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Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Pro Lens Review

Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Pro Review - John Riley reviews the new Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Pro lens for full-frame Nikon Z mirrorless cameras.

|  Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 Pro in Interchangeable Lenses
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Nikon Z 24 70mm F2,8 Front Oblique View

Any new camera system, such as the Nikon Z series, needs lenses to support it and one of the most important is the high quality standard zoom. There are many fine 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses on the market, so the potential of Nikon's new Z system can perhaps be fairly judged by their new offering, the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens. This promises superb performance, so let's start off our look at Z system lenses and see if it delivers that promise, and indeed if it could tempt us into a new camera system.

Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Handling and Features

Nikon Z 24 70mm F2,8 On Z7 With Hood

Weighing in at 805g, the lens fits well with the Nikon Z7 45.4MP full frame mirrorless camera provided for this review. There is extensive use of reinforced plastics, but the construction quality is excellent and all controls operate smoothly. The lens is dust and moisture sealed, almost a requirement with current lens ranges.

Starting at the front of the lens, the supplied petal shaped lenshood bayonets securely into position. Within this bayonet is a standard 82mm diameter filter thread. The front and rear elements of the lens are fluorine coated to repel dust, grease and moisture. The lens also features Nikon's new ARNEO and nano crystal coatings, offering a high degree of resistance to flare.

Continuing towards the camera body, first up is the manual focus ring, electronic in operation and also fully usable during AF to fine tune the focus position if desired. Focusing is down to 0.38m (1.25 feet) and gives a maximum magnification of 0.22x. Behind this is the zoom ring, clearly marked at 24, 28, 35, 50 and 70mm. The exact focal length setting can be seen in the small OLED display immediately behind. This display, similar to that seen on some Zeiss lenses, initially shows NIKKOR when first switched on, but then changes to show zoom position, focus scale with depth of field indication or aperture. Which function is shown can be selected using the DISP button just to the side of the display. At this point there is also an L-Fn button, which via the camera menus can be assigned to offer up to 21 different custom functions.

Returning to the OLED display, it is certainly useful from a lens testing perspective to be able to select the focal length accurately. It is also a very visible way of showing the aperture in use should this option be chosen. When we look at the distance/DOF option though, the practicality of this is limited. The DOF is indicated by a line that expands and contracts to show the range against the distance scale, but sadly that scale is so short and bereft of actual numbers that it is doubtful that it is actually much use. The principle though is spot on, and somewhat reminiscent of the manual version of this found on Rolleiflex TLR cameras as far back as the 1950s.

There is one final control ring, close to the camera body. This can be programmed to adjust focus, aperture or exposure compensation, depending upon how the photographer wishes to work. This could be useful when making quick adjustments. Just behind this ring we find the AF/MF switch. If a selection is made in camera instead, that will override the lens setting. So, for example, if the camera is set at MF then the lens will not autofocus on either setting.

Nikon Z 24 70mm F2,8 On Z7 At 70mm

Optical construction is 17 elements in 15 groups, including 2 ED (Extra Low Dispersion) and 4 Aspherical. There is a 9 bladed diaphragm with rounded blades, aimed to improve the bokeh of the images, the smoothness of the out of focus areas.

In terms of ergonomics, the lens is spot on and all the controls are perfectly placed. Rings turn smoothly, but firmly enough so that they are not prone to being accidentally moved. The OLED display is nice and has some functional merit, but is by no means essential. All in all though, we have here a lens which is extremely satisfactory in use and does the job very efficiently.

Nikon Z 24 70mm F2,8 Rear Oblique View

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LenShepherd 11 3.9k United Kingdom
22 May 2019 12:20PM
A minor detail - Nikon has reduced the price of several bodies and lenses - including this one - over the last week.
The current price is very close to 2,000.

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mediaman 9 14 Scotland
22 May 2019 1:36PM
It would have been of interest to me knowing that if upgrading to a Z7, If my Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 G AF-S ED Lens is worth being replaced by the new Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.8 S Lens. A comparison using the FTZ adapter on the Z7. would,I feel, be of great interest to many Nikon users.
LenShepherd 11 3.9k United Kingdom
22 May 2019 5:40PM

Quote:If my Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 G AF-S ED Lens is worth being replaced by the new Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.8 S Lens. A comparison using the FTZ adapter on the Z7. would,I feel, be of great interest to many Nikon users.

While I agree, this is a matter for the ephotozine team
They have tested the AFS VR version
While the old test is on a lower resolving D810 it seems clear the S version on the Z7 is dramatically better in the corners and better overall.
Nikon said the new Z mount would lead to better optics. It seems clear from this test Nikon's promise is fulfilled.
Is it worth the upgrade?
Only you can decide if it is worthwhile for you.
I would prefer to wait for a pro grade Z body, very probably in time for next years Olympics to be held in Japan
22 May 2019 11:08PM

Quote:It would have been of interest to me knowing that if upgrading to a Z7, If my Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 G AF-S ED Lens is worth being replaced by the new Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.8 S Lens. A comparison using the FTZ adapter on the Z7. would,I feel, be of great interest to many Nikon users.

Well, that comes down to whether you can afford it or not. If you buy a Z7 and put the old F mount 24-70 f2.8G + the FTZ adapter on it, it will be a very large combo and negate any real benefit of the smaller body - if that is what you are after. Whilst I wouldn't call the new 24-70 f2.8S small, it is still much smaller and lighter than the old 24-70 f2.8G especially when you factor in the FTZ mount if you want to put it on a Z6/Z7. I own the 24-70 f2.8S and as for sharpness and resolution well, the new lens is much sharper, sharper edge to edge, sharper whether close or at distance, has beautiful overall IQ and excellent build quality. Whilst the old 24-70 f2.8G was an excellent lens for it's time, it was only reasonably sharp wide open (never great), but the new 24-70 f2.8S is as sharp side open as it is stopped down. You will be happy to shoot wide open all the time. Overall, this lens gives most primes a run for their money which can't be said of any 24-70 f2.8 type FF mounted DSLR zoom. This is a true pro spec lens and I agree completely with the Ephotozine's verdict - they pretty much always get it right. The 24-70 f2.8S lives on my Z7 now.
RonnieAG Plus
9 154 118 Scotland
27 May 2019 10:33AM
I have to agree with Lancs_B's final analysis. I have been using the Z6 with the 23 - 70 lens for about a month now and the results it delivers is exceptional.

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