Using the NIKKOR Z 12-28mm Power Zoom Lens for Video and Vlogging


Picture this: you’re shooting video footage, perhaps for a vlog, perhaps for a short film and you want to zoom in (or out) while recording video. But no matter how you concentrate, you can’t reliably duplicate the zooming motion on the zoom ring of the lens barrel. The speed isn’t the same each take, and it isn’t as smooth as you’d hoped. 

There is a solution—utilize the NIKKOR Z DX 12-28mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ VR power zoom lens. A power zoom is a lens built with a linear drive that can handle the zoom capabilities of the lens electronically, not just mechanically. What does that mean? It’s a lens that you can zoom in and out not only by using the zoom ring on the lens barrel but also by using the magnification buttons on the camera body or MC-N10 remote grip, ML-L7 Bluetooth remote, via the SnapBridge app or even from within NX Tether software. And when you use any of these options to control the zoom it will be smoother. With the12-28mm power zoom lens, you can use one of 11 speeds—from slow and subtle (36 seconds) to nearly instantaneous (0.55 seconds) so the zoom shots in your video footage will look fluid and smooth with no jumpiness.

Ok, technical talk out of the way. This power zoom will let you do a few cool things while you’re shooting video. Your zooming will be consistent from take to take because once you set the zoom speed you want, the camera and lens combo will always zoom in/out at that speed. 

You can easily control the speed of the zoom of the NIKKOR Z DX 12-28mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ VR lens using the ML-L7 remote—as is shown here—as well as the magnification buttons on the camera body, or MC-N10 remote grip, via the SnapBridge app or even from within NX Tether software.

Along with the 11 speed options with the 12-28mm power zoom lens, you can also choose whether the camera should automatically restore the last-selected zoom position each time you turn the camera on. More advanced video shooters will also appreciate that you can set the zoom speed for pre- and post-recording, letting them alter the speed of the zoom when it’s not recording.

This lens supports image stabilization on all Nikon mirrorless cameras, including ones that do not have IBIS or in-body image stabilization, thanks to its built-in lens VR. Great for hand-held video recording, especially for selfie videos. 

Lastly, close focusing is just under 7 and a half inches, so you can get pretty close to your subjects.

The power zoom button options can be found in the Custom Settings Menu, (F) Controls at F7. This menu item also allows you to set the speed of your zoom.

When you’re serious about vlogging and shooting video and want to take your video productions to the next level, the NIKKOR Z DX 12-28mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ VR may be the ideal ultra-wide-angle lens to have in your gear bag.

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