Nikon 14-24 lens review

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens

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DISCLOSURE: I am not a super technical person – or a super technical photographer – so if you are looking for insight into the lens construction, how many elements there are, etc…then this is not the review for you.  I can only offer some insights into how I use this lens, and how it has worked for me.  All I really care about with a lens is whether it does what it is supposed to do, and is it quick and of high quality construction.  Those are my needs.  This lens satisfies those requirements – and more.

I can make this review very quick for anyone that is considering this lens: Go. Buy. It. Now.

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It’s really that simple.  This lens kicks ass.  This is one incredible piece of glass, and performs like the perfect machine that it is.  I use this lens a LOT, especially when shooting my HDR photos.  

You can find all my HDR blog posts here: http://www.nomadicpursuits.com/blog/category/hdr

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NOTE: This lens costs about $2000, so start saving now.  You want this lens.

When I first got it, I barely even took it off.  Having come from a crop-sensor camera, my world literally changed when I put this lens on my full frame camera and took my first peek through it.  Wow.  You can see SO MUCH.  

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I now use this lens for 95% of my landscape, seascape, cityscape and architectural/travel shots. It is my “go to” lens for most everything, and I love to look through the viewfinder and fire off some HDR brackets.  

I have actually had to force myself to remove it, only because when you use it, you tend to fall in love with it and never take it off.  It changed how I look at scenes.  Everything is a wide angle shot.  That’s so awesome, because I love wide angle shots.

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I found that if I forced myself to put on the 28-300mm instead (which is also a great lens) that my perspective would change with it, and I would find myself taking shots that I otherwise didn’t even consider because I was so into the 14-24mm wide angle action.  It’s an addictive lens to me, and I love it.  So consider this a warning!

At 14mm you can get so much in the shot.  You will be amazed.  With the ability to zoom up to 24mm, it gives you enough wiggle room to ensure you are getting the shot you want, without swapping out the lens for the zoom.  In other words, the range seems just about right on this lens.  I can also say that the sharpness and clarity is great all the way through from 14mm up to 24mm.  This lens just rocks!

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Regarding the physical components of the lens, here are a few things to know:

  • This thing is HEAVY!  I think it weighs over 3 pounds.  So, get accustomed to toting around some extra weight.  But, you will always be thankful for having it with you.  Plus, it’s sorta like a workout anyways, so you are being extra productive!  Ok, that’s a stretch.
  • The front glass is bulbous!  Lots of folks ask me if I am shooting with a fisheye.  Nope.  This thing just sort of looks like it.  It is huge and rounded out front, so it confuses people.
  • You cannot attach filters to this lens, because of the bulbous glass I just mentioned.  Since I shoot mostly HDR, that has not been an issue for me, but I can see how it would affect some folks.  I suspect someone will come out with a lens-attachment kit of some sort (if someone hasn’t already).
  • There is just 1 little switch you can toggle: Manual/Autofocus.  Due to my HDR shooting, I use Manual Focus all the time exclusively.
  • There are just 2 rings on the lens that you can adjust: the focus ring and the zoom ring.  In other words, it is all pretty straightforward and easy to use.

As I said above, I absolutely love this thing and if you search for online reviews, I think you will find that most everyone else does too.  Really the only downside is the cost.  It’s an expensive item - about $2000 - but it is money well spent and I have never regretted the purchase.

Throughout this review, I sprinkled in several shots taken with this lens, and here are some more.  Thanks for listening! 

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That's it!  You will love this lens!  Thanks for looking!

Posted on February 9, 2013 .