This is a reference article with all of Nikon’s current lens discounts, plus my thoughts on which deals are the best! Nikon just announced some major sales covering both Z-mount and F-mount lenses, up to $300 off for the holiday season.
Here they are, starting with the Z-mount lenses. As we are part of B&H’s affiliate program, any visits through the links below are a free way to say thanks to Photography Life for all the work that goes into these articles.
- Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 for $950 (was $1050) – Nearly every Nikon Z lens released so far has been great, and all the primes have been great, but this one still stands out. It’s the sharpest wide-angle lens we’ve ever tested, beating the Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 and Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8, two of the other top contenders. For landscape photography, astrophotography, or handheld work in low light, it has our highest recommendation.
- Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 for $900 (was $1000) – Even though I try to sway photographers who are on the fence to go with the 20mm f/1.8 rather than this 24mm f/1.8, it’s not because the 24mm f/1.8 lacks quality. 24mm is simply a focal length where Nikon gives you a lot of choices, and you probably already have a lens that covers it. But if 24mm is your favorite focal length, rest assured that this is the best 24mm lens Nikon has ever made (although some of the others are nearly as good). Up to you whether that matters or not.
- Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 for $700 (was $850) – Of the discounts this time, I’d say this one is the best: $150 off a lens that is already less expensive than most Z-series glass. If you’re looking for a walk-around prime lens, the 35mm f/1.8 lets in more than four times as much light as an f/4 zoom and more than double the light of an f/2.8 zoom. It also has amazing sharpness and is practically flawless in its other optical characteristics. For photographers who want a 35mm lens and don’t already have the Z 35mm f/1.8, this sale is the time to get one.
- Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 for $500 (was $600) – As one of the best options on the (huge) market of 50mm lenses, the Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 has earned our highest marks over the years. While it is a bit bigger than some 50mm f/1.8 lenses, it’s also higher in image quality than nearly all of them. The only substantial complaint I’ve seen is price. Many 50mm f/1.8 lenses cost around $200, but this one’s top-tier image quality means it sells for $600 on a typical day. Nikon’s $100 discount today makes it a more palatable purchase.
- Nikon Z MC 50mm f/2.8 Macro for $600 (was $650) – This macro lens doesn’t get as much of a discount as the other Z lenses, probably because it’s so new. It’s also not the right macro lens for everyone, with a short 50mm focal length and some minor image quality compromises compared to higher-end macro lenses on the market. At $600, it’s not a terrible deal. But of the Nikon Z prime lenses discounted today, it’s the one I’d be happiest to skip over.
- Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 for $600 (was $700) – There’s almost nothing negative to say about this lens. It has excellent sharpness, great bokeh, and fast focusing speed. Portrait photographers shooting with the Nikon Z system probably already have this lens. If you don’t, what are you waiting for? (Besides the 85mm f/1.2 that will probably arrive some day…)
- Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 for $2200 (was $2400) – In the history of Photography Life, this is the only lens we’ve ever given a full 5.0 stars rating. It weighs much less than its competitors, takes native filters (with the lens hood attached), and has practically no optical flaws. The usual price of $2400 is high but justified. Even though, percentage-wise, $200 isn’t the biggest discount, it’s a deal worth taking if you were considering this lens.
- Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 for $1100 (was $1300) – Compared to the Z 20mm f/1.8 and Z 14-24mm f/2.8, the flaws on the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 stand out (see our review). Yet it’s still an excellent wide-angle lens in its own right. It’s also the one that I personally use as my wide-angle lens on the Nikon Z system. The 14-30mm f/4 is small, sharp, and lightweight. It also takes native 82mm filters, which makes for a highly compact system to carry while traveling (and gives it easy compatibility with standard 100 x 100mm filter holding systems). The $200 discount is substantial and makes this lens a good purchase.
- Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 for $2000 (was $2300) – The biggest discount of Nikon’s current bunch of sales is the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8. It’s a killer lens and one of the best – if not the best – midrange zoom we’ve ever tested. Nikon Z photographers seem to agree; it’s currently backordered for 2-4 weeks, and the $300 discount is probably going to extend that even further. I have no idea why Nikon put it on sale by so much, but I’m not complaining.
- Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 for $2400 (was $2600) – Rounding out the f/2.8 trio is the Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8, an exceptionally sharp lens that has next to no optical flaws (and maybe you’re sensing a pattern with these Z optics). The $200 discount could have been higher, but considering that Nikon has only recently been able to keep this lens in stock, they’re probably worried about creating another shortage. Now’s as good a time as any to buy it.
And here are the F-mount lenses currently on sale:
- Nikon F DX 35mm f/1.8 for $180 (was $200) – This is a must-have lens for Nikon DSLR shooters with a DX camera. It’s cheap, small, light, and – thanks to the f/1.8 aperture – bright. $20 doesn’t seem like a big discount, but for a $200 lens, that’s 10% off and I can’t complain.
- Nikon F 24mm f/1.8 for $680 (was $750) – I wish Nikon had gone for a steeper discount than just $70, but the lens itself is a good one. The Nikon F 24mm f/1.8 is one of just a handful of F-mount lenses that tested sharp enough to be “highly recommended” for Nikon’s 45-megapixel sensor (see our guide here).
- Nikon F 28mm f/1.4 for $1800 (was $2000) – No matter how good the Nikon Z lenses are, this 28mm f/1.4 will stand as proof that Nikon’s F-mount lenses can be at the same level. In fact, the 28mm f/1.4 currently holds the crown for the single highest sharpness figure we’ve ever measured at Photography Life (in the center of the frame, at least; some Z lenses beat it in the corners). The $200 discount makes it a reasonable purchase whether you shoot Z or F.
- Nikon F 35mm f/1.8 for $480 (was $530) – When I shot with Nikon DSLRs, this was one of my most-used landscape photography lenses. It’s small, light, and very sharp (though not quite in line with the top-tier F and Z lenses). The $50 discount is a bit small, but I wouldn’t skip over this lens if you’re a DSLR shooter.
- Nikon F 85mm f/1.8 for $430 (was $480) – This is one of the best choices out there for a portrait photographer on a budget. It’s sharp enough to reach our “highly recommended” standard even on Nikon’s 45 megapixel sensor, and it has excellent bokeh characteristics. At $430, I’d scoop this up in a heartbeat if I shot portraits on a Nikon DSLR.
- Nikon F 105mm f/1.4 for $1900 (was $2100) – In line with the Nikon F 28mm f/1.4, the 105mm f/1.4 is a truly stunning lens and just as sharp as a Z-series optic. Even if you’re now shooting mirrorless, this is one F-mount lens I’d consider buying. There isn’t a comparable lens on Nikon’s mirrorless roadmap yet, and the image quality of this lens is at another level. It’s remarkably sharp even wide open and has buttery background blur that makes it a beautiful choice for portraiture.
Overall, Nikon chose some of their best lenses to put on sale this time around. Even though some of the discounts are smaller than in the past, I’d still prefer this rather than steep discounts on lower-quality or older glass. The only fairly old lens here is the DX 35mm f/1.8, while everything else was announced within the last decade.
In short, if you were planning to buy any of the lenses above, it’s a good time to go for it. These are all top-notch optics and some of the most popular lenses in Nikon’s lineup.