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Summary

The Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S is a professional ultra-wide angle zoom designed for Nikon’s full-frame Z-series mirrorless cameras. Announced in September 2020, it’s the third native zoom with a fast f2.8 focal ratio and together with Nikon's Z 24-70mm f2.8 S and Z 70-200mm f2.8 VR S completes the trinity of professional f2.8 zoom lenses for Nikon's Z system. Check out my preview for more details!

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Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S review – preview
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The Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S is a professional ultra-wide angle zoom designed for Nikon’s full-frame Z-series mirrorless cameras. Announced in September 2020, it’s the third native zoom with a fast f2.8 focal ratio and together with Nikon’s Z 24-70mm f2.8 S and Z 70-200mm f2.8 VR S completes the trinity of professional f2.8 zoom lenses for Nikon’s Z system.

The Z 14-24mm f2.8 S is a unique lens: it’s the only full-frame zoom lens starting at 14mm focal length with a large f2.8 focal ratio which allows to use standard filters albeit of a huge 112mm diameter – or you can use gel-filters in the rear holder. This is different from its F-mount predecessor, the AF-S 14-24mm f2.8G, which had such a bulbous front element with built-in lens hood that one had to resort to a third party solution which attaches to the front-end of the barrel. Other features also put the new Z 14-24mm f2.8 S ahead of its F-mount sibling: It has a customizable function ring which can be assigned to operate the aperture or the ISO or exposure compensation and it features the nifty OLED display which Nikon introduced with its Z 24-70mm f2.8 S lens. It can indicate focal length, aperture, or focusing distance and depth-of-field. And the new Z-Nikkor also has an additional button which can be assigned different functions e.g. AE/AF-lock.

The Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S is listed at 2630 EUR (incl. 16% VAT) / 2400 USD / 2500 GBP and should become available end of October. Ahead of my full review I’ve compared the new lens and its F-mount predecessor plus the Nikon Z 14-30mm f4.0 S based on the information so far available from Nikon. PS – if you’re interested in the other Z zoom lenses in Nikon’s line-up check out our in-depth reviews: Nikon Z 14-30mm f4.0 S review / Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.8 S review / Nikon Z 24-70mm f4 S review / Nikon Z 24-200mm f4-6.3 VR review / Nikon Z 70-200 f2.8 S review.

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Facts from the catalog

Let’s compare the Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S to the Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f2.8G (“F-Nikkor” for short) and the Z 14-30mm f4.0 S. As usual I’ve rated the features with a [+] (or [++]), when it’s better than average or even state of the art, a [0] if it’s standard or just average, and [-] if there’s a disadvantage. For comparison I use the .

Size (diameter x length): At 89 x 125mm (3.5 x 4.9in.) without lens hood the new Z-Nikkor is slightly shorter and slimmer than the F-Nikkor at 98 x 132mm including lens hood. Add another 30.5mm for the FTZ adapter when using the F-Nikkor on a Nikon Z body. Zooming does not change the length of both lenses. The Z 14-30mm f4.0 is 89 x 85mm + 25mm for the lens hood. But the short length of 85mm is reached only in its collapsed state which shaves 29mm off the maximum operating length of 114mm at 14mm focal length. The following images show the section of each lens at a comparable scale. [0]

Weight: 650g (23 oz.) without lens hood. This is comparatively lightweight especially against the F-Nikkor which is 1000g including lens hood – plus another 133g for the FTZ adapter to use it on a Nikon Z body. But even the latest ultra-wide angle f2.8 zooms from Sony and Sigma for E-mount are clearly heavier at 847g and 795g respectively. The Z 14-30mm f4.0 S is lighter at 479g + 18g lens hood but then it is only f4.0. [+]

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Above: Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S

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Above: Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f2.8G

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Above: Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f2.8G

Optics: The Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S has 16 elements in 11 groups including 4 special dispersion elements and 3 aspherical elements. This is similar to the F-Nikkor (14 elements in 11 groups) but with a higher number of special elements. To reduce reflections causing flare, glare and ghosting both Z-Nikkors and the F-Nikkor employ Nikon’s Nano-coating but only the Z 14-24mm f2.8 S profits from the new “ARNEO” anti-reflective coating. Both Z-Nikkors also have fluorine-coating on the front element to repel water, dust, and dirt and make cleaning easier. [+]

The new optical construction has lifted resolution and contrast of the new zoom lens considerably compared to the F-Nikkor. Especially on the wide end astigmatism (and hopefully field-curvature) and corner resolution is greatly improved. But the comparison also shows how good the Z 14-30mm f4.0 S is – albeit at a one stop slower aperture. [+]

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Above: Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S

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Above: Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f2.8G

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Above: Nikon Z 14-30mm f4.0 S

Closest focus distance is 0.28m (0.92ft.) at 24mm focal length with a magnification of 1:7.7 which is not much. This results in a working distance of around 0.14m. The F-Nikkor achieves a little greater magnification of 1:6.7 at 0.28m object distance, the Z 14-30mm f4.0 S goes to 1:5.4 from the same distance. The marketing material also claims that the Z-Nikkor is parfocal and has virtually no focus breathing: So it should keep focus when the focal length is changed and it should not change the magnification of an object when focus is pulled [0]

Filter-thread: The new Z Nikkor needs huge 112mm filters which can be mounted in one of the two lens hoods that come with the lens. 112mm filters are pretty expensive but you can also use gel filters in a rear filter holder. For the F-Nikkor you’d need a third party solution which attaches to the front-end of the barrel, such as the Lee SW150 system. The Z 14-30mm f4.0 S uses standard 82mm filters. [0]

Image stabilization: The new lens offers no optical stabilization just like the F-Nikkor and Z 14-30mm f4.0 S. But the Nikon Z bodies provide built-in sensor-shift stabilization over 5 axis – plus an optional electronic stabilization option in video mode. [0]

Auto focus: Yes with built-in AF drive. Manual-focus override is by simply turning the dedicated focus ring at the front of the lens. This is the same configuration of focus ring at the front, zoom ring in the middle and multi-function ring close to the camera as on the Z 24-70mm f2.8 S – which is very convenient. Only the Z 70-200mm f2.8 VR S has the zoom ring at the front which makes it easier to hold the long tele-photo zoom lens stable while operating the zoom. If the Z 24-70mm f2.8 S is an indication the focus ring cannot be re-assigned another function nor can it be switched off. It probably has a variable gearing (like all AF Z-Nikkors so far) which allows for very precise manual focus when turned slowly but cannot be switched to linear gearing. Which makes smooth focus pulling for videographers pretty hard. Focus on the F-Nikkor works differently as it has a direct linear mechanical coupling between the focus ring and the focus action. The Z 14-24mm f2.8 S also has an extra button on the lens which can be assigned many different functions e.g. AF-lock. [+]

Display: The Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S is now the fourth Z-Nikkor to feature an OLED display indicating focal length, aperture or focusing distance (in m or ft.) and depth-of-field. The display is hard to read under sunny conditions in its default setting but it can be made as bright as the top display on the Z7. You can switch through the different display types using the DISP-button. See the images below which are from the Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.8 S sporting the same panel. The F-Nikkor only offers the usual distance markings that normally come with lenses designed for DSLRs. The Z 14-30mm f4.0 S does not have a display. [+]

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Above: OLED display on Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.8 S

Lens profile: The new Z-Nikkor comes with a lens profile which can be controlled from the camera. Vignette control offers the usual options of High, Normal, Low and Off. Diffraction compensation can be activated or deactivated. Not sure if the same holds true for auto distortion control – the Z 14-30mm f4.0 S doesn’t allow that to be switched off. The F-Nikkor does not come with a lens profile but Lightroom and Photoshop provide one with vignette and distortion control. [+]

Covers full frame/FX or smaller. Same with the other two lenses. [+]

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Price: 2630 EUR (incl. 16% VAT) / 2400 USD / 2500 GBP. The F-Nikkor currently goes for 1500 EUR / 1600 USD / 1500 GBP the Z 14-30mm f4.0 S is at 1140 EUR / 1300 USD / 1130 GBP. I’d consider the price of the new lens relatively fair for a professional ultra-wide angle f2.8 zoom from a camera manufacturer. [0]

The lens comes with a pouch that’s just as flimsy as the pouch of the other Z lenses (except for the Z Noct) and has no strings to pull it close. So if you put the lens in your bag it might easily slip out of its pouch and bang around unprotected. This is simply unacceptable for a lens costing well north of 2000 EUR/USD. The lens comes with two lens hoods which is unique as far as I know. One is a very short one, the other has a pretty large diameter to accommodate 118mm filters. Both probably lock in place to avoid accidentally falling off and are reversible for transport. The F-Nikkor has a much nicer padded lens case and its lens hood is built-in with a cover that slides over the lens hood and is kept there by friction alone. [0]

Aperture ring: the multi-function control ring at the back of all Z-Nikkor zoom lenses can be assigned to operate the aperture (which probably is the default), exposure compensation, or ISO sensitivity – or simply switched off. The F-Nikkor has no aperture ring. [+]

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Sealing: yes, a rubber grommet at the lens-mount plus further special weather-sealing throughout the construction, just like the F-Nikkor and the Z 14-30mm f4.0 S. [+]

The score in the “features-department” is 0[-]/6[0]/9[+] The new Nikon Z 14-24mm f2.8 S is a relatively compact and light lens for an f2.8 ultra-wide zoom and comes with a nice feature set. And if the MTF-charts are any indication it should show excellent optical performance – well above its coveted F-mount predecessor.

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From what I can see so far the new lens should be a worthy member of Nikon’s trinity of professional f2.8 zoom lenses. Keep your eyes peeled for my first tests of the optical qualities of Nikon’s Z 14-24mm f2.8 S once I can get my hands on a copy.

And if you’re interested in the performance of the F-mount AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8G check out my in-depth Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f2.8G review.

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