5 tips to make the most of the NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8

Nikon Team 90-Second NIKKOR21 dec 2023Leestijd: 4 min

This wide-angle lens is a miniature marvel perfect for creating dramatic landscapes and city scenes. Read on for five things to try with this incredibly versatile piece of kit, in the next instalment of our series celebrating 90 years of NIKKOR

The small but mighty NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8 is a wide-angle prime ‘pancake’ lens that could just be your everyday go-to for street photography. Unobtrusive, easy to pack and offering amazing optical quality in stills or video, it’s a versatile piece of kit that can add a new creative dimension to your images. Try these techniques with the lens for some creative ways to get great images.


1. Try it on a DX camera 

Although this is an FX lens, like all NIKKOR Z lenses it can be mounted on a Nikon DX camera such as the Z 30, Z 50 or Z fc. With the smaller form factor of a camera like a Z 30 and this tiny pancake lens, you can really have a full camera rig in your pocket as you search for great street scenes. With an equivalent focal length of around 39mm on a DX sensor camera, it’s perfect for natural-looking views.

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2. Go vertical

Landscapes don’t have to be landscape and turning the camera on its side isn’t just for social media. New angles can completely change the way an image feels, such as the ‘portrait’ mode forcing the viewer to focus in on part of a landscape or cityscape as if through a tall window. City buildings are often better viewed in this way too, and the NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8 will get you great results every time.  

Stills by Ben Moore
3. Look up

Urban photography isn’t always about what’s happening at street level. Often when walking around a city, looking up can deliver the best and most surprising results. Try finding interesting shapes on the skyline of buildings from below or, if you can, get access to a rooftop to get a completely different view of what’s happening on the ground.  

Stills by Ben Moore and Lina Trinh
4. Freeze the action

Make a busy street scene come to life by freezing one still subject while traffic and people around it blur, giving a sense of movement. Make sure your subject is not moving and experiment with longer shutter speeds to create some drama. In-camera VR will help here if you are handheld but a tripod and remote shutter (use the SnapBridge app for this) will ensure the camera stays still for longer speeds. This technique is also great for creating light trails from night-time traffic, where the wide aperture of the NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8 will help gather the light, or landscapes where you can create beautiful effects from running water in the frame.  

Stills by Ben Moore
5. Get in close

Wide-angle lenses such as the NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8 are often thought of as purely landscape or street scene lenses as they take in a large view, but they can give fantastic results up close to a subject. Wide-angle lenses exaggerate perspective, making objects in the background appear farther away from the main subject, and with a minimum focus distance of 20cm, you can focus on objects close to the lens, creating real depth between subject and the rest of the scene.

The key stats: NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8

Type: Nikon Z mount

Format: FX

Focal length: 26 mm

Maximum aperture: f/2.8

Minimum aperture: f/16

No. of diaphragm blades: 7 rounded

Minimum focus distance: 0.2 m

Weight: 125 g

Dimensions: 70mm x 23.5mm


Want to see it in action? Check out our 90-second NIKKOR video series here


90-Second NIKKOR: NIKKOR Z 26mm f/2.8 in action

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