Learn & Explore - Z Series

Standard Zoom: NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR with Nikon Z 50

Recommended NIKKOR Z Lenses for Broader Expression

When you lead a super-active lifestyle and love photography, it helps to have ultra-lightweight gear that you can always bring out with you. Arfan Norudin, a freelance photographer and extreme sports enthusiast, loves riding around his hometown on his mountain bike and the Nikon Z 50 with the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR standard zoom lens are perfect to take along. He shares some of the moments he managed to capture along the way. (Photos and report by Arfan Norudin)

Mounted onto the Z 50 (fully retracted)
Mounted onto the Z 50 (fully retracted)
HN-40 Lens Hood
Point #1

Wonderful low-light performance

Having grown up in a coastal town in the east of peninsular Malaysia, the sea is close to my heart. I often bike there to chase the sunrise, sunset and stars. I love how well the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR and Nikon Z 50 perform in low-light scenes like this one: the autofocus (AF) works well despite the dim lighting, and tones and contrasts of the sunset are captured beautifully with no visible chromatic aberrations. There is no visible flaring or ghosting despite the strong backlight. The focal length range is also a plus: standing on the shore near the edge of the water, I was able to zoom in to achieve the perfect compositional balance between the sea, the sky and the cyclist admiring the sunset.

Nikon Z 50 /NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR/ FL: 32.5mm (48mm at FX-format equivalent)/ Manual Exposure (f/16, ISO 640, 1/500 sec)

Point #2

Achieve handheld slow shutter shots

Nikon Z 50/ NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR / FL: 32mm (47mm at FX-format equivalent)/ Manual exposure (f/16, 1/40 sec)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

Most people will know that Nikon’s in-lens Vibration Reduction (VR) system helps to correct blur and ensure sharper handheld shots. On the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR, the VR effect lets you shoot up to 4.5 shutter speed stops’ faster, ideal for handheld shooting to produce sharp, blur-free shots. You can also choose to activate the ‘SPORT’ mode via your Z 50 to better capture images of subjects in swift motion.

Beyond ordinary shots, VR is great for getting creative with slow shutter speed effects: it helps to keep elements that should be sharp, sharp while allowing the elements with motion blur to stand out better. This is so even for handheld panning shots like the one above of some fellow cyclists along the beach. In this kind of shot, you move the camera in the same direction as a moving subject to create motion blur that shows speed and action. The ‘Normal’ VR mode detects the panning movement and corrects only the unintended camera shake, not the motion blur caused by your intentional camera movement. Thanks to that, you get even better results!

A handy combination for photographers on the go

As an extreme sports enthusiast as well as a passionate photographer, I may always be out and about but I never leave home without my camera. I love being able to capture unexpected precious moments when I am doing my favourite sports or simply having fun in my daily life. The Z 50 and the NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR, are my favourite gear to bring along on my bike rides as they are compact and lightweight, but pack a punch in terms of performance. The good AF performance lets me take sharp photos of my main subjects easily, even when I am literally on the move.

When fully retracted, the lens is only around 3cm long, just like a pancake prime lens. However, with a turn of the zoom ring, you can zoom in from wide angle at 16mm (24mm at FX-format equivalent) all the way to medium telephoto at 50mm (75mm at FX-format equivalent), which is enough to cover most daily scenes. It’s amazing to get such coverage and performance in a lens so tiny and light. I would recommend it for hobbyists whom, like me, are always on the go.

ED Lens elements
Aspherical lens elements

Key specifications

  • Focal length when mounted onto Nikon Z 50: 16–50mm (FX-format/35mm equivalent of 24–75mm)
  • Lens structure: 7 groups 9 elements
  • Minimum focusing distance:
    16mm zoom position: 0.25m
    50mm zoom position: 0.3m
  • Maximum magnification: 0.2x
  • Filter diameter: φ46mm
  • Maximum diameter×Length: approx. φ70.0mm×32.0mm (when fully retracted)
  • Weight: approx. 135g

Arfan Norudin (“Apang”)

A Malaysian freelance photographer based in the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. Passionate about both photography and extreme sports such as skateboarding, surfing and mountain biking, Apang frequently shoots the sports he is involved in, but also loves landscape photography and chasing the sunrise, sunset and stars. He never leaves home without his camera bag, which now usually contains just the Nikon Z 50 and a NIKKOR DX-format lens.