The ultimate super-wide zoom lens for Nikon mirrorless cameras
I recently got my hands on the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8S super-wide zoom lens for FX format Nikon Z mount mirrorless cameras, and I’ve spent the last few weeks putting it through its paces. This pro-level lens features a constant f/2.8 aperture, and is an entirely updated design from it’s F-mount predecessor.
The first thing you’ll notice about this lens is that it’s extremely well-built. The focus and zoom rings are silky smooth. The 14-24mm f/2.8S features an illuminated LCD panel that can be configured to display aperture, focus distance (and hyperfocal distance), or focal length. There is also the traditional A/M switch for quickly switching from autofocus to manual focus, and a Lens Function (L-Fn) button which can be customized in your camera to provide additional functionality, such as AF-ON or auto exposure lock (and much more). This lens also includes a multi-function control ring that can be configured to control aperture, exposure compensation, or ISO setting using custom menu f2 in the Nikon Z6 & Z7 cameras.
This week, we were lucky enough to get our hands on a production copy of Nikon’s newest pro-level Z-mount lens. We tested the new 14-24mm f/2.8S Nikkor Z and came away quite impressed. Hear our thoughts on this lens, how it compares to similar Nikon super-wide lenses, and whether or not it makes sense for us to own one. Many thanks to our friends at B&H Photo for loaning us this lens to test!
Thanks to reader Mick Klass, who submitted his results for the new Nikon 20mm f/1.8 S Nikkor Z lens at 720mm infrared. His results showed excellent performance through f/8, with a mild hotspot appearing at f/11 and above. As such, I give the 20mm f/1.8 S Nikkor a “good” rating on my Nikon Z infrared testing chart.
The all-purpose zoom lens that’s perfect for travel and walkabout photography
Earlier this year, Nikon announced the 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR zoom Nikkor for full-frame (FX) Z-mount mirrorless cameras. Despite its variable aperture design, I was intrigued by the idea of having a native Z-mount lens for travel and general purpose photography. During my international photo tours, I typically used my 24-120mm f/4 VR zoom Nikkor as my primary lens.
When I moved to the Nikon Z mirrorless camera system last year, one of the challenges I faced was coming up with an appropriate travel kit. When I’m traveling, especially internationally, the size and weight of my kit are more important than superior optical quality. The Nikon 24-70mm f/4 S lens, which is the Nikon Z “kit” lens, is very good but has a limited zoom range, meaning I’d need to add a longer telephoto zoom to my bag.
I considered using my 24-120mm f/4 with the FTZ lens mount adapter, but I found that it was a little clumsy to use and frankly, quite heavy. That left me with the following travel kit:
This kit worked well on my photo tour of Scotland in the fall of 2019, but it was still a bit cumbersome compared to having a good all-purpose zoom lens. With the addition of the 24-200mm to the Nikon Z lineup, I could theoretically have a two-lens kit, with the 24-200mm being my go-to lens in most situations. This change would save me nearly a kilogram of weight from my bag!