Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8 G ED N - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)
Sunday, 27 January 2008 11:32

Lens kindly provided by Dr. Thomas Rubach!

For some years Nikon didn't overly care about their full format lens lineup but thanks to the new Nikon D3 they're coming back here ... with a vengeance. Besides the recently reviewed AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED N Nikon did also release the Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED N. The Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX HSM (also a full format lens) may be a tad wider but the Nikkor is quite a bit faster and, consequently, not exactly a cheap item at around 1600US$/€. That said it is a professional grade lens and price-wise it is roughly in-line with its brothers and sisters a la AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8 or AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 VR. The FX era has not yet started here at Photozone so we'll have a look how the lens performs on an APS-C DSLR where the field-of-view is equivalent to 21-36mm. This is naturally not quite as wide as on full format DSLRs but the Nikkor can still be regarded as an ultra-wide angle zoom lens - just not an overly extreme one.

As mentioned the lens is primarily targeting the professional market and the build quality of the lens is accordingly high. The outer lens barrel is made of a metal alloy and there're seals for dust and moisture protection. The broad rubberized focus ring operates exceptionally smooth whereas the zoom ring has more friction - a side effect of the immense weight of the zoom group. Apropos weight - at around 1kg it is the most heavy ultra-wide angle zoom lens around.

The optical design of the AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G is a bit related to the old AF 14mm f/2.8ED. Reads: it has an immense front element, almost bulb-style, which protrudes significantly. Consequently there's no filter thread and it's also not possible to attach a filter to the lens cap like offered on the Sigma 12-24mm EX for instance. This is a bit of a worrisome thought because the naked front element is quite vulnerable.

The physical length of the lens remains constant but the inner lens tube moves a little according to the focal length (see below). Thanks to an internal focusing system (IF) the inner tube remains static during focus operations though and the front element does not rotate.

Move the mouse cursor over the text marks below to observe the respective distortions
@ 14mm @ 24mm w/lens cap

The Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 is a G-type lens so it does not offer an aperture ring anymore. Thanks to an AF-S drive (Silent Wave Motor) AF operations are fast and basically silent.

Equiv. focal length21-36 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.2 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction14 elements in 11 groups inc. 2x ED and 3x aspherical elements and 1x element with Nano Crystal Coat
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0-28 m (max. magnification ratio 1:6.7)
Dimensions98 x 132 mm
Weight1000 g
Filter sizeno front filter possible
Hoodbuild-in, petal-shaped
Other featuresdust and moisture sealing

Ok, now let's see where the beef is ...

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