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Hailed as the ultimate ultra-wide-angle zoom by Nikon, the Nikon 14-24mm F/2.8 lens is one of the most popular lens choices on the market for both hobbyists and professionals. Let’s take a look at the Nikon NIKKOR Z 14 24mm f 2.8 S’s key features. Read this review of the Nikon 14 24mm F 2.8 G to know more about the quality of images it captures, its advantages and disadvantages, and how it performs compared to other ultra-wide angle lenses.
Nikon Lens Overview
Nikon has been producing lenses to go with its cameras for as long as the company has existed. Nikon lenses have become a standard in the industry, thanks to its wide range of high-quality products that are compatible with most of its cameras. The company has different lenses for different types of photography, such as wildlife, portraiture, cityscapes, and street photography. It offers fixed focus lenses (more commonly known as prime lenses), zoom lenses, and macro lenses. Nikon lenses also come with various functions per lens type. Some of its most famous innovations include: M/A switch: Allows the user to switch between manual and autofocus seamlessly Vibration reduction: Helps images come out cleaner and sharper
The Nikon 14-24mm F/2.8 lens is the first ultra-wide lens designed for Nikon’s mirrorless zoom cameras, which is perfect for landscape or environmental photographs. This wide-angle lens was introduced by Nikon in 2020 and is a full-frame lens, with a mount designed for Nikon Z cameras. Though it may not be the sharpest 14-24mm f/2.8 lens Nikon has created, it can still produce wonderfully sharp images because of its many lens elements and ability to produce minimal noise in the image. It is a rectilinear lens (not a fisheye or macro lens), meaning that images won’t be curved and that straight lines on an image remain straight. It is also Nikon’s lightest and shortest F/2.8 ultra-wide zoom lens, especially when compared to the Nikon 14-24mm AFS f/2.8 G ED, which weighs almost a kilogram at 972g. The NIKKOR 14-24mm F/2.8 S weighs about 650g with dimensions of 88.5mm x 124.5mm, allowing users to operate their cameras easily.
Officially called the NIKKOR 14-24mm F/2.8 S by Nikon, this lens has a Nikon Z mount, meaning it is most compatible with Nikon Z cameras, Its design of the lens is 35% lighter compared to the FX version. Its key features are as follows: Silent Wave Motor: The wide-angle lens comes with a Silent Wave Motor (SWM). Focal length: The lens has a focal length of 14-24mm, suited for film or full frame cameras, and with internal focusing. Anti-reflection coating: The lens has an anti-reflection Nano Crystal Coat (a Nikon-exclusive feature) and a fluorine coating to prevent dirt and smudging to the lens. Removable lens hood: This gives users the option to capture images with or without a lens hood. Lens elements: It has four aspherical lens elements and three ED glass elements, with a nine-blade rounded diaphragm that stops down to f/22. Its multiple ED glass elements also make for sharper images, especially when compared to lenses with few or no ED elements. The 14-24mm F/2.8 lens comes with a lens hood and both a rear-end and front lens cap. The unique structure of the hood protects both fisheye and ultra-wide lenses from damage or smudging. Nikon’s Z mount is also designed with an integrated filter slot in its rear element, allowing for screw-in or rear gelatin filters such as polarizing or neutral density filters. Nikon replaced the bulbous front element of the lens’s F-mount predecessor with a flat lens element instead. It has no crop factor but does have a customizable control ring near its rear, which can help photographers adjust the aperture, exposure, and ISO sensitivity of the lens. Its outer lens barrel is also dust and moisture-sealed, preventing water or debris from entering the lens.
Its flagship ultra-wide-angle lens, the Nikon Z is one of Nikon’s most advanced and powerful ultra-wide-angle zoom lenses. With a full-frame focal range of 14-24mm, it performs well in cityscapes or architectural photography if edge-to-edge sharpness isn’t crucial. The wide-angle lens has a minimum aperture of f/22 and a minimum focus distance of 0.28m. At its minimum focal length of 14mm (also known as its widest setting), the lens can cover an angle of up to 115° from top to bottom, providing photographers with full floor-to-ceiling capture of any room. Even at maximum aperture, the lens can still deliver center sharpness in wide-angle photographs, with almost no optical aberration and barely noticeable distortion. Background blur or bokeh is also quite nice, as the focused subject is distinct and visible from its blurred and soft background. The lens can also suppress bright light sources that try to enter the lens in any direction, preventing unwanted effects such as ghosting or flares.
This section will take a deeper look at the NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S and review other aspects such as compatibility, convenience, and image quality.
Its reduced chromatic aberration and minimal barrel distortion keep the images as clean as possible. This is especially important in wide-angle photography, as professionals want every part of the image to have as minimal flaws as possible. There is no Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration that can be seen on the images it captures, but Lateral Chromatic Aberration (LCA) is slightly present at the edges of the image when using the lens’s wider zoom setting, though it can be corrected in image-editing software like Photoshop. There is some spherical aberration at F/2.8, its highest aperture range, though it is only visible when the image is magnified at 6.8x. At an aperture of F/8, however, the images are as crystal-clear as they can get, with little spherical aberration to be seen – even at 6.8x magnification. Barrel distortion is of no issue at a focal length of 18mm, and it is gone entirely if you use Nikon Z’s Distortion Correction option. There is barrel distortion at the lens’s wider ends, and pincushion distortion on longer ends, but both can be corrected easily in post-processing. Spherochromatism isn’t much of an issue with this lens either, regardless of focus distance or aperture range. There is some mild peripheral color shift, however, as is the usual case for ultrawide lenses. And, most importantly, the Z-mount lens can capture sharp images at every setting, whether the image is shot at its maximum aperture of F/2.8 or stopped down at F/5.6.
Compatibility may be a setback, as this only works on Nikon Z cameras due to its mount. It was primarily designed to be used with the Z-series mirrorless cameras. That said, with a mount adapter, it can be compatible with F-mount NIKKOR DSLR cameras as well, so you won’t have to worry about buying a new camera just to use the lens. The Nikon Z works perfectly on FX cameras, of course, but it does its job on DX cameras as well. On an FX camera, its angle of view is 115°-85° diagonally, while on a DX camera it is 90°-61°. It is also compatible with screw-on filters because of its lens hood.
Image stabilization can be a cause for concern with this mirrorless lens, though it won’t be an issue if you use a Z-mount camera, as most have in-body image stabilization. The Nikon Z features two lens hoods: a standard HB-96 hood covering the flat lens and a bigger HB-97 hood accepting 112mm screw-on filters. It comes with two lens caps: The LC-Z1424 can be used on the lens alone or on either lens hood. The LC-K104 lens cover is primarily used for the HB-87 hood. The product also comes with a Z-mount rear lens cap. Ergonomically, the lens balances quite well with most cameras and is easy to handle. The focus ring is on the front of the lens barrel, with the zoom ring directly behind it. Its electronic focus ring allows you to switch to manual focus instantly, even if you are in autofocus mode. At the end of the lens barrel is its control ring, which allows you to adjust the ISO sensitivity and aperture of the lens. The Nikon 14 24mm, in review, is a convenient lens. Its focus ring is unlike any other lens because of its ability to instantly switch to manual focus. This is unlike other lenses that typically shift back to autofocus.
Pros And Cons
This section will take a look at the Nikon NIKKOR Z 14 24mm F 2.8 S lens and review its advantages and disadvantages. While the lens is an improvement from previous versions, it is not without some flaws.
The NIKKOR Z is an advancement to its F-mount predecessor, and this comes with notable improvements such as: Nano Crystal Coating: Reduces image effects such as flare, chromatic, and spherical aberration, making images clearer during capture. Better optical design: The focus ring is located in front of the lens barrel, making the use of manual focus easier. Lens filters option: The NIKKOR Z is the first 14-24mm F/2.8 lens that is compatible with screw-in 112mm filters, and it can be equipped with rear gel filters as well. Digital display: Able to display either aperture, focal length, or focal distance from the lens itself Better focus: A faster and quieter autofocus because of Nikon’s stepping motor. The manual focus ring also immediately adjusts when manipulated. Weather-sealed: The lens is weather-sealed entirely, not just at the lens mount, making it usable in most environments. L-Fn button: A button can be configured in the camera’s menu to automatically set it to image playback, autofocus lock, or subject tracking when pressed. Decreased falloff: There is little falloff to be seen in images, regardless of aperture or zoom distance. This optical performance is perfect for outdoor photographers, especially those who want as little noise as possible to occur when shooting subjects.
While the Nikon Z 14-24mm lens is an improvement on its predecessors, that isn’t to say the lens doesn’t come with its own faults. Some of its perceived disadvantages are: Weight: This zoom lens might be difficult to carry around and shoot with, especially for photographers who are constantly moving from one place to another. Insufficient camera case: The case is more or less a carrying pouch and would require extra caution when storing or putting the lens down. Limited zoom range: As it can only zoom 1.7x or from 14mm-24mm, there’s not much difference between its minimum length and its maximum length. Expensive: Price can also be another disadvantage of the Nikon Z 14-24mm lens. Though it may be lighter and smaller compared to the AF-S version, it is also more expensive. No image stabilization: If you want ultra wide-angle or cityscape photography with edge-to-edge sharpness, then you may find an issue with this lens. Nisen bokeh effect: This lens is a victim of the “Nisen bokeh effect”, wherein images can appear like it has motion blur. The lens may go from sharp to out of focus and back to sharp again. While this is an improvement from its older version, the Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm F/2.8 lens is only suitable for a certain kind of photography and is not to be used as a general or all-around lens. Beginners might have a difficult time getting the hang of this product, but hobbyists or professionals may find this lens suitable for their ultra-wide photography needs.
The NIKKOR Z 14 24mm F/2.8 S under review is a step-up from its F-mount version. Though there can be issues regarding image stabilization, weight, and sharpness, the NIKKOR Z’s Vibration Reduction and multiple lens elements more than make up for it. The Nikon 14 24mm F 2.8 G, in review, is easier to use than its 2007 version as it is lighter and smaller while still boasting the same functions. But although it is a great lens for taking ultra wide-angle photographs with minimal aberration or barrel distortion, its lack of corner sharpness and image stabilization can be a drawback for some photographers. This is a good pick for photographers who primarily do wide-angle photography or professionals who want to expand their lens kit. If you’re willing to spend quite a bit for a lens like this, then this is a good bet.
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