Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens review

The Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 lens might be the most effective lenses you can have in your camera bag. To name it a package lens is to do it a disservice, even when it has all the flexibility of a basic short-range zoom.

Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S: Key specs

Compatibility: Nikon Z mirrorless (FX)

Focal vary: 24mm to 70mm

Aperture vary: f/2.8 to f/22

Weight: 1.7 lbs

Measurement: 89.0mm x 126.0mm (5-inches x 3.6-inches)

Absolutely climate sealed: Sure

Filter dimension: 82mm

That is the f/2.8 model, is without doubt one of the first lenses launched for the Z-brand Nikon mirrorless system and, when mixed with the Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S (opens in new tab) and Nikon Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S, completes the Holy Trinity of Nikon’s lens ecosystem. A trinity that can price you between $6500-7000 to finish, when you’re feeling rich, with every lens retailing between $2000-$2500. 

  • Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 at Amazon for $2,396.95 (opens in new tab)

In case you needed to be prepared for nearly any astro situation (arguably, the 200mm is not fairly sufficient for detailed moon photos), we would completely suggest all three lenses. In case you’re a photographer who likes to take all kinds of photographs, we would 100% begin with this, the 24-70mm. And we would be sure to do not confuse it with the superb worth, however not excellent for evening sky photographs, f/4 model. All clear? No? Glorious, let’s transfer on.

Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S: Design

  • Comparatively mild, though bigger than the f/4
  • Digital show on prime of the barrel
  • Non-extending design

Product image of the lens on a wooden table

(Picture credit score: Andy Hartup)

The Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S is a well-designed lens, with absolutely the minimal of fuss utilized to it. In contrast to its cheaper f/4 counterpart, there isn’t any extension of the lens whenever you zoom it from nearer to additional focal lengths, so whereas it is a first rate 5-inches to start with, that is so long as this lens will get. This makes it higher in excessive climate if much less compact for journey. Crucially, although it means you get a digital show on the highest that may be configured to show quite a lot of settings (focal size, aperture and many others), which makes it useful for astro shoots as you possibly can double-check your settings whereas it is secured on the tripod.

Product image of the lens on a wooden table attached to a Nikon Z6

(Picture credit score: Andy Hartup)

You’ve got obtained an extra perform button, that may be personalized as wanted (with any of 21 instructions), and the usual format with the furthest ring used for focusing, and the interior ring used for focal size. There is a delicate near-camera ring too, that controls the aperture. As with most Nikon lenses, there is a change that permits you to shortly toggle between AF and MF – once more, useful for tripod shooters who’d slightly not stare at a shiny display screen to make fast changes.

The lens is absolutely climate sealed, as you’d anticipate from the S-Line collection, and it feels powerful regardless of being comparatively mild. There’s an 82mm thread for becoming filters and attachments, which though on the broad facet, means you should not have points discovering appropriate equipment.

Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S: Efficiency

  • Very versatile lens
  • Delivers wonderful readability
  • Simple and pure to make use of

Example image showing the night sky above a big stone in a foreground landscape

(Picture credit score: Andy Hartup)

What we love about this lens is that it affords you alternative in nearly each capturing scenario. It is broad sufficient for grand landscapes, has sufficient zoom for primary wildlife photographs, and hits the candy spot for portraiture. A great deal of lenses do this, positive, but it surely’s the broader aperture (as much as f/2.8) that makes it actually versatile. This implies depth and bokeh when capturing animals, element when capturing the Milky Approach and, with the narrowest aperture of f/22, you possibly can even experiment with close-up and longer exposures through the day. 

Nonetheless, when you’re making an attempt to recreate the element you see in macro photos, you will be disillusioned. There is a minimal focusing distance of just about 40cm / 1.3ft right here, and even in our well-lit checks, we struggled to get the lens to focus round this distance. That is not an actual concern, as this is not meant to be a macro, however preserve it in thoughts when you’re taking astro photographs with a foreground aspect and focus stack the place applicable.

Example image showing close up of a leaf in a forest with light behind

You may get pleasing depth with that f/2.8 width, whereas inviting some scrumptious tender mild into your photographs. Shot at: 38mm, f/2.8, 1/200 sec, ISO 640. (Picture credit score: Andy Hartup)

That wider aperture comes into its personal at evening, permitting you to seize star particulars with a brief sufficient shutter velocity to keep away from trailing. We predict it is the life like minimal for photographing stars and that is one potential disadvantage of the 24-70mm. Whereas it is an amazing lens to have in your bag, it is not a specialist, so these trying to actually up their astro recreation needs to be taking a look at one thing just like the Nikon Nikkor 20mm f/1.8 S lens which has that additional width and decrease f-number. After we have been out capturing astro with this lens we took the identical shot with the 24-70mm as with our trusty 20mm f/1.8 and did see noticeable variations in the identical scene. The broader lens gave us extra element whereas protecting the celebs barely sharper, and it gave us a far ‘greater’ sky.

We discovered this lens excellent for mild trails. It provides you the flexibleness to regulate your shot to range the dimensions of your trails, and it has the aperture vary to provide the capability to both concentrate on the paths themselves (or an object) or flatten the picture out fully. In case you do need to shoot movement and handheld trails, it is a useful lens to have too, because it is not excessively heavy.

Picture 1 of two

The lens handles mild trails with ease. What we appreciated was the focal vary, which allowed us to border the photographs how we needed them. Shot at 24mm, f/10, 20 sec, ISO 320. (Picture credit score: Andy Hartup)

Example image showing a light trail from passing vehicles at nightThe lens handles mild trails with ease. What we appreciated was the focal vary, which allowed us to border the photographs how we needed them. Shot at 24mm, f/10, 20 sec, ISO 320. (Picture credit score: Andy Hartup)

Elsewhere, although, the 24-70mm delivered nice outcomes. We by no means needed for extra width normally panorama photographs, and whereas the 70mm most size may be irritating for snapping the moon, and extra timid animals, it is nice for pets and keen people. Whereas the lens is not sufficiently subtle to be an excellent avenue pictures choice, it will nonetheless carry out with portraits all the identical.

As you’d anticipate from a lens of this high quality, the picture is pleasingly sharp proper to the sting, in any respect focal lengths. There is no perceptible distortion of the picture, nor any mild bleeding across the edge or vignetting (until you are utilizing the hood it is provided with).

Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S: Performance

  • Feels good to make use of
  • Very tripod pleasant
  • Simple to suit

Product image of the lens on a wooden table attached to a Nikon Z6

(Picture credit score: Andy Hartup)

There’s little extra to say concerning the features of the lens itself, though the texture and practicalities of its options are properly value mentioning. We have discovered comparable issues with the opposite premium Z lenses in that the management rings on the barrel are near-perfectly balanced by way of torque. There is a delicate looseness to the focusing ring, a tighter really feel for the focal size, and a particular graded really feel to the smaller management ring. Our solely criticism is that the aperture ring sits just a little too near the camera, so takes just a little getting used to, and we generally discovered it trickier to entry when trying via the viewfinder and never on the camera itself.

Picture 1 of three

Example image showing forest at sunsetThis shot reveals off the readability of the picture from edge to edge, in opposition to totally different mild ranges. You possibly can see there isn’t any degradation in high quality. Shot at: 70mm, f/8, 1/250 sec ISO 400. (Picture credit score: Andy Hartup)

Example image showing street on a hill with sunset light behindThis shot reveals off the readability of the picture from edge to edge, in opposition to totally different mild ranges. You possibly can see there isn’t any degradation in high quality. Shot at: 70mm, f/8, 1/250 sec ISO 400. (Picture credit score: Andy Hartup)

Example image showing a street at twilightThat is the kind of shot the 24-70mm is most comfy with. Mid-range topic, with particulars in each the foreground and background. Shot at: 70mm, f/2.8, 1/4000 sec, ISO 100. (Picture credit score: Andy Hartup)

At 5-inches and 1.7 lbs, you possibly can fortunately match the 24-70mm to most tripods (by way of the camera’s tripod connection) and get little or no motion or settling, until you are combining it with a heavy camera physique just like the Z9. There is no want for a separate tripod collar/foot with this lens, though it’s possible you’ll discover it challenges some ball-heads when you’re utilizing a glass filter too.

As with all Z lenses, it is so easy to mount onto the camera physique, and it feels very safe as soon as it is there. As we talked about earlier, although, we not often discovered the necessity to change it throughout common picture periods because it covers a number of photographic disciplines simply.

Ought to I purchase the Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens?

This lens aced most of our checks. Nonetheless, until you are evaluating it to a different 24-70mm lens, we would not say it is the best possible at something. We desire a wider, quicker lens for astro, an extended zoom for moon photos, and the far cheaper f/4 model of the 24-70mm is simply as competent for daytime landscapes. 

At $2000+ it isn’t low cost, both, and can possible go well with those that shoot professionally greater than the hobbyists. It is bizarre to throw a lot shade at what’s, basically, the most effective Nikon lenses we have dealt with. We basically love this lens for all kinds of photographs, but it surely is not what we would attain for if we needed to get specialised. 

So, in case you have the cash and also you’re on the lookout for a dependable zoom to sit down in your camera and snap all types of photographs, that is the lens for you. In case you’re decided to get the sting in a extra particular kind of shot, this is not more likely to be the one.

If the Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens is not for you

Clocking in round 60% cheaper, the Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S (opens in new tab) model of this lens remains to be a pleasant piece of glass. When you’ll battle to do astro with it, this lens will deal with most daytime photographs (and lengthy exposures) with ease. It is lighter too, and extra compact, though it does lengthen lengthwise when zooming.

At about half the worth you possibly can go for the Nikon Nikkor Z 20mm f/1.8 S prime (or the 24mm prime, though it is not fairly pretty much as good), which is extra of an astro instrument. When you lose the flexibility to zoom, you do get a really broad angle and a scrumptious most aperture of f/1.8, which is right for star photographs.

Then there’s the most recent Nikon lens, the Nikon Nikkor Z 28-75mm f/2.8 (opens in new tab). It is a unusual one, this. We’ve not examined this extra reasonably priced zoom for Nikon’s mirrorless system, but it surely affords very comparable stats for nearly half the worth. You aren’t getting as broad a shot, however you get a barely longer zoom and whereas it is not fairly as prime quality because the 24-70mm we have reviewed right here it is a rattling good lens all the identical.


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