Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED Review

November 16, 2010 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


There is no doubt that the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED lens is a very high-quality piece of gear. Build quality is up there with the very best of its current stablemates, while optical performance is superlative. Chromatic aberrations in particular are very well controlled, geometric distortion is impressively low for an ultrawide lens (unless you are focusing very close). Sharpness is remarkably good at maximum aperture, and excellent across the rest of the zoom range. The Nano Crystal Coat successfully prevents any contrast loss attributable to veiling flare, even if it cannot fully eliminate the kind of reflections that are inherent with ultrawide lenses. The only issue is corner shading at maximum aperture, but this is something every full-frame shooter has to put up with, especially when using wide angles.

So the lens is good – but is it worth the nearly £2000 / $2200 price Nikon is asking for it? The answer lies with what you would like to use it for. We believe that architectural photographers and the most demanding landscapists are probably more likely to purchase the PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D ED instead, which tilts, shifts and revolves for ultimate depth of field and perspective control, and actually costs less. Most photojournalists and avid amateurs will stick with their trusty 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lenses, which are more than good enough in most situations, while providing more flexibility at a substantially lower price.

People most likely to seriously consider the Nikon AF-S 24mm f/1.4G include photographers who either want to explore the creative possibilities that arise from a combination of shallow DOF and an ultrawide angle of view, or really need the extra stops of light to capture e.g. moving subjects in very low light. For them, the AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 might be just the ticket.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 5
Image quality 5
Value for money 3.5