Today Nikon revealed another addition to the f/1.8 family of prime lenses, the Nikkor 24mm f/1.8G ED. This fast, enthusiast-level prime lens fills the gap between the Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G and the Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G, giving Nikon shooters yet another excellent wide-angle choice in a lightweight and affordable package. While the professional Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G has been out for over 5 years now, its high price point and heavy weight have been deterring many photographers, who have been waiting for a lighter and cheaper option ever since. The wait is finally over – at only 355 grams and $749.95 MSRP, the new Nikkor 24mm f/1.8G ED will surely satisfy many photographers who have been craving for such a lens.
Update: A very detailed Nikon 24mm f/1.8G Review has already been posted! Please see the review for up-to-date information, image samples and comparisons.
The new 24mm f/1.8G ED incorporates a total of 12 lens elements in 8 groups (2 of which are ED and 2 are aspherical), has a 7 blade diaphragm and comes with the modern coatings such as Super Integrated Coating and Nano Coating to reduce ghosting and flare. Being an AF-S lens, it has a fast and silent autofocus mechanism and the front of the lens has a 72mm filter thread. All in all, it looks like a great lens for 24mm focal length fans.
Let’s take a look at the lens MTF and compare it to that of the 24mm f/1.4G classic (Left: Nikkor 24mm f/1.8G ED, Right: Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED):
Similar to what we have seen with other f/1.8 Nikkor primes, the 24mm f/1.8G seems to be a winner. Wide open at f/1.8, it is sharper than the much more expensive 24mm f/1.4 at f/1.4 – you can see how the blue line on the 24mm f/1.8 starts out higher and drops down lower too towards the edges, which means that the lens should be sharper in the corners too. It also has a higher contrast, which is represented by the red line. The lines gradually fall instead of having spikes, which means that the lens should not have wavy field curvature issues like the 28mm f/1.8G lens. If you do not know how to read MTF charts, please see my detailed MTF reading guide.
Given the price difference, it looks like the 24mm f/1.8G will make it hard to recommend the 24mm f/1.4G in the future. Another winner from Nikon for sure!
You can find the official image samples from Nikon Image. Unfortunately, only small JPEG images are provided. I will update this article with links to full size JPEG images once those become available.
Official Press Release
Below is part of the official press release from Nikon:
The AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED is the latest addition to the exceptional system of NIKKOR f/1.8 primes, and provides enthusiast photographers with a fast wide-angle prime lens that’s both lightweight and affordable. This new lens lets photographers immerse viewers into landscapes, interiors and architecture with amazing clarity and minimal distortion, while a fast maximum aperture delivers superb bokeh and excellent low-light ability. Whether a photographer’s passion is capturing environmental portraits or the delicious details of a meal, this lens creates a dramatic separation between subject and background.
The new NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8 complements Nikon’s high-resolution DSLRs and provides amazing image quality thanks to Nikon lens technologies including Nikon’s exclusive Nano Crystal Coat. Additionally, this compact lens features ED and Aspherical lens elements for extreme sharpness while minimizing ghosting and flare.