The Nikon 24mm 1.4G is a wide-angle lens from 2010, which is designed to use with FX cameras like the Nikon D600 or Nikon D800E. However, the Nikon 24mm 1.4G on a DX camera can also serve well as a luminous 35mm (FX equivalent) lens. Our Nikon 24mm review on a Nikon D800E showed that even in low light, this lens indeed gives incredibly sharp images thanks to the large aperture (f/1.4). To prevent ghosting, the objective features Nikon’s Nano Crystal coating, so it can be used in the dark as well. For a lens with a fixed focal length, this Nikon 24mm lens is large and heavy. The 77mm filter size is impressive. The Nikon 24mm 1.4G has no built-in image stabilization, but the high luminosity and short focal length do much good. You could also turn it around: this is a perfect lens for shooting in low-light situations where image stabilization cannot prevent the subject from moving. Think of sports photography and concert photography.
Review Nikon AF-S 24mm f/1.4G ED & Nikon D3200
On a camera with a DX sensor, a lens with a focal length of 24 mm has a field of view equivalent to a 35mm lens on a camera with a full frame sensor. The high brilliance makes the lens also suitable for shooting in low light. This makes the Nikon 24mm f/1.4 is ideal for concerts, reporting, street and travel photography.
Construction and autofocus
The quality and finish of this lens is very high. This Nikon 24mm 1.4G is built like a tank to withstand the toughest situations in practice. This lens comes with a case and a plastic flower-shaped lens hood. For an expensive lens designed for use under the most extreme conditions, a metal hood might have been even better? A switch for AF / MF is located on the lens, as well as a window on which you can read at what distance the lens is set and how great the accompanying depth is. For a wide-angle lens, all values are so close together and the depth of field is difficult to read, so it is of little use in practice. The autofocus drive is quiet and fast. Thanks to the high brilliance, you are not even bothered by the searching of the autofocus in the dark. While focusing, the front lens does not rotate and the length of the lens remains unchanged. Vignetting We have measured the vignetting in RAW files and in jpg files stored in the Nikon D3200. The camera in the position normal corrected vignetting. There is no focal length at which you will be bothered by vignetting. Here, you see a worst case for illustration. It is obviously expected that the vignetting of the Nikon 24mm 1.4 is so low on a Nikon D3200. The lens is designed for use on an FX camera and a Nikon D3200 has a smaller DX sensor. Move your mouse over the image to see the Imatest results.
We have measured the vignetting in RAW files and in jpg files stored in the Nikon D3200. The camera in the position normal corrected vignetting. There is no focal length at which you will be bothered by vignetting. Here, you see a worst case for illustration. It is obviously expected that the vignetting of the Nikon 24mm 1.4 is so low on a Nikon D3200. The lens is designed for use on an FX camera and a Nikon D3200 has a smaller DX sensor.
When testing lenses, we set the camera in such a way that the camera corrects all possible lens aberrations in jpg files. It seems that the Nikon D3200 still carries out a small correction, despite the fact that the slight barrel distortion requires no correction in RAW files. In RAW files, we measured -0.5% barrel distortion and in (corrected) jpg files, it was 0.15% cushion shaped. In both cases, you will not see it with the naked eye.
Nikon 24mm 1.4G Bokeh
At full aperture, the Nikon 24mm 1.4G with the Nikon D3200 delivers a beautiful bokeh as you can see in the adjacent figure: an image cropping of our test setup for bokeh. Under f/2.8, the bokeh is beautifully round. Above f/2.8, the angular shape of the aperture blades starts to become visible in the bokeh. Bright lenses with an aperture of f/2 or larger sometimes exhibit color bokeh / axial chromatic aberration. The difference between color bokeh and lateral chromatic aberration is that chromatic aberration is visible in the corners, while color bokeh appears in the whole image. When using the Nikon 24mm 1.4G, you can sometimes encounter visible color bokeh in the form of green edges at all there is behind the subject focused on and red edges at all that is in front. The remedy against color bokeh or longitudinal distortion is stopping down. Above aperture 2.8, you do not see it anymore.
Flare The aperture of the Nikon 24mm 1.4 consists of 9 bars. In the case of small apertures, a strong light source in an image will result in star diffraction / solar stars with 18 rays, such as in the image taken at f/4.5. In several practice shots, we have encountered ghosting in the colors of the rainbow, despite Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coating. Using the supplied lens hood is a good idea.
Resolution Nikon 24mm 1.4G @ DX
In combination with the Nikon D800E, the Nikon 24mm 1.4 lens is one of the sharpest lenses we have reviewed so far. The sharpness of this lens is so high that we have had to adjust the scale of our charts accordingly. In combination with the Nikon D3200, the resolution is obviously lower than with the Nikon D800E, because the Nikon D3200 has 24 megapixels and Nikon D800E 36 megapixels. Nevertheless, the pixels on a Nikon D3200 sensor are also located much closer to each other than the pixels on a Nikon D800E.
If the pixels on a Nikon D800E were located just as close together as on the Nikon D3200, the D800E would have had 58 megapixels instead of 36. Therefore, when it comes to resolution, the Nikon D3200 sensor has even higher demands for an objective than a Nikon D800E does. This lens shows performs best between aperture 4 and 11. However, even at full aperture, the result is already very nice, though you can see that the resolution at the edges and in the corners remains behind the center resolution. For many purposes, the resolution at f/1.4 will already be sufficient. Yet, in direct comparison of an image taken at f/1.4 and at f/4, you see that the resolution at f/4 is higher.
In RAW files, this lens scores very well on the part of chromatic aberration. Those using the jpg files from the Nikon D3200 are even slightly better off. Nikon applies standard in-camera correction of chromatic aberration on jpg files, without you as a user having any influence. Some photographers feel uncomfortable with the fact that the CA correction in jpg files cannot be turned off by the user. I do not see why you would want to switch off the CA correction; it only leads to higher image quality..
Conclusion Nikon 24mm 1.4G review
- Great image quality
- Built like a tank
- Quiet and fast AF
- Large, heavy and expensive: Although Nikon 35mm f/1.8G has a slightly less wide angle, it is a lot lighter and cheaper on a DX camera and just as good in terms of image quality.
The Nikon 24mm 1.4G is designed for a camera with a FX sensor. Given the price tag of this lens, (professional) FX photographers will mainly purchase it. If you have both an FX camera and a DX camera, you can use the Nikon 24mm 1.4G as a wide-angle lens on your FX camera and as reporting lens on your DX camera. In both cases, you will get good results. For those only having a DX camera and looking for a bright standard lens or reporting lens, a Nikon 35mm 1.8G seems a cheaper and more obvious solution.