Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm F 2.8 S Lens Review

When the Nikon Z mirrorless series was launched, it came into the limelight as one of the most powerful series of zoom lenses to grace the stage of mirrorless camera technology. Nikon even promised to change the game from the standard and famous f-mount lenses to a range of newbie lenses with superior optical characteristics.

Well, it wasn’t all talk and no action, as we can experience, thanks to Nikon, some beautifully crafted lenses. However, the 24-70mm f/2.8s was the first to set the pace for professional-grade zoom lens in the Z-mount line. If we said the Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm F 2.8 S Lens is arguably the best lens of such focal lens to be made, it would not be a wrong claim.

Like every other gadget review, it’s always better to show than tell, which is exactly what we will be doing in the rest of this article. Did we also tell you the Z 24-70mm f/2.8s lens was Nikon’s first lens that featured two separate AF drive units? Well, there’s so much more to reveal. Scroll down.

What is a 24-70mm lens good for?

Well, with great power comes great responsibility, and nothing short of this is expected of the Z 24-70mm f/2.8s lens. So what can one do with a lens? Every user or potential buyer should first know that the lens was designed to be more of a general-purpose lens, and many photographers love to describe it as a walk-around lens.

While we can be confident in the ability of this lens to be a good fit for photography ranging from wide-angle to dense-image, short telephoto types, it’s worthwhile to look into specific ways and niches this lens can be applied to.

Portrait Photography

The Nikkor 24-70mm lens provides an impeccable utility for shooting fairly large portraits, and even close-up individual poses, perfectly overriding the need for lens swaps while shooting. However, a more reaching lens with a focal length greater than 70mm for tight headshots could suffice.

Exploring the f/2.8 while shooting can offer the photographer a pleasantly out-of-focus background, which most photographers seek in portraiture. With its 70mm focal length ability, the shooter can compress small groups of people from a moderate distance while still capturing a great perspective.

Landscape Photography

You can get great landscape images shooting with the 24-70mm lens, precisely when they’re set at 24mm, which seems to be the ideal focal length for this type of photography.

With a vertically-turned camera, your photograph can be composed to include very comprehensive and intensive depth. Another amazing thing is that you can also have close-ups and distant subjects in the same photograph.

Events and social shooting

The Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S is largely considered to be an event-friendly lens, with a fairly decent performance in weddings and large social gatherings. With its flexibility of use and an f/2.8 aperture, twice as much light can be let into the lens as an f/4 aperture lens.

The operable convenience is that you’re provided with a fast shutter speed to prevent the photos from getting blurry. You compose several group portraits with the lens at a good shooting distance from where your subjects are.

Architectural shooting

A 24-70mm focal length is suitable for capturing architectural subjects. As a matter of fact, the 24mm focal length of the Nikon Nikkor lens provides you with wide enough to pick out buildings when they’re in close view.

If the aim stretches beyond this, with a need for a stronger perspective, the lens may not serve the purpose professionally as a tilt-shift lens would. Still, it does suffice, leaves a good impression on the viewers, and may also serve beginner architecture photographers well.

Is 24-70mm good for portrait and street photography?

The 24-70mm is a very special lens, and one of its characteristic excellence is in how it encourages street photography, offering the shooter direct access to explore his creativity.

It’s ideal to think that as a photographer, you have a wide range of focal lengths under your control, which translates to more flexibility and time to get what you want from the shot. This can also mean you can alter your perspective without having to move.

One of the benefits handed to you by using a 24-70mmm lens is the versatility you can exploit using the lens. A photographer can deploy the 24mm focal length for shooting at wide angles and still portraits suitable at a 70mm focal point.

Moreover, if you’re looking at capturing some tight shots, a 70mm is your best bet, for instance, in an alley or any other place where all the subjects feel so close. The overarching point is that the 24-70mm lens is designed with portraits, nature subjects, and close-focusing abilities.

In other words, a 24-70mm lens can be used to capture amazing close-up images of flowers, leaves, and portrait details. What seems to be the most exciting characteristic of the lens is its flexibility while shooting a portrait subject.

You can step back for a great-looking body shot, zoom in a little for a head-and-body composition, then zoom in more on details like your subject’s ears, eyes, or even clothing.

Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm F 2.8 S Lens Review

Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm is one of the fastest standard zoom lenses made under the company’s Z-mount mirrorless line.

With a 24-70mm focal range in FX-formated bodies, the lens is well-suited for all the action-packed and adventurous shooting, ranging from portraits and street photography to weddings and events. The lens can also double as a makeshift macro lens and serves quite well in video capturing, making it an excellent all-rounder.

Being a professional-based Z mount zoom lens, the lens is one of many professional photographers’ workhorses at the moment; with a zooming capacity as its wide-to-telephoto paired with an aperture as fast as the f/2.8, there is almost nothing the lens can’t fit into.

The uniqueness of the Nikon Nikkor 2424-70mm becomes more apparent with daring characteristics that, compared to other lenses of the same aperture and focal length range, are nearly impossible to surpass. For example, its relative compatibility at 89 x 126mm and weight of only 805 grams makes it the third lightest lens in the photography industry, making for better handling and ease of use.

01. Body design and ergonomics

Even though it isn’t currently the smallest lens in the market, the Nikon Nikkor 24-70mm lens is certainly much smaller and less weighty than the equivalent of its DSLR.

Measuring an almost miniature 126mm balances its sleek design at almost the same place as the Z7, and with an exterior crafted with a make of both plastic and metal, mobility of the lens is sure not as burdensome as with many other lenses of the f2.8 type.

It fields its focus ring right at the front of the camera barrel, with its zoom ring directly behind it. The camera, also near the rear, has a control ring with customizable ability, which comes quite handy in controlling the aperture of the kens, the exposure compensation, or the ISO sensitivity without allowing a clicky option.

The zoom ring is mechanically built to operate and has less turning flexibility than the other two. This may make initiating adjustments to a sufficient focal length quite tricky. Once shooting begins, the knob turns smoothly and can offer the handler an expansive zoom range in a quarter-turn.

In contrast to the focus ring, a speed-sensitive response is immediately obtainable that requires only a quarter turn for the focus range to be spanned if quick movements are made. The elements of the front and rear of the lens are coated with fluorine to resist moisture, smudges, and fingerprints.

02. Autofocus and focus performance

The Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8s has a special new multi-focus system, which operates similarly to some Sony G-master high-performing lenses, as the lens uses multiple autofocus groups and motors to improve the shooting performance of the camera the lens is mounted on.

Unlike what is obtainable for Sony, the Nikon Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8s lens uses two-stepper motor AF actuators that allow two focus groups to be moved at once.

03. Image quality

The lens also turns in an impressive performance for its image quality. Besides some intermittent complexity with bokeh, the lens delivers as expected. It surpasses its F-mount predecessors, who sacrificed absolute sharpness in the image center for a more expanded and uniform field.

However, there is a slightly significant barrel distortion on the lens’s wide end that, at most times on the telephoto end, results in pincushion distortion. Still, these are managed by the lens correction profile of Nikon.

04. Special features

Sharpness

Towards the extreme of its zoom range, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8s delivers robust sharpness, and while the corners may seem a little calmer, they still look good. If you shop down to f5.6, you’ll get little or no significant change at the center, but corner sharpness is largely improved.

Bokeh

Overall, the 2424-70mm f/2.8s delivers a great bokeh, which is an incredible improvement over the F4 Z mount. With the lens bokeh, you sometimes experience slight pattering highlights that are out of focus. However, what seems to be a major bug here is the busy bokeh that seems to rear its ugly head in slightly de-focused regions.

05. Ghosting and sun stars

The Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8s Z mount attaches directly to the camera’s telescoping front end, rather than the extension within the hood as one zoom in and out in other lenses. Besides this, the lens can also handle bright light sources with well-controlled ghosting.

06. Internal and external video capture

Having initially described the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f2.8 as a walk-around lens, it is expected that its delivery regarding video recording wouldn’t fall short of common expectations. Moreover, with the introduction of the AF focus system, we have seen the lens beat its predecessors in quality focusing ability, with minimal adjustment and shifting.

Of additional interest is the ability of the lens to handle focus breathing which can be destructive while shooting videos.

Focus breathing is a pain in the ass while recording, as there is a tendency for distortion in the field of view during focusing. Therefore, minimizing this scenario is one big advantage shooting with the lens has over other lenses of similar focal length.

07. Exposure controlling

The Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8s has moderately flexible exposure control, and its fast f/2.8 aperture performs excellently well in low light conditions and, across its whole zoom range, retains a consistent exposure.

A wide aperture like this is a preferred option for photographers who want to play it safe with the amount of light they let into their camera, as the maximum aperture of f/2.8 ensures when stopped down a bit, your clarity isn’t lost.

Still image capturing

This zoom lens is still a top choice for still photography in the Z-mount line, and many fans of the Nikon brand do agree the lens has a combination of some of the most versatile features needed to have a good run time while shooting still images.

Not only does the focal length make for a solid, well-rounded sharpness, but the bokeh effect is astonishing too. After running a test shooting with the camera, it turned out the flare was clear of any issues and can handle bright light sources pretty impressively.

Purposes of use in photography

Unsurprisingly, the Nikon Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8s lens is boxed up with features as modern and sophisticated as a wide aperture, magnificent focusing, and extended focal length that offers solid uniform clarity across the shooting frame, easily finds expression in street photography, as well as portrait and for shooting social events.

These three areas of photography are where many users have reported being most compatible with the features of the lens.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Excellent weather sealing
  • Impressive macro performance

Cons

  • Slower autofocus compared to peers
  • Broken seams a bit busy in transition zones

Key Specifications

Key features Standings
Focal length 24-70mm
Maximum aperture f/2.8
Minimum aperture f/2.8
Close focus 0.38m
Diaphragm blades 9
Hood Yes
Stabilization No
Weight 805g
Filter thread 82mm

Top Questions (FAQs)

What is the best thing about the Nikon Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8s lens?

The best thing about the Nikon Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8s lens is that there is a noticeable sombrero field curvature at the widest aperture. When stopped down to an aperture of f/5.6, th center sharpness is brought back.

What is the minimum focus distance of  Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8s?

The minimum focus distance of the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8s is 0.38m, making it an incredibly performing lens for drawing in subjects with very little proximity to it.

Does the Nikon Nikkor 24-70mm have an aperture ring?

One of the few slight modifications made in the Nikon 24-70mm lens is an omission of an aperture ring. For many photographers, this isn’t much of an inconvenience; however, the alternative doesn’t seem to affect the shot quality.

Is the Nikkor 24-70mm lens weather sealed?

The Nikon Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8s lens, among other features that have been modified and improved upon in the Z-mount line of lens, sports a weather sealing body which makes it suitable for shooting under the snow, the rain trickles, and other mild weather conditions.

Final Thoughts

The Nikon Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8s is the first professional-grade standard zoom lens in the Z-mount line of the brand. Besides being packed with incredible and groovy features that resonate with modern camera design technology and ergonomics, it has featured a superior image quality.

It manages side distortions and aberrations that tend to arise from shooting with a lens of such aperture. We hope you found this review helpful.