application of in-camera distortion compensation and post-processing software such as Adobe Lightroom can effectively reduce these optical distortions. It’s important to note, though, that Adobe’s RAW converter defaults to applying the camera’s distortion compensation setting. In terms of distortion, the effects are more visible at the extremes of the zoom range, and less so in the mid-zoom range.

Moving on to the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8, there’s noticeable barrel distortion at the 24mm end, albeit less so compared to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G and 24-70mm f/2.8E VR lenses. As the lens is zoomed in towards the 35mm mark, it exhibits a shift to slight pincushion distortion, which increases to approximately 3% at the 70mm end. Although this distortion is manageable via in-camera features and software such as Adobe Lightroom, it can still be noticeable, especially when shooting wide angles in close proximity to a subject.

In summary, while both lenses display varying degrees of distortion across their focal lengths, the 24-70mm lens has a slight edge due to its lesser degree of barrel distortion at the wide end and the gradual shift to pincushion distortion as the focal length increases. However, considering that most types of photography won’t be heavily affected by such distortions, both lenses are well-equipped to handle various shooting scenarios.

Final Verdict

Based on the analysis, it’s apparent that both the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 and Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 hold strong potential for varying types of photography due to their similar maximum apertures of f/2.8, consistent image quality across the zoom range, and shared Nikon Z mount type. Their compatibility with a full-frame format also lends versatility for professional and intermediate level photography.

For those embarking on their photography journey or preferring a lighter gear, the 28-75mm lens stands out. Its more extended focal range provides extra telephoto reach, beneficial for distant subjects. The lens’ lightweight construction and user-friendly features make it an accessible choice for beginners, promoting ease of handling and portability. However, its weaker weather sealing and the presence of some optical aberrations might limit its potential in challenging environments or specific photographic genres requiring meticulous detail.

Contrarily, the 24-70mm lens shines in scenarios demanding wide-angle shots, such as landscapes, architecture, and group photos, owing to its wider focal range. This lens demonstrates stronger weather sealing, quieter and faster focusing, and superior aberration control, rendering it more suitable for professional photographers or those engaging with more challenging environments or subjects. Its robust construction and advanced functionalities, like the intuitive three-ring system and OLED display, allow for more precise control, adding to its allure for experienced photographers.

The 24-70mm lens also outperforms the 28-75mm lens in terms of vignetting and distortion control, making it a compelling choice for genres like architectural or interior photography where these factors are critical. However, it is heavier and larger, potentially making it less convenient for extended handheld use or travel photography.

Conclusively, for beginner to intermediate photographers, the 28-75mm lens, with its extended telephoto reach, light weight, and user-friendly design, could be a more fitting choice. For more experienced photographers or professionals who require superior control, durability, and optical performance, the 24-70mm lens is a superior choice.

Meet the Author

Wei Mao

Wei was a cruise photographer who worked at Disney Cruise Line. He is a lucky traveler who has been to more than 20 countries with his camera while working on an around-the-world cruise. Photography has changed his view of the world forever. Now he wants more people to benefit from photography through his blog.

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