AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED
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AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED
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I was sent to the Arctic Circle to research a glacier. At the time, D4s was my camera. With this lens, I was able to take pictures in the dark, under moonlight in -60 below zero, hand held. (The D5 was not on the market). Not only could I take extraordinary pictures, I could shoot video, where my crew had to use Night Vision with light source (IR) to film us (my crew and I). In -60 below zero, you wont have time for a tripod setup. You´ll freeze really fast, so with ISO 51200 my imagery in the dark is mind boggling because I use a camera and lens designed specifically for nocturnal applications. Though I exceeded the recommended operational specifications (-60 below zero), both camera ans lens operated precisely and flawlessly in Arctic Circle (North Pole) conditions.
The Nikon 24mm f/1.4 wide angle lens is amazingly sharp when hand help in dark situations. Below is a photo taken at night, hand held, at a shutter speed of 1/125 of a second, an aperture of f/1.4, an ISO of 1600, Auto White Balance, and Matrix Metering.
I chose the 24mm f/1.4G ED as my first serious lens when I upgraded and bought a new camera even though it was the pricier of the other f/1.4s which I would eventually get. i ran into some auto-focus issues that turned out to be just me not knowing how to use my new camera which the people at the store were helpful familiarizing me with the different auto-focus settings such as A, S, and C. ever since then, i had no problems with the lens focusing. i mainly keep my camera on AF-S, but occasionally use AF-C in sports.
i now photograph with prime lenses and i have used the 24mm f/1.4G to cover occasions and sporting events. personally, my favorite subject photographing is my dog and places we go together. i love the creaminess at it´s fastest setting and the sharpness in it´s slowest. i enjoy the creative possibilities with this lens.
i hope you have room in your camera bag for this lens or better yet, on your camera in your hand.
Love the lens. It is a perfect compliment to my D800E. I do recomment stopping it down to 2.0 for better color corner to corner (some vignetting at 1.4). Really becomes sharp from f/4.0 to f/16. This is a great landscape and interior focal length. Resolution is a good match for the D800E. I expect this to perform well with future cameras as demands on lens quality continues to be challenged.
This is a great lens. Matched up with a D800e, it captures incredible detail and dynamic range. Combined with its fast aperture of 1.4, it is a very versatile and capable product. I was amazed at the colors captured with this combination (D800e and 24mm) while taking pictures at the National Conservatory and in the DC area around the monuments. I was able to hand hold the majority of the shots, keeping an ISO below 400 (100 for most of them) and still have shutter speeds fast enough to eliminate any blurring or loss of sharpness. When I saw the picture later on my computer, I could hardly believe the range of colors that were captured of the flowers. The fast aperture allowed me to focus on the main subject within a frame, creating a soft and very pleasant bokeh. Those shots I took using a tripod with very slow shutter speeds are sharp and have great color consistency. Despite the high price tag for this lens, I have absolutely NO regrets for buying it. It is a great product and can really show the capabilities of a D800e when matched with this camera.
Unfortunately my current camera body (D80) doesn´t really support the highest quality of this lens, I´m so amazed by this lens and the high quality of the lens, such as the motor is extremely quite and quick. I´ve only had this lens for a short time (sorry guys but only for a day), but the good news is that I´ve taken over 200 pics with it yesterday and now it´s is clearly one of my most favorite lens that I have in my camera bag! All I have to say is thank you Nikon for making such a high quality product. Now I´ll have to upgrade my Camera!
Definitelly best lenses i have ever used in my proffesional life.
I have lots of great lenses the 70-200/VRII, 85/1.4G, 105/2.8 Macro. The 24/1.4 is the creamiest of the bunch! Of course, it´s a difficult lens you need to learn how to use it well. At f/1.4 the focus is shallow but the bokeh is so creamy you want to shoot it wide open most of the time. It´s not perfect for sure, focus is a little slow and the lens is heavy but it´s just that good. Go get one if you can afford it!
Along with a normal lens ( currently 50mm F/1.4 AF-D and AIS choices ) I live in wide angle country. I preferred a 35mm but went to a 24mm when doing an article, then some spreads in NYC. I felt freed using a 24mm in tight city streets. That was almost 30 years ago. Having been shooting various 24mms ever since. Mostly Nikkors, then some Leitz´s and Zeiss, but also on set using Canon, Pentax
And this one is good. Which is direct opposition to what I have found with most modern Nikkor lenses. They seem to be dummied down to the quality of digital sensors, compromising on saturation, depth, richness and just plain biting contrast that rocks you out of your seat. Nikon should have improved the sensors to match the glass, rather than compromised the glass to match the sensors. Alas, modern society.
This 24mm G lens also shares this characteristic, but to a surprisingly low degree. It is truly sharp, edge to edge from 2.8 down, and close wide open. I see no practical distortion, which of late has been rampant amongst modern Nikkors and my biggest customer complaint. They will no longer buy images with noticeable distortion. So on this account I would buy this lens alone.
In fact, it appears so sharp, I can see the hairs on the inner eye lids on a half length portrait shot at F /4.0, hand held under incandescent light at 1/15 of a second.on an old D90.
It´s color is also extraordinary. It is actually both it´s greatest feature and noticeable flaw. It is so pure - refined and delicate are better words. Elegant in fact. Separating different tones distinctly and continuously. On Velvia film this attribute is so awesome it will make you weep. Hypnotic.
Yea, the auto focus blows. As it does on every G lens I have used, in comparison of course to older D Nikkors. But it´s manual focusing is extraordinary. It almost ( but doesn´t and perhaps cannot ) matches a manual focus Nikkor in response, control and usability.
Now for the dark side. The strangest thing is that whilst it is so sharp it´s image for want of a better word looks papery. Almost like it was painted on. Again, I have noticed this in all modern Nikkors. Less so here than elsewhere, but still noticeable. And as superb as the color is, and it is superb, the shadows go that blue gray/cyan color. Seen this too on most modern Nikkors. Probably the Nano coat ( if it does anything other than help marking propaganda ). I actually don´t mind this characteristic as much as other things. But if shoot fashion or other high end stuff where people demand ( and deserve ) perfection you may have a problem.
And of course, despite it´s Nano coat rave rave reviews, whether real or planted/paid off, the lens flares more than most older Nikkors. Clearly more than any of my old Nikkor 24mms F/2.0, F2.8 wither AF-D or AIS. Not like the new 50mm F/1.4G which is basically useless to me for a variety of it´s many serious shortcomings, including it´s tremendous propensity to flare. But still problematic. So care needs to be exerted in cross or close light.
But it´s big issues that regulate this lens to lesser use than the older AIS and AF-D 24s is it´s lack of bite and three dimensionality. It just doesn´t have that killer bite. That depth. Of color and overall weight. And that magic glow. The Leica Look if you will. Not that a lot of Nikkors do. But many of the older pro targeted lenses did. You would think modern technology could give us that. Or perhaps manufactures just don´t care? Unknown. But in comparison to my older Nikkor 24mm F/2.0 AIS the images suffers in this area. The old 24mm F/2.0 AIS image looks like you are there. It jumps. It´s so real, you think you can reach out an touch it. I think this may be a function of the G lenses lack of biting contrast. In comparison it is quite shocking. Because looking at the G lens image in isolation it is great. But not side by side. And the Nikkor 24mm F/2.0 AIS´s reputation is actually horrible, despite it´s extreme popularity ( and subsequent extreme used selling price ) in some quarters. And it is at least partially justified in some samples. It usually had very low contrast and limited sharpness. But I have 3 good ones ( out of 30 trys ). And they still are very suspect lenses. Still whilst the 24mm F/2.0 AIS relatively low in contrast, it is significantly snappier and more biting than the G lens. And the sharpness of the old lens also has a terrible rep. But I have good ones and would say that perhaps they remain sharper than the G lens. Hard to tell and the older lense just jumps and hits harder. And the G lens color - despite it´s greatness does not suprass the old lens. Despite the AIS F/2.0´s somewhat less ( noticably but slight # refinement in color, it the AIS is more accurate and more realistic. And the Nikkor 24mm F/2.8 AF-D or AIS is even better than the F/2.0 AIS # If you get a good one - good luck! #.
The flaws should be taken into context. As they are strictly in comparison to older golden age of western manufacturing products. Compared to newer Nikkors or other Japanese manufacture´s modern lenses I would say this is the best I have used. If you have owned a new 85mm F/1.4G or 35mm F/1.8 and have seen it´s image as wanting # after 3 tries each dumped mine a while back ) you will understand the problem. That is not the case here.
I would say this is the finest modern Nikkor available. A great piece of glass. Highly recommended and should be the high speed auto focus wide angle of choice in anybody;´s bag. It is in mine. I hope the 35mm G F/1.4 is as good, will get one too love the length. Good shooting.
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