Nikon 24mm f/1.8 G

FX ED AF-S NIKKOR (2015-)

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Nikon 24mm f/1.8 AF-S

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED (FX, DX and 35mm coverage, 72mm filters, 12.5 oz./355g, 0.75'/9"/0.24m close focus, about $747). bigger. I got mine at Adorama. I'd also get it at B&H, at Amazon or at Crutchfield.

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Sample Images

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The Sea

The Sea, 17 December 2015. D810 at ISO 100, f/8 at 1/250. bigger or camera-original file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).

 

Wrreaths lit at night from behind

Wreaths, 17 December 2015. D810 at Auto ISO 4,000, f/1.8 at 1/30. bigger or full-resolution to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).

 

Palm at night with moon

Palm at Night with Moon, 17 December 2015. D810 at Auto ISO 6,400, f/1.8 at 1/8 hand-held. The dots in the sky are stars. bigger.

 

Outside of Pizzaria at night

Pizzeria, 17 December 2015. D810 at Auto ISO 360, f/1.8 at 1/30. bigger or full-resolution to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly). Note that of course only the left-center is in focus; the sides are not in focus.

 

Introduction

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Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

This Nikon 24mm f/1.8 FX is a fast, sharp and tough wide-angle lens. It's just about the same thing as the extraordinary 24/1.4G, but much smaller, lighter and less expensive. It is worlds beyond the performance of the ancient manual-focus 24mm f/2 AI-s.

A fingertip can turn the big focus ring at any time for instant manual-focus override.

It's small, tough and optically superb. It's a great lens all around.

 

Compatibility

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Everything works perfectly on every digital Nikon ever made, both FX and DX, from the best Df, D4s, D810, D750 and D610 to Nikon's cheapest digitals like the D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300, D5000, D5100, D5200 and D5300.

It's also perfect on decent or recent AF film cameras like the F6, F100, F5, N80 and N75.

The incompatibilities for older or cheaper 35mm cameras are that:

1.) It won't autofocus with the cheapest new AF 35mm cameras like the N55, but if you focus manually, everything else works great. Even if you lose autofocus, these cameras have in-finder focus confirmation dots to help you.

2.) Late 1980s ~ early 1990s AF cameras like the N90s, N70 and F4 will focus and meter perfectly. You'll have Program and Shutter-priority modes, but you won't have Manual or Aperture-priority since you have no way to set the aperture on the camera or on the lens.

3.) You're really pushing it with the oldest AF cameras like the N2020, N6006 and N8008. You'll have no AF and confused exposure modes. Manual focus is fine, along with electronic focus indications.

4.) Since it has no aperture ring, it's just about useless with manual focus 35mm cameras. It will shoot every shot at its minimum aperture.

See Nikon Lens Compatibility for details with your camera. Read down the "AF-S, AF-I" and "G" columns for this lens. You'll get the least of all the features displayed in all columns, since "G" (gelding) is a deliberate handicap which removes features and compatibility

 

Format

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This is a full-frame lens optimized for use on FX cameras, and I'll be reviewing it as such.

It works great on DX cameras, for which you may make the usual inferences.

 

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 AF-S

Nikon 24mm f/1.8. bigger.

 

Specifications

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Name        top

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 AF-S

Nikon 24mm f/1.8. bigger.

Nikon calls this the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED N SWM RF Aspherical ∅72.

    AF-S and SWM: Silent Wave Autofocus Motor.

    NIKKOR: Nikon's brand name for all their lenses.

    G: Gelded for cost-reduction and removing compatibility with older cameras.

    ED: Magic Extra-low Dispersion glass for reduced secondary chromatic aberration.

    N: Magic Nano-crystal coating, meaning a coating which varies its index of refraction continuously to achieve even greater reflection reduction. It's probably only on one surface, and is used mostly for marketing purposes.

    RF: Rear focusing; nothing moves externally as focused except the rear element.

    Aspherical: Specially curved glass to give even sharper pictures.

    ∅72: 72mm filter thread.

 

Optics        top

Nikon 24/1.8 internal construction

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 internal diagram. ED glass and aspherical elements.

12 elements in 9 groups.

2 are of ED glass.

2 are aspherical.

One surface, usually the inside rear of the largest element, is Nano-crystal coated to eliminate ghosts.

It's multicoated, which Nikon calls Nikon Super Integrated Coating.

 

Close Focus        top

0.75 feet (9" or 24 cm) from the image plane.

 

Maximum Reproduction Ratio        top

1:5. (0.20x).

 

Diaphragm        top

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 AF-S

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 at f/16. bigger.

7 blades.

Rounded at large apertures, heptagonal at medium and small apertures.

Stops down to f/16.

 

Coverage        top

35mm film, FX and DX.

 

Focal Length        top

24mm.

When used on a DX camera, it sees angles of view similar to what a 35mm lens sees when used on an FX or 35mm camera.

 

Angle of View        top

84° on FX digital and 35mm.

61° on small-format DX.

68° on Pronea APS.

 

Hard Infinity Focus Stop?        top

No.

You have to let the AF system focus at infinity.

 

Focus Scale        top

Yes, abbreviated.

 

Depth-of-Field Scale        top

Not really, only one pair of ticks for f/16.

 

Infra-Red Focus Index        top

No.

 

Aperture Ring        top

No.

 

Filter Thread        top

72mm.

 

Size        top

3.05" (77.5 mm) diameter by 3.27" (83.0 mm) extension from flange.

 

Weight        top

12.513 oz. (354.8 g), measured.

Rated 12.6 oz. (355 g).

 

Hood        top

Nikon HB-76 hood for 24 1.8

Nikon HB-76 hood. bigger.

The plastic bayonet HB-76 hood is included.

 

Case        top

CL-1015 pouch, included.

 

Included        top

Nikon 72mm front lens cap.

LF-4 rear cap.

HB-76 hood.

CL-1015 sack.

Paperwork.

 

Quality         top

Made in China.

 

Warranty         top

5 years, USA.

 

Packaging        top

Nikon 24 1.8 box
Nikon 24 1.8 packaging
Nikon 24/1.8 box. bigger.
What's inside the box. bigger.

Gold-tone microcorrugated box.

In the box is the lens and hood in a translucent plastic holder. The folded pouch lies on top, while the paperwork is tucked away on the side, behind a cardboard wall.

 

Announced        top

Tuesday, 04 August 2015, 12:01 AM NYC time.

 

Promised for        top

17 September 2015.

 

Nikon Product Number        top

20057.

 

Price, USA        top

$747, August ~ Christmas 2015.

 

Performance

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Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

 

Overall    Autofocus    Bokeh   Distortion   Ergonomics

Falloff    Filters   Flare & Ghosts   Lateral Color Fringes   

Macro   Mechanics   Sharpness   Spherochromatism   Sunstars

 

Overall

This Nikon 24/1.8 is fast, sharp, tough, small and light and handles great. If you were Galen Rowell, this could be the only lens you need, along with a tele zoom.

 

Focus

Autofocus

Autofocus is fast and accurate, no worries here.

 

Manual Focus

Manual focus is light and easy. Half the lens is the focus ring, and it turns with a fingertip.

Turn it at any time for instant manual focus override; no need to slide the switch unless you want to lock it in manual focus.

 

Bokeh

Bokeh, the quality of out-of-focus areas as opposed to the degree of defocus, is very good — but rarely is anything much out of focus with a 24mm lens. Amount of defocus depends more on focal length than aperture.

This is shot wide open from headshot distance. Click for the camera-original file to explore on your computer (portable devices rarely can display the full resolution of these files):

Brand MMmm  f/FF FEATURE Bokeh

Shot at f/1.8. Nikon D810, ISO 100 at f/1.8 at 1/2,000. bigger or camera-original file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely can display the full resolution).

 

Distortion

The Nikon 24 1.8 has minor to moderate barrel distortion. It's easy to correct in Photoshop, and most newer Nikons can correct it in-camera.

These values in Photoshop's Lens Distortion tool will completely remove the distortion if your camera doesn't. These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.

Distance

on FX and 35mm

Infinity
+2.40
3m (10')
+1.70

© 2015 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

Ergonomics

Nikon 24 1.8

Nikon 24 1.8. bigger.

I love an honest lens. All you do is grab and go with this one.

Half of it is the manual focus ring, which turns easily and smoothly with one fingertip.

The auto/manual focus switch it right under your thumb, and you can just turn the ring any time for instant manual-focus override.

The flared front keeps your fingers out of the way.

Bravo!

 

Falloff

Even uncorrected, falloff is only somewhat visible wide open and goes away when stopped down a stop. It's never a problem as it was on the old manual-focus 24mm f/2 AI-s.

Most Nikons can correct for this, and the effect will be even less than I've greatly exaggerated here by shooting a gray field and showing it on a gray background:

 

Nikon 24/1.8G falloff, uncorrected on FX

 

f/1.8
f/2
Nikon 24mm f/1.8 falloff
Nikon 24mm f/1.8 falloff
Nikon 24mm f/1.8 falloff
Nikon 24mm f/1.8 falloff
f/2.8
f/4

© 2015 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

 

Filters, use with

There's no need for thin filters. Even on full-frame I get no vignetting with two stacked normal filters, and only minor vignetting with three.

Go ahead and use your standard rotating polarizer and grad filters.

Don't use polarizers on ultrawide lenses; nature looks funny through them. This is the case for all ultrawides, so be on the lookout for bands in the sky when you use one with any 24mm lens.

 

Flare and Ghosts

There is but one small green dot or blob opposite the sun, as you can see at Sunstars.

It's a bit better without a filter, but even with, it's very good performance.

The dot is a dot at small apertures, and a larger, dimmer blob at large apertures.

 

Lateral Color Fringes

There are no lateral color fringes as shot on my D810, which corrects any that might be there.

 

Macro

Macro gets quite close for a wide lens:

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 macro performance

Mondaine A1323034811SBB at close-focus distance at f/8. bigger or camera-original file to explore on your computer (most portable devices can't show all the pixels in the full resolution file).

 

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 macro performance

Crop from above at 100%. If this is about 8" (20cm) on your screen, printing the complete image at this same high magnification would result in a 50 x 75" (125 x 200 cm) print! Camera-original file to explore on your computer (most portable devices can't show the full resolution file properly).

 

It's super sharp at f/8, but softer at f/1.8 due to spherochromatism:

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 macro performance

Crop from similar image shot at f/1.8 at 100%. If this is about 8" (20cm) on your screen, printing the complete image at this same high magnification would result in a 50 x 75" (125 x 200 cm) print! Camera-original file to explore on your computer (most portable devices can't show the full resolution file properly).

 

Mechanics

Nikn 24mm f/1.8

Nikon 24mm f/1.8. bigger.

The Nikon 24/1.8 is optically and ergonomically excellent, but except for the mount and the glass, it's mostly plastic.

 

Filter Threads

Plastic.

 

Hood Mount

Plastic.

 

Gold Band

Metal.

 

Flared Front Barrel

Plastic.

 

Focus Ring

Rubber-covered plastic.

 

Internals

Plastic with some metal.

 

Rear Barrel

Plastic.

 

Identity

Black plastic plate with gold-finish raised lettering.

 

Moisture Seal at Mount

Yes.

 

Mount

Chromed metal.

 

Markings

Paint.

 

Serial Number

Sticker glued into recess on bottom of barrel.

 

Date Code

None found.

 

Noises When Shaken

Minor to moderate rattling.

 

Made in

China.

 

Sharpness

Image sharpness depends more on you than your lens, and lens sharpness doesn't mean much to good photographers. It's the least skilled hobbyists who waste the most time blaming fuzzy pictures on their lenses, while real shooters know that few photos ever use all the sharpness of which their lenses are capable due to subject motion and the fact that real subjects are rarely perfectly flat.

This said, this 24/1.8 is as sharp as they get. It's ultra-sharp from edge to edge at every aperture.

In the lab, it's only very slightly softer in the corners wide-open due to some very minor coma. This goes away by f/4, and the corners are optimum at f/11. You'll never see this in actual pictures; in actual pictures it's ultra sharp and contrasty corner to corner even wide-open.

Nikon's s MTF curves confirm this, and they show that' it's sharper at f/1.8 than the Nikon 24/1.4 is at f/1.4!

Nikon 24-70 VR MTF at 24mm

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 MTF.

 

Spherochromatism

Spherochromatism, also called "color bokeh" by laymen, causes colored fringes on slightly out-of-focus highlights, usually seen as green fringes on backgrounds and magenta fringes on foregrounds.

It is an advanced form of chromatic aberration in a different dimension than lateral color. Spherochromatism is most commonly seen in fast lenses of moderate focal length when shooting contrasty items at full aperture. It goes away as stopped down.

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 spherochromatism

Shot at f/1.8; spherochromatism manifested as magenta and green fringes on the Mondaine A1323034811SBB's minute ticks. bigger.

 

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 spherochromatism

Crop at 100% from above. bigger. If this is about 8" (20cm) on your screen, printing the complete image at this same high magnification would result in a 50 x 75" (125 x 200 cm) print.

I only see this minor spherochromatism at macro distances. I see much less at normal distances.

This is excellent performance; much better than the ZEISS 35mm f/1.4 for Sony FE.

 

Sunstars

Even though it has curved blades and doesn't make any stars at f/4 and wider, I had no problem getting great sunstars from f/5.6 on:

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 sunstars

f/5.6 Sunstar in Palm, 20 December 2015. D810, f/5.6 at 1/1,000 at ISO 100. Bigger.

 

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 sunstars

f/8 Sunstar in Palm, 20 December 2015. D810, f/8 at 1/500 at ISO 100. Bigger.

 

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 sunstars

f/11 Sunstar in Palm, 20 December 2015. D810, f/11 at 1/250 at ISO 100. Bigger.

 

Nikon 24mm f/1.8 sunstars

f/16 Sunstar in Palm, 20 December 2015. D810, f/16 at 1/125 at ISO 100. Bigger.

 

Compared

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Versus the 24mm f/1.4

Nikon 24mm f/1.4

Nikon 24mm f/1.4.

The Nikon 24mm f/1.4 is much bigger, heavier and more expensive.

The 1.4 does the same thing but is 2/3 of a stop faster and made better in Japan instead of China, but you're paying dearly for that 2/3 stop and domestic manufacturing.

They're both optically superb.

It's important to note that Nikon introduced the f/1.4 back in 2010. Nikon introduced the f/1.4 first because all the guys like me bought them back then, since there was no f/1.8.

If Nikon introduced both at the same time, I'd have gotten the f/1.8 instead for digital. I use my f/1.4 for shooting Velvia 50 in dim light, but for digital, get this f/1.8.

In other words, Nikon didn't introduce the f/1.4 and f/1.8 at the same time since it knew no one would buy the 1.4 if we had this lens available back then!

 

Versus the 24mm f/2.8 AF-D

Nikon 24mm f/2.8 AF-D

Nikon 24mm f/2.8 AF-D.

The 24/2.8 AF-D is from the 1980s. Its optical design is from the 1970s, and it's still sold today.

Its decades-old optics are just as good stopped down, but mushy in the FX corners at f/2.8.

It's over a stop slower and has more falloff at the same wide aperture as the 1.8G; so there's no comparison there.

Its ergonomics are poor. The manual focus ring is much smaller, and you have to move a switch to get between auto and manual focus. The focus ring motors around as it autofocuses; keep your hands off the ring when in autofocus mode!

Good is that it has an aperture ring, but bad is that it was a silly lens back when new in the 1980s, and even more antediluvian feeling today.

 

Versus the 24mm f/2 manual focus (1977-2007)

Nikon 24mm f/2

Nikon 24mm f/2 AI-s.

The classic 24mm f/2 AI-s is smaller, lighter, half the price used if you know How to Win at eBay and built much better than any of the autofocus lenses, but is manual-focus only and far inferior optically.

The 24/2 was the king of Kodachrome back in the 1980s when you shot for National Geographic, but today it looks awful by comparison when shot wide-open because of its much lower contrast and wild coma in the corners, as well as plenty of falloff wide-open designed-in to hide the soft corners.

Shot at normal apertures it's just as sharp, but for use at large apertures, save this lens for manual-focus 35mm cameras.

 

Versus the other f/1.8G Lenses

All of Nikon's other f/1.8 G lenses, the 20/1.8G, 28/1.8G, 35/1.8G, 50/1.8G and 85/1.8G, all have spectacular optics and the same good Chinese mechanical quality.

Your choice among these models is your artistic preference. Personally I'm not a fan of 24mm or 28mm lenses; I prefer 20mm and 35mm lenses, but that's just how I see things.

They're all equally great; pick them based on what focal lengths you prefer. The 20mm is my favorite, but that's because that's how I see the world on the wide end.

If you want to make a system out of these, get just the 20, 35, 50 and 85, or just the 24, 50 and 85, or just the 28, 50 and 85, or whatever.

The 20 and 24 are so close that you should never carry both at the same time, nor should you carry the 24 and 28 or the 28 and 35 at the same time. These are too close to each other; Nikon makes these all so you have a choice.

See also Assembling a System.

 

Usage

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M/A - M Switch

Nikon goofed. This switch is supposed to be labeled "A - M."

The "M/A" position means autofocus. It's called "M/A" because you also can focus manually simply by grabbing the focus ring in this position.

The "M/A" position means autofocus. It's called "M/A" because back in the old days, when Nikon had almost caught up to Canon who had been doing this for ten years before, Nikon was trying to show off that you could focus manually while in the AF position.

Paint over the extra M if you're easily confused.

 

Recommendations

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As you may have guessed, this is an optically flawless lens. It is so far ahead of Nikon's manual-focus 24mm f/2 AI-s lens that it's not funny.

If you want a super-fast, super-sharp, super easy to use wide lens, this is the best 24mm Nikon has ever made other than the 24/1.4 that's pretty much the same, just bigger, heavier, faster and more expensive.

 

Filters & Hood

I would leave the hood at home.

I'd leave either a 72mm Nikon Clear (NC - UV) filter, or a 72mm Hoya MC UV on the lens at all times.

If you want the best possible protective filter, the 72mm Hoya HD3 UV is ultra multicoated, repels dirt and fingerprints and made of shatter resistant glass.

If I was working in nasty, dirty areas and didn't want to spring for the HD3 filter, I'd use an uncoated 72mm Tiffen UV filter instead. Uncoated filters are much easier to clean, but more prone to ghosting.

For color slides like Velvia 50, I use a 72mm Hoya HMC 81A or 77mm Nikon A2 filter outdoors.

For B&W film outdoors, I'd use a 72mm Hoya HMC Yellow K2, 72mm Hoya HMC Orange G or 72mm Hoya HMC Red 25A filter.

 

Where to get yours

I got my 24/1.8 at Adorama. I'd also get it at B&H, at Amazon or at Crutchfield.

This ad-free website is supported by your using those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It helps me keep reviewing these lenses when you get yours through these links — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you take your chances and buy elsewhere.

Thanks for helping me help you!

Ken.

 

More Information

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Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

 

Nikon's page on the 24mm f/1.8 G

Nikon's press release on the 24mm f/1.8 G

 

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made 600 from 800 px 12 Jan 2016; 20 December 2015, 04 August 2015