Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED – magically wide

I love the wide prime lenses from Nikon. They can greatly underline the dramaticness of your image. Moreover, unlike the longer focus lens they capture the landscape or environment around the object. In addition, some glasses offer something extra, which is the case of this amazing lens.

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1,4G ED is a professional grade lens which was presented in February of 2010. The lens has twelve lens in ten groups with two ED elements, two aspherical elements, nano crystal coat which reduce light reflections and a 9-blade rounded aperture for a beautiful bokeh.

The build quality is similar to the other f1,4G lenses. Weighing almost 600 gram, almost twice as much of newer and cheaper AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1,8G ED. The lens is a relatively big and heavy, but it fits nicely into my little hands.  On my Nikon Df body, the lens works perfectly like all prime AF-S lenses. I don’t have a problem with slower focus speed, because I often use manual focusing.

Rear barrel comes with a rubber gasket on the lens mount, which provides good sealing against dust making its way into the camera (the rubber gasket definitely helps not only in reducing sensor dust, but also in reducing the amount of dust that could potentially end up inside the lens).. Nikon 24mm f/1.4G has big round front element and heavy plastic with metal inside. It looks more resilient than newer lenses from China. The front filter thread takes 77mm filter the same like my older 85mm f/1.4G lens. So it’s cool fact.

The image quality is amazing. At the minimum aperture it is sharp in the center of the frame with blur bokeh and soft corners. So it’s great lens for portraits or details. Above aperture of f2,8 the quality of the entire shot rise significantly. If we are talking about landscape photography, it create the best images from f/5,6 to f/11.

Nikon 24mm f/1.4G ED in my hands:
Short compared with other wide-angle prime lenses

I love shooting with basic wide Nikons. Before I bought a new 24 /1.4G,  i owned Nikon 20mm, 24mm, 28mm and 35mm f/1.8G lenses. All are great, sharp, light and much cheaper. For those, who want to save your money, this lenses are a great alternative to much more expensive lenses with f1.4.

The Nikon 24mm f/1.4G might not be the sharpest prime lens in Nikon’s line when compared to the newest primes, but it is more than sufficient for even the most demanding high resolution sensors, particularly when stopped down. Color and contrast are truly amazing and top of the class.

So what’s the main reason to make more expensive glass? I have three reasons.

First reason, lens construction. As I have already mentioned, the tube fits perfectly into the hand. It is not the lightest but at the same time not as giant as the sigma art. At first glance, it is obvious that the lens is made of high quality materials, top glass and the inside contains significantly more metal than smaler f1.8 primes. The essential part of the lens is the focusing ring, which works smoothly,  much more accurately than in the case of cheaper brothers from China.

Second reason resistance in backlight and usability in low light. For those who are shooting nighttime photography, landscapes, weddings or some events. This is the best choice. In the backlight this lens works excellent. Only small reflections are visible. The little brother Nikon 24mm f/1.8G ED is not so stable. The light reflections are fairly prominent. In some cases, I encounter extreme reflections that I have not seen before

Third reason optical performance. Optically is absolutely superb. As you can see below, lens is sharp. It produces beautiful pictures with a soft background at the maximum aperture. To mention, this lens is not for everybody, because some people need just a sharp zoom lens or compact 24mm lens. Simply put, this glass has a soul …

Compared to the Nikon 24mm f/1.8G ED

24mm lenses from other manufacturers. This moment there are two alternatives on the market. Sigma 24mm f1.4DG Art, which is structurally similar to Nikon. The construction and optical properties are practically the same. Sigma is also quite popular with a significantly lower price. So if you’re considering the best investment for your money. What’s worse? The Sigma art has cooler colors, not so reliable autofocus and in the backlight is not so good as Nikon. Nothing crucial, but if you buy a lens for a long time, it could be troublesome for you in the future.

 * Nikon 24, 35, 58 and 85mm f/1.4 lenses
Merit:
  • Superior image quality
  • Build quality – the lens sits perfectly in my hands
  • Large and smooth focus ring
  • Excels in low-light and nighttime applications
  • Backlight resistance
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • 77mm filter thread
  • Lens caps, hood and case included
Cons:
  • Slower autofocus
  • High price
Summary:

Nikon’s 24mm f/1,4G ED is the best lens in Nikon prime lens line-up. It’s bigger, quite heavy, but optically superb. It’s cool lens for nature, portraits, street or weddings photographers. However, this lens finds its application in many other ways. If you are willing to pay the money, you will not regret it. Thanks for reading!


Specifications:

Lens type: Wide
Focal length: 24 mm
Maximum aperture: f/1.4
Minimum aperture: f/16
Lens construction: 12 elements in 10 groups (including two ED glass and two aspherical lens elements)
Nano Crystal Coat: Yes
Angle of view: 84° (on DX-format D-SLR cameras: 61°)
Minimum focus distance: 0.25 m from focal plane
No. of diaphragm blades: 9 (rounded) 
Filter-attachment size: 77 mm 
Diameter x length: 83 mm x 88,5 mm
Weight: 620 g/12.6 oz (excluding hood)
Accessories: LC-77 77 mm snap-on Front Lens Cap, LF-4 Rear Lens Cap, 
             HB-51 Bayonet Hood, CL-1118 Lens Case

* sample images from Nikon 24mm f/1.4G ED