Nikon AF-S 24mm f/1.4G ED
This prime number is reasonably compact yet gives a super-fast f/1.4 widest aperture While most of the lenses on test offer ultra-wide viewing angles, this Nikon prime has a more modest 24mm focal length but aims to excel in terms of speed and image quality. Its f/1.4 aperture makes it two stops faster than any of the f/2.8 lenses, and four stops faster than the Sigma 12-24mm lens at its 24mm focal length.
It’s not just about speed. The Nikon 24mm boasts fully professional build quality with a tough magnesium construction and weather-sealed mount. The latter of these is also featured on the other Nikon lenses, as is the fitment of two ED glass elements. Wide-angle lenses certainly aren’t renowned for enabling a tight depth of field but, combining an f/1.4 aperture with the short minimum focus distance of 25cm, it’s a distinct possibility with this lens. At slightly narrower apertures, defocused areas of images retain a pleasingly soft appearance, helped by the well-rounded nine-blade diaphragm.
Sharpness is exceptional, even at very wide apertures, while fringing is minimal. Barrel distortion is more noticeable than with competing wide-angle zooms at their 24mm settings, but much less pronounced than when using a standard zoom at the same focal length.