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Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Lens Review

John Riley reviews the wide, bright, prime lens from Nikon, the NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED lens with Auto Focus and designed for use with full-frame and APS-C cameras.

| Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED in Interchangeable Lenses

Handling and Features

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Lens Review: Nikon 24mm F1,8 Oblique Front ViewThere was a time when a 35mm lens was considered wide. Then the wide angle of choice became the 28mm. Our tastes have clearly continued to widen, as now the 24mm is taking prime position as one of our favourite wide angle focal lengths. The AF-S Nikkor is well placed to make many friends, with its compact size and bright f/1.8 aperture. It will be interesting to see how we get along with it.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Handling and Features

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Lens Review: Nikon 24mm F1,8 On D810 Body

A compact lens, making good use of high-quality plastics in its construction, weighing a modest 355g, it balances well on the Nikon D810 used for this review. On a 35mm sized sensor the angle of view is 84 degrees, and this reduces to 61 degrees on an APS-C format. The finish is excellent and the metal mount reassuringly solid. The provided petal lens hood attaches easily and positively via a bayonet fitting.

Minimum focus distance is 0.23m, or 0.75 feet. Together with the 7 bladed diaphragm, this is all fairly conventional for a lens of this type. There is an M/A and M selector switch on the side of the lens for changing between AF and MF modes. In AF mode, a half-press of the shutter release locks the focus, at which point manual adjustments can be made without having to select M. This can be very advantageous, particularly in close-up photography, where we may wish to make slight adjustments to the point of focus. The focusing ring is wide and well ribbed for a good grip. The lens has a rear focusing system so the rear element group moves within the barrel. This means that the lens does not change length during focusing, nor does the front element rotate, always useful if polarisers are to be employed. A silent wave motor means that the focusing action is almost totally silent.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Lens Review: Nikon 24mm F1,8 Front Element View

There is a distance scale under a small window, with markings in feet and metres. There is also a depth of field scale, but as the focusing throw is quite short only f/16 is marked, which is of limited usefulness. Filter size is 72mm. There is no aperture ring as the lens apertures are controlled from the camera body.

Lens construction is 12 elements in 9 groups. Two of these are ED (extra-low dispersion) and 2 are aspherical. The lens also uses Nikon's Nano Crystal Coatings to ensure that there is good control of flare and internal reflections.


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Lens Review: Nikon 24mm F1,8 Oblique Rear View

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Performance

The Nikkor 24mm f/1.8G ED performs very well overall. It is fairly soft wide open, but is sharpening up well from f/2.8 and reaches a very good standard by f/4, right through to the minimum aperture of f/16. The peak of central performance lies at f/11. The edges follow a similar pattern, also peaking at f/11, albeit it at a slightly lower level than the centre. In terms of a 24mm lens this is very good, and it is probably fair to say that most ultra-wide lenses do tend to be used at smaller apertures to maximise depth of field.


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Lens Review: MTF

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. 

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution as LW/PH. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Nikon D810 using Imatest.

The CA (chromatic aberration) figures are excellent, virtually no CA being visible even with the sharpest of transitions from light to dark, such as branches against bright sky. Likewise, resistance to flare is virtually complete, an indication of good internal design and highly effective coatings.


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Lens Review: CA

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Nikon D810 using Imatest.


There is barrel distortion, as expected with a 24mm lens, and this measures -1.87%, which is a very reasonable figure. Because we are used to seeing this effect, this degree of distortion is very well accepted, whereas even a hint of pincushion would look very strange.

The AF is utterly silent and the accuracy and speed exemplary. This is less true in very dark conditions, where certainly the D810 can find it difficult to focus the lens. The ability to use manual focus when AF has already locked works well and is a reliable technique.

Manual focus is easy to achieve. The throw of the focusing ring is very short, about 90 degrees from minimum focus to infinity, but the point of focus is crisply defined. The focusing screen and lens are clearly a good match.

Bokeh is the quality of the out of focus background, and the lens is very pleasing in this respect. The bokeh is smooth, uncluttered and definitely not over busy, despite a fairly modest number of seven diaphragm blades.

The only major improvement I could think of for this lens would be to add weather resistance, which is a feature increasingly found and appreciated from several manufacturers. Otherwise, it is a pleasure to use.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Sample Photos

Value For Money

The Nikkor 24mm f/1.8G ED costs around £629, so compares well against the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens (£669). There are faster lenses, such as the AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G at £1379 and, to put things in perspective against other marques, the Canon 24mm f/1.4L II USM costing £1199.

In manual focus only there is the Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS IF UMC at £439. Samyang also offer the 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC Tilt-Shift lens at £626, but again manual focus only. Adding macro capability is the Zeiss 25mm f/2 T* Distagon ZF.2, priced at £1269, but also manual focus.

So, overall the Nikkor 24mm f/1.8G ED looks excellent value for money, a good compromise between cost and speed. For more options have a look at to Top 10 Best Nikon Lenses.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Verdict

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED is a great lens to use, a very attractive focal length and offers a very good level of sharpness. The other qualities of the lens all add up to an excellent offering from Nikon, at a very reasonable price.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Pros

Very good sharpness
Very low CA
Highly flare resistant
Low distortion
Light and compact design
Fast and silent AF
Smooth bokeh

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Cons

Soft wide open
No weather resistance


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Lens Review:

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED is a solid performer at a very reasonable cost.


Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Specifications

Lens Mounts
  • Nikon AF
Focal Length24mm
Angle of View84į
Max Aperturef/1.8
Min Aperturef/16
Filter Size72mm
35mm equivalentNo Data
Internal focusingYes
Maximum magnificationNo Data
Min Focus23cm
Box Contents
Box ContentsLC-72 72 mm snap-on Front Lens Cap, LF-4 Rear Lens Cap, HB-76 Bayonet Hood, CL-1015 Lens Case

View Full Product Details

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