Author Topic: The Z 24-70mm S f/4 Lens (The little lens that could)  (Read 369 times)

Michael Erlewine

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I’m starting to go into the woods and take photos, so of course I’m back to figuring out the lightest set of gear that will let me walk the farthest distance from my car and still get back to it. You can laugh, but when you get 81 years old, if you are lucky enough for that to happen, you will know exactly what I mean here.

Of course, I have some great lenses that I like, most of them a bit on the heavy side. Let me give one example, which fits here, the two Nikkor Z 24-70 Lenses, one at f/4 and the other at f/2.8. We know that the f/2.8 version is heaver at 28.4 oz (805g) and the f/4 version is 17.6 oz (500g).  In other words, the f/4 version is 10.8oz (305g) lighter than the f/2.8. That weight adds up.

Here is a quick stacked image of some Calla Lilies using the Z 24-70 S f/4 lens. It’s perhaps not as sharp, etc. as the f/2.8 version, yet traveling with the f/4 version is lighter, also much more compact and less bulky. I am trying to get down to my ‘fighting weight’ as to carrying equiipment, so to speak.

Considering that this little lens, the f/4 24-70 S is often offered as the kit lens with the Z7 series of Nikon mirrorless cameras, it cost me about $600 for a $1000 lens. And it is sharp. Here is a photo I did of a well-known blues player (and good friend) Luke Winslow-King, taken with the f/4 24-70 and it looks pretty good to me.

And so, I believe I will take the Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens along with a small tripod on some of my journeys into the woods and meadows.
MichaelErlewine.smugmug.com. Founder MacroStop.com, MichaelErlewine.com (articles), https://www.youtube.com/user/merlewine (video tutorials), All-Music Guide, All-Movie Guide, Classic Posters.com, Matrix Software, SpiritGrooves.net, DharmaGrooves.com

Hugh_3170

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Re: The Z 24-70mm S f/4 Lens (The little lens that could)
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2022, 14:40:13 »
Your two samples look sharp to me as well.  Nice.

Your quest for a light weight hiking outfilt reminds me of a similar approach taken by the late Galen Rowell who would use consumer grade lenses for walking or running into distant photo spots on foot.  He used them at their sweet spot apertures.

The 14-30mm f/4S is only 485g and the new 24-120mm f/4S is 630g, so these two may also be candidates for you.  The former is quite usable, but I have not tried the latter.
Hugh Gunn

Frank Fremerey

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Re: The Z 24-70mm S f/4 Lens (The little lens that could)
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2022, 01:35:43 »
I’m starting to go into the woods and take photos, so of course I’m back to figuring out the lightest set of gear that will let me walk the farthest distance from my car and still get back to it. You can laugh, but when you get 81 years old, if you are lucky enough for that to happen, you will know exactly what I mean here.

Of course, I have some great lenses that I like, most of them a bit on the heavy side. Let me give one example, which fits here, the two Nikkor Z 24-70 Lenses, one at f/4 and the other at f/2.8. We know that the f/2.8 version is heaver at 28.4 oz (805g) and the f/4 version is 17.6 oz (500g).  In other words, the f/4 version is 10.8oz (305g) lighter than the f/2.8. That weight adds up.

Here is a quick stacked image of some Calla Lilies using the Z 24-70 S f/4 lens. It’s perhaps not as sharp, etc. as the f/2.8 version, yet traveling with the f/4 version is lighter, also much more compact and less bulky. I am trying to get down to my ‘fighting weight’ as to carrying equiipment, so to speak.

Considering that this little lens, the f/4 24-70 S is often offered as the kit lens with the Z7 series of Nikon mirrorless cameras, it cost me about $600 for a $1000 lens. And it is sharp. Here is a photo I did of a well-known blues player (and good friend) Luke Winslow-King, taken with the f/4 24-70 and it looks pretty good to me.

And so, I believe I will take the Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens along with a small tripod on some of my journeys into the woods and meadows.


As long as you can get your vision of the scene across (which you do in this case) you are free to travel light.
You are out there. You and your camera. You can shoot or not shoot as you please. Discover the world, Your world. Show it to us. Or we might never see it.

Me: https://youpic.com/photographer/frankfremerey/

Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Z 24-70mm S f/4 Lens (The little lens that could)
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2022, 04:15:16 »
Here are some of the Nikon Z lenses that interest me  for field work and brief comments for my kind of close-up work.

The Nikkor NOCT 0.95 has a DXOMark rating of T=55, with a sharpness rating of S=35, weighs in at 4.4 lb.  with a near distances of 1.64 ft. I love this lens, but it is too heavy, bulky, for hiking and no autofocus.

Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S gets a high rating from DXOMark T=49, with a sharpness rating of S=41, is light enough (1.03 lb.), but has a near focus distance of 2.62 ft., which is too far for my close-up work.

The Nikon Z 70-200 F/2.8 S gets a DXOMark rating of  T=38, with a sharpness rating of  S=38, but weighs 2.99 lbs. and has a near focus of 1.64’. Heavy, but otherwise a very useful lens. I would need a tripod, probably.

The Nikon Z 24-70 f/2.8 gets a DXOMark rating of T=36, with a sharpness rating of S=26. It is a little heavy at 1.77 lbs.  and has a near focus of 1.25’. A good lens for my work, but probably not for hiking. I might just use this one anyway.

The Nikon Z 24-70 f/4, gets a DXOMark rating of T=29, with a sharpness rating of S=19, weighs a light 1.1 lb., and a near focus of 11.81”. This is a main candidate, IMO, for taking into the field. I have had good results with it so far.

The Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 gets a DXOmark of T=44, with a sharpness rating of S=37, weighs a light of 14.64 oz, with a near focus of 1.31 ft, a little long and I don’t tend to use a 50mm lens much.

The Nikon Z 105mm Macro f/2.8 S (not DXO rated) weighs a light 1.4 lbs. and has a near focus of 11.4”. This probably is the best candidate for my work, although not wide enough for small dioramas. I may just take this into the field.

The Nikon Z 24-120 f/4 S (not DXO rated) weighs a light 1.4 lb. and has a near focus of 1.1’. I want to try it out, but may have too much chromatic aberration. I will see how it does.

The Nikon Z 100-400 S f/4.5 (not DXO-rated) weighs a hefty 3.2 lbs. and has a near focus distance of 2.5’. I will use this on a tripod, but not carry it far.

The Nikon Z MC 50mm f/2.8 Macro is not DXO rated, and has a 6.3” near distance, and weighs 9.2 oz. Not an ‘S’ lens as I have found out. Not quite sharp enough.

Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 has a DXOMark rating of T=38 and a sharpness rating of S=30, weighs 13 oz, with a close focus of 9.84”. I don’t have this lens, but I might try it and see how good it is.

MichaelErlewine.smugmug.com. Founder MacroStop.com, MichaelErlewine.com (articles), https://www.youtube.com/user/merlewine (video tutorials), All-Music Guide, All-Movie Guide, Classic Posters.com, Matrix Software, SpiritGrooves.net, DharmaGrooves.com

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: The Z 24-70mm S f/4 Lens (The little lens that could)
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2022, 05:22:58 »
I know you like longer focal lengths, but the Nikon 14-30 f/4 was practically glued on my Z6.