Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f/1.4G ED

20 April 2011
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

It is not easy to construct a full frame 1.4/24 lens; small wonder only three companies offer such a device: Canon and Nikon for classic reflex cameras and Leica for its rangefinder M class cameras. The following chart presents a comparison of these three lenses’ properties. The Canon is the heaviest but it also features the biggest number of elements. The Leica is physically the lightest and it has the simplest optical design but it is made entirely of metal and glass for a change. The Canon’s and the Nikon’s minimum focus is 0.25 of a meter; that of the Leica is 0.7 of a meter, which is connected to the work of its rangefinder.

The photo below shows the tested lens positioned between the Nikkor 24-70 mm f/2.8 and the Nikkor 1.8/50.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f/1.4G ED - Build quality

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The lens starts with a metal mount with contacts – it surrounds the rear element which is 33 mm in diameter. The element is situated on the same level as the mount when the sharpness is set at infinity. On passing to the minimum focus the rear elements hides about 0.5 cm deep inside the barrel. In that position you can notice a slit, 2 mm wide, resultant between the inner mount rim and the element –dust might penetrate inside the lens through it.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f/1.4G ED - Build quality

Right behind the mount on the casing you can find a plate with the name of the lens, its parameters and a capital ‘N’ meaning that Nano Crystal Coatings have been implemented there. Inside the plate, behind a window, there is a distance scale expressed in metres and feet and right behind it, depth of field markings by f/11 and f/16 apertures. On the left you can find a focusing mechanism mode switch (M/A-M) and, on the other side of the lens, a serial number of the lens, the information concerning its parameters, diameter, filters and the inscription ‘Made in Japan’.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f/1.4G ED - Build quality

Further on there is a manual focus ring, 22 mm wide and ribbed. Its work is smooth and well-damped, allowing you to set focus with great precision. Running through the whole distance scale takes approximately a 140-degree turn.

At the front of the lens you see an immobile front element 5 cm in diameter. It is surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread with a diameter of 77 mm and a hood thread.

When it comes to the optical construction the Nikkor 1.4/24 comprises 12 elements positioned in 12 groups. Two elements were made of low-dispersion ED glass and two others are aspherical. Inside you can also find surfaces covered by Nano Crystal Coat. A circular aperture has nine diaphragm blades and can be closed down to f/16 at the most.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f/1.4G ED - Build quality

The buyer gets both caps, a petal type lens hood and a soft pouch included in the box.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f/1.4G ED - Build quality