We were fortunate enough to try out the new Nikkor Z 50mm f1.2 S lens as well as the Z 14-24mm f2.8 S for the Z mount. We also did a separate review on the Nikon Z6 II and the Nikon Z7 II which can be found here, but this one is all about the lenses. Let’s talk about the one a lot of people are very interested about, the Nikkor Z 50 f1.2 S lens.
When Nikon first came out with the Z cameras, the Z6 and Z7 and the lenses, the f1.8 and the f4s, they were fantastic lenses. They were sharp, had great rendering but people wanted the f1.4, the f1.2s. They wanted those fast lenses but Nikon took the conservative route with their lenses.
Then, they came out with the 58mm f0.95, which we reviewed and that was a beautiful lens. It was massive, it was big but it was bitingly sharp wide open, with great rendering. It’s a phenomenal lens, and they took a lot of that engineering from the 58mm f0.95 and they put that into the 70-200mm f2.8, and that’s my favourite 70-200mm lens out there on the market and other reviewers have said it as well, it is a fantastic lens.
We now get to the 50mm f1.2 and everybody’s thinking, is Nikon going to put that engineering from the 58mm f0.95, the 70-200mm, all these fast lenses, are they going to do this with the 50mm f1.2? How is it going to perform? I will tell you that out of the 50mm autofocusing lenses I have tested thus far, I will put this right next to the Leica Summicron SL 50mm f2 in terms of sharpness and rendering and performance.
So you’re probably asking, am I saying this is better than the Canon 50mm f1.2 RF lens? I think it is. This is a fantastic performing lens in terms of image quality, in terms of autofocusing and it is fast. Now, it is a very large lens. It has the size of an 85mm or 100mm lens. You got a lot of great glass in this, a lot of the same glass you had in the 58mm f0.95. That engineering is in this, but with auto focusing, so you have 17 elements, 15 groups. You go from f1.2 up to f16.
You’ve got your ED elements, three spherical elements, your nano crystal elements, you have got it all in here. The autofocusing motor is lightning fast, but it’s heavy, coming in at 1090 grams or about 2.4 pounds thereabouts. It’s really fantastic and it’s great for video as well. Eye tracking is fantastic, auto focusing is really good, image quality is there, and I love this lens. WE don’t know what the price point will be here in Singapore, since this is a pre-production lens that hasn’t been finalized yet.
Let’s talk about the all-new 14-24mm f2.8 lens now.
Again, image quality, Nikon is making some of the best mirrorless lenses out there on the market right now. Like the 50mm f1.2, this 14-24mm f2.8 is a bitingly sharp, beautiful rendering lens that is up there with the best wide-angle zoom lenses out there. At f2.8, they have hit a home run, these Nikkor S line lenses are no joke.
Now you’re probably noticing there is a massive lens cover on the front of the lens and lens hood. We’ll get into that in just a second.
Without the hood, it’s nice and compact with internal zoom. There’s no image stabilization in this, but you usually don’t have it on wide angle zooms. It’s not too bad in terms of weight, it’s about 650 grams so it’s a pretty lightweight lens.
It feels really good on the Z7 II or Z6 II for that matter. Let’s talk about what’s inside. So you have 16 elements, 11 groups, nano crystal elements, you’ve also got three aspherical elements and some ED elements. The quality of glass that you’re seeing in the 50mm f1.2, the 70-200mm f2.8, the 58mm f0.95, it carries over into this wide angle zoom lens.
Now, in terms of the front of the lens, there’s this dome-shaped glass so yeah, you’re not going to put a filter on this. The little mini lens hood that they have is a bit more for the design than anything else. You can’t put a filter on that as well.
The lens has very fast autofocusing, no issues at all. Everything is all pre-production but performance is fantastic, image quality is really good and this would be a great video lens as well.
For photo samples and a better idea of how crisp the lenses are, check out the Lightroom portion in the video above.
As I said before, these are fantastic lenses. I’m really impressed with what Nikon’s doing with these Z-mount lenses. I mean the 50mm f1.2 is a beast of a lens; it’s heavy, it’s big, but the image quality is some of the best I’ve seen out of a 50mm autofocus lens thus far.
The 14-24mm f2.8 is a fantastic wide-angle zoom lens. Landscape photographers, architectural photographers, anyone that just want a nice wide-angle zoom lens to do vlogging or video, it’s a really hard lens to say no to.
Content by Bobby Tonelli