7 Best Lenses For The Nikon Zfc (…and 1 to avoid)

The Nikon Zfc, with its classic Nikon styling and modern mirrorless technology, is one that’s currently in my bag and my favorite for everyday use.

The unique design definitely lends itself to the smaller and lighter lenses in the Z collection and the Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 is my top pick and the one that I keep on the Zfc almost all the time.

I am going to skip right over the kit lens the 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR kit lens that you can get with the Zfc. It’s sharper than most kit lenses and it’s great to have for taking snapshots, but the unimpressive aperture and the fact that there are better options if you’re buying it separately keep it off this list.

Keep in mind that the Zfc is a camera that has a lot of pro-level features that make full-frame Z lenses an excellent option as well, especially the smaller, lighter full-frame Z mount lenses.

Photography Goals uses affiliate links. When you buy products through the links on our site, we may earn a commission.

Top Pick

1. Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 SE

This compact 28mm lens has a nice wide f/2.8 max aperture and its size pairs nicely with the compact Zfc for a great walk-around combo. The SE also version matches the retro styling of the Zfc as well.

This might be my personal favorite lens to carry around with me on a regular basis. To begin with, it’s small and lightweight enough that pairing it with the Zfc makes for a very small kit that is perfect for everyday shooting.

In addition to that, the 28mm focal length (42mm full-frame equivalent) is wide enough to capture scenery but not so wide that pictures of people are distorted. Combine this with the f/2.8 aperture and it’s about as versatile a prime lens as you can get.

Finally, if you have a Nikon Zfc, I highly recommend getting the SE edition that has retro styling to match the Zfc. Not only does it look good on that camera, but I prefer the feel of it if you like to use manual focus.

As for image quality, I was happily surprised with the sharpness and contrast of this lens given its small size and low cost.

This is a great focal length to carry around while traveling, shooting street photography, or just going out with friends.

Compact Option

2. Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8

This lens is an affordable version of the pro-level 24-70mm f/2.8 and gives you nearly the same image quality in a much smaller and lighter body at less than half the cost which makes it the perfect Zfc companion.

The 28-75mm f/2.8 lens in the Z mount lineup is quite impressive. It packs a wide max aperture into a compact body and still delivers exceptional image quality.

While it does lag behind the much more expensive and larger 24-70mm f/2.8 Z lens in terms of pure sharpness and image quality, it’s the size and cost that vaults this lens to the top pick on this list.

There are a lot of similarities to the Tamron 28–75mm f/2.8 that was made for Sony cameras. Enough similaraties that it’s very likely that Nikon worked with Tamron to produce a less expensive f/2.8 zoom lens for the Z lineup. The result is a great affordable option with a wide max aperture.

I like this lens for the Zfc because its compact size, specifically the diameter of the lens, doesn’t take away from the look and feel of the Zfc despite being a very modern lens. With a 3 inch diameter (and 67mm filter size) it is still a compact lens that doesn’t overtake the small Zfc body. It looks and feels at home on the retro body but delivers excellent performance.

If you add the 17-28mm f/2.8 lens below then you have the perfect combo of lenses for the Zfc that covers a huge focal range with an f/2.8 max aperture. This makes for a perfect small and lightweight kit for traveling or just keeping with you on a regular basis to make sure you don’t miss any great shots in your daily life.

If you’re looking to build out a full kit that’s compact and easy to travel with, consider pairing this lens with the Nikon Z 17-28mm f/2.8 lens below.

Best Prime

3. Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 S

With an equivalent focal length of 52.5mm on the crop sensor camera, this is the lens that every Zfc owner should buy once they realize the kit lens isn’t getting it done.

The 35mm f/1.8 is the lens I recommend for almost anyone with a crop sensor camera as the next one to get after they get frustrated with their kit lens. The f/1.8 aperture opens up an entire world of possibilities compared to most kit lenses.

The f/1.8 aperture is often a massive difference for anyone that’s never used a lens with a wide maximum aperture like that before. It will allow you to experiment with shallow depth of field as well as shoot in low light.

The Zfc is a great option to have as an everyday camera and if you plan to use your Zfc for things like photographing your kids or get-togethers with friends and family, you’ll be thankful to have the option to use f/1.8, especially in indoor situations. You’ll find that indoor lighting is often far darker than you perceive it with your eyes.

As far as looks go, this is another lens that despite the modern stylings, will look at home on your Zfc. It comes in at just under 3 inches in diameter with a 62mm filter size.

So if you want a little more low light capability than the two options above, then I highly recommend checking out this 35mm lens.

Versatile All-Around

4. Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4

The second version of the Z6 has improved focusing, an exceptional sensor, and dual card slots while the Z mount means you’ll have some of the best lenses on the market available to you. It also has a price tag that won’t break the bank.

I put this lens on the list because it’s a versatile all-around lens, similar to the 28-75mm above. It has a smaller max aperture at f/4 but better sharpness across the frame and optical performance in general. It’s also around the same price as that lens but comes in slightly lighter in weight, but not by much.

This is a good option if you don’t see yourself needing the f/2.8 aperture very much and want improved image quality. For instance, if you plan on using this zoom lens for landscape photography, then the image quality is far more important than the wide max aperture.

The extra 4mm at the wide end is also beneficial for landscape shooting.

The 3.1 inch diameter and 72mm filter size makes it a bit larger than the other lenses above. I still don’t think that is big enough to detract from the look and feel of the Zfc, but its certainly a bit bigger.

I would also recommend this lens over the 28-75mm if you plan on using it on a full-frame camera in addition to the Zfc. This lens has better sharpness and less chromatic aberration around the edges which will show up more on full-frame than the crop-sensor Zfc.

Best For Landscapes

5. Nikon Z 17-28mm f/2.8

This lens is a great companion to the 28-75mm above and shares the same great quality in a small and compact package.

This lens is the wide-angle companion to the top pick above. It’s lighter, more compact, and less expensive than the other wide-angle Z mount options. These things all make it a solid option for your Zfc.

The reasons it works well with the Zfc are the same as the top pick, just with a wider angle of view that is perfect for the landscape shooter.

You’ll save on the cost of the lens, but there are compromises with cost as you would expect. However, these compromises are minimized when used on a crop-sensor camera like the Zfc.

While this lens is quite sharp overall, the place where it falls short of the other wide-angle Z-mount options is around the edges.

But here’s the good news…

Because this is a full-frame lens, your Zfc is only going to be using the center part of the lens…where it’s at its sharpest. So you’ll get the benefit of a very sharp lens, lower cost, and compact design…and you can still use it on full-frame Z bodies if you upgrade in the future.

If you’re looking to build out the perfect Zfc kit…I highly recommend combining this lens with the 28-75mm f/2.8 lens above to cover a large focal range without adding much weight to your bag. This combo may be one of the best travel kits you can put together.

Telephoto Pick

6. Nikon Z 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR

This lens gives you a lot of reach in a very compact package that pairs well with the Zfc, especially if you don’t find yourself shooting in low light too often.

This is the only dedicated crop-sensor (DX) lens on this list for a couple of reasons. First, Nikon doesn’t have many DX options in their Z lineup. Second, many of their full-frame lenses (like the ones above) are light, compact, less expensive, and pair perfectly with the Zfc.

I think you get a lot more value for your money when you go with one of these options rather than a dedicated crop-sensor lens that is often of lesser quality (if the F-mount options are any indication).

So why this lens?

The 250mm long end of the focal length in this lens can be very useful for a variety of different situations that suit the Zfc.

If you are taking advantage of the excellent autofocus system on the Zfc to shoot your kid’s sports, then having a 250mm reach is going to get you up close and personal with the action. The shots you get will blow away the cell phone photos of the other parents and even shots from those all-in-one superzooms.

This lens will also work great for casual nature photography. The f/6.3 aperture at 250mm won’t be great in low light but for daytime hikes, the focal range can be great for capturing wildlife that you might run into.

Upgrade Option: If you want a telephoto with better low light performance then consider sacrificing some reach and go with the Nikon Z 70-180 f/2.8 lens. The f/2.8 aperture will let in more light so you can use higher shutter speeds even in lower light situations.

Best For Portraits

7. Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S

The Z version of the popular 50mm f/1.8 is a lens that should be in the bag of every photographer that likes to photograph people.

The Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 has all of the same benefits as the 35mm version, but if you are shooting a lot of portrait photography, then the 50mm will be a 75mm equivalent on the Zfc which is a perfect focal length for portraits.

By using a longer focal length, you’ll be able to stand farther away from your subject while still filling the frame. This adds something called compression in photography, which helps to give a more flattering look to people.

Of course, the longer focal length also can be somewhat limiting for everyday use. So keep that in mind. This lens is great as a second or third option for the Zfc while the ones at the top of this list are more versatile and good for everyday use.

Lenses To Avoid

The truth is that there really aren’t any bad Z-mount lenses. Nikon hasn’t opened up the specs to third-party manufacturers to create their own lenses and they’ve done a great job at making high-quality lenses even at the lower price ranges.

With the adapter you can use F-mount lenses too, so be sure to check out my complete guide to the best Nikon lenses.

But there is one I really can’t recommend…

Nikon Z DX 16-50 f/3.5-6.3 VR

As kit lenses go, this one is one of the better ones, but if you didn’t get one with your Zfc, then I think you can spend your money on better options. This lens comes in at $309.95 MSRP if you purchase it separately.

I think you’ll get far more value for your money with the Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 that’s the same price or by spending $500 more for the Nikon Z 28-75 f/2.8 lens.

What To Look For When Choosing A Lens For Your Nikon Zfc

In addition to the usual things you look for in a lens like image quality, sharpness, and a large maximum aperture, there are a few things specific to the Nikon Zfc that you may want to think about.


The Nikon Zfc has a very specific look. It’s designed to be similar to the old FM and FE-series film SLRs, so when you’re choosing lenses for the camera, you may want to consider the aesthetic of the lens more than you would for any other camera.

The good news is that Nikon knows this and is designing some of it’s smaller prime lenses to match the look and feel of the Zfc. The Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 SE above is one of those and they have a 40mm f/2 coming soon that may end up on this list as soon as I get an opportunity to test it out.

You can tell which lenses are designed with this retro look by the “SE” designation in the name which stands for Special Edition.

Size and Weight

The Zfc is a small and compact camera, even for a crop sensor camera. So larger lenses will be a bit cumbersom on this body.

All of the lenses I recommended above are smaller, lighter, and more compact so you can rest assured they will feel comfortable and well balanced on your Zfc.

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00