Reviews |Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S

Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S Review

Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S review
Review

Price when reviewed

£2499

$2397
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Our Verdict

A 14-24mm focal length range is something of a luxury, especially with a fixed aperture of f/2.8. Consequently, the Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S is likely to appeal most to professional photographers while enthusiast will probably find that the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S meets their needs.

Anyone who treats themselves to the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S will not be disappointed, it captures a superb level of detail, keeps curvilinear distortion under very close control and isn’t trouble by pesky chromatic aberration.

For

  • Superb image quality even at maximum aperture
  • Fast and quiet AF
  • Significantly lighter and smaller than F-mount equivalent

Against

  • This type of lens doesn't come cheap
  • Two lens hoods required (supplied), one for with 112mm filters and one without
  • Can't be used with filter holders - ruling out graduated filters

What is the Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S?

For many photographers, the Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S is the faster, more luxurious (and expensive) alternative to the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S that I reviewed a while ago. They are the widest zoom lenses that Nikon currently offers for its Z-series mirrorless cameras.

Along with the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S forms a ‘trinity’ of lenses that are generally considered to be the most desirable or useful in a pro photographers kit. They all have a maximum aperture of f/2.8, which remains fixed throughout their zoom ranges.

 

Specification

  • Product type: Wide-angle zoom lens
  • Mount: Nikon Z
  • Format: Full-frame (FX)
  • Focal length: 14-24mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum aperture: f/22
  • Construction: 16 elements in 11 groups including 4 ED elements and 3 aspherical elements
  • Coatings: Nano Crystal and ARNEO coatingss, and a fluorine-coated front element
  • Focusing system: Internal autofocusing
  • Minimum focus distance: 28cm from the focal plane throughout the zoom range
  • Maximum reproduction ratio: 0.13x at 24mm
  • Stabilisation: No
  • Number of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Filter size: 112mm or rear gels
  • Weight: 650g / 1lb 7oz
  • Diameter x length (extension from lens mount): 88.5 x 124.5mm /3.5 x 5-inches
Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S

Features

As it’s aimed at professional photographers, the Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S has a collection of attractive features including a dedicated control ring along with the usual zoom and manual focus rings, a customisable function button and a small display screen that can reveal key information such as the aperture setting, focus distance or the exact focal length.

There’s no stabilisation (or VR as Nikon calls it) built into the lens, but Nikon’s Z-series cameras have in-body image stabilisation, which is usually more effective with wide-angle lenses than telephoto optics.

Nikon’s engineers have constructed the lens from 16 elements arranged in 11 groups. These include 4 ED (Extra-low Dispersion glass) elements and 3 aspherical elements for reduced aberration and better sharpness across the frame.

There are also nano and ARNEO coatings to minimise ghosting and flare while the front element is fluorine-coated to make it easier to keep clean.

Unusually, Nikon supplies two lens hoods with the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S. One is for normal use while the other enables 112mm filters to be fitted. Alternatively, the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S can accept gel filters in its rear slot.

Nikon offers its own 112mm filters, which have a low profile, but do not come cheap. Thankfully, there are more affordable third-party options available.

You can buy the Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S

Build and Handling

Anyone who has used the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED will be expecting the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S to be a bit of a bulbous beast, but as the figures below show, the Z-mount lens is much smaller and lighter.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
Dimensions: 98 x 131.5mm / 3.9 x 5.2-inches
Weight: 1000g /35.3oz

Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S
Dimensions: 88.5 x 124.5mm / 3.5 x 5-inches
Weight: 650g / 1lb 7oz

The front element of the new lens is also much less like a goldfish bowl.

Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S

The physical differences in the lens make it feel more balanced and comfortable on the Nikon Z-series cameras. Having used the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens extensively on the Z7, I can say with certainty that the cameras have the grip and shape to cope with a large lens, but a smaller, lighter lens is preferable and easier to work with.

Despite the lower weight of the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S, it is sealed against moisture and dust, as we’d expect with a pro-level optic.

All three of the rings on the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S have a smooth, near-silent action. I like to use the control ring to adjust exposure compensation.

Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S

Performance

When Nikon announced the Z-mount its representatives explained that the large internal diameter had been selected to enable the lens designers to produce better. Judging by all the Z-series lenses I have used to date, this is bearing fruit. And as the Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct proves, it also enables faster than usual optics to be created.

The Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S continues the high-quality theme, delivering superb images throughout its zoom and aperture ranges. Even wide-open at the widest point, the corners of the frame have a more than respectable level of detail.

If you close down from f/2.8, you’ll see a slight improvement in sharpness at the edges of the frame, but the results are very good. By f/22, the effect of diffraction becomes apparent if you’re scrutinising details with images at 100% on screen. You’re unlikely to notice at normal viewing sizes.

Also, if the camera is level and straight-on to a subject with a linear pattern, such as a brick wall, it’s clear that curvilinear distortion is very well controlled. There’s just a hint of barrel distortion at the 14mm end, but it’s nothing worth complaining about.

If you’re shooting a subject with a uniform tone, you’ll also notice that the corners get a touch lighter as you continue to close down the aperture to about f/8. Zoom in to 15mm and the corner shading is gone by f/5.6 and bu 18mm it’s negligible at f/4. But even at 14mm and at f/2.8, the vignetting isn’t dramatic.

Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S

Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S Sample Images

Follow the link to browse and download full-resolution sample images.

Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S Image Gallery

You can buy the Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

Verdict

I’m a fan of wide-angle photography and the Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S is a fabulous lens for indulging my passion. Tip it up at 14mm and you’ll get dramatically converging verticals, or keep it level and see your subject in the context of its surroundings. Zoom to 24mm and you’ve got a more regular view, but still a great wide-angle for all sorts of scenarios, especially landscape and interiors.

The Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S does what it’s supposed to do very well and excels at detail capture for a wide-angle optic.

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