Nikon AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G price: 849 euros (list price)
In mid-September 2015, the assortment of Nikon f/1.8 lenses with fixed focal lengths was expanded with a Nikon AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G ED. This bright FX format lens is less expensive, lighter and more compact than its brighter (f/1.4) “professional” brother, which is about 2.5 times more expensive. I photographed for years with a Nikon 24 mm f/2.8, which I used as my standard lens because I like to photograph with a wide angle. At that time, there were not yet so many good, bright lenses made as there are today. We tested the Nikon AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G on a Nikon D810. It naturally also fits perfectly on a high-end camera with a DX sensor. On a Nikon D7200 (or a D500!), this beautiful lens can serve beautifully as a documentary lens. Should you ever want to switch to a camera with an FX sensor, then the Nikon AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G travels with you. We checked the image quality of this lens in a brief test.
Build and auto focus
The Nikon 24 mm f/1.8G is extremely solidly built. It’s true that it’s not extra-well sealed against dust and splashwater, like the Nikon 24 mm f/1.4G, and is built with a plastic housing to save as much weight as possible. Even so, I’m charmed by this lens. The zoom ring is beautifully dampened and nicely wide, which makes manual focusing a pleasure. The lens is equipped with a distance scale (a rarity today, but ideal for fast street photography) and a switch for manual focus vs. Auto Focus. The 72 mm filter size is modest for a bright wide-angle lens, but in comparison with many other lenses still impressive. The Nikon AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G ED is delivered with lens hood and a soft lens bag. With repeatability of just over 5%, the AF is very accurate. There are few camera/lens combinations with an APS-C sensor that are able to match it.
Little to no flare, vignetting, distortion or chromatic aberration
If you use a lens that is designed for an FX sensor on a camera with a DX sensor, then you’re quite well set. Because only the center of the image will be used by the DX sensor, you have no trouble with vignetting, distortion or chromatic aberration: all lens errors that appear in the corners of the image. The Nikon 24 mm f/1.8G already scored high on these points on a Nikon D810; on a Nikon D7200, the scores are even higher. Vignetting at full aperture is a bit more than 1 stop. Distortion is 0.5% barrel-shaped. Chromatic aberration will be automatically corrected by Nikon cameras in jpg files. And in the uncorrected RAW files, it was 0.5 pixel. That is good.
This lens has a relatively large front lens in comparison with lenses that are specially designed for APS-C, so that you have to be careful with backlighting of bright light sources just outside of frame. A flower-shaped lens hood is included as standard.
Not only as far as the absence of lens errors is concerned, but also as far as sharpness is concerned, the Nikon 24 mm f/1.8 on a Nikon camera with an APS-C/DX sensor is one of the best lenses with a 35 mm full-frame equivalent field of view. That is, given the outstanding performance of the Nikon 24 mm 1.8 on a Nikon D810 in our previous test, not really a surprise. In the center, the sharpness is already very high after stopping down 1 stop. At the edges and in the corners, you gain sharpness by stopping down further.
Conclusion Nikon AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G ED review with Nikon D810
- High build and image quality
- Broadly usable focal length: both on FX (wide angle) and DX (documentary)
- High brightness
- Includes lens bag
- Costs just as much as the Nikon 20 mm f/1.8G, which offers a larger field of view (but a bit lower image quality)..
When it comes to Nikon, the switch to a camera with a full-frame sensor with extremely high resolution does not have to be coupled with big investments in new lenses. The Nikon AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G ED lens performs outstandingly in low light, both on a camera with an FX sensor and on a camera with a DX sensor, and delivers a beautiful background blur. Certainly for the Nikon D500 or the Nikon D7200, this Nikon 24 mm is a fantastic documentary lens, with a field of view that corresponds with that of a 35 mm lens on a camera with a full-frame sensor.