How does Nikon's widest Z-mount lens perform? Michael Topham paired it up the high-resolution Nikon Z 7 to find out
Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S review: Features
Suitable for a wide variety of applications from landscapes to interior and architecture work, this wideangle lens covers a broad focal range and offers more reach at the long end than the well-regarded AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED (£1,799) that Nikon makes in F mount.
Having the opportunity to zoom up to 30mm brings it into line with many other wideangle zooms, while the 14mm wideangle allows users to squeeze more in the frame than the popular Nikkor AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR (£1,099).
Looking at the optical construction, it arranges 14 elements in 12 groups. Four ED (extra-low dispersion) elements are included, as are four aspherical elements. Some lens elements also feature Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat – an anti-reflective coating that’s designed to eliminate internal reflections and reduce ghosting and flare.
The front element is fluorine-coated and it has seven diaphragm blades as opposed to the more regular nine.
Unlike some wideangle zooms, it doesn’t feature optical image stabilisation. This isn’t an issue though as there’s always the in-camera vibration reduction built into Nikon’s Z 7/Z 6 cameras, which allows users to shoot up to five stops slower than is otherwise possible.
An internal focusing system ensures the front element doesn’t rotate when zooming and quiet autofocus operation is achieved via a stepping motor. In AF mode, the control ring can be assigned to aperture, ISO or exposure compensation, enabling quick exposure changes to be made on the fly. Switch the lens over to manual focus and it operates like an ordinary manual focus ring.
One drawback of ultra-wide zooms can be their bulbous front elements and fixed hoods. This usually requires a special adapter ring to be purchased in readiness for a large and expensive filter holder to be mounted. The difference with this lens is that it has a standard 82mm thread ready to accept adapter rings or screw-in filters that users may already own.
Every movable part of the barrel is sealed to protect it from dust and water ingress, and it has a minimum focus distance of 0.28m.