Nikon Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.8 S Review
By Yvonne
2022-09-29

Nikon Nikkor Z24mm f/1.8 S prime lens is high quality, has fast autofocus and excellent optical performance. It also features sturdy construction.

Nikon Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.8 S Review

Nikon Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.8 S

Let's get to the bottom

Nikon Nikkor Z24mm f/1.8 S prime lens is high quality, has fast autofocus and excellent optical performance. It also features sturdy construction.

The pros

  • Great resolution.
  • Quick, quiet autofocus.
  • Focus breathing and nominal distortion
  • Protection against dust and splashes

Cons

  • Control ring that is too sensitive.
  • Fluorine-free coat

Nikon Nikkor Z 24-mm f/1.8 S (999.95 USD) is yet another prime lens in Nikon's initial wave for full-frame mirrorless cameras. This lens is the most wide-angle entry available and has excellent optical performance. You won't regret shopping for this wide prime for Z-cameras.

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Built for Mirrorless

Nikon full-frame mirrorless cameras are able to use SLR lenses with the FTZ adapter. There is no drop in image quality or performance. It does however add some weight to the system.

Nikkor Z24mm is an optical design that was created to maximize the distance between sensor and lens mount in a mirrorless camera. It's typically sized for a full-frame prime—3.8 by 3.1 inches (HD) without the included hood. The 15.9-ounce unit supports 72mm filters and comes with front and back caps as well as a soft pouch.

You'd be surprised at how well it's constructed considering Nikon's outstanding reputation. It is made of a mixture of metal and plastic, and has a metal manual focus ring and dust protection. My only complaint is that there's no grease-repellent fluorine coat on the glass—though the lens has all of Nikon's latest anti-reflective and anti-glare protection.

To toggle between autofocus and manual operation, there is a switch to the side. The autofocus operation is quiet and quick. There is almost no angle change when the focus is being adjusted. Focus breathing reduces this effect and makes the lens a better choice for video.

Manual focus is also pleasant. With a little resistance, the focus ring moves smoothly. Photographers will probably like the non-linear response curve—a slow, careful turn is used for minute adjustments, while a quick turn causes the focus plane to move more rapidly. For perfectly consistent focus pulls and linear responses, videographers may prefer the non-linear response curve.

When the autofocus is enabled, you can use the focus ring as an aperture or EV control ring. Unfortunately, the function is not controlled by the camera body. The Z 85mm F/1.8 S is a more detailed look. But to sum it all, this function is too sensitive for practical use.

It focuses very close to the sensor at 9.8 inches. The front glass is only a few inches further away. The wide angle of view means it's not really a macro lens—it is only able to project subjects onto the sensor at 1:6.7 life-size.

The lens doesn't have any stabilization. However, the Z 6 and Z 7 full-frame cameras provide in-body stabilization. This allows for longer handheld exposures as well as smooth handheld video. However, the newer Z 50 has a smaller APSC format sensor.

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Excellent Results

I used the Nikkor Z24mm and the best-resolution Z camera, the 45MP Z 7. I also tested Imatest software.

It scores very well in a resolution test at f/1.8, with a range of 3,700 lines, which is quite good for Z 7's sensor. There are strong edges and center clarity. It shows a slight improvement in resolution at f/2 (3,800 lines) and f/2.8 (3.800 lines). Resolution is excellent at f/4 (4.100 lines through f/11).

There's a little bit of softening due to diffraction at f/16—light particles scattering as they pass through the very tiny iris—but I'd still feel comfortable stopping down all the way, whether it be for a long exposure, more depth of field, or a sunstar effect.

The lens is very well-controlled, and there's no reason to worry about distortion when used for architectural imaging. Although there is a slight vignette at f/1.8 and f/2 it can be easily removed using the Raw processing tools. Lightroom defaults to correcting your images.

Related Reading: Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Review

The Quality Wide Prime

You're sure to be pleased if you own a Nikon Z and are looking for a 24-mm f/1.8 S lens. This lens is a great choice. The images are sharp and clear without any ugly barrel distortion. There is no need to adjust an adapter and there will be minimal breathing.

By using an adapter, you can make savings. You have two options: the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HDSM Art and Nikkor 24-mm f/1.8G. These are made for Nikon's SLR system but can also be used with a Z-camera via adapter. These are great options for bargain-hunters as they have been available long enough that they circulated on the used market. The Nikkor Z24mm f/1.8 S is a sleeker and more elegant option.