Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G AF-S ED lens review

The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G AF-S ED is certainly one of the best super-wide zooms available if not the best!

Launched at the same time as the 24-70mm f/2.8G lens, the 14-24 shares the Nano Crystal coat and AF-S motor of the 24-70 as well as ED glass.

Constructed from 14 elements in 11 groups (with 2 ED glass elements, 3 aspherical lenses and one Nano Crystal Coat) the 14-24 weighs in at a hefty 970g and measures 131.5mm long with a diameter up to 91.5mm.

The constant f/2.8 aperture means the lens is big and heavy. The bulbous front element is afforded some protection by the built in lens hood but precludes the use of filters – unless you invest in a Lee SW150 system or similar.
This lack of ability to use filters is often seen as a negative for the 14-24 – however, on lenses wider than 24mm it is difficult to use a polariser for instance anyway as the wide expanse taken in by the lens means you get unwanted uneven polarisation effects. Graduated filters can be successfully substituted in software (the Light-room graduated ND filter is excellent and fully customisable for instance).
So, what makes the 14-24 so special? Nikon have managed to produce a lens which is pin sharp right to the corners of the image even from f/2.8! The lens offers superb performance at 14mm right from f/2.8 – which hardly improves on stopping down. As you zoom through the range this performance is maintained with a slight dip after 20mm where it is worth stopping down to f4 and beyond for corner to corner sharpness.
For landscapes and any use needing a focal length of 14-20mm there is no zoom lens to match it and very few primes come close either. Such is the lenses performance that some Canon users even use this lens via an adapter.

So, to conclude, if  you want the very best wide-angle zoom on the market and are prepared to pay for it (and carry it around) look no further. 

If you are worried about using filters look at the Lee SW150 system or similar systems or take a look at the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR lens

The 16-35 is certainly not as good optically as the 14-24 but does allow use of filters, has VR built in and is much lighter than the 14-24, stop it down to f/5.6 and beyond and apply distortion correction and the results are still excellent.

The 14-24 is supplied with front and rear caps and a Nikon soft case model CL-M3.


Anonymous said...

I have looked at this lens before and wondered about filters, so this post was useful. Clicked the link for the Lee SW150 system and........ "This product is currently unavailable" - ah well, I'll have to buy it elsewhere.

Park Cameras said...

We’re glad to hear that you found this information useful, but are sorry to hear that the Lee SW150 is currently showing as out of stock. However, if you were to place an order with us, we can get one to you in around one week.

If you’re still interested in one, please order online or contact a member of our expert team on 01444 23 70 70 who will be happy to help.

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