14-30 f4 S - Copy variation?

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I've got an order in for a 14-30 f4 S (Z-mount). It seems stock is a bit limited at the moment, but the retailer is hoping to find one for me in a few days. I've read a few reports about potential copy variation so I deliberately ordered from a source that has a good return policy. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Anyone else had experiences, good or bad, with this lens? The sample image showcase has some great shots and generally positive comments, so I'm remaining hopeful :) .
 
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Make sure to do the obligatory brick wall test to check! I think someone did a test on here, so it's worth doing a thread search. Overall their copy was decent, but there was some edge softness on one of the corners. Also filters can make a difference if you plan to use them. For example I found the Nikon branded filters to actually handle best on my Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR. I would test several filters if you do plan to uses them.
 
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Make sure to do the obligatory brick wall test to check! I think someone did a test on here, so it's worth doing a thread search. Overall their copy was decent, but there was some edge softness on one of the corners. Also filters can make a difference if you plan to use them. For example I found the Nikon branded filters to actually handle best on my Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR. I would test several filters if you do plan to uses them.
And the cat shot too. :D
 
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I never fell in love with any of the test shots I saw from the Nikon 14-30S. There just seemed to be something off about them...not pleasing to me.

14mm is awesomely wide in FF, but I opted to get the Tamron 17-35/2.8-4. Yes, 17mm is not as wide, but I'm used to my widest field of views being between 18 and 20mm, so the 17mm on the Tamron is excellent.

As an alternative it might be something of interest to you to adapt via the FTZ.
Samples:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gryphon1911/albums/72157712206119486


I believe that member @ijm5012 has had both and may be able to provide some insight into the strengths and weaknesses of both.
 
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I never fell in love with any of the test shots I saw from the Nikon 14-30S. There just seemed to be something off about them...not pleasing to me.

14mm is awesomely wide in FF, but I opted to get the Tamron 17-35/2.8-4. Yes, 17mm is not as wide, but I'm used to my widest field of views being between 18 and 20mm, so the 17mm on the Tamron is excellent.

As an alternative it might be something of interest to you to adapt via the FTZ.
Samples:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gryphon1911/albums/72157712206119486


I believe that member @ijm5012 has had both and may be able to provide some insight into the strengths and weaknesses of both.
I guess it shows how we're all different. I love wide shots and one of the appeals of the 14-30 is that it's 14mm. I swapped a 7-14 for the Panasonic Leica 8-18 for a number of reasons, all of which were the right move, but the loss of that mm (2mm in 35mm terms) was somewhat annoying.

Good review of it here by Jimmy McIntyre with some excellent images from it:

 
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I guess it shows how we're all different. I love wide shots and one of the appeals of the 14-30 is that it's 14mm. I swapped a 7-14 for the Panasonic Leica 8-18 for a number of reasons, all of which were the right move, but the loss of that mm (2mm in 35mm terms) was somewhat annoying.

Good review of it here by Jimmy McIntyre with some excellent images from it:

Paul,

I was using the PL 8-18 on my E-M1 II, and now have the 14-30 f/4 S on my Z6. I saw no appreciable difference in the 14-30’s performance relative to the PL 8-18. The corners may be a touch softer wide open, but at f/5.6 and f/8 they’re very good.

I did a brick wall comparison between the two when I got the Nikon. I’ll have to see if I still have the images If so, I’ll throw them on my Google Drive and share the link for you to look at them.

The compact size, ability to go to 14mm, and to take screw-in filters made it and instant buy IMO. The Z6 kit and the 14-30 are the only pieces of camera equipment I’ve ever pre-ordered, and neither have let me down.
 
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Paul,

I was using the PL 8-18 on my E-M1 II, and now have the 14-30 f/4 S on my Z6. I saw no appreciable difference in the 14-30’s performance relative to the PL 8-18. The corners may be a touch softer wide open, but at f/5.6 and f/8 they’re very good.

I did a brick wall comparison between the two when I got the Nikon. I’ll have to see if I still have the images If so, I’ll throw them on my Google Drive and share the link for you to look at them.

The compact size, ability to go to 14mm, and to take screw-in filters made it and instant buy IMO. The Z6 kit and the 14-30 are the only pieces of camera equipment I’ve ever pre-ordered, and neither have let me down.
Thanks Ian - that's good confirmatory info. It looks like the lens will probably be with me later this week - which is nice, but the Z7 kit I've ordered looks like it's on back-order so not sure when I'll get that!
 
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Thanks Ian - that's good confirmatory info. It looks like the lens will probably be with me later this week - which is nice, but the Z7 kit I've ordered looks like it's on back-order so not sure when I'll get that!
Didn’t you have a Z6 before? Wanted the Z7 for the higher resolution instead?
 
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Didn’t you have a Z6 before? Wanted the Z7 for the higher resolution instead?
Yeah, I decided that if I were going into FF I may as well go for the higher resolution too. Most of what I do is landscape and cityscape so it makes sense. I returned the Z6 and have ordered a Z7 from the same retailer.
 
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So, now l have a 14-30 but no body to mount it on! Here it is next to the PL 8-18 - it's pretty much exactly the same size (and yes, that's an OM1 in the background :)).

20200701_152537.jpg
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I find my 14-30 to be a complex lens.

Stopping down to 5.6 helps greatly everywhere. From 24-30mm, stopped down to f8, it's my preferred infinity landscape choice--more even performance to the corners than the 24-70/4. I think it's quite a good lens for that. I also compared it against an adapted Loxia 25 (which seems to take a small performance hit on the Z) and called it a tie by f7.1.

It's also excellent for more central subjects at closer ranges. Same great colors and contrast as the 24-70/4, and really, all the Z lenses.

The outer regions at wider focals (<21mm) aren't so great. The cameralabs review against the Nikon 20/1.8 S, showing the 14-30 weak at the DX corner, rings true. They can be okay stopped down, but not great. The locus of focus may be very complicated.

I think it's an excellent general purpose/travel lens, but a bit lacking for demanding edge-to-edge-at-infinity landscape work. Still ultrawide zoom in that respect. For medium range natural scenes like waterfalls the field curvature seems to play nicer than infinity horizon lines.
 

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