Today Nikon announced another killer lens for its new Z line-up of lenses, the Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S. It is the first announcement of 2019 for the new Nikon Z mount and it is something many Nikon Z6 and Z7 owners have been anxiously waiting for. The main reason for the excitement is that this particular lens is not only the first ultra wide-angle lens for the Nikon Z-series cameras, but also world’s first lens that can go as wide as 14mm with a filter thread. Previously, all ultra-wide angle lenses required the use of expensive filter kits and large filters to be able to use polarizing and ND filters (due to bulky front elements). However, Nikon has been able to design the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S with a nearly flat front lens element, which allows the lens to mount 82mm filters. Additionally, Nikon was able to take a full advantage of the large diameter of the Z mount and optimize the performance of the lens to be able to deliver maximum sharpness, even when using high-resolution camera bodies like the Z7. Lastly, thanks to its retractable design and a very compact build, the lens only measures 85mm in length and weighs a total of 485 grams. These are significant size and weight savings when compared to Nikon’s own 14-24mm f/2.8G lens that measures 98mm in length and weighs a whopping 1 kg. All this makes the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S one of the most versatile ultra wide-angle lenses made in the history of optics.
This is a very exciting release for all Nikon Z owners, because it sets a new benchmark in performance and shows the true capabilities of the new Nikon Z mount. Just take a look at the below MTF chart of the lens to see what the lens can do at its widest aperture:
If you don’t know how to read MTF charts, see this article for details. Basically, this lens is much sharper than the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G (see our in-depth Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G review) at both ends of the zoom range according to the above MTF chart. Based on the graph for 30mm (Tele), the only area of concern is the very edges of the frame where the lens doesn’t resolve nearly as well, but I suspect it will only be true for 30mm – we should expect the performance at 24mm to be similar, if not better. On top of all this, the new Nikon 14-30mm f/4 S is supposed to deliver even better contrast – look at the red line that is practically flat! Considering the fact that the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G has been a reference ultra wide-angle lens in terms of sharpness, it is quite a remarkable achievement on behalf of Nikon engineers.
In terms of optical construction, Nikon used 14 elements in 12 groups, 4 of which are extra-low dispersion glass elements and 4 are aspherical, as can be seen above. The lens has a 7-blade diaphragm with rounded edges, and has the latest fluorine coating applied to the front element. To reduce ghosting and flare, the lens elements feature both Nano Crystal Coat, as well as Super Integrated Coat technologies. Similar to all other S lenses we have seen so far, the lens is fully weather sealed and has a stepper motor to quickly and silently acquire focus.
Personally, I cannot wait to test this lens later this year. It will be available for pre-order at the price of $1,299 (we will post the links as soon as they become available) and the lens will be released to the public in the spring of 2019.
Below is the full announcement from Nikon USA:
LAS VEGAS – CES BOOTH #14006 (January 7, 2019 at 9:01 P.M. EST/6:01 P.M. PST) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced two new products, including the NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S, the first ultra-wide zoom lens to take advantage of the amazing capabilities of the next generation Nikon Z Mount. This newest S-Line NIKKOR lens is a popular focal length for landscape, travel, event and architecture photographers, offering a combination of performance and portability that’s only possible with Nikon’s revolutionary new Z Mount.
Featuring a new optical design, the compact and lightweight NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S delivers the high level of optical performance that still and video creators expect from the NIKKOR name. By utilizing the larger diameter and technological benefits of the Z Mount, Nikon was able to design an ultra-wide-angle lens that delivers superior optical performance and maximizes the potential of high pixel-count digital cameras such as the 45.7-megapixel Nikon Z 7. Additionally, the design features a nearly flat front lens element, making the NIKKOR Z 14-30mm the world’s first filter-attachable ultra-wide-angle zoom lens covering a focal length from 14mm.
Nikon Inc. has also announced the Nikon Z 6 Filmmaker’s Kit. Featuring a selection of popular video equipment for the Z 6, the kit allows video creators to take full advantage of the Z 6’s industry-leading video features. Included accessories such as the Atomos Ninja V 4K HDR 5” Monitor Recorder and MOZA Air 2 3-Axis Hand-Held Gimbal Stabilizer make the new Filmmaker’s Kit an enticing value for those ready to explore the Nikon Z 6’s stellar video capture and multimedia potential.
“The NIKKOR Z 14-30mm lens demonstrates the optical superiority of the Z system, taking advantage of the newest high-performance lens technologies while maximizing compactness and portability,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “The Nikon Z series is a powerfully capable camera system for all types of video production, and with the Z 6 Filmmaker’s Kit, we’re giving videographers and content creators the gear they need to begin capturing high-quality videos with the most compelling hybrid camera on the market.”
The NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S: An Exceptional Combination of Portability and Performance
The new 14-30mm lens was designed for photo and video shooters looking for a sharp ultra-wide zoom lens with which to seek out gorgeous landscapes or cityscapes on their next travel adventure, and is an excellent choice for capturing interiors, architecture or events. It’s a lens for those who need to pack light without sacrificing image quality – an ultra-wide-angle lens that delivers portability and performance that pushes the boundaries of what is optically possible in a lens of its size.
- Lightweight and Ultra-Portable: At just 3.5-inches long when retracted, and weighing only 485g/1.07lbs, the NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S is approximately 28.6% lighter and 32% shorter than the popular AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, and approximately 51.5% lighter and 35% shorter than the tried-and-true AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED for the F mount.
- Uncompromising Optics: Featuring a new optical formula that utilizes four Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) elements and four aspherical elements, the 14-30mm f/4 offers unparalleled control of distortion and chromatic aberration. Additionally, the use of Nikon’s anti-reflective Nano Crystal Coat effectively reduces ghosting and flare, delivering clearer images that maintain contrast in challenging lighting situations.
- Filter Attachable: For the first time on a 14mm FX-format (full-frame) lens, photographers will be able to attach various types of screw-on filters (82mm) to the front of this ultra-wide-angle lens, infinitely expanding the creative possibilities of the NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S for landscape and cityscape photographers, videographers and more.
- Stepping Motor Technology: Featuring the latest Nikon Stepping Motor (STM) technology, the new lens provides smooth, fast and quiet AF performance—ideal for photographers shooting in sensitive environments, as well as videographers who must avoid focus noise in productions.
- Control Ring: As with the rest of the S-Line of NIKKOR Z lenses, the 14-30mm f/4 includes a customizable control ring that can be assigned to manual focusing, exposure compensation or aperture control depending on personal preference or shooting situation, maintaining different custom settings when in photo and video mode.
- Fully Compatible with In-Camera 5-Axis VR: To help ensure the sharpest possible images and most stable video, the new NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S is fully compatible with the in-body 5-axis VR found in the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7, providing up to 5 stops of image stabilization without adding to the size or weight of the lens itself.
- Optimized Video Performance: In addition to the speedy and near-silent stepping motor technology and customizable control ring, the lens reduces focus breathing, preventing the angle of view from changing unintentionally when adjusting focus.
- Reliability: The NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S is designed with consideration to dust and drip resistance, and features a fluorine coat that effectively repels dust, water droplets, grease and dirt.
The New Nikon Z 6 Filmmaker’s Kit
For users who are looking to take full advantage of the Nikon Z 6’s industry-leading video capabilities, this powerfully cinematic camera is now available as part of a new Filmmaker’s Kit. The bundle includes a range of equipment that helps users unlock the Z 6’s advanced video features and powerful potential.
The kit includes: a Nikon Z 6 camera, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens, Mount Adapter FTZ, Atomos Ninja V 4K HDR 5” Monitor Recorder, Rode VideoMic Pro+, MOZA Air 2 3-Axis Hand-Held Gimbal Stabilizer, an additional EN-EL15b battery, a coiled HDMI cable, 12-month Vimeo Pro membership, and The Art of Making Music Videos Nikon School online course featuring Nikon Ambassador Chris Hershman.
The Z 6 ushers in a new era in high-quality video capture for Nikon shooters. The camera’s fast and accurate autofocus, full-frame 4K/30p recording with full-pixel readout, zebra stripes, timecode and focus peaking offer users a professional-grade shooting experience. With the Z 6 Filmmaker’s Kit, users can access the advanced video features, like 10-bit HDMI output and N-Log video recording, while capturing gimbal-smooth video and crystal-clear audio. The kit provides filmmakers, vloggers and YouTubers with all the equipment they need to begin capturing high-quality 4K footage right away.
Price and Availability
The NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S lens will be available in the spring for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $1,299.95.
The Nikon Z 6 Filmmaker’s Kit will available in late January for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $3,999.95.
You can pre-order the Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S via B&H Photo Video and Adorama. The Nikon Z6 Filmmaker’s kit can also be ordered via B&H and Adorama.