Nikon Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.eight assessment: Huge, sharp, and spectacular
“Sharp, large, and shiny, the Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.eight is what prime lenses ought to be.”
- Very sharp
- Minimal distortion
- Quiet autofocus
- Expensive in comparison with F-mount
- Bigger than F-mount
Multiple 12 months in, Nikon’s Z mount lens system is steadily rising. The latest member of the household is the Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.eight S, a focal size already lined by two 24-70mm lenses. However the place the zooms supply slower f/four or f/2.eight apertures, this new prime is far brighter. The 24mm is the third and widest prime but within the Z collection, which additionally features a 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm all with f/1.eight apertures.
Primarily based on our expertise with different lenses within the premium S line, the 24mm f/1.eight S packs few surprises — and that’s factor. It proves Nikon’s sharpness claims aren’t simply advertising and marketing communicate. With beautiful readability and minimal distortion, that is one other must-have prime for Z-series photographers.
Heavy, however sturdy design
The Z 24mm f/1.eight seems and seems like the opposite three prime lenses within the younger Z collection, with a smooth, minimalist design. Not like Nikon’s DSLR lenses, the Z lens lacks a spotlight scale. The one controls on the lens are the autofocus change and programmable focus ring. The ring rotates with buttery smoothness and may be personalized to regulate aperture or publicity compensation as a substitute of focus, a pleasant characteristic given that almost all photographers will probably be taking pictures with autofocus.
For as minimal because the design is, the development is the other. The lens is weather-sealed and feels as high-end and durable because the Z 6 and Z 7 cameras for which it’s constructed. Gone is the plastic-like really feel of some DSLR lenses, changed as a substitute with a lens that feels way more sturdy. As with the Z 85mm, don’t assume that the f/1.eight aperture means this isn’t a professional-level lens — it completely is.
There’s a trade-off for that high-end construct, nevertheless. The lens ideas the size at practically a pound and takes up 3.eight inches within the digicam bag. Whereas the high-end optics inside and the weather-sealing are doubtless price that further weight for many photographers, it’s heavier and longer than Nikon’s DSLR variant.
Photographers that head into the Z system anticipating each mirrorless our bodies and lenses to be smaller than their DSLR counterparts will probably be dissatisfied. Nikon can take the mirror out of the physique, however there’s little workaround to make high-end optics smaller.
Efficiency and specs
The Nikkor Z 24mm is constructed from 12 lens components in 10 teams and makes use of a nine-blade aperture. That development consists of ED glass, aspherical components, and anti-reflective coatings. The entrance accepts 72mm filters.
Inside, the Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.eight makes use of a multi-focus system with two stepper motors. That enables the lens to focus shortly and quietly — not silently, however not as obviously loud as some lenses. Focusing is feasible right down to about 0.83 toes in entrance of the lens.
The autofocus efficiency with the 24mm was in keeping with our expertise utilizing the Z 6 with different lenses, together with lenses with the FTZ adapter. Autofocus was good in most circumstances, however struggled in low gentle, looking forwards and backwards and leading to extra comfortable photographs. Whereas autofocus points might be created by the lens or the digicam, we suspect the digicam is at fault. As Nikon improves the autofocus methods on subsequent Z-series cameras, the 24mm lens will doubtless get higher.
Recording video, aperture changes really feel easy and never jarring, permitting videographers to lighten or darken the picture or alter the depth of subject mid-recording. That’s helped partially by the choice to regulate aperture with the programmable focus ring, since utilizing the management wheel on the digicam physique creates an audible click on that’s recorded by the microphone.
Picture high quality
Identical to the design, photographs from the Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.eight convey no surprises. Nikon promised sharper photographs with Z mount, and that’s what this lens delivers.
Sharpness on the heart when taking pictures large open is nice and higher than most. Stepping right down to f/2.eight raises the sharpness to wonderful, though the distinction is negligible in real-world use. This can be a lens we felt comfy taking pictures wide-open with out worrying about sharpness.
The f/1.eight aperture additionally makes it straightforward to attain a shallow depth of subject, regardless of the large angle. Due to that nine-blade aperture, the lens captures round bokeh with no onerous edges.
Chromatic aberration, which regularly plagues quick wide-angle lenses, was robust to identify. We have been zoomed in 300% earlier than we thought that possibly there may be a slight inexperienced tint to a high-contrast edge. Flare was additionally effectively managed.
Huge-angle lenses are inclined to wrestle most with vignetting and barrel distortion. The Z 24mm does have some vignetting that’s noticeable when photographing a light-colored scene. Barrel distortion was surprisingly minimal, doubtless helped by the truth that it’s a chief and never a zoom.
If a digicam is barely pretty much as good because the lens mounted on the entrance, then the Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.eight makes for a wonderful digicam. It’s impressively sharp, even when taking pictures large open, with minimal distortion. If there’s a draw back, it’s the scale and worth. Whereas not too robust to tote round, it’s heavier, bigger, and dearer than Nikon’s 24mm f/1.eight DSLR lens. However contemplating the premium construct high quality and wonderful outcomes, it’s straightforward to see why.
Is there a greater different?
The Nikon Z collection of lenses has few choices due to its youth. The one different Z-mount lenses with the 24mm focal size are the 24-70mm lenses, and even the f/2.eight model isn’t as shiny. The zoom could be the more sensible choice for photographers that want versatility, however the added brightness of the prime lens is right for low gentle.
Photographers that already personal an F-mount 24mm could hesitate earlier than dropping $1,000 on this lens. Whereas pixel peepers will see the distinction between the Z lens and the F-mount model, it’s debatable how a lot distinction that sharpness makes within the real-world or when scrolling by Instagram.
How lengthy will it final?
Due to the construct high quality and sharpness, the Nikkor Z 24mm ought to final a few years. The weather-sealing will assist the lens face up to on a regular basis put on, whereas the optical high quality ought to sustain as Nikon comes out with higher-resolution sensors sooner or later.
Must you purchase it?
Sure. This can be a well-built lens that delivers distinctive outcomes, although you could not want it if you happen to already personal the DSLR model and don’t thoughts utilizing an adapter.