With the introduction of the D3 FX format camera Nikon announced a couple of new lenses to go along with it. This one, the 14-24mm offering covers the widest of angles, and area where some advances have been made in lens technology over the last few years.
Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Specification:
Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Build and handling
- Focal length: 14-24mm
- Elements / construction: 14/11 elements/groups
- Max Aperture: f/2.8
- Min Aperture: f/22
- Min focus distance: 0.28m
- Mount: Nikon
- Filter size: N/A
- Length: 131.5mm
- Diameter: 98mm
- Weight: 1.00kg
This lens is a professional unit and the build quality is excellent, even going as far as a rubber seal around the mount to help prevent the ingress of moisture when the lens is mounted on the camera. A conventional two ring design with the zoom ring being set nearest to the camera. The focus ring is a step larger and is of the kind that can over-ride the AF without switching the camera mode. While the zoom ring uses a quarter turn to get from one end of the range to the other, the focus ring uses little more than an eighth of a turn. Both are nicely torqued and smooth in operation. A manual only/manual-auto is provided on the left side of the lens and a distance window is set in the centre.
The lens has a built in hood protecting the bulbous front element that carries a nano-crystal coating to help reduce the effects of ghosting and flare.
The lens comes supplied in a zippered soft pouch and cup type front cover to help protect it too.
Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Optical quality
The ultra wide view of the optic gives an exceptional perspective that has been enabled by developments in lens technology that have come about due to the 1.5x crop factor of recent digital cameras from the company. This lens however, is designed to cover the full frame of the FX format D3 and as such, is the widest available from the company.
ED glass has been used to keep down anomalies and this has been well done as far as CA is concerned. Resolution proves to be good from the outset at f/2.8, peaking at between f/5.6 (24mm) and f/11 (14mm) with the edges not so far behind the centre as to be noticeable in the majority of cases.
There is some distortion shown, especially at the wider end of the zoom range (-3.86%) but this become undetectable (.292%) at the longer focal length.
On the whole the lens produces high quality images from wide open right through the aperture range. The only bugbear will be for those wishing to use filter effects as this will prove difficult with the concave front element.
This image shows the lens at 14mm f/8 1/100 second ISO200.
Compared to this at 24mm also f/8 1/100 second ISO200.
Shot at 14mm on the Nikon D3, this shot shows the extreme wide angle the lens is capable of. f/8 at ISO200.
This shot illustrates the usefulness of the wide angle in tight spaces.
Shot at 14mm 1/200 second f/2.8 ISO200.
Shot at 24mm 1/250 second f/2.8 ISO200.
Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Verdict
A well built and presented optic that breaks new ground on the camera it is designed for. Excellent image quality only slightly let down by the distortion at the wide end, something that can be easily sorted in post processing.
By way of comparison, here is the chart from the venerable AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens tested on the same camera.
Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Plus points:
Good optical performance
Extreme wide angle capability
Excellent Build quality
Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Minus points:
Some distortion at the wide end
An expensive optic
Lacking ability to attach filters
The Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED is available from the ePHOTOzine shop here.
Test carried out by Ian Andrews www.wildaboutkent.co.uk