Gear

Nikon Z Series Gets Wider

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The new 14-30mm f/4 S is the widest lens yet to be released for Nikon’s mirrorless full frame Z Series.

There’s more good news for Nikon’s mirrorless Z Series, with the company today adding a release date and plenty of juicy details for its Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S. The 14-30mm f/4 S was first announced within the Z Series’ lens roadmap at the system’s launch back in late summer 2018, and it looks set to be the first optic new to the streets since the big launch, unless the 58mm f/0.95 Noct gets its skates on.

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The 14-30mm f/4 S is small and light compared to many full frame wide-angle zooms.

The 14-30mm f/4 S is an ultra wide angle zoom offering a field of view of 114° to 72º with a constant f/4 maximum aperture, and promises a lightweight and compact build. It weighs 485g and its retractable design means it’s only 85mm long when locked, as feature very much in keeping with the previous Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S zoom as it keeps size to a minimum when stowed. Like the Z Series’ existing lenses, it also features a customisable control ring, which can be mapped to manual focus, aperture control, or exposure compensation. There’s still no Fn button on the lens barrel though, which the Z manuals make mention of, but must be coming on later optics.

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Like the existing 24-70mm f/4 S, the new lens has a retractable design.

The 14-30mm f/4 S also has a special flat front element design, which Nikon claims is the world’s first for a 14mm FX format lens, and means you can fit regular 82mm screw-in filters rather than needing a holder to fit over a traditionally bulbous front element. This of course means you don’t risk losing field of view due to a holder, or need to pack extra gear if you just want to use a polariser or NDs. Or you can fit a protective UV filter if you want.

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Small, light and weather sealed it’s build to match the characteristics of the Z 6 and Z 7 bodies.

The ultra-wide-to-wide angle focal lengths will obviously appeal to landscapers and travel photographers alike, and of course it’s the only such lens available for Z bodies until the 14-24mm f/2.8 arrives in 2020. The 14-30mm f/4 S also boasts extensive weather sealing, and a fluorine coating on the front element that effectively repels dust, water droplets, grease and dirt, so there should be no worries about twinning it with a Z 6 or Z 7 in poxy weather.

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Despite being an ultra wide angle full-frame lens, the 14-30mm f/4 S has a flat front element, so regular filters can be used without a holder.

Optical results from the existing 24-70mm f/4 S, 35mm f/1.8 S and 50mm f/1.8 S were excellent, and using four Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) elements, four aspherical elements, as well as Nikon’s anti-reflective Nano Crystal Coat, there’s no reason to think the new lens shouldn’t keep up that trend. The 14-30mm f/4 is also claimed to offer unparalleled control of distortion and chromatic aberration. The minimum focus distance is 0.28m.

The new lens also promises to be a high performance, versatile lens for video. Aside from the breadth of framing on offer, the control ring allows silent, stepless aperture control, and there’s reduced focus breathing and focus-shift while zooming, too. AF is said to be smooth and virtually silent, which should add up to excellent focus pulling. The 14-30mm f/4 S will be available from April at an RRP of £1349.