Thoughts on the 14-24S?

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Apr 10, 2021
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Anyone using this lens?
I purchased one yesterday and am not sure what to think yet. Corner sharpness seems unimpressive and generally not even as good as the 14-30.
 
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I've owned the older 14-24G, Nikon 20G, Zeiss 21 Distagon, Leica 21SEM, and tried both the Nikon 20S and 14-30.
Both the Zeiss and Leica did not have great corners, but I did find the others to be pretty good.
I need to put the new 14-24S through its paces but so far, I am a bit disappointed.
I hope some more people chime in here with some thoughts. It seems if I shoot F8 or F11 it is acceptable, but anything lower and I wonder why I spent $2400 on this lens.
 
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I've owned the older 14-24G, Nikon 20G, Zeiss 21 Distagon, Leica 21SEM, and tried both the Nikon 20S and 14-30.
Both the Zeiss and Leica did not have great corners, but I did find the others to be pretty good.
I need to put the new 14-24S through its paces but so far, I am a bit disappointed.
I hope some more people chime in here with some thoughts. It seems if I shoot F8 or F11 it is acceptable, but anything lower and I wonder why I spent $2400 on this lens.
I guess it's possible you have a bad copy. Everything I have read about the lens indicates that you should expect stellar performance. I've been shooting with the 14-24G for ten years...it's my most frequently used lens. Sometimes I wish the corners were sharper--but overall I've been very pleased with it. One of the reasons I think I'll like the 14-24S is that it's going to be far more convenient to use filters. I already have the NiSi filter system for it.

I assume you are on a tripod when assessing the sharpness of the lens?

Glenn
 
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Anyone using this lens?
I purchased one yesterday and am not sure what to think yet. Corner sharpness seems unimpressive and generally not even as good as the 14-30.
Can you post some examples of your photos? All we have read, seen and heard is this a much better lens than the 14-24 f mount. As Glenn said perhaps your copy is misaligned.
 
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I would like to shoot some more today under more controlled situations but if you look at this image you will see that it is very sharp until you blow it up a bit and look at the lower corners. You can see the smearing, especially in the rocks on the lower left.
While this particular shot isn't terrible, I think it should be better. It was not shot on a tripod, but I don't think motion is an issue. It was shot at 1/400 F7.1 and 14mm.
I darkened the image some so that the white rocks are easier to see here.
Am I just being too critical?
Z72_1512.jpg
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By the way, I just downloaded this image from here to see how it looked compared to the original and it's a bit hard to see it properly as the forum apparently scales it. I think though that if you do look at the white rocks on the lower left you can begin to see what I am talking about and a larger view of this image just makes that area look worse.
 
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It does look a bit smeary in the lower left of the frame. I will be following this thread to learn how your further testing comes out as well as to read the experience that others have had with the 14-24S.

Glenn
 
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Thanks. I've also been posting on Fred Miranda's forum and did come across a thread which discussed the corners compared to the 14-24G. The conclusion there was that the new lens does indeed suffer a bit in the corners at least until F8. The thought was that Nikon may have made some compromises, doing away with the bulbous front element thus giving up some corner sharpness in order to allow for screw-in filters. But this is only speculation.

It's very early here so I won't have a chance to get outside with the lens for several more hours, but I did set the camera up on a tripod and did some indoor shots at F8. Yesterday, I really never went beyond F7.1. F8 does seem to improve things a bit.

I'd really like to hear from anyone who has been shooting with this lens and whether or not you are seeing these corner smears compared to the older G version, of any other lens for that matter.
 
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Here's an even better example:
Look at the flowers in the foreground and compare the left edge to right edge of the flowerbed in the lower center or the frame. Note also that the wall does not change from edge to center, so the problem is only at the lower edge which does get worse further down towards the corner. Also look at the lower right edge...the pavement. It appears to smear up a bit as well.
It's harder to see any smearing in the upper corners, but I suspect that this is due to the fact that it was the wall that I focused on, so those corners don't stand out as much...especially the right one which also happens to be in too much shade to properly evaluate.

Nothing really earthshakingly bad here but I just think that a supposed improvement over a classic should do better than this, especially since the 14-30 does not seem to exhibit this behavior.

Z72_1501.jpg
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I just got a copy of the 14-24 S, but have not shot it very much yet. I’ve completed two assignments with it so far, and find the corner sharpness to be pretty good, even wide open, provided the corners are in the plane of focus (it is very easy for them not to be). Contrast, flare resistance, and color seem to be exceptional, a real step up from other ultrawides.

My reason for buying was f/2.8 and less corner vignetting. The 14-30 is already astonishingly good, so the 14-24 at twice the price has a very high bar to clear. At this point, the 14-24 S is very much like the 24-70 2.8 S; the f/4 version is already exceptional, and the f/2.8 optics are not meant to bring higher sharpness alone, but other qualities and metrics.
 
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Here's an even better example:
Look at the flowers in the foreground and compare the left edge to right edge of the flowerbed in the lower center or the frame. Note also that the wall does not change from edge to center, so the problem is only at the lower edge which does get worse further down towards the corner. Also look at the lower right edge...the pavement. It appears to smear up a bit as well.
It's harder to see any smearing in the upper corners, but I suspect that this is due to the fact that it was the wall that I focused on, so those corners don't stand out as much...especially the right one which also happens to be in too much shade to properly evaluate.

Nothing really earthshakingly bad here but I just think that a supposed improvement over a classic should do better than this, especially since the 14-30 does not seem to exhibit this behavior.

View attachment 1682109
I see what you are talking about here. I don’t have any similar images to compare to, maybe I’ll try to capture a few with my copy to see if it behaves the same. Maybe there is some field curvature or other optical phenomenon going on in the corners in front of the focus plane? The top left corner doesn’t seem to exhibit the same issue.
 
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I think field curvature is the obvious thing to suspect but if that's what it is, I just don't get it. What I am seeing is worse than the G version, and the 14-30. If Nikon can avoid this in those lenses, why not this one? BTW, if I take a brick wall shot, I do not see this problem, so yes it does have something to do with foreground which is closer to the frame than the background again pointing towards field curvature issues.
Yes please, if you can do some shots where you can clearly see the lower corners, I'd appreciate it. Maybe try one or two at 4 or 5.6 and a third at f8?
Thanks

BTW, if I open the JPG on my desktop I do indeed see it better and yes the upper left corner is a bit smeared too, just not as badly as the bottom right. I just think it doesn't look as bad because it's on the actual plane of focus (the wall).
 
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I think field curvature is the obvious thing to suspect but if that's what it is, I just don't get it. What I am seeing is worse than the G version, and the 14-30. If Nikon can avoid this in those lenses, why not this one? BTW, if I take a brick wall shot, I do not see this problem, so yes it does have something to do with foreground which is closer to the frame than the background again pointing towards field curvature issues.
Yes please, if you can do some shots where you can clearly see the lower corners, I'd appreciate it. Maybe try one or two at 4 or 5.6 and a third at f8?
Thanks

BTW, if I open the JPG on my desktop I do indeed see it better and yes the upper left corner is a bit smeared too, just not as badly as the bottom right. I just think it doesn't look as bad because it's on the actual plane of focus (the wall).
There wasn't any wind blowing those bushes? At those shutter speeds, that cant be the cause. Definitely, apparent in these examples.
 
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No wind, none.
For what it's worth, it is very overcast here right now so I can't do what I'd like but I did just take the camera and lens outside and shot some things at F9. At that aperture, the issue much improved.
Yes I have seen Thom's review and generally listen to what he has to say but I am skeptical of a lot of reviewers as I have seen many from those who couldn't possibly even have had the item in their possession when they did do their reviews.
Again, just looking for comments, suggestions, and those willing to shoot some shots to compare.
Thank
 
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Hudson Henry did a pretty good comparison of the 14-24 2.8G, 14-30 4.0 S and 14-24 2.8S. Pretty much felt that both the S lenses surpassed the old 14-24 f2.8 G and that 14-24 2.8S was a little better than the 4.0. See his comparison on his you tube channel Approaching the scene 121.
 
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No wind, none.
For what it's worth, it is very overcast here right now so I can't do what I'd like but I did just take the camera and lens outside and shot some things at F9. At that aperture, the issue much improved.
Yes I have seen Thom's review and generally listen to what he has to say but I am skeptical of a lot of reviewers as I have seen many from those who couldn't possibly even have had the item in their possession when they did do their reviews.
Again, just looking for comments, suggestions, and those willing to shoot some shots to compare.
Thank
Jay, off topic - your username = 968 Porsche by any chance? I adapted username to reference my 911 turbo
 
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Thanks, I've already seen this.
I'm not disputing any of the reviews I've seen on this lens. I'm just wondering why I am getting different results and wondering if either mine is defective or if I am being too critical.

As I said earlier there IS a thread of the Fred Miranda forum which also claims that the lens has disappointing corners.

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1664173/5

About half way down the page some comparison shots are shown. He also said he has confirmed this behavior with a friend who also owns the lens.
 
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