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Nikon Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR Review - Performance

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Nikon Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR Performance

Looking at sharpness, at 24mm the centre is outstanding from f/4 to f/8, excellent at f/11 and f/16 and still very good at f/22. The edges are good at f/4, very good from f/5.6 to f/11, good at f/16 and just fair at f/22.

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At 50mm, central sharpness is outstanding at f/5.6 and f/8, excellent at f/11, very good at f/16, good at f/22 and fair at f/32. The edges are excellent from f/5.6 to f/11, very good at f/16 and just fair at f/22 and f/32.

At 105mm, sharpness centrally is excellent from f/6.3 to f/11, very good at f/16, good at f/22 and fair at f/32 and f/36. The edges are very good at f/6.3, excellent at f/8 and f/11, very good at f/16, good at f/22 and fair at f/32 and f/36.

At 150mm, central sharpness is excellent from f/6.3 to f/11, very good at f/22 and just fair at f/32 and f/36. The edges are very good at f/6.3, excellent at f/8, very good at f/11 and f/16 and fair from f/22 to f/36.

At 200mm, central sharpness is excellent from f/6.3 to f/11, very good at f/16, good at f/22 and fair at f/32 and f/36. The edges are very good from f/6.3 to f/11, good at f/16 and fair from f/22 to f/36.

 

Nikon Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR MTF Charts

How to read our MTF 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 and sharpness as LW/PH and is described in detail above. The taller the column, the better the lens performance.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Nikon Z7 II using Imatest. Want to know more about how we review lenses?


CA (Chromatic Aberration) is measured with any in-camera corrections switched off, as far as we can know anyway. In the centre of the image field, there is virtually no CA. What there is is highly unlikely to need further correction, but there are software solutions if necessary. The edges are still very well controlled, beginning to stray as we get to 200mm where some fringing might be seen at the edges. Corrections in software are possible if needed.

 

Nikon Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR Chromatic Aberration Charts

How to read our CA charts

Chromatic aberration (CA) 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 Z7 II using Imatest.

 

Distortion measures at extremely low levels, which leads to thinking that in-camera corrections that we cannot cancel are at work. However, the end result is a virtually rectilinear lens. It's pincushion distortion all the way, at least all we can measure of it, being +0.21% at 24mm, +0.15% at 50mm, +0.06% at 105mm, +0.03% at 150mm and +0.05% at 200mm. The only oddity is that we expect barrel distortion at wide angles, but the figures here are so low that it's not likely to be an observable problem.

Bokeh is very pleasant, particularly, as we might expect, at longer focal lengths.

Flare resistance is excellent, generally being absent in normal use. In extremes we can induce some artefacts, but that requires an effort to do so and flare is not really going to be generally observable.

The lens does vignette, but it is considerably better than many less ambitious zoom lenses. Correction in-camera or in software can always be employed, but, as mentioned many times, some vignetting can be turned to advantage for some images.

Aperture 24mm 50mm 105mm 150mm 200mm
f/4 -2.8 stops        
f/5.6 -2.4 -1.6      
f/6.3     -1.7 -1.9 -1.8
f/8 -2 -1.6 -1.5 -1.8 -1.5
f/11 -2 -1.6 -1.3 -1.7 -1.4
f/16 -1.9 -1.6 -1.2 -1.5 -1.2
f/22 -1.9 -1.6 -1.2 -1.5 -1.1
f/32   -1.5 -1.2 -1.5 -1
f/36     -1.2 -.14 -1

 

That is really a very solid, excellent performance. The ultimate sharpness is concentrated on the centre of the frame, but the edges do hold up well. The performance also holds up well as we move to longer focal lengths, something that is often a weak spot. Certainly, if we followed the maxim of “f/8 and be there” then we would have an outstanding lens. To be fair, the weakest areas are an inevitable result of some very small apertures being on offer. I doubt that many users will be working in the area of f/22 to f/36 and many lenses do not even stop down that far. If we restricted ourselves to f/11 or wider then it is hard to see where we could go wrong.

 

Nikon Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR Sample Photos

 

Nikon Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR Aperture range

You can view additional images in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.


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Comments


Excellent review, thank you. Great to see that the technical tests confirm what I noticed on field while using this lens. Back in August last year I made a field review of this lens. I was lucky to be among the first to be able to purchase it. Since then, it has completely replaced both my Z 24-70 f4 S lens and the f-mount 70-200 f4. Even the smaller aperture is not an issue most of the time. I like to complement it with Nikon 1.8 S prime lenses (35, 50, 85). When doing portraits or when shallow DOF is desired.

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