Nikkor Z Releases New Lenses & Tether Tools Updates Software 

June 30, 2023

By Theano Nikitas

© Nikon

Nikon Z 70-180mm f/2.8 

© Nikon

Good news for Nikon Z shooters! Nikon has added two new lenses to its Z-series line: the Nikkor Z 70-180mm f/2.8 and the Z 180-800mm f/5.6-6.3 VR. While the latter is best left to wildlife and sports photographers, we think that the Z 70-180mm f/2.8 model looks like a solid lightweight alternative to its more established Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S sibling—at about half the price. The new lens comes in at $1,250 vs the 70-200mm’s $2,397.  

Granted, the 70-180mm lens doesn’t have VR (one of the reasons for the difference in price and size, of course) but given its slimmed down build, does it need VR? Probably not. At 1.5 pounds the new 70-180mm is about half the weight of the larger lens and loses a few inches along the way: the lens body measures 3.3″ x 6” vs. the larger lens’ 3.6″ x 8.7″. And since all full-frame Z models feature in-camera VR, handholding a zoom lens isn’t a problem. 

Other features of note include a customizable control ring and a minimum focus distance of 0.27m (at 70mm) so you can easily capture portraits as well as bridal decor details without switching lenses. The Z 70-180mm f/2.8 lens will be available mid-July. 

Tether Tools  

© Smart Shooter

And from the company that enhances your tethering experience, Tether Tools has announced version 5 of its Smart Shooter tethering capture software and is available as a standalone app for a wide variety of cameras (check the site for compatibility) from Canon, Nikon, Sony and Fujifilm. A Lightroom Classic plug-in, which has been updated, is also available for Nikon, Sony and now, Fujifilm. 

If you’re a product photographer or working in 3D, you’ll love the ability to shoot with up to 10 cameras with the new version 5—a real time saver when capturing different angles without having to move the cameras around the set. And you can photograph or scan a QR code to add data to files. But perhaps one of the features that’s really appealing is “SmartSave” which gives you the ability to automatically save files to multiple locations simultaneously. And you can write custom scripts to further speed up your workflow.  

Available for Mac and PC, prices start at $100 for one camera; add another $100 for each additional camera. All in all, Smart Shooter 5 sounds like a valuable and efficient tethering tool, so you may want to head over to the Tether Tools site and download a free trial to check it out.