Nikon Z 24-70mm F2.8 S discipline overview: Digital Images Overview

Nikon Z 24-70mm F2.8 S field review: Digital Photography Review


Nikon’s Nikkor Z 24-70mm F2.8 S is a quick commonplace zoom lens for the corporate’s Z-mount mirrorless cameras.

With a focal vary of 24-70mm on FX-format our bodies or 36-105mm equal on DX-format our bodies, it is well-suited to every little thing from landscapes and road images to portraits, weddings and occasion images. It will possibly additionally serve double-duty as an impromptu macro lens in a pinch and is sort of well-suited to video seize, making it a fairly versatile all-rounder.

Obtainable since April 2019, checklist pricing is about at $2299.95.

All photographs edited in Adobe Digicam Uncooked 11.2.1 except in any other case famous, with changes restricted to white steadiness, publicity, highlights, shadows, white and black ranges. Sharpening and noise discount at defaults.

Key specs:

  • Focal size: 24-70mm (36-105mm equiv. with APS-C crop)
  • Aperture vary: F2.8 – F22
  • Stabilization: No
  • Filter thread: 82mm
  • Shut focus: 0.38m (15.0″)
  • Most magnification: 0.22x
  • Diaphragm blades: 9
  • Hood: Sure
  • Weight: 805g (1.77 lb)
  • Optical building: 17 components in 15 teams (4 aspherical, 2 ED)

With the Z-mount nonetheless being comparatively new, the Nikon Z 24-70mm F2.8 S unsurprisingly has no direct rivals, however there are nonetheless a number of different lenses with which to attract some worthwhile comparisons.

ISO 2800 | 1/100 sec | F2.8 | 51mm | Nikon Z7
Picture by Barney Britton

The closest various on Z-mount could be the Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 S, which is way smaller, lighter and extra inexpensive, but additionally reasonably extra consumer-oriented. It lacks the customizable button and information show of the brighter F2.8 lens, and has each a much less advanced optical components and two fewer blades in its aperture iris. Impressively, given its inexpensive price ticket, it does nonetheless embrace climate sealing all through, although, and its smaller 72mm filter dimension may additionally prevent extra money.

When you want the additional cease of sunshine and the thinner depth of discipline you may get from an F2.8 lens, although, your solely different Z-mount various is likely one of the quite a few 24-70mm F2.8 lenses obtainable on the Nikon F-mount, transformed to mirrorless by the use of the Mount Adapter FTZ.

Seen alongside its F-mount equal with Mount Adapter FTZ (high), the dimensions benefit of going for the made-for-mirrorless Z-mount lens (backside) is obvious.

A comparability in opposition to the DSLR-oriented Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR actually exhibits the advantages mirrorless can supply when it comes to lens dimension and weight. Though barrel diameter is shut sufficient to be indistinguishable, the Z-mount lens is 28.5mm (1.0″) shorter. And it weighs round one-quarter much less, shaving 265g (9.3oz) off the burden of the F-mount optic, even earlier than you add the majority of the mount adapter.

But regardless of being much more moveable, the 24-70mm F2.8 is an excellent higher lens than its already-impressive DSLR forerunner in nearly all respects. It has each an additional customizable management ring and button, a extremely useful OLED information show and wonderful picture high quality regardless of a considerably much less advanced optical components.

ISO 64 | 1/640 sec | F2.8 | 52mm | Nikon Z7
Picture by Barney Britton

Actually, there are solely two drawbacks versus the DSLR lens. We felt that regardless of its dual-motor autofocus drive, AF efficiency lagged simply barely behind the F-mount optic.

As for different DSLR and mirrorless rivals, there are just too many to check to all of them. (We now have at least 16 full-frame 24-70mm F2.8 lenses for mirrorless or DSLR cameras in our lens database.) There are two particularly we expect it is value evaluating, although: The primary-party equivalents on the Z-mount’s strongest opponents, the Canon RF and Sony E-mounts.

ISO 64 | 1/1600 sec | F2.8 | 27mm | Nikon Z7
Picture by Barney Britton

For RF-mount, that is the Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM, which is nearly precisely the identical dimension, however weighs about 12% extra and carries an inventory worth that is $100 increased. It has a extra advanced optical components and a far speedier nano USM autofocus motor instead of the Nikon’s twin stepper motors. It provides a extra highly effective 0.3x most magnification versus 0.22x for the Nikon, however we positioned the Nikon forward of it as a runner-up for Finest Zoom Lens in our 2019 DPReview Awards for extra balanced optical efficiency, due to a decrease diploma of chromatic aberration and smoother bokeh due to a extra Gaussian circle of confusion.

As for the E-mount, the Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM is $100 extra inexpensive, but it surely’s additionally 10mm (0.4″) longer and weighs 10% greater than the Nikon 24-70mm F2.8 S. It opts for a quick piezoelectric AF drive reasonably than the twin stepper motor setup of the Nikon, and with a 0.24x most magnification will provide you with a barely higher macro functionality. In our expertise although, efficiency on the lengthy finish will be fairly variable, unit to unit.

In comparison with…

Nikon Z 24-70mm F2.8 S Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S Nikon AF-S 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM

Value (MSRP)

$2299.95 $999.95 $2099.95 $2399.00 $2199.99
Format Mirrorless Mirrorless DSLR Mirrorless Mirrorless
Mount(s) Nikon Z Nikon Z Nikon F Canon RF Sony E
Optical building 17 components, 15 teams 14 components, 11 teams 20 components, 16 teams 21 components, 15 teams 18 components, 13 teams
Aperture blades 9 7 9 9 9
Climate sealed Sure Sure Sure Sure Sure
AF drive Twin stepper motor Stepper motor Ring-type ultrasonic Nano ultrasonic Piezoelectric
Minimal focus distance / max magnification 0.38 m (15.0″) / 0.22x 0.3 m (11.8″) / 0.3x 0.38 m (15.0″) / 0.27x 0.21 m (8.3″) / 0.3x 0.38 m (15.0″) / 0.24x
Filter dimension 82mm 72mm 82mm 82mm 82mm
Diameter x Size
(no hood)

89mm x 126mm (3.5″ x 5.0″)

77.5mm x 88.5mm (3.1″ x 3.5″) 88mm x 154.5mm (3.4″ x 6.0″) 88.5mm x 125.7mm (3.5″ x 5.0″) 87.6mm x 136mm (3.4″ x 5.4″)

805g (24.8oz)

500g (17.7oz) 1070g (38.4oz) 900g (31.7oz) 886g (31.3oz)

Dealing with

Though it is not a small lens by any means, the Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8 S is definitely a superb bit smaller and much lighter than its DSLR equal, and it is each the lightest and among the many smallest such lenses for a mirrorless digicam.

Measuring 126mm (5.0″) lengthy with a barrel diameter of 89mm (3.5″) and a weight of 805g (24.8oz), it has a reasonably modern design that balances very properly with Z-mount cameras such because the Nikon Z7 with which we shot each of our pattern galleries. With its exterior comprised of a combination of each metallic and plastic, it would not really feel as burdensome to hold as you’d normally anticipate of an F2.8 lens of its sort.

The rearmost management ring and L-Fn button can each be reconfigured to your tastes in-camera.

In addition to a spotlight ring on the entrance of the barrel and a zoom ring instantly behind it, the 24-70mm F2.8 S additionally provides a customizable management ring close to the rear of its barrel. This can be utilized to manage the lens’ aperture, ISO sensitivity or publicity compensation, although remember, it solely operates easily with no choice to be ‘clicky’.

The mechanical zoom ring requires a good bit extra drive to begin turning than the opposite two, making it just a little difficult to make very superb focal size changes, however as soon as in movement it turns easily and spans the zoom vary in a quarter-turn.

The main target ring has a speed-sensitive response, requiring solely a quarter-turn or so to span the main focus vary if moved rapidly, however as a lot as a half-turn if moved slowly. Whereas handy for nonetheless shooters, this does make it tougher to drag focus for video, and no linear response is supplied to provide easily-repeatable handbook focus pulls.

Urgent the Show button subsequent to the OLED panel cycles by aperture, focal size and focus shows. The latter additionally features a useful depth-of-field scale.

In between the zoom and management rings you may discover a small data show and two buttons. The L-Fn button on the left quadrant of the barrel is one other configurable management which will be set by the digicam’s menu system to choices together with autofocus lock, topic monitoring, picture playback and extra.

The Show button, which is nearer to the OLED panel itself, cycles by three totally different show modes: focal size (to the closest 0.5mm), aperture or focus distance. The aperture worth is simply proven in aperture-priority or handbook modes, and in these modes the main focus show additionally positive factors a depth-of-field indicator beneath the gap scale.

Lastly, off the left facet of the 24-70mm F2.8’s base is a spotlight mode swap. The lens is absolutely sealed in opposition to mud and moisture, with seals not solely on the base, but additionally at its management rings, buttons and focus mode swap, in addition to at joints between parts. There is no optical picture stabilization on this lens, however most Z-mount cameras supply in-body picture stabilization anyway, and we have discovered it to be fairly efficient.

The entrance and rear lens components are fluorine-coated to withstand moisture, fingerprints and smudges. Up entrance, there’s additionally a set of 82mm threads for screw-in filters, by far the commonest filter dimension for a contemporary 24-70mm F2.8 lens.

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Autofocus and focus respiratory

The Nikon 24-70mm F2.8 S has a brand new Multi-Focus System which operates in an analogous method to a few of Sony’s high-performance G Grasp lenses, utilizing a number of autofocus motors and teams to enhance efficiency, however with a major distinction that impacts total velocity. Whereas most up-to-date Sony lenses depend on speedy linear focus motors, Nikon’s lens employs two stepper motor AF actuators to maneuver two focus teams without delay.

ISO 100 | 1/500 sec | F2.8 | 25.5mm | Nikon Z7
Picture by Chris Niccolls, edited in Seize One 12.1.1

The result’s that, regardless of a complicated AF system, we nonetheless felt focus efficiency was barely slower than Nikon’s AF-S DSLR lenses. Full-rack autofocus time is simply slightly below one second.

The 24-70mm is not a macro lens, however with a minimal focusing distance of 0.38m (15″) on the 70mm telephoto place for a most magnification of 0.22x (1:4.5), it’s going to nonetheless get you shut sufficient to largely fill the body with a bigger flower.

ISO 125 | 1/160 sec | F3.5 | 70mm | Nikon Z7
Picture by Barney Britton

And there is excellent news for videographers, as Nikon has as soon as once more executed an important job of controlling focus respiratory, simply because it did within the different members of its Z-mount F2.8 zoom trinity, the Nikkor Z 14-24mm F2.8 S and Nikkor Z 70-200mm F2.8 VR S.

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Picture high quality

The Z-mount Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8 turns in a stable efficiency when it comes to picture high quality. Other than reasonably ho-hum sunstars and a few intermittent points with bokeh, it delivers in most respects and surpasses its a lot bulkier F-mount predecessor, which traded off absolute central sharpness for a extra uniform discipline. There’s appreciable barrel distortion on the huge finish that turns into pincushion distortion on the telephoto finish, as properly some vignetting and lateral CA, however these are taken care of simply due to the lens correction profiles Nikon consists of within the metadata related to Uncooked information (one thing that may’t be stated about its Canon RF counterpart).

You possibly can check out the minimal influence digital CA and distortion correction has on last picture high quality in our side-by-side rollover on the finish of our overview, however let’s get began with some deeper dives into out points of optical high quality.

ISO 64 | 1/800 sec | F6.7 | 37mm | Nikon Z7
Picture by Chris Niccolls, edited in Seize One 12.1.1


On the huge finish of its zoom vary, the Nikon 24-70mm delivers wonderful sharpness on the 24MP Z5 within the middle of the body at F2.8, and whereas the corners are just a little softer they’re nonetheless fairly good. Stopping all the way down to F5.6 makes little to no noticeable distinction within the middle of the body, however does enhance nook sharpness, which is extra noticeable on the upper decision Z7 (evaluate the peripheries of this F2.8 picture vs. this F5.6 picture shot on the Z7). Focusing within the nook improves sharpness so barely that it is cheap to surmise the lens doesn’t undergo from a lot discipline curvature.

ISO 140 | 1/100 sec | F5.6 | 70mm | Nikon Z7
Picture by Chris Niccolls, edited in Seize One 12.1.1

At telephoto, sharpness remains to be superb within the middle of the body at F2.8, though there is a slight enchancment to be discovered by stopping all the way down to F5.6. Once more, the corners are just a little softer wide-open however nonetheless fairly acceptable, however stopping all the way down to F5.6 brings again the nook sharpness, maybe a bit extra so than on the huge finish.

General, this can be a very, very sharp lens able to delivering extraordinarily excessive decision within the middle of the picture at each ends of its zoom vary, even when wide-open. It will possibly definitely deal with the 45.7-megapixel decision of the Nikon Z7 with no points in any way.


The Z 24-70mm delivers fairly pleasing bokeh total, and is a particular enchancment over the Z-mount F4 which has a really poor circle-of-confusion that may have an effect on bokeh efficiency, notably the look of out-of-focus highlights.

The bokeh can typically present a little bit of patterning in out-of-focus highlights; for instance, check out the pitted look of the out-of-focus highlights under. Cats eye impact is definitely current, and begins to seem at solely modest distances from the middle, but it surely’s by no means so extreme as to be distracting. Stopping all the way down to F5.6 largely corrects this cats eye impact, however as an alternative the bokeh begins to tackle a noticeably polygonal form, suggesting the aperture blades aren’t as rounded as may very well be (or, a larger variety of blades may be useful). Usually although, you’ll be able to obtain very pleasing out-of-focus, creamy and clean blurred backgrounds.

ISO 2800 | 1/80 sec | F2.8 | 70mm | Nikon Z5
Picture by Mike Tomkins, edited in Adobe Digicam Uncooked 13.4

The issue that rears its ugly head on occasion, although, is busy bokeh in barely defocused areas or transition zones. Beneath, check out a barely defocused area behind the main focus airplane. Objects seem to have a double-edge, nearly a movement blur-like look. We’re more and more seeing the sort of busy bokeh in transition zones of contemporary lenses utilizing a number of advanced aspheric designs, so we’ll stress that that is nothing notably distinctive to this lens, however it’s one thing you might even see pop up on occasion which may be distracting. It will not have an effect on extra defocused bokeh, however topics simply beginning to fall out of focus could seem busy.

Nisen, or double-edged, bokeh in barely defocused areas or transition zones. This type of problematic bokeh is more and more obvious in fashionable lens designs using a number of aspherics, so just isn’t distinctive to this specific lens. See full picture right here.

ISO 160 | 1/160 sec | F2.8 | 70mm | Nikon Z7

Flare, ghosting and sunstars

The Z-mount 24-70mm F2.8 ships with a petal-style bayonet lens hood within the product bundle, and in contrast to that of the sooner DSLR lens, it attaches on to the telescoping entrance part of the lens, reasonably than the lens extending inside the hood as you zoom out and in.

ISO 100 | 1/320 sec | F5.6 | 70mm | Nikon Z7
Picture by Chris Niccolls, edited in Seize One 12.1.1

We had no points in any way with lens flare. This lens handles shiny mild sources very, very properly, and ghosting is fairly properly managed too.

Sunstars are considerably center of the highway; the overall of 18 factors can present a pleasant impact, however we have seen higher definition from opponents’ choices. As is typical of Nikon lenses, rays are likely to diverge as they emanate from the middle of the star, versus converge like the most effective sunstars we see from Canon – in addition to current Sony – lenses. Simply be mindful you may wish to steadiness the impact with the lack of decision you may see from diffraction at narrower apertures.

ISO 220 | 1/100 sec | F22 | 24mm | Nikon Z7
Picture by Allison Johnson, edited in Adobe Digicam Uncooked

Longitudinal / lateral chromatic aberration (fringing)

Longitudinal chromatic aberration or LoCA can also be very well-controlled. We did not discover it to be a difficulty, and admittedly such purple and inexperienced fringing in entrance of, and behind, the main focus airplane wasn’t an enormous difficulty with the AF-S model both, but it surely did pop up in case you had been to pixel peep on occasion. This time round, it is nothing to concern your self over, which is nice information as this specific aberration will be fairly troublesome to tame in post-processing. Just like the earlier AF-S lens, there’s nonetheless a level of lateral chromatic aberration, but it surely’s simply corrected for in post-processing with the included profile.

Take a look under to see the magnitude of uncorrected lateral CA at 24mm, F5.6 on a excessive decision Z7 digicam physique, then hover over ‘Distortion + Lateral CA correction profiles utilized’ to view the outcomes after correction. There’s minimal destructive influence from the CA correction, however the distortion correction does introduce some softness into the picture (pay specific consideration to the tree branches).

Distortion + Lateral CA correction profiles utilized No correction utilized

ISO 64 | 1/160 sec | F5.6 | 24mm | Nikon Z7
Picture by Barney Britton, edited in Seize One 21 Professional 14.4

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What we like What we do not
  • Very light-weight and fairly compact for its class
  • Complete weather-sealing
  • Very sharp and freed from most offensive optical defects
  • First rate macro efficiency
  • Useful multi-function OLED show
  • Works properly for video too
  • Autofocus is not as speedy as friends
  • No linear focus response for video
  • Bokeh could be a bit on the busy facet in transition zones
  • Lateral CA efficiency, albeit simply corrected for, may very well be improved

With the Nikkor Z 24-70mm F2.8 S, Nikon offers Z-mount shooters a higher-end various to the present, extra consumer-friendly 24-70mm F4 S. Within the course of, it completes a lineup of shiny F2.8 zooms that, together with the wonderful Nikkor Z 14-24mm F2.8 S and Nikkor Z 70-200mm F2.8 VR S, span your entire vary from a 14mm wide-angle to a 200mm telephoto with no gaps in protection.

The 24-70mm F2.8 S is a improbable lens that basically delivers on the promise of mirrorless. Though it would focus only a smidgen slower than its SLR equal, the favored AF-S 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR, it is a wonderful optical performer and simply Nikon’s greatest 24-70mm F2.8 zoom so far. And with its stable, weather-sealed construct and suitability for each video and macros, it is simply as versatile as a 24-70mm zoom must be.

ISO 360 | 1/100 sec | F8 | 44mm | Nikon Z7
Picture by Barney Britton

Because the lightest and really near the smallest lens in its class, we discovered ourselves impressed by its portability. In fact if dimension and weight are your major concern and you may dwell with out its F2.8 most aperture, you may nonetheless wish to take into account the much more moveable 24-70mm F4 S, which additionally focuses noticeably nearer.

However with its higher controls, super-handy OLED show and wonderful picture high quality, we advocate spending the additional for the F2.8 optic in case you can. You will need to determine whether or not or not the additional value is value it. And although the Z-mount lens lacks the optical picture stabilization of the F-mount, Nikon mirrorless cameras’ succesful in-body stabilization largely obviates the necessity for it, notably at these focal lengths.

ISO 1600 | 1/80 sec | F2.8 | 34mm | Nikon Z7
Picture by Dan Bracaglia

And when in comparison with its nearest mirrorless rivals on different platforms, its pricing would not appear unreasonable. There is a purpose that this lens scored the runner-up spot for Finest Zoom Lens not simply in our 2019 DPReview Awards, however additionally in our Reader’s Alternative Awards that very same 12 months. It is a wonderful lens for every little thing from landscapes to portraiture, and in case you’re a Z-mount shooter who can stretch your finances, it positively deserves a spot in your digicam bag.

Quick 24-70mm lenses all the time include some tradeoff, be it sharpness efficiency on one finish or huge open, chromatic aberration efficiency, or another tradeoff in aberration correction, however this Nikon lens walks a superb line in delivering sharp efficiency throughout the board, with usually well-controlled aberrations. Does it ship prime lens efficiency? No, however does any 24-70/2.8? The Nikon Z 24-70m F2.8 S garners a Silver Award as a result of it is a stable quick mid-range zoom that has no extreme shortcomings that will cease us from recommending it. The identical cannot be stated about comparable choices for different programs.

ISO 1600 | 1/100 sec | F2.8 | 70mm | Nikon Z7
Picture by Dan Bracaglia

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DPReview TV overview

See what our crew at DPReview TV has to say in regards to the Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm F2.8 S.

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Pattern galleries

Please don’t reproduce any of those photographs with out prior permission (see our copyright web page).

Nikon Z7 (DPReview HQ gallery)

Nikon Z7 (DPReview TV gallery)

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