Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G ED

15 December 2015
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between the tested lens, its f/1.4 brother and other full frame 24 mm constructions with apertures ranging from f/1.8 to f/2.0.

It is interesting that the slower model consists of as many elements as the f/1.4 Nikkor; on the other hand already the manual Nikkor 2/24, which first version was shown in 1997, was a quite complex construction, with as many as 11 elements, even though it was slower. It is also worth mentioning that the Nikkor tested here features less aperture blades than its faster brother but its minimum focusing distance is better.

In the photo below the tested lens is positioned between the Nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8D and the Sigma A 35 mm f/1.4 HSM.

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Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G ED - Build quality

The Nikkor-AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G ED begins with a mount which surrounds a rear element, 28 mm in diameter. That element is situated on almost the same level as the mount with the focus set at infinity. When you progress to the minimum focusing distance the element hides inside the barrel over 0.5 of a centimeter deep but it doesn’t reveal any electronic parts while doing so. The area surrounding it is dark and matt.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G ED - Build quality

The proper casing of the lens is covered by plastics and it starts with a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier. Right behind it you see a plate with the name and parameters of the lens and a capital “N” letter, meaning nano crystal coatings have been employed. Between the word “Nikon” and the “N” letter there is a distance scale behind a window, expressed in meters and feet. The depth of field scale is just symbolic, including marks by f/16 only.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G ED - Build quality

On the left side of the lens you see a focusing mechanism mode switch (M, M/A) and on the other side of the plate there is some information concerning the basic properties of the lens, its serial number and an inscription “MADE IN CHINA”.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G ED - Build quality

A manual focus ring, as wide as 28 mm, is the next part of the lens. You can hold it comfortably, mainly due to rubberized ribbing, but it is hardly a joy to use. Firstly its working range amounts to just 90 degrees which, by definition, won’t allow you to set the focus precisely. What’s more, the ring also features a traditional flaw of many contemporary Nikkors - a noticeable slack. You can turn it by one rib without any movement on the focus scale; only after that turn the ring ‘catches on’ and starts performing. Such a slip-up can’t be tolerated even in cheap instruments let alone in a good quality “prime” which costs 3000 PLN. It is really difficult to explain…

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G ED - Build quality

Behind the manual focus ring you get an immobile part of the casing with a golden stripe which turns smoothly into a petal-type hood mount.

The front element of the lens doesn’t move; it is slightly convex, with a diameter of 47 mm. Around it goes a non-rotating filter thread, 72 mm in diameter.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G ED - Build quality

The optical construction of the tested Nikkor consists of 12 elements positioned in 9 groups. Two of those are made of low dispersion ED glass and two others are aspherical. One air-to-glass surface was covered by Nano crystal coating and the rest feature anti-reflection Nikon Super Integrated Coatings. Inside you can also find an aperture with seven blades which can be closed down to f/16 at the maximum.

Buyers get both caps, a petal-type hood and a soft pouch in the box. It is a noticeable advantage of Nikon products, especially when compared to accessory kits of its biggest rival, Cannon. Cannon, even at such price-point, often gives you just the caps.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f/1.8G ED - Build quality