Photography News 86 Web

First test

PRICE: £2499

NIKON.CO.UK

ONTEST We shot our custom test chart using the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S on a Nikon Z 7, and the pair on a Leofoto LS-324C and LH-40 tripod/ballhead combo. The self-timer was used and the Raws put through Lightroom. There can be no doubting that the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S is a hugely capable lens, perfectly happy being used at wide apertures for tack-sharp, very detailed shots. Barrel distortion for such a wide lens is minimal. There is some vignetting at f/2.8, but it's not an issue and soon goes with stopping down. This is an awesome lens, but comes at a price.

Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S The third lens in Nikon’s holy trinity of f/2.8 aperture zooms for the Z system has arrived. So, has the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S been worth the wait?

14MM

18MM

24MM

F/2.8

F/2.8

F/2.8

F/2.8

F/2.8

F/2.8

IT HAS TAKEN a little while, but the third high spec f/2.8 zoom has been introduced for the Nikon Z system, with the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S joining the 24- 70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8. We’ve already tested those two lenses and were impressed, so expectations were high for the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S and completion of Nikon's Z system holy trinity. Mechanically, the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S is naturally first rate and all moving parts are sealed, making it dust and moisture resistant. A fluorine-coated front element repels dust and water, too, and makes cleaning easier. The lens has a lovely heft and solid feel, but it is worth noting that’s around 350g lighter than the 14-24mm f/2.8 G lens. A quarter turn of the smooth action zoom ring covers the whole range and you know precisely the set focal length, down to 0.5mm, thanks to the OLED readout. Nikon has included an OLED to its other top-end lenses and it’s a useful addition. Push the DISP button and scroll through info options – the aperture in 0.5 or 0.3EV steps, depending on what’s

F/4

F/4

F/4

F/4

F/4

F/4

F/5.6

F/5.6

F/5.6

F/5.6

F/5.6

F/5.6

F/8

F/8

F/8

F/8

F/8

F/8

ABOVE Great build quality and the OLED display make Nikon's new ultra-wide zoom a pleasure to use. It's sharp, too set in the camera, and subject distance in metres, together with a rudimentary depth-of-field scale where a line varies with aperture value as adjusted. There’s also a L-Fn button. The function dedicated to this button is set via the camera menu where you have 23 options, including off, and including depth-of-field preview, AF-ON, light measuring method and zoommagnifier. Two lens hoods come with the lens and the HB-97 enables you to use 112mm screw fit filters, and B+W, NiSi and Nikon have products available. Filters can also be rear-mounted – Kase has slot-in filters for this lens and clip-in filters for the Z 6/Z6 II/Z 7/Z 7II bodies. I have a Lee Filters SW150 set, but nothing suitable to try those filters on this lens, and I’d imagine Lee will have an adapter solution in due course. In use, this lens is a joy. I’m a fan of wides and this handles beautifully (I used it on a Z 7) with responsive autofocus. Even in the low winter sun there’s no flare, the OLED readout is excellent and, of course, it is optically beyond reproach. Images are sharp and detailed at almost every aperture value and focal length, and there was simply nothing to complain about. Yes, there is vignetting at f/2.8 at the three tested focal lengths, although sharpness is first rate at this setting. And, yes, images are a little softer at f/22 with diffraction, but neither factor is a deal breaker. The tiny barrel distortion can also be quickly remedied in editing. WC

F/11

F/11

F/11

F/11

F/11

F/11

SPECS ›  Price £2499 ›  In the box Front (two, one for each hood) and back caps, HB-97 hood for filter use, HB-96 standard hood, case ›  Format Full-frame FX format ›  Filter size 112mm (via HB-97) ›  Construction 16 elements in 11 groups ›  Special lens elements Four ED, three aspherical ›  Aperture range F/2.8-22 ›  Diaphragm Nine blades ›  Magnification 0.13x at 24mm ›  Autofocus Yes, STM motor, internal focusing ›  Manual focusing ring Yes ›  Coating Arneo, Nano Crystal, fluorine ›  Minimum focus 28cm ›  Weather-sealed Yes ›  Dimensions (dxl) 88.5x124.5mm ›  Weight 650g Contact nikon.co.uk

F/16

F/16

F/16

F/16

F/16

F/16

F/22

F/22

F/22

F/22

F/22

F/22

Verdict

PROS Optically first rate, compact and light for its spec, OLCD, hood to use 112mm filters, rear filter slot CONS Price Whether you’re a Z owner wanting the best possible ultrawide zoom, or a Nikon DSLR owner and a keen 14-24mm f/2.8 user waiting for the equivalent lens in the Z system to come out before switching, your wait is over. Make no mistake, the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S is an awesome, high-performing lens free of any significant vices. Of course it will cost you, but then you get what you pay for.

58 Photography News | Issue 86

photographynews.co.uk

www.photographynews.co.uk

Powered by