Nikon is set two release two eagerly anticipated lenses to expand their Z mount lens lineup: The Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S and the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S. These new lenses are much needed additions to the lineup that will allow professional and hobbyist photographers more scope for creativity and are considered staple focal lengths for any camera system.
We were lucky enough to receive one of each lens from Nikon Australia to test for a day, so we headed down to Kangaroo Point for an early morning shoot. While not being able to do an in-depth review I certainly got a good feel for each lens.
Both of these lenses, while filling an obvious gap in the Z mount lineup, have some unique features along with the excellent optical quality expected from Nikkor lenses, so let’s have a closer look at both.
The new ultra-wide lens from Nikon is pretty exciting, it covers that classic focal length from super-wide to mid-wide but, due in part to the short flange distance, takes it a step further by being 14mm at the wide end rather than the 16mm we usually see.
It’s also notable because it is very light at 485 grams, it felt very comfortable and portable on the Nikon Z6 and Z7 camera. Similar to the 24-70mm f/4, the lens retracts and must be released prior to shooting, which reduces it’s footprint even further.
This lens is excellent for Landscape and architecture photography and I can see it being very popular with videographers, particularly for gimbal use.
Another excellent feature is the 82mm filter thread that can take screw on filters as the front lens element is flat, rather than domed.
From our photo shoot I found that the lens was decently sharp, with good contrast and not excessive wide angle distortion, considering the extreme focal length. Auto focus was also quite accurate in both photo and video. Finally, the new lenses from Nikon have a programmable control ring that can control aperture and focus among other things.
The 24-70mm f/2.8 is a classic lens that needs to be in every photographers kit, focal length and aperture is useful for a huge segment of photographers from street to landscape to portraiture and is a common choice as a do it all lens.
It has been anticipated since the release of the Nikon mirrorless full frame cameras and I can say that it did not disappoint. As expected it produced good subject isolation when framing a subject at 70mm and f/2.8. It proved itself to be a solid portrait lens with pleasing bokeh.
While not being as light as the 14-30mm f/4, at 805 grams the 24-70mm f/2.8 is still over 250 grams lighter than it’s Nikon DSLR lens equivalent and it felt good in the hand paired with a Z6 or Z7 camera.
Like the 14-30mm f/4 it has an 82mm filter thread and customisable control ring. This ring is completely separate from the zoom and focus rings.
The lens also features an OLED display which can show which setting is on the control ring or cycle through focal length, focus distance and depth of field. and provide exact measurements.
The new optical design of 17 elements in 15 groups with ED Glass and anti reflective coating produces consistently sharp images with excellent contrast and little flare.
Both of the new lenses from Nikon are an extremely welcome addition and really strengthen the lens offering for the Nikon full frame mirrorless. From our small shoot they both performed very well and the new customisable control ring is a great inclusion.
Both lenses are due to arrive in stock in late April and are available to pre-order online now.