12 Best Lenses for Nikon Z6 II

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Best Lenses for Nikon Z6 II

The Nikon Z6 II is a very capable camera, so you want to pair it with the best glass possible. After all, lenses have a bigger impact on your image quality than the camera body/sensor.

That’s why we take a look at the best lenses for Nikon Z6 II shooters in this article.

We take into consideration prime lenses, zoom lenses, and the best lenses for Nikon Z6 II mirrorless camera shooters in just about any situation and genre of photography.

As you probably know, the Nikon Z6 II is a versatile camera and that means you can pair it with a lot of lenses for many different purposes. So whether you’re a landscape photographer, a portrait photographer, a street photographer, or you’re just looking for a lens that can do a bit of everything, there’s something here for everyone.

Introducing the Top 12 Lenses For Nikon Z6 II

Let’s jump right into the top lenses for the Nikon Z6 II mirrorless camera!

Best Lens for Nikon Z6 II: Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S

NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f 4 S
NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f 4 S

Choosing the best lens for any camera is a difficult task as there are always tradeoffs when it comes to designing lenses. Lenses with wide maximum apertures have to be designed in a way that makes them big and heavy. Manufacturers can make zooms with huge zoom ranges, but then they have to sacrifice image quality.

Nikon did a good job of balancing the size, weight, focal length, and features of the Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S, making it a great general-purpose lens that you can use in a variety of scenarios.

The first thing worth mentioning about the 24-120mm is its focal range. 24mm is very wide and you can use the wide end for things like landscapes, real estate photography, and cityscape photography. You can use the long end for sports and anything else where you need the reach. Having the whole focal range is great for family documentary photography, where your subjects are constantly moving in distance from you. Anything where you’re kind of stuck in one place and the action gets closer and further away is a great time to have this lens with you.

The other big thing worth mentioning is its f/4 aperture. f/4 won’t give you incredible bokeh and thin depth of field, but having the f/4 aperture was what made it possible to keep the size and weight to a minimum on this lens. Plus, if you find yourself in dark environments, the high ISO capabilities of the Nikon Z6 II help out a lot to get those shots.

Pros:

  • Big zoom range
  • Great optical performance for its focal range
  • Manageable size and weight
  • Replaces several lenses if you want to simplify your gear

Cons:

  • f/4 aperture is a bit slow

Best All-In-One Lens for Nikon Z6 II: Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR

NIKON NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f 4-6.3 Compact Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras
NIKON NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f 4-6.3 Compact Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras

Super zooms are appealing for obvious reasons: they have a huge zoom range and they let you take fewer lenses with you. Usually, superzooms are pretty disappointing in the image quality department, but the Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR actually has pretty good image quality throughout its zoom range.

Its f/4-6.3 isn’t that impressive at first glance, especially for low-light situations. But when you consider how large of a focal range it’s paired with you start to see how useful this lens can be. If you want a lens that can do a ton of what you need without having to take a bunch of lenses around with you, this is certainly one of the best all-in-one lenses for Nikon Z6 II shooters, if not the best.

A superzoom is a great option to take with you when traveling, and this lens doesn’t disappoint in that regard because it’s weather-sealed and has a coating on its front element to resist moisture.

Pros:

  • Enormous zoom range
  • Good image quality
  • Can replace several lenses
  • Has 4.5 stops of image stabilization

Cons:

  • Small variable aperture gives you less control over depth of field and restricted low light capabilities

Best Portrait Lenses for Nikon Z6 II

You have several options when it comes to portrait lenses for the Nikon Z6 II. The two I would consider are the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct and the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S.

NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct

NIKON NIKKOR Z 58mm f 0.95 S Noct Ultra-Shallow Depth of Field Prime Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras
NIKON NIKKOR Z 58mm f 0.95 S Noct Ultra-Shallow Depth of Field Prime Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras

If you’re really looking for the best of the best, you don’t need autofocus, and money is no object, the best portrait lens for the Nikon Z6 II is the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct.

This lens has phenomenal image quality. With a rare f/0.95 maximum aperture, you can get extremely shallow depth of field, beautiful bokeh, and pretty incredible low light abilities. You really can’t get better image quality than this for portraits.

That does come with some caveats though. The first is that the f/0.95 aperture means Nikon had to make this lens pretty large and heavy.

The biggest caveat though is that this lens currently costs just under $8,000, so if you’re a mere mortal like the rest of us, we talk about another great affordable option in the next section.

Pros:

  • Amazing image quality
  • Great bokeh/depth of field options
  • Great low light performance
  • Manual focus only

Cons:

  • Extremely expensive
  • Big and heavy

NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S

NIKON NIKKOR Z 85mm f 1.8 S Portrait Fast Prime Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras
NIKON NIKKOR Z 85mm f 1.8 S Portrait Fast Prime Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras

If you want similar performance to what the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct does at about a tenth of the price, the NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S is a bargain. The NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S does probably 90-95% of what the Noct does but at a price that won’t force you to take out a second mortgage on your home.

Although it would be nice if Nikon had an f/1.4 version to choose from, the 85mm f/1.8 still gives you really nice control over your depth of field and a great ability to work in low light. Its 9 rounded aperture blades also give it really pleasing bokeh.

It also has coatings to reduce color fringing, chromatic aberrations, lens flare, and ghosting.

Pros:

  • Great image quality
  • Creamy bokeh
  • Reasonable size and weight

Cons:

Best Wide-angle Prime Lenses for Nikon Z6 II: NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S

NIKON NIKKOR Z 24mm f 1.8 S Wide Angle Fast Prime Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras
NIKON NIKKOR Z 24mm f 1.8 S Wide Angle Fast Prime Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras

If you’re looking for the best wide-angle prime lens for the Nikon Z6 II, you can’t go wrong with the NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S. This lens is very sharp and is a big improvement over Nikon’s 24mm for their DSLR system, which was already sharp.

It has a fast and quiet autofocus speed, thanks to its stepping motor. For manual focus, it’s focus-by-wire. It does feel pretty good on this lens, similarly to most of Nikon’s other lenses, but if you prefer mechanically focusing lenses, you may not like it, although fewer and fewer lenses have mechanical focusing these days.

Regardless, the NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S is sharp and has nice contrast at all apertures of the lens, and it has coatings that cut down on flare and ghosting. If you like the 24mm focal length, it can be a really good option for landscape photography because it’s sharper than the wide-angle zoom lenses that have 24mm in them.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Has some distortion and focus shift

Best Standard Prime Lenses for Nikon Z6 II: Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 S

NIKON NIKKOR Z 35mm f 1.8 S Wide Angle Fast Prime Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras
NIKON NIKKOR Z 35mm f 1.8 S Wide Angle Fast Prime Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras

If you want a standard prime lens on the wide side, the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 S is great. I love the 35mm focal length and if you haven’t tried shooting with it yet, I definitely recommend giving it a go.

35mm is perfect for street photography, documentary photography, or photographing your family or friends. It’s a wide, but not too wide focal length. It works great in indoor settings where you need to capture the whole scene.

This is a professional-grade lens and was one of the first lenses available for the Z system.

Pros:

  • Great optical performance
  • Nice bokeh for a 35mm
  • Great focus speed and accuracy
  • Very affordable for what it does

Cons:

  • Expensive comparatively
  • Has some onion ring bokeh

Best Standard Zoom Lenses for Nikon Z6 II: Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S

NIKON NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f 4 S Standard Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras
NIKON NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f 4 S Standard Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras

When you think of 24-70mm lenses, you often think of the f/2.8 versions. But the only reason you would need f/2.8 for a lens of this focal length is for shooting in low light. Because if you want to shoot with a really shallow depth of field and compression for things like portraits, you just use an 85mm lens with a wide aperture anyway.

But if you like lense that can do a lot without having to switch to other lenses, the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S will do that, and with really good image quality.

Although this lens is great for bringing on the road with you for travel, it doesn’t have the best durability due to its plastic design.

Pros:

  • Compact/lightweight design comparatively
  • Great image quality
  • Keeps flaring and chromatic aberration to a minimum
  • Good autofocus
  • Weather sealing
  • Decent macro performance

Cons:

  • Retractable design means the lens goes in and out
  • Less sharp than prime lenses

Best Macro Lenses for Nikon Z6 II

NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f 2.8 VR S
NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f 2.8 VR S

If you want the best macro lens, go with the NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S. It has the best image quality overall. But there are other things to take into consideration.

The NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S features a 1:1 magnification, although the maximum aperture for that is f/4.5. That’s not a big deal because if you’re shooting 1:1 at f/2.8 there would be very little in focus anyway because of how close you are to the subject.

What’s nice about the NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S is that it’s also a great focal length for portrait photography and it has great bokeh, so you can use it for portraits as well as macro.

A great alternative to the 105mm is the NIKKOR Z MC 50mm f/2.8.

If you like some context in your images, you may want to go wider than 105mm. The 50mm has a similar very high image quality to the 105mm but is appealing in other ways. First, it has a closer working distance, so you don’t have to be as far from your subjects, which can be helpful when working in tight spaces. Second, the 50mm is quite a bit smaller and lighter than the 105. Lastly, the 50mm is several hundred dollars cheaper.

Best Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Z6 II: NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S

NIKON NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f 2.8 S Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras
NIKON NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f 2.8 S Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras

If you’re looking for a telephoto zoom lens that can do it all, consider the NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S. It has blazing fast autofocus and razor-sharp image quality.

It excels in a lot of applications, including sports, wildlife, portraits, weddings, concerts, and a whole lot more. It also has a class-leading close focusing distance, so you can get in close for details.

It’s equipped with image stabilization, which is always nice to have, especially for a telephoto lens that you’re gonna be handholding.

It’s not just one of the best telephoto zoom lenses for Nikon Z6 II shooters, it’s one of the best in the overall market.

Pros

  • Great image quality and sharpness
  • Very fast autofocus
  • Good close focusing distances per focal length

Cons:

  • Very big
  • Very heavy

Nikon Z6 II Night Landscapes and Astrophotography Lenses

NIKON NIKKOR Z 20mm f 1.8 S Ultra Wide Angle Fast Prime Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras
NIKON NIKKOR Z 20mm f 1.8 S Ultra Wide Angle Fast Prime Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras

Astrophotography usually calls for a wide-angle and a wide maximum aperture. You have several Nikon Z lens options that fit that bill, but my pick is the NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8 S.

The NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8 S has tack sharp image quality and I like my astrophotography results the best when shot at as wide an aperture as possible, so the f/1.8 aperture is a nice feature. For as wide as it is, this lens shows very little distortion and vignetting.

This lens can also be used for interiors, landscape photography, architectural photography, and other purposes.

Pros:

  • Great image quality
  • Very little distortion
  • f/1.8 maximum aperture great for astrophotography
  • Weather sealed
  • Budget-friendly

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have the best bokeh

If you prefer zoom lenses for your astrophotography, the NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S is another great option.

Best Street Photography Lenses for Nikon Z6 II

NIKKOR Z 28mm f 2.8
NIKKOR Z 28mm f 2.8

My choice for the best street photography lens for Nikon Z6 II shooters is the NIKKOR Z 28mm f/2.8. My priorities for street photography lenses are that they be small, light, and discreet. This lens meets all of those.

It has really good image quality and is very sharp. At f/2.8, it doesn’t have the widest aperture, but that doesn’t really matter in street photography and it’s what allows the lens to be so compact.

The 28mm f/2.8 is also a great lens for photographing your everyday life and it being so small means you can take it everywhere with you. It’s a workhorse lens that doesn’t disappoint.

If 35mm is more to your taste, you can’t go wrong with the NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S. It’s bigger and heavier than the 28mm and it would be nice if Nikon came out with an f/2.8 35mm that was smaller. However, it does have great image quality and you don’t have to get as close to fill the frame as with the 28mm.

Best Nikon Z6 II Lens for Video: NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S

NIKON NIKKOR Z 24mm f 1.8 S Wide Angle Fast Prime Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras
NIKON NIKKOR Z 24mm f 1.8 S Wide Angle Fast Prime Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras

There are several options for video for the Nikon Z6 II, but my recommendation is the NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S. This lens has great image quality and has fast and silent autofocusing, so your microphone won’t pick up any focusing sounds.

It has coatings that do a good job of suppressing flare and ghosting.

Even though it’s a wide-angle lens, it has very little distortion.

Pros:

  • Excellent image quality
  • Fast and silent autofocus

Cons:

  • Expensive

Best Nikon Z6 II Lenses for Video Alternatives:

Nikon Z Lens Alternatives

There are several third-party lenses for the Nikon Z6 II. Here are some worth checking out:

Related Article:

8 Best Lenses for Nikon Z6

Best Nikon Z6 II Lens for Travel

NIKON NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f 4-6.3 Compact Standard Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras
NIKON NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f 4-6.3 Compact Standard Zoom Lens for Nikon Z Mirrorless Cameras

I’m a big fan of traveling as light as possible, which is why I would go with the NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3 for traveling. This lens can be used for both Nikon’s FX and DX cameras.

24-50mm is the biggest focal range for a zoom, but it’s still a very useful range that realistically covers a lot of the types of photos that you would take while traveling. Likewise, the f/4-6.3 isn’t incredible, but it’s what makes this lens so compact and light.

When traveling, you’re more likely to expose your gear to the elements, which is why it’s really nice that this lens is weather-sealed, which is very uncommon among kit lenses.

Overall, Nikon prioritized size and weight with this lens, and I think that’s the way to go for a travel lens.

Pros:

  • Very small for its zoom range
  • Very lightweight
  • Quick and accurate autofocus
  • Has weather sealing
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Small and variable aperture
  • The barrel of the lens extends externally
  • Plastic lens mount
Photo of author
AUTHOR
Brandon Ballweg is a photographer based in Kansas City. He has shot landscape photography, wedding photography, portrait photography, and more, but his real passion is street photography. He created composeclick.com to connect with and help other photographers.

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