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Nikkor Z 24-120mm F/4 S Lens Review

John Riley has been shooting with the Nikkor Z 24-120mm F/4 S lens on the very capable Nikon Z7 II camera body to find out how good its performance is.

| Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S in Interchangeable Lenses

Nikkor Z 24-120mm F/4 S Lens Review: Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S

Adding to the S-Line of superior lenses for the Nikon Z mirrorless system, we have the Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S zoom. This covers from a very useful ultra-wide 24mm to a moderately long telephoto 120mm, making this an ideal general-purpose optic. Be it landscapes, architecture or portraits this new lens should cover them all with ease. We have seen some spectacular lenses for the Z system, so let's couple this up with the 45MP Nikon Z7 II and see if Nikon is keeping up the high standards they have set for themselves, and we have come to expect.


Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S Handling and Features

Nikkor Z 24-120mm F/4 S Lens Review: Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S

The lens is nicely balanced with the Nikon Z7 II body, and not overly heavy at 630g. There is a supplied petal lens hood that bayonets smoothly and securely into place. There is no locking catch, nor is there any need for one as the hood does not become detached in use. Within the bayonet fit for the hood is a standard 77mm filter thread. The front element of the lens has a Fluorine coating to repel dust, moisture and grease.

The manual focus ring is electronic in operation and, as expected, utterly smooth in operation. Focusing is down to 0.35m, or 1.15 feet, at all focal lengths, for a maximum magnification of 0.39x. This is usefully close, but not down to macro distances. AF is driven by two synchronised motors and is fast, accurate and virtually silent. The manual focus ring is still active whilst using AF mode, so tweaks to the point of focus can be made.

The zoom ring is wider than the manual focusing ring and affords a good grip. It is quite firm in operation as it physically extends the lens barrel. Markings are clear and the settings are quite accurate. Behind the zoom ring, we have the L-Fn button, used as a focus lock but also programmable from the camera body.

Also programmable is the silent control ring, which can be set to operate the aperture, ISO or exposure compensation. The silent aperture control will be especially useful for videographers.


Nikkor Z 24-120mm F/4 S Lens Review: Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S

Finally, the A/M switch changes between AF and MF operation.

Optical construction is 16 elements in 13 groups, including 3 ED (Extra-Low Dispersion), 1 Aspherical ED and 3 Aspherical. The diaphragm comprises 9 blades to help enhance the bokeh. Coatings are Nikon's well established Arneo Nano Crystal coating, plus of course the Fluorine coating for the front element. There is sealing against dust and drips, with the usual caveat on the website that this sealing does not cover all circumstances.

The lens is intended as a general-purpose “walkaround” and travel lens and it is compact enough and has a wide enough focal length range to deliver that promise. It is rather good to have that extension of the wide-angle to 24mm and the reach of 120mm at the telephoto end. This makes most subjects accessible and the reasonably fast f/4 aperture makes some differential focusing possible, perhaps for portraiture.

Now let's have a close look at the actual performance to see if the lens delivers the goods to match the excellent handling and general ergonomics.


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21 Jan 2022 7:11PM
Once again Nikon produce a superb lens for the Z system - every one so far has exceeded it's F-mount equivalent.
douglasR 16 78 Scotland
26 Jan 2022 1:02PM
I have had this beauty now for just over 2 weeks, it was a long wait but was well worth it, it is simply superb, I knew it would be good but again Nikon has come up trumps.

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