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Nikon Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S Review

Nikon Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S Review - John Riley reviews this compact wide-angle zoom lens for Nikon Z series cameras.

| Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 in Interchangeable Lenses
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Nikon Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S Review: Nikon Z 14 30mm F4 Front Oblique View

Having just reviewed the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens, we now turn to look at the compact Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S, an interesting ultra-wide to near-standard zoom which could be an exciting option for architecture, landscape and travel in particular. It will be especially exciting if it turns out to share the same fine qualities as the previously reviewed lens, so let's have a close look and find out, using the lens on the full frame Nikon Z7 45.4MP body.


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Nikon Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S Handling and Features

Nikon Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S Review: Nikon Z 14 30mm F4 On Z7 At 14mm Front Oblique View

The lens is relatively compact, having a compact closed position that significantly shortens the length. On use, the lens has to opened to a click stop position to start and if this isn't done a suitable reminder appears on the camera's screen. Using high quality reinforced plastics, the lens weighs in at a fairly modest 485g. Construction quality is excellent and the controls are smooth and reliable. The lens is also sealed for dust and moisture resistance. Balance with the Nikon Z7 used in this review is perfectly fine, camera and lens forming a coherent ergonomic experience.

Starting at the front, the petal lens hood was missing, but is normally supplied with the lens. This has a bayonet mount, within which is a standard 82mm filter thread. The front element is fluorine coated to repel dust, moisture and grease. The lens also uses Nikon's nano crystal coatings to reduce flare.

Immediately behind is the wide, comfortable zoom ring, clearly marked at 14, 16, 20, 24 and 30mm. There is also the previously mentioned click stop to close the lens down for carrying.

The next and only other control ring has multiple functions. With the lens set to AF, this can act as a full time manual override, allowing tweaks to be made during AF operation. Using the camera menus, various alternative options can be set such as aperture selection and exposure compensation. Behind this control ring is the AF/MF switch. With the lens set to MF the control ring becomes the manual focus ring, with an electronic distance scale being visible in the camera viewfinder.

Nikon Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S Review: Nikon Z 14 30mm F4 On Z7 Vertical View

Focusing is down to 0.28m (0.92 feet) and focusing is held well as the lens zooms; particularly useful for video work. This is called a parfocal zoom, where once focused the lens holds focus when subsequently zoomed. Also useful for video will be the electromagnetic diaphragm which allows fast and accurate aperture setting. The 7 rounded diaphragm blades will also help in enhancing the bokeh, the smoothness of the out of focus areas in an image.

Lens construction is 14 elements in 12 groups, including 4 ED (Extra Low Dispersion) and 4 Aspherical. There is no VR (Vibration Reduction) in the lens, which no doubt helps to keep it more compact, but this feature can be set in camera.

A 14mm lens is definitely wide and if we move in close to the foreground, dramatic, sweeping compositions are possible. Equally well, there is potential for wide interior shots, depending upon the distortion levels, more of which later. In use, this is an exciting lens and it encompasses a very useful range of wide angle to near-standard focal lengths.

Nikon Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S Review: Nikon Z 14 30mm F4 Rear Oblique View

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27 May 2019 3:59PM
Message for John Riley,

Thanks very much for the reviews of the 24-40 f/2.8 S and 14-30 f/4 S. I'm very much looking forward to the reviews of the other lenses!

Regards, Dave R

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