The Nikon Z 14-30mm f4 S is an ultra-wide angle zoom designed for Nikon’s full-frame Z-series mirrorless cameras. Previewed in the unique roadmap however formally introduced in January 2019, it turns into the fourth Z-mount lens, following the Z 24-70mm f4 S, Z 35mm f1.8 S and Z 50mm f1.eight S, and crucially bringing much wider coverage to the system with a native lens.
Just like the Z 24-70mm f4 S, the Z 14-30mm f4 S employs a retracting mechanism to scale back its measurement when not in use, but features in depth weather-sealing towards the weather. The lens itself could be very compact for a full-frame ultra-wide, measuring 89mm in diameter, 85mm in length when retracted, and weighing just 479g. There’s a customizable management ring, and Nikon claims focus respiration and focus shift when zooming are minimized – excellent news for video shooters if confirmed. Nikon also claims it’s the first ultra-wide zoom for full-frame bodies with a sufficiently flat front component to accommodate 82mm filters – eliminating the standard have to giant and costly filter techniques whether you’re capturing lengthy exposures or trying motion-friendly shutter speeds for video.
The Nikon Z 14-30mm f4 S is a very welcome addition to the Z system, enormously increasing the protection with native lenses. To seek out out whether the new Nikon Z 14-30mm f4.0 S rightfully carries the “S” moniker I tested it on the 46MP Z7 physique towards Tamron’s 15-30mm f2.eight VC which is my current reference ultra-wide angle zoom lens shot on the 46MP D850. So should you wish to understand how Nikon’s brand new ultra-wide angle zoom performs, you’ve come to the suitable place! Notice: My first copy of the lens was pretty decentered and produced sub-par outcomes around the decrease left DX-corner, so I sourced a second copy for extra testing, the outcomes for which yow will discover in my updated high quality web page. PS – when you’re interested within the other Z lenses in Nikon’s line-up take a look at our in-depth critiques: Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.eight S review / Nikon Z 24-70mm f4 S review / Nikon Z 35mm f1.eight S review / Nikon Z 50mm f1.8 S review.
Details from the catalog
As regular I’ll take a look at the technical knowledge of the new Nikon Z 14-30mm f4.0 S first. I’ve rated the options with a [+] (or [++]), when it’s better than average or even state-of-the-art, a  if it’s commonplace or just average, and [-] if there’s an obstacle. For comparison I exploit the Nikon Z 24-70mm f4.zero S and the Tamron 15-30mm f2.eight VC (“Tamron” for short).
Measurement (diameter x size): 89 x 85mm (3.5 x three.3in.) plus 25mm for the lens hood which is 105mm in diameter. The brief size of 85mm is reached solely in its collapsed state which shaves 29mm off the utmost working length of 114mm at 14mm focal size. This brings the lens as much as a maximum complete size of 139mm (5.5in.) with lens hood hooked up. The Z 24-70mm f4.zero S is 78 x 88mm in its collapsed state. Zooming out to 70mm and adding the lens hood makes a complete size of 179mm (7.0in.). The Tamron is large at 98 x 143 mm (three.9 x 5.6in.) unbiased of focal size. For an apples-to-apples comparability add another 30.5mm for the FTZ adapter when utilizing the Tamron on a Nikon Z body.[+]
Weight: 479g (16.9 oz.) plus 18g for the lens hood. This is as mild as the Z 24-70mm f4.0 S at 497g (plus 28g for the lens hood). The Tamron is a whopping 1100 g (39 oz.) plus one other 133g for the FTZ adapter to apply it to a Nikon Z physique. [+]
Optics: The lens has 14 parts (including 4 particular dispersion parts and 4 aspherical factor) in 12 groups. The Z 24-70mm f4.0 S has 14 parts in 11 teams vs. 18/13 for the Tamron. Each Z Nikkors use Nikon’s Nano-coating to scale back flare, glare and ghosting plus fluorine coating on the front and back to repel water, mud, and filth and will make for easier cleaning. [+]
Closest focus distance is 0.28m (11in.) with a magnification of 1:5.four. The Z 24-70mm f4.zero S goes right down to 0.30m (12in.) attaining a better magnification of 1:3.1 at 70mm focal length. The Tamron achieves a magnification of 1:5 at zero.28m. 
Filter-thread: 82mm. That is the widest full-frame lens that may use normal filters. The Z 24-70mm f4.0 S makes use of cheaper 72mm filters, whereas the Tamron has no filter-thread but needs some non-standard mounting system and a in all probability a new set of filters. [+]
Picture stabilization: The lens provides no optical stabilization identical to all Nikon Z lenses up to now. However the Nikon Z our bodies provide built-in sensor-shift stabilization over 5 axis – plus an elective digital stabilization choice in video mode. The Tamron has optical picture stabilization inbuilt (pitch and yaw) which can be utilized along with the body-based picture stabilization of a Nikon Z body. But on this case the body offers only roll correction, not the complete 5 axis. 
Auto focus: Yes with built-in AF drive identical to the Z 24-70mm f4.0 S. Guide-focus override is by simply turning the main target ring – should you didn’t assign another operation to this multi-function ring. The main target ring has a variable gearing that permits for very exact guide focus when turned slowly. Unfortunately this function cannot be switched to linear gearing which makes clean focus pulling for videographers virtually unimaginable. Give attention to the Tamron works in a different way because it has a direct linear mechanical coupling between the main target ring and the main target action. It also provides the space markings that normally come with lenses designed for DSLRs and the main target ring does solely that: focusing. [+]
Lens profile: The lens comes with a lens profile which may be partially managed from the digital camera. Vignette control presents the standard options of Excessive, Regular, Low and Off. Diffraction compensation might be activated or deactivated while Auto distortion control can’t be deactivated. While Adobe’s RAW converter ignores these settings and treats them as if they’re set to Regular/On Nikon’s Capture NX-D allows to vary the settings when creating RAWs – apart from Auto distortion control. It’s the same with the Z 24-70mm f4.zero S. The Tamron does not include a lens profile but Lightroom and Photoshop provide one with vignette and distortion control. [+]
Covers full frame/FX or smaller. Similar with the options. [+]
Worth: 1450 EUR (incl. 19% VAT) / 1300 USD. The Tamron goes for 1250 EUR / 1300 USD. 
The lens comes with a flimsy pouch like all Nikon Z lenses to date and the lens hood is included, reversible for transport. Btw.: The lens hood of the Z 24-70mm f2.8 S also matches on the 14-30mm. So be careful which lens hood you grab out of your digital camera bag! The Tamron gives no pouch at all. 
Aperture ring: the multi-function control ring of an S-lens may be assigned to function the aperture, exposure compensation or focus. It routinely falls again to its customary focus management when the lens is switched to guide focus. Though the lens control ring has not the same benefit as having a focus ring plus a dedicated aperture ring on the lens it provides you extra flexibility to regulate one of many more essential capturing parameters instantly from a nice ring on the lens. The aperture is actuated electromagnetically – in contrast to the Tamron – which makes it the equal of an E-type Nikon lens and places away with the mechanical coupling that Nikon makes use of on all older lenses. The Tamron has no aperture management ring. [+]
Sealing: sure, a rubber grommet on the lens-mount plus additional particular weather-sealing all through the construction, identical to the 24-70/4.0 S. The Tamron has a rubber grommet at the lens-mount. [+]
The score in the “features-department” is 0[-]/four/9[+]. So the lens has a reasonably good function set – for those who settle for its focal ratio of f4.0. However that definitely is the enabler to make the lens a lot smaller and lighter than the options plus makes it the only ultra-wide full-frame zoom starting at 14mm which may use normal filters. It also gives the nifty function of the multi-purpose management ring and is sealed towards the weather like Nikon’s lenses for professional use.
No other manufacturer provides an ultra-wide angle zoom (or fastened focal) lens for Nikon mirrorless Z our bodies but. So at present all options have to be mounted by way of Nikon’s FTZ adapter, adding 30.5mm in size and 133g in weight:
- The AF-S 14-24mm f2.8G ED from 2007 is a legendary lens in Nikon’s F-mount line-up. It gives a one cease larger focal ratio however can also be zero.5kg heavier (even with out FTZ adapter), much greater and costlier (1800 EUR / 1600 USD). It also needs special filters and misses 6mm focal length on the long finish. The lens acquired a Extremely Really helpful in my Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f2.8G ED review.
- Nikon also has the stabilized AF-S 16-35mm f4.0G VR from 2010 which lacks 2mm on the broad end however gives a further 5mm on the lengthy finish. It prices round 1150 EUR / 1000 USD and obtained a suggestion in my Nikon 16-35mm f4G VR review.
- Sigma also presents two options: The AF 12-24mm f4.zero DG HSM Art from 2016 goes even 2mm wider than the new Z Nikkor but lacks 6mm focal size at the lengthy end. And although it has a focal ratio of only f4.0 it nonetheless weighs over 1.1kg (without FTZ-adapter). It received a Highly Really helpful in my Sigma 12-24mm f4.0 Art review and prices 1350 EUR / 1600 USD.
- The Sigma AF 14-24mm f2.8 DG HSM Art from 2018 prices 1300 EUR/USD and gives a one stop larger focal ratio of f2.8. It’s additionally massive and heavy (1.1kg w/o adapter) and came extremely really helpful in my Sigma 14-24mm f2.eight Artwork review.
- Tamron’s stabilized SP AF 15-30mm 2.8 Di VC USD G2 from 2018 goes for about 1250 EUR / 1300 USD and weighs 1.1kg. Its first era predecessor from 2015 with the same optical components can nonetheless be had in some outlets for 900 EUR and earned a Highly Advisable in my Tamron SP 15-30mm f2.eight VC review.
Right here is the angle of view that the brand new Nikon Z 14-30mm f4.0 S covers with its 2.1x zoom:
As compared the Tamron 15-30mm f2.8 VC crops visibly tighter at the large finish with 15mm focal size (and lens profile utilized). And it does not fairly reach the magnification of the new Z-Nikkor at 30mm – albeit by a small margin:
Focus and zoom
Focus accuracy and repeatability is important to persistently produce sharp photographs. Repeatability (the accuracy of give attention to the identical subject after repeated focus-acquisition) of this lens at 30mm focal size is excellent (measured 98.5% in Reikan FoCal) with no outliers over a collection of 40 photographs. In practical capturing beneath brilliant daylight circumstances though there were quite a lot of photographs that were not targeted appropriately – one thing I had not encountered earlier than with a Z Nikkor. The lab check revealed no focus variation whether the lens came from a better distance or from infinity and I didn’t detect any searching. At 30mm focal length the lens focuses extraordinarily fast in round zero.2 sec from infinity to zero.26m (1:10 magnification). The Tamron is not any slouch either taking zero.three sec on a D850.
The zoom ring turns by way of 55 levels the best way Nikon users are used to and has a 29mm extensive rubber floor with an excellent grip. On my second copy of the lens the zoom turns easily enough to be operated with one finger but nonetheless exhibits no zoom creep. The lens management ring is like with all Nikon Z zoom lenses to date: 8mm large, situated 20mm in entrance of the flange, and moves tremendous clean. So the brand new ultra-wide angle zoom operates identical to the Z 24-70mm f4.0 S together with the necessity to prolong the lens from its retracted state earlier than capturing. You’ll really feel immediately at residence with the one distinction being that the 24-70mm is a double barrel design while the brand new 14-30mm solely needs a single barrel for zoom extension.
AF-operation of the brand new lens and picture stabilization of the Z7 is inaudible from the surface. In the event you document video with the built-in microphone the AF-drive produces only a really slight noise like the Z 24-70mm f4.zero S. Plus you possibly can control the aperture smoothly and without noise from the management ring on the lens. With the Tamron 15-30mm f2.eight VC the recorded noise is far louder.
As you pull focus, you’ll notice some focus respiration: the image turns into just a little more magnified at nearer focusing distances. When I adjusted focus from infinity to zero.26m on the new Z-Nikkor at 30mm focal length, I measured a 1% improve in magnification. The same check at 14mm focal length produced a 0.3% lower. That is even lower than from the Z 24-70mm f4.0 S and will fulfill videographers. The Tamron exhibits a 2% lower in magnification at 30mm focal size and three% at 15mm focal length, also a really respectable outcome.
I also examined whether Nikon’s latest zoom lens lets you change the focal size without altering its focus. This attribute is known as parfocal. I manually targeted the lens at 30mm after which slowly zoomed back checking give attention to the best way. The Z 14-30mm f4.0 S did maintain its focus, but not quite good: the lens turned steadily less sharp after which instantly snapped again into good focus. See the following 100% crop shot at a focal size of 28mm after focusing at 30mm (left) compared to a shot which was perfectly targeted at 28mm (right):
Clearly this zoom lens shouldn’t be optically designed to be parfocal but Nikon carried out a control curve to compensate for the consequences of zooming on focus. The implementation of this perfectly valid concept could be ok for videographers filming at decrease resolutions. But for capturing high decision pictures the previous rule nonetheless applies: Once you change focal size (even a tiny bit), re-focus! Btw.: The Z 24-70mm f4.zero S and Z 24-70mm f2.8 S work the identical means.
Next take a look at my high quality outcomes!
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