Gear Review: The Nikkor Z 14-30mm S

In Gear Review by Patrick

This lens really surprised me for more than one reason. First a little background on how I came to have this lens in my tool kit. I like shooting landscapes when I travel to different places and in addition to that, sometimes to capture everything in one click, even if it is not a landscape, you need a wide angle lens.

For my DSLR, I have the 18-35mm F-mount, which I use frequently and is tack sharp. Now some may ask why the 14-30mm if I can use the 18-35mm with the FTZ adapter. Valid question and here is my answer. Weight and sharpness. The 14-30mm in testing is sharper in 1:1 comparisons in overall sharpness and corner sharpness. Physically, it is a small package, at only 3.5 inches when retracted, even when on the camera.

When compared to my DSLR with and equivalent wide angle lens, the venerable 14-24mm, you can see the advantage and the size difference. This portability made the lens very attractive to me.

Photo courtesy of Camerasize.com

What I like about the lens:

One additional bonus with this lens is the ability to add filters. Wide angle lenses in the past traditionally have not had the ability to add filters to the front element and if you needed to do so, it requires addtional gear to add to the lens, typically the ND filters are seperate and it can be more effort to produce the pictures you wish. With the 14-30mm, it takes and 82mm screw on filter, polarizer, or ND filter right on the front element. Simple and effective.

This is a zoom lens to cover the entire 14-30mm range. It does have a lock switch when retracted at 14mm to hold it in place for transport. At first this was a bit annoying as you have to zoom out “unlock” the lens for use and I am use to just putting the camera to the eye composing and going. Once I got used to having to do that, it was no big deal. The zoom mechanism is weather sealed which is nice for the outdoor photographer.

Other major benefits of this lens are that is has with a fixed f/4 aperture throughout its zoom range and has outstanding image quality. I noted earlier that it has edge-to-edge sharpness even when shooting wide open. Shoot stills or video in near-silence which in this day and age is becoming more popular.

  • 4 Aespherical Lenses
  • 4 ED Glass Elements
  • Fluorine Coat
  • Nano Crystal Coat
  • Dust and Drip Resistant
  • Customizable Control Ring for manual focusing and video transitions
  • Smooth, Quiet Auto-focus

Full Specs:

Focal Length14 to 30mm
Maximum Aperturef/4
Minimum Aperturef/22
Lens MountNikon Z
Format CompatibilityFull-Frame
Angle of View114° to 72°
Minimum Focus Distance11.02″ / 28 cm
Maximum Magnification0.16x
Optical Design14 Elements in 12 Groups
Diaphragm Blades7, Rounded
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationNone
Filter Size82 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)3.5 x 3.35″ / 89 x 85 mm
Weight1.07 lb / 485 g

Here are some images from this lens that reflects what I am talking about.

Nikon Z6 / 14-30mm ISO 100
Nikon Z6 / 14-30mm ISO 100
Nikon Z6 / 14-30mm ISO 100
Nikon Z6 / 14-30mm ISO 100

Overall this lens was performed well and produced some great images for me. Paired with the Nikon Z6 body the balance on the camera felt good. This lightweight wide angle lens is something to consider at a price point of $1297.00 USD as of this post. I have not found the f/4 controversy to be an issue. The majority of the time shooting landscapes I am at the lenses sweet spot of f/8 anyway so the aperture point was moot for me. In my humble opinion the Nikkor S 14-30mm is a great option for the cost conscious landscape photographer wanting to save money over the upcoming Nikkor S 14-24mm which is sporting a hefty price tag of $2400.00 USD as of this post.

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