Nikon AF-S 24mm f/1.4G ED

£1470, $1900

NPhoto - - Test Team -

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.

Per­for­mance

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.

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